The Lowdown: Christmas dinner 2020

By Ella Doyle

- Last updated on GMT

What are restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales doing for Christmas lunch dinner 2020

Related tags: Fine dining, Restaurant, Public house, Takeaway, makeaway, delivery

Christmas is set to be like no other this year as tougher tier restrictions sweep the UK, closing pubs, cafes and restaurants just in time for Christmas Day.

So, I can’t go to the pub?
Not if you’re in tier three in England, which over 40% of cities are. Hospitality venues are closed in the highest tier, which will be joined by even more cities on Saturday. This means for many Christmas dinner will be at home, but you and your nan should be able to get a takeaway pint from your local. Prime minister Boris Johnson urged England to “have a merry little Christmas, and I do mean little”.  

Are they open anywhere?
Yep. In Wales, where pubs are staying open all the way through to Christmas Day.

Great, I’m getting an Airbnb in Wales then – let the good times roll!
Steady on. While the Welsh Government has allowed places to open for lunch to ensure people who live alone can still go out for a Christmas celebration, everything closes at 6pm. What’s more, it has banned alcohol sales completely, making it a rather more sedate Christmas meal that – on the brighter side - you’ll definitely remember. As one Twitter user wryly pointed out: “You wash your hands with it, but you can’t drink it”.  

Oh, I won’t make that booking quite yet then. What about Scotland?
Much of Scotland hasn’t escaped the clutches of a more thorough tier system, with five levels of restrictions including the gold-standard level 0. Like Wales, Scotland’s level three allows restaurants and pubs serving food to stay open until 6pm, but alcohol sales are banned. It’s prompted an array of delivery services for Christmas, including the nation’s sweetheart Gary Maclean (winner of MasterChef: The Professionals) who’s doing a D-I-Y Christmas dinner complete with a cook-along video.  

What else can I order for the big day?
The possibilities are seemingly endless, with a number of big name chefs switching to delivery to use up their surplus turkeys. Jason Atherton’s Christmas box is a three-course meal not for the faint hearted, featuring turkey; pork; foie gras and game terrine; honey and juniper ham; roast potatoes; Christmas pudding; treacle tart and more for £300. Adam Handling’s Hame, meanwhile, offers a vast luxury list for delivery, including lobster; wagyu; beef wellington; whole truffle-stuffed roast chicken; beef and caviar tartare; and truffled Tunworth whole cheese, as well as set menus for £110-250 for four people. And for those wanting to go off piste, Chelsea’s Dinings SW3 is doing a deluxe Christmas Day Japanese feast for £160-220 per person, with such delights as wagyu beef; sea bass carpaccio with truffle ponzu; and a choice of champagne. 

What if I was thinking more along the lines of a Domino's?
By all means. You could even treat yourself to Pizza Hut’s new festive pizza for the occasion, topped with a ‘full Christmas dinner’; rotisserie chicken, bacon, sage and onion stuffing, and even a base of actual red wine gravy. Or if you’re feeling lucky, you can order pizza from FoodHub on Christmas Day, to be in with the chance of winning a pizza box singing Christmas carols.  

Yes really. Of course, you may want to take after the tradition in Japan of ordering KFC, which stays open in the country for Christmas day to serve a party barrel or a Christmas pack, complete with cake. But if you want to follow the crowd on these shores, the most popular Christmas day takeaway is of course the humble kebab. JustEat reports that 25% of Brits order a kebab on the big day. It might not be what they write songs about, but it seems the perfect option with which to hide in your bedroom from the flat mates you hate.  



Related topics: Trends & Reports

Related news


Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers

Free Email Newsletter

Subscribe to BigHospitality

The trusted industry reference point

Get the latest news & analysis from the UK hospitality sector straight to your inbox!