European Christmas – trade in Santa for St Nicholas with London’s best alternative festive menus 2019

Its beginning to look, smell and taste a lot like Christmas. Here we have some ideas of alternative European festive menus for the whole family to enjoy.

Paella party at Arros QD

Multi-Michelin starred Quique Dacosta traditionally eats paella at Christmas with his family in Valencia – the perfect sharing dish, it’s placed in the middle of the table and everyone tucks in with their own wooden spoon. Revellers looking to follow suit this festive season should head to Arros QD, Quique’s London restaurant that focuses on rice. Guests can choose to go traditional with the likes of the Paella Valenciana with rabbit, chicken, garrafo bean, rosemary, traditional aioli, or luxe it up for Christmas with a paella of Canadian lobster, cuttlefish, ńoras aioli. Group dining menus are also available, starting at £70 for a selection of dishes, all designed to share. More info and booking on the website:

Portuguese fare at Volta do Mar

One of London’s hottest new openings, Volta do Mar is celebrating the festive season in true Portuguese style. With prices starting at £35 for a set menu, starters include Sardine Paté with sourdoughFried Cornmeal Masala, and cheese and charcuterie from one of Portugal’s oldest and most respected family run businesses, Manteigaria Silva. A choice of mains includes the likes of Iberico Pork VindalooCharred celeriac feijoada (a black bean stew), and even a Whole rotisserie chicken. Bolo Rei, a traditional Portuguese Christmas cake. More info and booking via the website:

Sicilian feasting at Norma

Since opening its doors on Charlotte Street in September, Norma has been serving up modern-Sicilian small plates and sharing dishes with aplomb. Accommodating small or large parties, Norma is a great alternative to the usual turkey dinner and Christmas pudding, instead serving up dishes such as Arancini with burrata, truffle, wild mushroom and parmesan sauce; Crispy squid and mussels, sage, capers and saffron alioli; Roasted old spot pork, spiced quince, black cabbage and roasted Roosevelt potatoes; Warm saffron poached pear, hot chocolate sauce and hazelnut ice cream. Prices start from £35 per person (2 courses) to £65 per person for a full sharing Sicilian feast. More info and booking via their website: 

A very Italian Christmas with Margot

Deservedly famed for its impeccable service, where better to enjoy a stress-free proper Italian Christmas spread, than at Margot in Covent Garden. Do away with the pressures of entertaining, and head to Margot for a simple but excellent, three course feast. Start with Burrata and winter tomatoes or Chicken liver terrine and Carasau bread before Pumpkin and Amaretto ravioli in sage butter or Braised lamb with mash and oyster mushroom. Sweets including a decadent Italian Chocolate cake and vanilla custardCheeses and a special Quince apple and cinnamon tart and almond ice cream. Italian aperitivi, wines and Americani to boot. More info and booking via their website:

French fancy at Les Platanes

At French bistrot deluxe les Platanes there is a choice of three, utterly indulgent Christmas menus. These menus are available from the 18th November, running all the way through the Christmas period perfect for festive celebrations. Ranging from £55-£90pp, each menu offers elegant and seasonal delights, presenting dishes including Cauliflower and truffle velouté, Game and foie gras terrine with spiced pear chutney, and finishing with Frozen Christmas nougatine, there’s no better way to celebrate this winter. More info and booking via their website:

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