top of page
  • Writer's pictureMatias

London pubs for scrumptious Christmas celebrations

It's practically official – Christmas is on the doorstep, marked not by Mariah’s or Wham!'s tunes (which I’m yet to hear) but by the festive spirit. London's landmarks have already lit up with twinkling lights, and Christmas markets are starting to open, urging us to think about those delightful festive gatherings in pubs. Before diving into a surplus of calories and one-too-many drinks, it's crucial to select your venues wisely, which will set the right stage for a season full of joyful memories.

Pictures: Lion & Unicorn and RoyalOak

For me, the shift from Guy Fawkes' fading fireworks to the warm glow of Christmas lights, marks the beginning of weeks filled with decadent eating, spirited drinking, and bidding farewell to close friends before we reconvene in 2024.

Honestly, I'm a bit of a Christmas Grinch; I'm not a fan of presents and dislike the consumerism that tends to take over a time meant for celebrating life with family and friends. Despite my Grinch tendencies, I've found immense joy in enjoying numerous Christmas lunches and dinners with different groups over the years. The thought of gluttony and indulging in all those Christmas delights never fails to bring a huge smile to my face. After all, there's something magical about the shared experience of good food and laughter during the festive season.

It's a time when people allow themselves to indulge, with cheeky midweek drinks and more social gatherings than usual before the inevitable January slump.

What's the January slump? It's a mix of 'dry January', gloomy weather, post-present buying regrets, and the recovery from the Christmas hangover, both mentally and physically. But let's not dwell on that just yet; instead, let's focus on enjoying the build-up to Christmas in pubs that will leave you with happy memories.

Although my Christmas destination this year lies across the pond and hemisphere, I've shortlisted a few of my cherished North / East London pubs that have delivered amazing Christmas feasts, each proudly presenting their extraordinary festive menus.

Tip: With all that said, it's time to start making bookings. Even for casual meetups with a small group of friends, waiting too long might lead to some disappointment.

Pictures: Christmas celebration with the footy lads


5 fantastic pubs to enjoy scrumptious festive meals

Smokehouse - Highbury & Islington

I absolutely love this 'pub' because of the exceptional way they handle their food, and it's not just during the festive season. Smokehouse takes pride in collaborating with the finest farms in the UK, going the extra mile by butchering their meat on-site to craft prime cuts and slow-cooked specialties. While they consistently deliver fantastic Sunday roasts, my last experience with their Christmas feast was an absolute delight.

The Royal Oak - Shoreditch

I got to enjoy one of the best British Christmas feasts at this celebrated East London boozer. It was a lively weekday night in December, and the place was buzzing with energy. We had a table reserved on the first floor, giving us a cosy and happy spot to celebrate Christmas with friends. The food was endless and the whole atmosphere made it a memorable evening.

Lion and Unicorn - Kentish Town

This North London pub is my absolute favourite for Sunday roasts, and their Christmas menu is equally delicious. The homely atmosphere, excellent service, and the perfect setting make it an ideal spot for a fantastic festive meal. Whether you choose to sit by the fire or in the garden, there are several bookable spots to ensure this Christmas feast becomes an unforgettable experience.

Although I haven't had the chance to try their Sunday roast, I've frequented this place for drinks and delicious dinners. For the festive season, they’re throwing it all in, with traditional décor, mulled wine at the bar and also giving the chance to book an amazing spot for large groups.

If you're looking for a more laid-back Christmas meal experience, The Colonel Fawcett is the spot for you. They offer bookings for small, medium, and large parties. The menu choices include sharing boards or a set menu, catering to every type of eater. And if you're feeling spontaneous, you can even book the upstairs area and host a dart tournament with your group.


Cheers to a relaxed and joyful festive season!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page