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Eating out on Christmas Day in London, Edinburgh, Penarth and Clitheroe

Whether it’s a professionally cooked turkey dinner you’re hankering after or an Indian feast, here are 5 places to eat out at on Christmas Day if you’re determined to sidestep a stint in the kitchen:

The Orange Public House & Hotel, Pimlico: Sister to Marylebone’s Grazing Goat and Knightsbridge’s Pantechnicon Rooms and Belgravia’s The Thomas Cubitt, this gastropub with rooms (pictured) is keeping its ovens stoked on Christmas Day. Book now for it set menu (£80) and the likes of white bean soup, blood orange sorbet, pancetta-wrapped turkey, Devon lamb rump and spiced apple terrine (plus Christmas pud for the traditionalists).

Tayyabs, Whitechapel: Long a stalwart for those who’d rather eat their own shoes than sage and onion stuffing, this Punjabi institution may not offer many frills but what it lacks in festive finesse it makes up with in sheer, gluttonous pleasure. If it’s a spice kick you’re after its range of chops, biryanis and curries is as far from a devil on horseback as it’s possible to get. Book ahead for the slow-cooked lamb.

Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, Edinburgh: A Christmas lunch has to be pretty special to beat your Mum’s cooking but you don’t get much more special than this classy Galvin-overseen outpost at Edinburgh’s Waldorf Astoria. Unsurprisingly the focus is on Gallic cooking, albeit with a Scottish twist; its £90 Christmas Day menu trots through a ravioli of Scottish smoked salmon and daube of Aberdeen Angus beef before hitting quince tarte tatin and a Valrhona chocolate trifle (the Christmas classics are also on offer).

Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth: If you’re not distracted by the spectacular sea views, you will be by the food at this new outpost from former Crown at Whitebrook chef James Sommerin. The Christmas Day menu here (£140) is a seven-course affair, starting with duck liver creme brulee and apple sorbet and finishing with coffee and mince pies. Along the way it trips through scallop with cauliflower and spices, and goose with pumpkin, sage and Brussels sprouts.

Freemasons at Wiswell, nr Clitheroe: Winner of the Good Food Guide’s top UK pub for 2015, this Lancashire inn knows its onion gravy. For £95 a head the meal kicks off late morning with drinks and mince pies before settling in for a five-course feast of a lunch. The traditionalists will be happy with turkey but choices also include Nidderdale lamb, Cornish crab, slow-cooked beef and “Mum’s secret” sherry trifle.


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Christmas cottages

Whether you’re dreaming of a chocolate box cottage to cosy up in over Christmas and, er, tuck into your own box or ten of chocolates or a minimalist party pad for all the extended family, it’s not too late. Here are seven crackers that still have availability for next week:

Coachman’s Cottage, Cornwall: In Marazion, this snug seaside cottage is traditional on the outside but has plenty of contemporary comfort inside, a perfect winter bolthole for two. Four nights over Christmas costs £450 and they’ll throw in festive decorations, wine and chocolates.

Coastguard Lookout, Dungeness: For some, Christmas is less about getting together and more about getting away from it all. If you fall into the latter camp, consider this former radar monitoring station on the Kent coast. Sleeping five, it was stylish converted by Clerkenwell design company Johnson Naylor. No cluttering up its clean lines with tinsel, though. Four nights over Christmas costs £899.

Cwt Crannog, Cardigan Bay: If it’s adventure you want, albeit with a bit of comfort, these two farmworkers’ huts (rented as one booking – one is a bedroom and sitting room, one a kitchen and bathroom) in West Wales sleeps up to four and you can pre-order a fish pie or veggie tagine to set you on your way (plus free-range eggs, butter, home-baked bread, jam, local bacon and sausages for breakfast). A week’s rental over Christmas costs £516.

Polly’s Place, Hackney: If it’s a London Christmas you’re after and you’ve got a bit of cash to spare this bohemian bolthole in Hackney sleeps four and makes a decadent party pad. Rates start at £1,090 for four nights over Christmas week.

1 Ford View, Kippford: An off-the-beaten track Scottish retreat, this shoreline cottage sleeps four and sites in the pretty village of Kippford (think Cornish fishing village with a smattering of Tunnocks Teacakes). From £560 for a week over Christmas.

Cockshutt Cottage, Gloucestershire: Traditional and lived-in with flagstone floors and an open fire, this country cottage sleeps four. Rental costs £720 over Christmas week and the owners put up a tree, order a turkey and hang a wreath on the door.

Inshriach House, nr Aviemore: A grand but soulful Edwardian house in the Cairngorms, if you can’t agree on whose turn it is to cook the turkey this year, don’t. Book this country retreat (pictured) instead and it will sleep 17 of your nearest and dearest. Glamorous yet somehow homely, it comes with a grand dining table and a huge farmhouse-style kitchen. Five nights over Christmas costs £2,800.