If you are one for soaking up some festive feels come the run-up to Christmas, you’re not alone. Who doesn’t love the fact that this concrete jungle turns into a twinkly, welcoming version of itself come wintertime – with baubles, Christmas trees, wreaths and fairy lights adorning every doorway and arch? As per usual, a bevy of restaurants and café’s across this pretty city have cottoned onto the fact that a festively festooned exterior will draw in the crowds like nothing else – and we are here for it. How would you know, though, whether the chance to sneak a snap worthy of the ‘Gram actually equates to a menu that’s worth the visit?
We’ve tried and tested the best merry spots that tick both boxes, so make a beeline for one of the following when in the mood for festive food:
With a beautiful façade that’s currently adorned with hundreds of white baubles, a giant ‘Frozen-like’ throne, Christmas trees and mounds of fake snow to boot, this influencer favourite is not only pretty on the outside, but offers a solid selection of breakfasts that are reasonably priced, arrives speedily (especially the Eggs Benedict, which tends to appear almost straight after orders are placed) and always delicious.
In the heart of Holborn, the very photogenic Dalloway (technically a terrace but covered and closed off from the elements), is currently decked out in chic décor that includes silver baubles, gold bells, ‘snow’- covered branches and pinecones. Ask for a table by the foliage when you book, and make sure to order either their Spanish Omelette (carb-heavy with potatoes and sourdough – but so worth it) or Green Shakshuka (as the kale adds to at least one of your five a day).
The pale pink patisserie has undergone its usual seasonal transformation, this time with a wintery motif to match the wintery-themed sweet treats that you can nibble on once inside (think Marzipan Christstollen Slices and Christmas Spice Jam Stars). A giant polar bear cut-out hangs over the door, snowflakes prettify the windows and fairy lights line the columns to beckon you in from the dark and cold. Once inside, make sure to try their (new to the parlour) breakfast – with everything on offer from croissants and pancakes to Eggs Benedict and Breakfast Bowls. But do make sure to leave some space for the sweet stuff.
Nip into Clarke’s for fresh, buttery croissants and an organic fruit, then take your breakfast on the road, because this part of Notting Hill is so beautifully festive that you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to photographic fodder, no matter which street you amble down. Right across the way from this quaint bakery & deli is the most festive pub in London – the Churchill Arms is decked out in a hundred Christmas trees and thousands of twinkly lights that will have you feeling very merry indeed.
Always iconic, and over Christmastime, even more so. This Chelsea institution has not held back on the festive décor – sporting an impressive installation of baubles and ballet shoes in the entrance (thanks to their Swan Lake partnership that’s currently running), you can even book for a meal in one of their heated winter chalets in the courtyard. Once perched cozily inside one of the said chalets, make sure to try either their avocado and poached eggs concoction on a bed of cornbread and hot sauce, or the New Yorker sarmie with pastrami and a poached egg.
Head over to Mayfair for brunch and sit amongst a wonderland of Christmas baubles at 34 Mayfair’s ‘Miracle at 34’. Every inch of the restaurant’s walls and ceiling is covered in over 14,000 decorations, including 8,400 Christmas baubles, installed by acclaimed florist Jane Wadham. You can up your social media game while tucking into peanut crunch waffles or a plate of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.
A Merry Christmas is made of this.