Cooking Christmas dinner means military-style planning and a mountain of washing up. So why not let someone else do the hard work for you?
You may have left it to the last minute, but you’re not too late to book your Christmas Day lunch out this year. In fact, there are loads of pubs and restaurants with space to accommodate you and we’ve been calling around, doing the hard work for you, so can squeeze in a booking before the festive season gets into full swing. Here’s our guide to the pubs and restaurants where you can still bag a table for Christmas dinner in Leeds… if you’re quick.
Weetwood Hall go all-out to make sure you won’t miss out on any family traditions. There are Christmas gifts for the kids and they even show the Queen’s speech live after lunch. Their four-course deal is £75 per person (£34 for 5 to 12 year olds and £8.50 for under-5s). It includes Champagne and canapé on arrival, served in a grand 17th century manor house setting. Tuck into spiced roast sweet potato soup topped with a Parmesan tuille, wild game terrine, turkey with all the trimmings or roast suckling pig with apple and sage stuffing, all finished off with traditional Christmas pud, white chocolate and passionfruit cheesecake or a Yorkshire cheeseboard.
Weetwood Hall, Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5PS.
The Roundhay Fox
Roundhay locals swear by this cosy country-style pub’s roasts, and it’s proving just as popular for Christmas lunch, with tables booking up fast. Prices start at £49.95 for a three-course lunch, with kids’ options available too. Choose from melon and Parma ham with a pomegranate syrup and cranberries or Gressingham smoked chicken bruschetta with wild mushrooms, hazelnuts and smoky pancetta. Mains include turkey with all the trimmings or pan-roasted venison steak served with asparagus, dauphinoise potatoes and a cranberry and sloe gin jus. Round off your meal with traditional Christmas pudding, gingerbread crème brûlée or a raspberry and white chocolate Eton mess, all accompanied by the crackle of an open fire.
The Roundhay Fox, Princes Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2EP.
Cow and Calf
If you feel you need a bit of fresh air after your Christmas lunch, the Cow and Calf at Ilkley is the perfect choice. Set high above Ilkley Moor, with stunning views and just a short walk across the heather to the Cow and Calf rocks, it’s a great place to blow away the cobwebs and burn off some of those Christmas pud calories. Their three-course menu is £57.95 or £27.95 for kids. Choose from warm smoked salmon tart with crème fraiche pastry and a lemon and dill mayonnaise or roasted tomato and red pepper soup to start, followed by turkey served with a clementine, tarragon and fig stuffing ball or 28-day aged 10oz ribeye steak with dauphinoise potatoes. Dessert is a traditional Christmas pud, a British cheeseboard or a Black Forest chocolate brownie with kirsch cherries.
The Cow and Calf, Hangingstone Road, Ilkley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS29 8BT.
If you want a romantic lunch for two with a bit of old-school glamour this Christmas Day, Bibi’s Italianissimo still has tables for small parties. Their six-course menu is £70 for adults, £25 for 7-12s and under 7s eat free. You’ll get a welcome cocktail on arrival, before you tuck into starters like their wild boar tortellini. Then it’s onto sparkling wine and citrus sorbet before Tacchino “Natalizio” – an Italian take on roast turkey – or you could go for pan-seared Scottish salmon with a potato and olive crust. Christmas pudding gets an Italian makeover with Amaretto sauce, or there’s warm bourbon whiskey toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce. There’s coffee to finish and Bibi’s famous cocktail menu to work your way through, if you really want to push the boat out.
Bibi’s Italianissimo, Criterion Place, Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AG.
Lamb and Flag
Lamb and Flag will be getting in on the festive spirit this year by opening up for Christmas Day lunch. With exposed brickwork, warm wood and an extensive selection of Leeds Brewery beers, it’s a super cosy place to enjoy your festive feast. They’ll be serving a five-course dinner between 12pm and 3pm with a glass of prosecco on arrival. You can choose from chestnut soup with a thyme croute, prawn and smoked trout cocktail or venison terrine with fig and port chutney. Mains include turkey with fruity stuffing and pigs in blankets, black pudding-stuffed pork loin with crackling and apple puree or roasted sea bass with crispy herb-seasoned skin. For pudding, you can indulge in a Leeds Brewery chocolate orange torte, or stick to Christmas pud and brandy crème anglaise. Then there’s a selection of Yorkshire cheeses with coffee and mince pies to finish. And maybe a warming pint of porter if you can squeeze it in.
Lamb & Flag, 1 Church Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HD.
The Deer Park
The Deer Park in Roundhay is a firm favourite with families, and they’re booking up fast for Christmas dinner, though they do have a few spots left if you prefer an earlier meal. Their three-course menu is £75.95, and the choices reflect this slightly higher price. Starters include Croxton Manor Cheddar soufflé with celeriac rémoulade and a spiced poached pear and hazelnut salad and Guinea fowl supreme wrapped in prosciutto with figs. There’s a luxury turkey dinner for your main, or you can go for beef Wellington with truffle and mushroom duxelle and a Marsala jus. Round off your meal with Christmas pudding or choose pear tarte tatin with praline ice cream and nougatine crisp for something a little different. Get in quick though – this a really popular choice this year and it’ll book out fast.
The Deer Park, 68 Street Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2DQ.
For a family-friendly pub with place to play, the Lawnswood Arms in Adel is a good bet. With a four-course adult Christmas Day lunch priced at £44.99 and a three-course meal for the kids at £12.99, it’s one of the more cost-effective choices too. Choose from maple flavoured root vegetable soup or Stilton and peppercorn mushrooms to start, followed by traditional turkey, glazed belly pork or beef Bourguignon for your main. Dessert comes in the form of a proper Christmas pudding, but if you fancy something a little bit different, why not try their Irish cream filled profiteroles or go for a savoury cheeseboard? There’s coffee and mini mince pies to round it all off, plus they have pre-order drinks deals on beer, wine and prosecco to help your budget go a little further.
Lawnswood Arms, Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 7PH.
For a Christmas lunch served up with great local ales, give The Fleece in Otley a try. Set slightly outside the centre overlooking the river, The Fleece is cosy and modern, serving up pub grub with a twist and beer from the nearby Wharfebank Brewery. They’re cooking a three-course Christmas dinner between 12pm and 2pm, at £39.95 for adults and £19.95 for kids. Choose from smoked salmon and mussel terrine with white crab, lime and dill cured cucumber or rillettes of duck leg and cured bacon with black cherry and red onion jam to start, followed by a traditional turkey roast or slow-roasted lamb shank with honey roasted vegetables and minted gravy. Afters is steamed Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, or a trio of ice creams in a brandy snap basket, if you fancy a lighter option.
The Fleece, Westgate, Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS21 3DT.
If the kids are still full of energy by lunchtime, Hawthorne Farm is the ideal choice. With two distinct dining areas, one that’s just for adults and one that’s for families with direct access to the extensive soft play area, it works for everyone. It’s a carvery lunch with all the trimmings. Three courses will set you back £46.99 for adults and £19.99 for kids – and if you don’t fancy a roast, you can get sea bass with prawns or brie and cranberry roulade. The family section overlooks the play area, so if a long drawn out lunch is too much for the kids, they can hit the play area while you finish up.
Hawthorne Farm, Warren Lane, Yeadon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7FT.
If you find Christmas lunch sometimes lacks a bit of je ne sais quoi, why not opt for fine French cuisine instead? Widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Leeds, Kendells will be serving up a gourmet five-course lunch, for £78 per person. Spaces are booking up fast, so you’ll need to get a deposit in soon if you want to secure a table. Your meal starts with a selection of amuse bouche followed by Continental starters including traditional French Christmas white pudding with white onion sauce, duck liver parfait infused with Cointreau and salmon rilettes with cucumber and dill pickle. There’s dindonneau roti (roast turkey to you and me) to follow, or you could choose a cepe mushroom risotto topped with a poached duck egg for something completely different. There’s Christmas pudding, tarte tatin or crème brûlée to finish, plus coffee, mince pies and petit fours.
Kendells Bistro, St Peter’s Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AH.
Miller & Carter
Miller & Carter Steakhouse is about as central as you can get, making it a popular choice for Christmas lunch. Serving up a five-course lunch for £62.95 and four courses for kids at £34.95, you can choose from a king prawn, avocado and lobster cocktail or a duck liver and port parfait to start, followed by Champagne sorbet. They’re sticking to their steakhouse roots with the main – if you don’t want turkey, you can choose a 30-day aged prime steak and seafood duo with fries and onion loaf instead. Dessert is kumquat Christmas pudding, white chocolate and raspberry meringue or a cheeseboard, with coffee and luxury macarons to finish. If you can’t get into the Headrow restaurant, Miller & Carter has just opened a new venue in Horsforth Woodside, serving the same Christmas menu.
Miller & Carter Steakhouse, 56-58 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
If a traditional turkey roast isn’t your thing, you could try a slightly more exotic take on Christmas dinner at Greek Street favourite Bem Brasil. They’re booked up for their lunchtime rodizio, but still have tables from 4pm, if you fancy eating a little later. They’ll be providing a festive meat feast (complete with turkey, beef and chicken, all carved at your table when you want it). But that’s not all. They’ll also have a salad bar buffet, a glass of bubbly on arrival and a chocolate fountain to finish. It’s £46.95 per person and could be the start of a new Christmas tradition.
Bem Brasil, 6 Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RW.
The Fox and Grapes
Set slightly outside the city on the York Road, The Fox and Grapes is a traditional country-style pub that’s become a real destination. This Christmas, they’re offering a five-course menu for £59.99 and three-courses for kids at £29.99. You’ll get a glass of fizz on arrival, then settle in for starters including carrot and coriander soup, potted king prawn and crab or Applewood cheese and chive soufflé, followed lemon sorbet, then turkey with all the trimmings, 35-day aged fillet steak with a Madeira sauce or vegetable roulade with a creamy brie centre. Dessert is Christmas pudding, cranberry chocolate brownie or a cheese plate, with coffee and mince pies to finish.
The Fox and Grapes, York Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 4NJ.
Fire Lake @ Radisson Blu
You might not have considered the Radisson Blu for fine dining, but the Fire Lake restaurant in The Light is a bit of a hidden gem. This year, they’ve got a lunchtime and late afternoon Christmas lunch service (starting at 12pm and 3.30pm), serving up five courses for £75. You’ll start with a cauliflower carpacchio amuse bouche with smoked almonds, before moving on to chicken liver parfait, home smoked salmon or white onion soup. There’s traditional turkey for the main event, or you could try an 8oz sirloin steak cooked on the josper grill served with Bloody Mary tomatoes, mushroom Wellington and triple cooked chips. Pre-dessert is a lemon sorbet, then there’s Christmas pudding, prosecco jelly with poached strawberries or a cheese plate to finish, plus the obligatory coffee and mince pies to round off the meal.
Radisson Blu Hotel, No 1 The Light, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
If you’re looking for a Christmas Day lunch in north east Leeds, The Dexter is a great value option, with a great family atmosphere. Offering a three-course dinner for £42.50, and half that for kids, you could be tucking into spiced parsnip and apple soup or melon and Champagne sorbet to start, before moving onto turkey with all the trimmings or pork belly with Pink Lady apple and brandy sauce. Dessert is Christmas pudding, Christmas gold chocolate bar or glazed lemon tart. They’ve got offers on too, with a free bottle of prosecco if you book for a party of six or more, and 20% off your food bill if you book before 17th November 2017.
The Dexter, Wigton Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 8RZ.
It might not be the obvious choice, but the Crowne Plaza has had a bit of a renaissance of late. The whole hotel’s had a £4.6m facelift, including the restaurant area, and they’ll be showing it off at Christmas day lunch this year. Their five-course menu is £55 for adults and £27.50 for children, with drinks packages available to pre-order. Starters include smoked salmon and crayfish with horseradish crème fraiche or chicken liver and cognac pate, followed by a soup course. For mains, choose from classic turkey, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings or pesto and herb crusted salmon fillet with a prawn and white wine sauce. Dessert is Christmas pudding, sticky toffee cheesecake or a cheeseboard, all rounded off with mince pies and coffee.
Crowne Plaza, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4DL.All restaurants and pubs were called to check availability week commencing 16th October 2017. Information correct at the time of publishing, but availability may have changed by the time you come to book a table.