Well the weather outside is frightful, and cooking Xmas dinner can be far from delightful....
Do your turkey cooking skills rival those of Denise Royle? Does the thought of spending the majority of your time washing up on what is supposed to be a holiday fill you with dread? We’ve got good news for you. Not everywhere in the city is closed on Christmas Day.
Here are 12 restaurants that will take care of the cooking, the washing up and serving the drinks so you and your family can concentrate on arguing about politics.
Wherever you choose, don’t forget to be extra nice to the staff who are forfeiting their holiday so you can enjoy yours.
What: 20 Stories
Where: No.1 Spinningfields 1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB
How much: £120 per adult, £60 for children (separate three-course menu)
The already impressive terrace at 20 Stories has been transformed into an enchanted winter forest for the festive season complete with two giant snow globes to protect against the predictably bad weather. It definitely wins the prize for the most lavish setting with views across the city. You will be welcomed with a Christmas cocktail and canapés on arrival followed by a five-course, no-choice set menu featuring traditional Norfolk Bronze turkey, langoustine risotto and chocolate log but, shock horror, no cheese. Still, you can always buy a couple of wedges of your favourites for snacking on later in the evening when you get home.
What: The Bull & Bear
Where: 4 Norfolk Street Manchester M2 1DW
How much: £145 per person
Offering a Norfolk Brown turkey main with an alternative option of dry aged rib of beef, one of the most talked about new additions to the city is Tom Kerridge's new gaff, The Bull & Bear. This one certainly does have cheese on the set menu in the shape of port-soaked stilton with walnuts and crackers, that's after your Xmas pud and before your mince pies. Feeling stuffed already? Well there are two starters and champagne with canapés to get through before all that. The former stock exchange building is a suitably grand setting for all that overconsumption. We wonder if they'll be showing the Queen's speech on the rather incongruous big screens.
Where: 1 York St, Manchester M2 2AW
How Much: £80 per adult, £35 for under 12s
Another restaurant housed in a former financial establishment, The Parr's Bank - built in 1902. Browns took over from the popular - if a bit rowdy and unloved towards the end - Athenaeum pub as occupants of the building on the corner of York Street in 2011. Their Xmas Day menu is a real people pleaser with a whopping five choices each for starters, mains and dessert including traditional fare as well as more fancy gamey delights like venison and partridge and both vegetarian and vegan choices. There's a traditional cheeseboard for the table after your dessert and coffee, mince pies and truffles to finish.
Where: 41 Blossom Street,Cutting Room Square, Manchester, M4 6AJ
How much: £75 per adult, £40 for under 16s (plus unlimited soft drinks)
Elnecot is widely regarded as purveyor of one of the best roasts in the city so we’re sure that Xmas dinner is safe in the hands of chef-proprietor Michael Clay. Situated on the achingly hip cutting room square in Ancoats, this is perfect choice for local residents but worth crossing the big road to get to even if you aren't one. There’s champagne and an amuse bouche on arrival, followed by three courses with plenty of options - including turkey, beef feather blade, fish and vegan nut roast mains - finishing up with a fine duo of Kick Ass cheddar and Smelly H’apeth cheeses with port and those all important mince pies.
What: Hotel Gotham
Where: 100 King St, Manchester M2 4WU
How much: £125 per adult, £65 for under 12s
Hotel Gotham opened in 2015 in an unusual neoclassical building on King Street - the former premises of the Midland bank. It’s a dear do, popular with big spenders and themed to the max in a sort of 1920s New York meets steampunk style. Their Xmas Day menu stands out because it is the only one which features goose instead of turkey. Some would say this is the more traditional - and superior - bird of choice for Christmas lunch. It’s notoriously laborious to cook at home though, involving lots of draining off of hot fat - not what you want on an already stressful day. Have a gander at the rest of their five-course feast - which includes champagne and canapés on arrival.
What: Miller and Carter
Where: King Street, Manchester, M2 4LQ
How much: £72.95 per adult, £36.95 for the four-course ‘young guests’ menu
Primarily known as a steakhouse, this five-course menu includes a 30 day aged steak and seafood duo among the main courses. Not a steak lover? There are some turkey, fish and veggie options too. A choice of four starters includes a Croxton Manor cheese soufflé and a duck liver and port parfait. There are three dessert options or cheese for afters and you’ll end the meal with coffee and luxury macaroons.
Where: 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS
How much: £95 per person
Housed within the iconic Grade II listed building that is the Midland Hotel, Mr Coopers is a grand choice for your Xmas day lunch. The hotel, which opened in 1903, is a classic and refined venue which is keeping things suitably simple for its festive menu with a choice of turkey or veggie mains as the centrepiece of the four-course menu. Some people argue that there is no other choice than Christmas pudding for dessert on the big day, and it seems the Midland team agrees. You will be welcomed with a glass of champagne on arrival.
What: Peter Street Kitchen
Where: Free Trade Hall, Peter St, Manchester M2 5GP
How much: £115 per person
Another one for luxury-seekers with a lobster dish among the choice of three starters and dover sole as one of the four main course options. A big shocker on this menu is the lack of turkey, with the closest main being a garlic and herb butter-roasted baby chicken. Continuing with the lack of tradition, there’s no Christmas pud either. You can choose from cheesecake, creme brûlée or chocolate fondant for dessert before enjoying coffee and Charbonnel et Walker pink marc-de-champagne truffles to finish. One for those looking for something a bit different then.
Where: The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Pl, Salford M3 5LH
How Much: £130 per adult, £60 for children
The five-star Lowry hotel has recently undergone a massive refurb and is ready to welcome guests for the festive season. Confidentials have eaten in the restaurant several times since the relaunch last month and enjoyed excellent, creative cooking with a sprinkling of magic. Here, the welcome drink is Prosecco, followed by three courses with your main course being a choice of turkey, lamb rump, Atlantic cod or a Jerusalem artichoke & rosemary mille-feuille as the meat-free option. A ‘cheese table’ is the finishing flourish.
Where: 43 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BG
How much: £95 per person
In typical Italian style, Rosso is spoiling diners with a table-groaning feast for this year’s Christmas Day menu. There’s a glass of vin brûlée - mulled wine to you and me - served after the choice of five starters, which include veal, lobster and foie gras. Mains include turkey, rib of beef, halibut and a vegan Wellington, and everyone gets the same dessert: a crowd-pleasing chocolate orange Christmas tree.
What: Sam’s Chop House
Where: Back Pool Fold, Manchester M2 1HN
How much: £85 per adult, £35 for kids aged 3-12, free for under 3s
A Manchester institution established in 1872, Sam’s is the go-to for traditional, comfort food in a welcoming pub setting. Their Christmas Day menu stretches to five-courses - plus coffee and mince pies - with traditional turkey as its centrepiece as well as soup, a choice of starters and desserts and a traditional cheeseboard. There’s champers on arrival too. The other Chop House venues are running the same menu but Sam’s wins for us because Lowry himself used to go there for his Xmas lunch.
What: San Carlo
Where: 40-42 King St W, Manchester M3 2WY
How much: £74.95 per adult, half price for under 12s
San Carlo know how to do luxury and they also win the prize for widest array of choice on their Christmas Day menu with a whopping eight mains and six starters to choose from, sandwiched with a champagne sorbet and finishing off with a choice of puddings then coffee and petit fours. While there’s traditional turkey and smoked salmon on the menu, you can also find lavish San Carlo staples like black truffle and lobster.