Flavour & Savour | 13th November 2023
Michelin-star Christmas dinner: Top festive tables in the UK
The finest hotels for five-star festive feasts
Why not hang up your pinny this December, sit back in style and let someone else, AKA an award-winning chef, rustle up a Michelin star Christmas Dinner?
Whether you’re dreaming of checking into a luxury hotel for Christmas Day, or fancy a delicious lunch date with friends or family during the lead up to the big day, ‘tis the season to indulge in a Michelin star restaurant experience.
Peruse our pick of eight PoB hotels with Michelin-starred restaurants where you can treat yourself to a festive feast during December and the Christmas holidays or book a stay for Christmas Day.
Hambleton Hall, Rutland
With panoramic views over Rutland Water, Hambleton Hall is a classic country house hotel set on a beautiful Victorian estate, and it’s celebrated for its elegant guest rooms and fine dining experiences.
The proud owner of the UK’s longest-retained Michelin star, The Dining Room at Hambleton Hall, led by chef Aaron Patterson, is renowned for always using the best local ingredients to produce dishes with a strong seasonal bias — and offers one of the very finest Christmas dining experiences in the UK.
A special weekday three-course festive lunch menu with two choices for each course, is available throughout December. A sample to whet your appetite: To start, Gravadlax, pickled beetroot, wasabi ice cream, or Ham hock ravioli with parsley velouté. Main courses: Roast pheasant, koffman cabbage, brussel sprout purée & chestnuts or Pan fried fillet of sea bream, wakame seaweed, mooli and shimeji mushrooms. Followed by Orange & chocolate souffle, clementine sorbet or Dark chocolate tart, caramelised peanuts, banana and passionfruit sorbet. £75.00 per person.
Book a table or call +44 (0)1572 756 991.
SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel, Lake District
A gem of a contemporary hotel in the glorious Lake District, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House has been basking in the spotlight for its fine dining. Its beautiful restaurant, SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel, was awarded a coveted Michelin star following chef Ollie Bridgwater’s arrival earlier this year and is putting on a showstopper of a Christmas dining experience.
The team will be cooking up a storm throughout the festive season so why not book a festive stay to experience Bridgwater’s latest culinary wizardry with Michelin-starred breakfast, lunch and dinner? The hotel is offering a range of packages, including an enticing three-night Twixmas break, arriving Wednesday 27 December. This special package invites you to indulge in some serious chilling out before the New Year celebrations and put the restaurant’s sumptuous tasting menus to the test.
Book a table or call +44 (0)15394 88818
Fine dining in Blackburn doesn’t get better than the Northcote hotel, a luxury retreat nestled in the Ribble Valley, where you’ll find glamorous guest rooms and warm northern hospitality.
The hotel’s celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant, with stunning interior design and artwork, is the domain of Executive Chef, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, with fine wines carefully selected by Craig Bancroft. The team has created a simply stunning Seasonal Christmas lunch menu, available from 27 November until 23 December. To begin or add as a middle course: Wood-fired carrots; Pressed local game or Douglas Fern cured salmon, followed by Red leg partridge pie; Christmas spiced pork, Halibut ‘Veronique’, or Roasted Pumpkin. Sensational fine dining desserts include Black forest gateaux; Leafy clementine pudding, and the Northcote cheeseboard. (Three courses £57.50 per person; four courses £68.00 per person).
Book online or call +44 (0)1254 240 555.
Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
A deliciously elegant English mansion house in Chippenham, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa is a five-star haven with guest rooms and suites that exude contemporary chic, and it’s the perfect location to celebrate a traditional country house Christmas — topped with a Michelin star Christmas dinner.
Restaurant Hywel Jones, named after Michelin-Star-winning chef Hywel Jones, serves superlative cuisine in an elegant setting. The hotel is hosting a very gourmet Christmas this year with a spectacular three- night programme — with all meals served in Restaurant Hywel Jones.
The Programme begins on Christmas Eve with a full afternoon tea, followed by a Champagne reception and Christmas Eve dinner, before attending Midnight Mass at Colerne Parish Church and returning for hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies in the Library. Christmas Day festivities begin at breakfast with a guest appearance by Father Christmas, who will arrive by horse drawn carriage to deliver festive gifts for all the children (The carriage will be available for rides around the estate). Traditional Christmas lunch will be accompanied by musicians, and there’s a buffet supper. Boxing Day feasting kicks off with brunch, followed by country activities on the estate; lunch is a Hog roast with mulled wine, and there’s a champagne reception and black tie dinner in the evening. Christmas Package costs from £1620, for stays in a Country Room.
Book online or call (0)1225 742 777.
Palé Hall, Wales
With views of the snow-capped Mt Snowdon, and the warmest of Welsh hospitality, Palé Hall is a Grade II listed Victorian country house encircled by an idyllic woodland garden — and arguably home to the best restaurant to celebrate Christmas in Wales.
The hotel’s Michelin Green Star restaurant, The Henry Robertson Dining Room, is renowned for its excellent tasting menus and classic afternoon tea and here, Christmas dining is a magical experience. New Head Chef, Sam Griffiths, has crafted a mouthwatering Christmas lunch menu available from 1-23 December.
Starters for this special Christmas dining experience include Spiced carrot soup, tarragon pistou; Beetroot cured gravadlax, fennel slaw, lemon crème fraiche, seeded toast, and Ham hock and prune terrine, whole grain mustard, iced leaves, beer bread. Mains include Roast turkey with all the trimmings; Pan fried sea bream, Jerusalem artichoke, black garlic, parsley, and Grilled cauliflower, cumin butter, golden raisins, radicchio. And to finish, Palé Hall Christmas pudding, brandy sabayon; Exotic fruit baba, ginger Chantilly, and Spiced panna cotta, shortbread finger. (Two courses £35; three courses £40
Book a table online or call 01678 530 285.
Gravetye Manor, Sussex
If you’re hosting a large group of family and friends this Christmas, chances are you’ll have run out of steam by Boxing Day. Many PoB hotels also cater for Boxing Day lunch and dinner and Gravetye Manor has a star-spangled black tie Boxing Day dinner event this year. This elegant country manor hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The Dining Room, is famous for its delicious British dishes, served in a beautiful room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the exquisite grounds and Sussex countryside.
The Boxing Day Dinner 2023 event invites guests to arrive at 7pm for a Bollinger Champagne and canapés reception, followed by a six- course tasting menu. Potato, caviar & smoked eel; Game & black truffle terrine, preserved berries; Crab Lasagne, herb sauce & winter greens; Sussex beef, roasted onion, cep & Port sauce; Frozen mandarin & yuzu; Prune soufflé & Armagnac ice cream, and Coffee & chocolates.
After dinner, you can try your hand at the roulette and blackjack table. £175 per person.
Book online or call +44 (0)1342 810567.
Grantley Hall, Yorkshire
For festive fine dining in the Yorkshire Dales, you’ll find the top tables at Grantley Hall. This hotel, situated on a country house estate in Ripon, is an opulent retreat famous for its Japanese gardens and sumptuous spa, as well as its sensational food.
The hotel’s stunning Michelin-starred restaurant, Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall, makes full use of the hotel's Kitchen Garden and hand-picked local suppliers to craft dishes that take fine dining to a new level. And the celebrated chef has pulled out all the stops with one of the best festive menus for Christmas 2023.
Book a table online or call +44 1765 620070.
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, The Cotswolds
For those hungry for a quintessentially English countryside retreat this Christmas, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, situated in the charming rural idyll of the Cotswolds, is hard to beat. With its sumptuous spa, stylish guest rooms, and Michelin-star restaurant, this manor house hotel is a true gift at any time of the year but transforms into a magical scene from a Christmas card during the festive season.
With Head Chef, Ricki Weston at the helm, The Dining Room continues to serve up flavourful and creative dishes that’ll leave you starry eyed. This year, you can feast on festive menu delights up to and including the 23rd December, (the hotel & restaurant is closed for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, reopening on December 27th), or treat yourself to a happy Twixmas break.
The Whatley Twixmas Break (Arrival Wednesday 27th for three nights) includes a festive afternoon tea on arrival; dinner at the hotel’s other celebrated restaurant, Grey’s, on the Wednesday and Friday evenings; dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant ‘The Dining Room’ on Thursday evening; a group wine tasting experience, and full use of the spa. From £2,212 for a classic room, based on two guests sharing.
Book online or call +44 (0)1666 822 888.