As much as we love Christmas, finding the perfect present for every member of the fam can get a trifle taxing. Every cloud though. A calorie burning retail work out is a great excuse to tuck into something fabulous. Here’s our list of restaurants to help you get your strength back after a strenuous Christmas shop.
Located strategically next to London’s hottest shopping spots, here’s our guide to the best post Christmas shopping restaurants in London.
Get your christmas on in style with this delicious Royal Gin Fizz recipe.
What to See
There’s only one way to pep up post shopping and that’s with a big bowl of pasta, something that new Covent Garden restaurant Four to Eight does with aplomb.
As well as the excellent crab linguine, we’d recommend burrata with pretty pickled radishes, Crispy Pig’s Head and the Amalfi Lemon Tart, which is to die. Make sure you check out the 100-strong wine list (helpfully explained by suave sommelier, Patrick Niddrie-Webb), it is Christmas after all…
If you must commit shopping suicide by throwing yourself into the nightmare that is Westfield in December, then you may as well get a pizza out of it. Step up Franco Manca’s spheres of sourdough heaven.
Unless you’ve been living down a well for the past five years, you probably (like us) know the menu inside out. But we’ll throw our two cents in anyway and tell you our fave is the sexy broccoli, mozzarella, sausage number. Just make sure you consume post not pre shopping (no one wants a pressie picked during a pizza-coma).
Cicchetti Bar at Piccolino
Located on Heddon Street, a side step from the hustle, bustle and bountiful shops of Regent Street, is an outpost of Italian chain Piccolino. Nice enough, but what we’re really recommending is to head to their brand new basement cichetti bar.
The menu of Venetian style tapas serves MANY enticing options. Highlights include the slow-cooked blade of beef, a bruschetta of spicy Calabrian salami and broad beans and startlingly pretty plate of white scallops and pomegranate. Toast retail wins with one of their expertly mixed cocktails and stick around for live music to get into the party spirit.
There’s only a few weekends left between now and Christmas, which means Oxford Street is going to be RAMMED at all times. Best bet? Get in early, pound those pavements hard, then get away from the madness with a leisurely lunch in Soho.
As money will most probably be tight, we’d like to bring your attention to Randall & Aubin’s ‘Oh My Cod’ menu – cod and chips with a glass of English cider for just £9.50. Now that’s what we call a deal.
Smart shoppers will have worked out that London’s main shopping streets are murder in the festive season and thus planned their present getting elsewhere. One such place is Canary Wharf’s shopping centre, which, whilst hardly empty, is at least off the radar enough to be a little quieter.
If you’re one of those people, then treat yourself to a slap up meal after at One Canada Square. ETM’s beautiful restaurant, occupying the ground floor of the iconic building which takes its name, serves a cracking menu of Euro dishes (try the duck breast with confit less ‘Shepherd’s pie’, kale colcannon, duck liver and sour cherry sauce) and show-stopping cocktails such as the aptly named Last Word.
If you can control yourself enough step away from Selfridges’ many excellent eating options, then we’d suggest nipping across the street to Lazeez Tapas. This Lebanese restaurant specialising in small plates has lots going for it including its heated alfresco, covered alfresco space (crane your neck and you can eat looking at Oxford Street’s Christmas lights for extra festive flavour).
The menu has most of the usual suspects (falafel, mousaka, hummus, chicken shawarma) – all done with flair; and with four plates for just £12 you can alleviate some of the guilt from your Selfridges shopping binge. Win.
In theory the smart streets of Chelsea, and in particular the Kings Road, should be a much more civilised Christmas shopping affair – in reality those West-London-ladies-who-shop are thinner with sharper elbows. Heal those retail wounds at South Kensington’s Tombo Deli and Café where they are currently offering a rather quirky Japanese afternoon tea.
Rather than the finger sandwiches and Earl Grey of old, they’ve filled theirs with sushi, traditional Japanese cakes and desserts. Wash it down with green tea if you’re feeling virtuous (frown) or sparkling sake if you’re not (smile).