Whether you’re looking to feel festive in the run-up or want somewhere to celebrate Christmas in style, Knightsbridge has you coveredWords: Stefan Chomka
The ultimate festive dining guide
Bunch of Grapes, 207 Brompton Road
The pub is a great place to be in the run-up to Christmas, and nowhere more so than the Grade II-listed Bunch of Grapes on Brompton Road. Alongside its traditional pub dining, from 14 November it is serving a Christmas menu that kicks off with options such as maple glazed pigs in blankets and cauliflower and chestnut soup before the main event of a traditional turkey dinner with a pig in blanket, duck fat roast potatoes, sprouts, Chantenay carrots and gravy, finishing with Christmas pudding and brandy butter ice cream. To get people into the party spirit, groups that pre-book the seasonal menu and spend £300 on drinks on the day will receive a £50 discount. Cheers to that.
Sette, 4 Knightsbridge Green
Few places take Christmas as seriously as this New York Italian restaurant located in the Bulgari Hotel. The restaurant starts spreading festive cheer on 3 December when it invites guests to help decorate its tree while partaking in cocktails, mulled wine and canapés followed by family-style brunch with live music and kids’ entertainment (people are encouraged to dress in cocktail attire to mark the occasion). On the big day itself, diners are treated to – among other dishes – a mouth-watering four-course meal featuring smoked salmon, lobster cavatelli and turkey with all the trimmings. The little ones won’t go hungry, either, thanks to a special menu of more child-friendly dishes, including the dreaded Christmas pudding being swapped out for either jam roly-poly with vanilla s
Caffè Concerto, 152 Brompton Road
Trust Caffè Concerto to offer something a little different over the festive season. The set menu (two-courses for £29.95, three for £35.95) features a variety of Italian-inspired dishes sure to tempt you away from turkey and sprouts. These include ravioli lobster, salt beef with mozzarella and figs, braised lamb shank and wild mushroom risotto. There are plenty of vegan-friendly options – including, believe it or not, truffle gnocchi with cheese fondue – and even special-edition Christmas cocktails and mocktails. Stuck for a gift for the foodie in your life? Why not pick up a beautiful Christmas cake or panettone from Caffè Concerto, or vouchers for afternoon tea with prosecco?
Marcus Belgravia, Wilton Place
Chef Marcus Wareing bows out of The Berkeley Hotel on Boxing Day after 15 years and the former amateur boxer intends to go out fighting. He’s created a sumptuous six-course menu with the option of matched wines that includes tea-cured Loch Duart salmon; roast Orkney scallop with a spiced oyster bisque; winter truffle risotto; and a choice of either roast turkey with nutmeg cream or Galloway beef fillet. His parting shot is the bûche de Noël, a Michelin-starred take on the traditional yule log.
The Lanesborough Grill, Hyde Park Corner
From 17 November, The Lanesborough Grill unveils its festive menu of dishes that include duck liver parfait, Norfolk turkey wellington with caramelised parsnip, sprout leaves, madeira and truffle; and a classic Christmas pudding with caramelised milk ice cream and brandy sauce. For something that little bit extra special, visit the restaurant on select Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for its Festive Live Nights, when a meal is accompanied by champagne and live music, or even on Christmas Eve when it will serve a festive four-course dinner also to live music.
The Berkeley, Wilton Place
From 10 November, The Berkeley is giving its famous Prêt-à-Portea catwalk-inspired afternoon tea a festive makeover that will include seasonal treats alongside its regular offer of couture cakes. The hotel’s Collins Room restaurant, meanwhile, will serve a three-course Christmas Eve menu while on Christmas Day it is pulling out all the stops with a five-course lunch for £275 per person replete with lobster, scallops, caviar and many other luxury ingredients that befit such an occasion.
Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, 66 Knightsbridge
Those looking to really push the boat out this Christmas should look no further than Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London and its two-Michelin-starred Dinner By Heston Blumenthal. For £320 you can indulge in what must be one of the capital’s most expensive – but also most sought-after – Christmas Day lunches that features festive spins on Heston classics including a spiced red wine version of his iconic plum meat fruit dish and Christmas tipsy cake. If your wallet can’t stretch that far, from 20 November the restaurant is offering a four-course festive menu at half that price.
Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge
Head to the fifth floor of the ever-stylish department store and its Cafe and Terrace where you can dine on a seasonal three-course menu for a very wallet-friendly £36 per person with a glass of prosecco – giving you more money to spend on Christmas shopping. Or why not opt for the new festive afternoon tea at £40pp, which features seasonal finger sandwiches and sweet treats such as gingersnap and cranberry cheesecake pie. The department store has also just released a special-edition Christmas cocktail menu in partnership with Moët Hennessy, with festive tipples devised by Harvey Nichols’ own bartenders.
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Harrods and its new-look Dining Hall that will become a cornucopia of Yuletide delights this festive season. The store’s famous Christmas hampers will also make an appearance – starting from the Christmas gift hamper at £80 and rising to the dizzy heights of £5,500 for the Ultimate Christmas hamper bursting with food and drink goodies.
Gordon Ramsay Burger, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road
Turkey might be the bird of choice over the festive period, but since the mid-1980s the Japanese have gone crazy for fried chicken at Christmas, with an estimated 3.6 million Japanese families treating themselves to a festive bucket of KFC between 20 and 25 December each year. For a slightly more finessed fried chicken fix, there’s always Gordon Ramsay Burger and its Southern Yardbird chicken burger that comes with Nashville sauce, chipotle mayonnaise, sliced tomato, butter lettuce, coleslaw and pickled daikon.
Al Basha, 48 Knightsbridge
Al Basha promises to transport you to the souks of Cairo, the harbours of Alexandria and the mountains of Libya through its authentic Middle Eastern and Egyptian menus. There are no pigs in blankets or roast ham on the menu, but you will have a choice of delicious, flavourful dishes such as traditional Koshary, Lamb Fattah, grilled fish, kofta and an array of hot and cold mezze. Dessert options come in the form of Egyptian favourites Om Ali (a type of bread pudding with milk, nuts and puff pastry), baklava and kunafa, a crunchy buttery dessert made from shredded pastry and creamy milk. All of which sound like admirable alternatives to mince pies.