Christmas Dinner in London? that's not $500 for 4 people??

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#1
Los Angeles
3 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
We will be arriving in London on Christmas day and can't seem to figure out if there are restaurants and/or pubs open. We don't need to eat at a 5 star restaurant that will cost a family of 4 over $500. I would love to hear any suggestions you might have... (including non-traditional christmas dinners)
#2
Philadelphia
5,362 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by tkirving
We will be arriving in London on Christmas day and can't seem to figure out if there are restaurants and/or pubs open. We don't need to eat at a 5 star restaurant that will cost a family of 4 over $500. I would love to hear any suggestions you might have... (including non-traditional christmas dinners)
Chinatown where you will meet many of the other Americans in London that day.
#3
Summer/Minnesota Winter/Yucatan
415 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Where are you staying? Taxis may be hard to find. Chinatown is a good recommendation if you are in Central London. You may get better answers if you post on Trip Advisor.
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John
#4
Bedfordshire UK
170 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Taxis will be more difficult to find, and worse Public Transport such as buses and the Underground are closed on Christmas Day.
Knowing where your hotel is could be important for, and even in most pubs on Christmas Day a reservation may be needed.
#5
Edinburgh
3,646 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Christmas Lunch on the 25th is expensive anywhere in the UK. I live just outside Edinburgh and even our local restaurant is charging £85 per person. You will almost certainly pay well over the odds at Christmas.
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#7
Redditch England
2,191 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
London is crammed with ethnic restaurants: Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Thai, among many others from non Christian countries.

As a last resort, I have no doubt that the usual fast food places like Macky D and KFC will be open for business.

As said above, you may well have to rely on Shanks's Pony, so find one near to the hotel. If you really want to save money, go to a supermarket and make yourself a picnic. If you want 'special' go to Fortnum and Mason and get them to make you up a picnic to eat in your room. https://www.fortnumandmason.com/

Dinner for four, in a 'proper' restaurant in london, would likely cost more than $500 on a normal weekday.
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#8
London, England
4,024 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Without knowing where you are staying it is difficult to advise. Many restaurants in Covent Garden open on Christmas Day. I think you will be hard pushed to find any time of restaurant offering lunch for four less than 100 USD. Although bear in mind we use GBP.

If you need to take a taxi they will charge double on Christmas Day and there is no public transport.

If you do a Google search you will find details of restaurants that are open.
#9
Bedfordshire UK
170 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by insidecabin
Wetherspoons are relatively reasonable out of London, not sure in.

https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/christmas/christmas-meals
According to the link the Wetherspoons festive menu is served from the 14th of November until the 22nd of December, it does not give the link for their menu for Christmas Day itself.
#10
Liverpool ENGLAND
3,075 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
$500? Family of four? Christmas Day??? You'll be lucky!
I think your best bet might be to see what your hotel is offering on that day. The places that are open will be heavily booked and charging premium prices. Good luck!
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#11
Cotswolds, UK
2,578 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Some 'chain' restaurants will be open - e.g. Bella Italia, a pretty ordinary Italian chain, has a Christmas Day menu at £44-95 and availability at their Leicester Square branch. Your location is pretty key to all this.

When looking online, please don't mistake 'Christmas menu' (probably available throughout December, except the 25th) for 'Christmas day menu', by the way.

You say you are arriving in London on Christmas Day - I hope you have factored in the transport issues?
#12
Cotswolds, UK
2,578 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Hatters cruiser
According to the link the Wetherspoons festive menu is served from the 14th of November until the 22nd of December, it does not give the link for their menu for Christmas Day itself.
And this from their Christmas 2016 FAQ page:

When do your pubs open on Christmas Day and is food available?
The majority of our pubs will be open on Christmas day; however, opening times may vary. With the exception of our pubs at Airports, we will not be serving food.

So discount Wetherspoons unless at an airport!
#13
184 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Try this link to a variety of restaurants and pricing. There is limited to no public transportation on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. The tube will not run Christmas. http://www.opentable.co.uk/promo.aspx?pid=584&m=72
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#14
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,321 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I agree with the others that you've got a bit of a pickle between transport and food costs. A proper meal in a restaurant (not pub) will set you back $100 per person, more on Christmas. You can probably prearrange a private car to take you from the airport to your hotel, or use Uber which should still be running. Make sure you have the app set up in advance in your phone, and understand they need to meet you in the short stay lot for your terminal, not at the curb.

You should also be able to use Uber to get to a restaurant. Many of the ethnic restaurants will be open, but won't offer a "traditional" Christmas meal.

I would use an app like OpenTable or Yelp to find something near your hotel.

I would also caution that whatever you think London will cost, add an extra 25-50%. It is the most expensive city we've ever visited, puts NYC and San Francisco to shame.


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#15
Berkshire UK
376 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Christmas meal for $500 will be a good deal, very few places will be open, and those that are , will be pre booked only, no walk up and probably about 3x normal prices, ethnic restaurants will open but not a turkey Christmas meal on offer.
London on Christmas day will be a ghost town, especially as it's Sunday this year. No transport provided till the 27th, few shops, only small ethnic stores open, cabs rare and expensive and equally few mini cabs either. To get any service you will have to pay way over the odds. The problem is staff don't want to work, and/or can't get in .
More likely to find service at Heathrow, hotels here might provide food, but again pre-book. Only tourist location would be to go to a Christmas day service at famous church/ abbey/ cathedral!
I wish you well.
#16
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,321 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I'm sure Le Belle Epoch will be open at the Sofitel LHR T5, but you will want to pre book and expect dinner to run $150 pp. that said, it might solve the problem of transport and hoping to find someplace open. The Savoy has what looks to be an exceptional Christmas dinner, but it is ££££ and must be pre booked. Tea at the Savoy would be an option, not a typical dinner but very filling and under $100 pp.


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#17
London
22,784 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by GrJ Berkshire
No transport provided till the 27th ...
Where do you get this from? There's plenty of public transport on 26 December: see https://tfl.gov.uk/status-updates/ma...oxing-day-2016.

But I agree with others. Without knowing where the OP is staying, and how they're going to get there from Heathrow, it's impossible to provide any advice.
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#19
London
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Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by GrJ Berkshire
Sorry, meant to post no public transport till 26th, as a limited service on Boxing day.
I think that "limited" may give a misleading impression. It's basically a Sunday service with a slightly late start, subject to a number of specific closures due to planned work (which is not unlike many other Sundays).
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#20
Lake Erie's South Shore
4,233 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
My DD her DH and their 3 teen to twenty sons will be in London on Christmas day. They would like to volunteer somewhere in the city that serves a meal to the needy. We all did this last Christmas here in Ohio and it was a wonderful way to spend the holiday.

I thought that the experts here might point me to what opportunities there may be in London that day so I can pass them on to her.

Thanks!