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Oct 21, 2013 07:50 AM

Christmas Day in London -- not finding much

I will be in London (staying near Holbon tube station) over Christmas, and have been spinning my wheels searching for a good place for dinner on December 24 and 25. I will be with younger kids, and am not looking for a set menu with expensive prices. Really I'd be happy with a good Chinese or Indian restaurant that takes reservations and is serving their regular menu.

Any suggestions for these or other options would be greatly appreciated.


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    I found this by googling "London restaurants open Christmas Day 2013." There was a lot of info.

    1. I think going to Chinatown is a great idea. Many restaurants that are open on Christmas are very expensive and take advantage, at times, of the tourists who have limited choices.

      Go to one of the better Chinese restaurants - I like Haozhan where the prices are fairly reasonable and the food is good. You might also like Pearl Liang for good dim sum, but that's near Paddington, not a long trek from Holborn. Be reminded that public transport is closed down on the 25th.

      3 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        Is this advice from experience? I am not certain why it's assumed Chinese or Indian restaurants don't close at Christmas as well, the bank holidays are not just for Christians, and staff costs rise, and transport becomes a problem for all employers as the UK practically closes for 36 hours,

        There will be a few places open but you do need to search hard, remember that with public transport shutting down from early evening on Christmas Eve and not being fully operational until the 27th then many many places will close as there are far fewer customers and staff who commute can't get to work. I also found on my last Christmas visit that many good places closed from the day before Christmas Eve to just before the New Year holiday.

        That said, the positive is a week when London is a little less crowded, until the post Christmas sales kick off, so it can be a nice time to be in the city. Do remember it's not just restaurants close but all attractions, like museums etc will generally close from early on the 24th to the 27th.

        1. re: PhilD

          Experience from other major cities around the world. Many ethnic restaurants are closed, but I've found a good many that will remain open. And yes, I've had to search hard for museums and other things to do from Dec. 24-26, but fortunately London's a big place with lots to do (except for Christmas Day itself!).

          1. re: PhilD

            London Chinatown is largely open on Christmas day. I've been a few times for a quick bite.

            I think it is assumed (at least Chinese places) because it seems to be common practice in the US and from what I've seen, in London. The presumption is self-fulfilling.

        2. Have you tried a search on TopTable?

          I get 212 hits for dinner on Christmas Day. I'm not that familiar with the capital's geography so dont know which may be near you - although I spot quite a few that are in the outer areas.

          If you find somewhere there, I would advise phoning the restaurant just to confirm that they are, indeed, going to be open.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters

            Thanks all for the helpful suggestions. I've been searching on Google a lot, but am running into high priced set menus. The Chinese options sound good, and I'll check out TopTable as well -- looks like many of the hotel restaurants are open, which is not too surprising.

          2. Are you staying in a hotel, or renting an apartment? I was initially considering dinner out on Christmas Day and having similar experiences. Since we have a flat, I decided to do some food shopping upon arrival and plan to cook at "home" over the holidays, although we did book afternoon tea at the Intercontinental on Boxing Day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lisaonthecape

              I'll be in a hotel. Not surprisingly, many hotel restaurants seem to be open Christmas Day.

            2. Pont de la Tour does Christmas service every year. Great views. Not cheap.