Revealed: the best UK pubs & restaurants for Christmas dinner

Christmas, Food and Drink

Posted by Kate on 22nd November 2021

Christmas puddingImage credit: @elite.pubs

The UK's top places to eat Christmas dinner

Christmas is all about indulging in your favourite festive foods, and having someone else cook it for you makes it taste that little bit better! 

Yes, the UK is full to bursting with chocolate-box pubs, elegant restaurants and eateries serving unforgettable foodie delights, but here at we absolutely love our Christmas dinners and wanted to take a more analytical approach to find the answers. We decided to do our homework, scouring the country to discover the top pubs in the UK for Christmas dinner. 

Using TripAdvisor to gain reviews directly from customers, we compared hundreds of pubs and restaurants to find the UK's favourite Christmas dinner, and below we've revealed our findings. Read on to discover the UK's top pubs for Christmas dinner, and perhaps plan your own winter break to experience one of these foodie wonders for yourself this Christmas. 

The Venus Restaurant in Dinnington serve up a delicious Christmas dinner

#1 The Venus Restaurant, Dinnington | ££

The number one spot has been taken by The Venus Restaurant in Dinnington, South Yorkshire, and it is well deserved. This is a charming country pub whose patrons return again and again throughout the festive season for the fabulous range of dishes served. They have a choice of menus for you to look through, with a four-course Sunday lunch, a three-course evening dinner menu, a special five-course Christmas Eve dinner, and even a menu for the New Year's Eve Disco that's on their calendar. 

On Christmas Day itself, you'll find locally-reared roast Yorkshire turkey, with chipotle sausage on the menu, alongside roast silverside of beef, Chef's homemade nut roast and a seafood dish of salmon and king prawns. Book ahead to reserve your table at this fantastic pub that we've discovered is the UK's favourite destination for Christmas dinner! 

South Yorkshire cottages

Discover our pick of the best places to spend Christmas in the UK or begin planning a break to one of these fantastic New Year's Eve locations

A sample of the level of food at De Courceys ManorImage credit: @bourbonandblushfilms

#2 De Courceys Manor, Cardiff | £££

Aside from serving fantastic food, De Courceys Manor is also a wedding venue, so you know this magnificent setting will be beautifully decorated for Christmas! You have a choice of wonderful Christmas foodie events to attend at the manor. You could take the children along to write a Christmas letter to Santa and meet the big man himself, book in to join their annual party night, or plan a classic Christmas dinner at the restaurant. But you better move fast for this year, as their decadent Christmas Sunday Lunch has already sold out.

Cardiff cottages

The Village Restaurant in Sowerby Bridge serves an Asain-style Christmas dinner

#3 The Village Restaurant, Sowerby Bridge | ££

Another Yorkshire restaurant has made our top five, but The Village Restaurant in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, provides a bit of a twist for Christmas Day - they specialise in exquisite Asian cuisine! No turkey, no pigs in blankets and no Brussels sprouts. Instead, this unusual Christmas Day menu serves up a mouth-watering selection that includes Lamb Chilli Masala, Chicken Badami Korma and Gobi Manchurian. You could begin your dining experience with a starter of Haryali Sesame Bhaji or Kolliwada Fish, and why not round off your Christmas meal with Gulab Juman dipped in sugar syrup? 

West Yorkshire cottages

Plough Inn Wreay, WreayImage credit: @crazycarperchef (centre)

#4 Plough Inn Wreay, Wreay | £

The Plough Inn Wreay offers up a well-regarded range of treats every Christmas. In previous years, these have included delightful touches like quiz cards, biscuits, mini gingerbread houses, and other festive decorations on the tables, while food options have included Moroccan Lamb, steak, haddock and the traditional turkey feast. While we don't know what they have planned yet for Christmas 2021, we've heard that their homemade raspberry white chocolate cheesecake is a real favourite! 

Cumbria cottages

Ready for a Christmas day out? Get that festive feeling with a trip to one of these wonderful UK Christmas markets where you can sip mulled wine, shop for Christmas gifts and explore beautiful towns and cities, all while in the glow of twinkling Christmas lights. 

Shurlock Inn in WindsorImage credit: @theshurlockinnberkshire

#5 Shurlock Inn, Windsor | £££

For most of the year, the Shurlock Inn in Berkshire is famed for its exquisite roasts, but when Christmas rolls around, the dinners transform into festive feasts adorned with starters that include warm sourdough with truffle butter, smoked salmon with caviar dressing, and almond hummus with onion crisps. Dive into mains of stuffed turkey, home dry-aged smoked sirloin, or chargrilled lobster with garlic butter, before finishing your seasonal feast with Christmas pudding or sugary mince pies.

Windsor cottages

The runners-up

Completing the top ten, here are the final five impressive pubs and restaurants for Christmas dinner in the UK. Snuggle up in a warm and atmospheric rural pub, unwind in a coastal brasserie after a Christmas walk on the beach, or head up into the sky for dinner with a city view. 

#6 The Dean, St Helens - a super-stylish restaurant serving live music alongside wonderful British food in Cheshire

#7 The Star Inn, Treoes - a cosy, characterful, country pub set near Bridgend in the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan. 

#8 Romneys, Kendal - a family-friendly pub in the market town of Kendal, east of Windermere in the Lake District.  

#9 Brasserie 16 at Devoncourt Resort, Exmouth - an elegant restaurant by the sea in the coastal town of Exmouth, South Devon. 

#10 Angler, London - a Michelin-starred, 7th-floor restaurant in the heart of London

More of our favourite country pubs for Christmas dinner

After getting inspired by the fantastic selection above, we decided to pick out a few more that caught our eye. While these pubs didn't come top of the list when we did our research for the best pubs in the UK, they all offer a special Christmas dining experience.

Shibden Mill Inn near Halifax Image credit: @shibdenmillinn

Shibden Mill Inn, West Yorkshire | ££

Best for filling up on a true feast on Christmas Day

The award-winning country pub of Shibden Mill Inn is located in the beautiful Shibden Valley near Halifax - and they offer up three-course dinners throughout the festive period and an impressive six-course feast on Christmas Day itself! They offer a traditional Christmas classic of turkey breast with pork sausage meat stuffing, sauteed pancetta and sprouts, and duck fat potatoes or a choice of other meals including halibut fillet or leek and truffle potato pressing. 

Halifax cottages

The Bear Inn - SomersetImage credit: @bearinnstreet

The Bear Inn, Somerset | £ 

Best for children hoping to meet Santa!

The Bear Inn is located in the small town of Street in Somerset and is a delightful pub to visit for a traditional Christmas lunch. Boasting a spacious interior, there’s plenty of room for large parties and families. Along with an extensive selection of wines and ales, the Christmas menu is mouth-watering. From spiced cherry duck to herb-crusted salmon fillet, there will be something to tempt every palate. It's also a fantastic choice for a family Christmas dinner as you can book in the chance for the kids to meet Santa and his elves during your visit - book ahead for this special Christmas treat! 

Somerset cottages

The Groes Inn, Conwy, WalesImage credit: @toon_adough (left) and @jodface (right)

The Groes Inn, Conwy | ££

Best for a roaring fire and a choice of warming tipples on a wintery day

This delightful North Wales coaching inn offers a warming atmosphere and hearty food for a Christmas dinner with the family. The Groes Inn boasts beautiful views over the River Conwy. Crackling log fires and a range of warming tipples make this the ideal place to settle in for dinner on chilly wintery days. Their festive menu includes the classic roast turkey breast with all the traditional Christmas trimmings, or a choice of seafood, beef or a tasty quinoa, beetroot and edamame wellington - all best topped off with baked vanilla cheesecake with mulled red berries. 

North Wales cottages

Image credit: @elite.pubs

The Great House, Kent | ££

Best for a big group get-together in an Alpine shack 

This traditional pub near Hawkhurst, The Great House, offers up a delicious Christmas dinner with all the fixtures and fittings - perfect for a family feast or a big group get-together in beautiful Kent! Whether stopping by for a festive tipple or the full pub dinner this Christmas, you'll be warmly welcomed. They are offering a wonderful Festive Menu served throughout the Christmas period, and a unique Christmas Day menu only available on the 25th. Indulge in the salty goodness of baked camembert, enjoy a taste of the locally caught Rye Bay cod fillet, or get your fill with their 28-day aged 8oz English fillet steak.

Kent cottages

The Scran & Scallie, EdinburghImage credit: @neets_eats (right)

The Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh | ££

Best for a city break around your Christmas dinner 

This fashionable eatery with gastropub vibes in the heart of Edinburgh is a perfect place for a flavoursome Christmas dinner out. The Scran and Scallie has a seasonal menu that showcases great Scottish food - 'scran' - and their menu can range from oysters, mussels and halibut to the warming Scran and Scallie steak pie. Although they are not open on Christmas day itself, their menu is sure to tempt you through the doors throughout the Christmas period - make sure you book ahead as this stylish eatery can get booked up during the festive months.

Edinburgh cottages

St Ives Harbour

The Lifeboat Inn, Cornwall | £

Best for a romantic Christmas dinner by the coast 

With a host of two-course and three-course menus throughout the festive period, you don't need to be there on Christmas Day for a yuletide feast with the family! At The Lifeboat Inn in St Ives, you can enjoy hand-carved roasted turkey dinner, grilled seabass fillet or baked winter squash, all perfect warming dishes for a frosty winter's day. Boasting a spectacular position overlooking the turquoise waters of St Ives Harbour, this stylish, seaside pub makes an excellent location to visit for a Christmas feast. The seafront setting provides a fantastic opportunity for an after-dinner walk too.

Cornwall cottages

Share a drink at The Brackenrigg Inn by UllswaterImage credit: @fulwood77 (left)

The Brackenrigg Inn, Lake District | ££

Best for a pint and a view with your Christmas dinner 

Take in snow-topped fells over your meal at The Brackenrigg Inn in Penrith with a pint of ale brewed in their on-site brewery: The Brack 'n' Brew. Set on the banks of Ullswater, this lesser-known pub is a remote but fantastic choice for a Christmas dinner in the unforgettable Lake District landscape. You could enjoy roaming the fells in this wonderful location before heading to this 18th-century coaching inn to cosy up in the timber-beamed establishment or wrap up warm and sip a pint outdoors surrounded by the remarkable landscape. 

Lake District cottages

The Lamb Hindon, WiltshireImage credit: @lavenderandlovage (left) and @smithheritagesurveyors (right)

The Lamb Hindon, Wiltshire | ££

Best for a stop at Stonehenge before a stylish dining experience 

Dorset is jam-packed with charming, quintessential pubs, offering the perfect setting for you to enjoy your Christmas dinner! The Lamb, set in the centre of the beautiful village of Hindon in the West Wiltshire Downs, is a delightful venue to sample. This family-friendly pub is surrounded by landscapes of natural beauty and is also just a few miles from Stonehenge, providing countless walks to explore after eating. The building retains much of its olde-worlde charm with original character and features such as fireplaces, flagstone floors and heavy wooden beams.

Wiltshire cottages

The Dartmoor Inn in DevonImage credit: @_thedartmoorinn

Dartmoor Inn, Devon | ££

Best for a Christmas Day walk on the moors before dinner 

This inviting and cosy inn is nestled in the heart of wild Dartmoor National Park near Lydford, perfect for a windswept Christmas walk before you tuck into a delicious yuletide feast. A traditional country atmosphere awaits you at the Dartmoor Inn along with a hearty Christmas Day meal. The restaurant is made up of a series of stylish dining rooms each with its own individuality, providing the perfect peaceful atmosphere to enjoy a family meal in your own designated space. From local ales to a real log fire, you can be sure of a wonderful festive dining experience while in Devon!

Dartmoor cottages

Rose & Crown

Rose & Crown, Norfolk | £

Best for wildlife watching at the local nature reserve on Christmas day 

Twisting passages, hidden corners, low ceilings, old beams and log fires can all be found at this charming village inn in the centre of Norfolk. Expect great food and delicious wines with a Christmas visit to The Rose & Crown, with all ingredients sourced locally, making full use of the wonderful Norfolk produce. A sample Christmas feast would include leek and potato soup served with a Norfolk dapple scone, roast Norfolk black turkey followed by a traditional dish of Christmas pudding. As this atmospheric pub is based in Snettisham, you could step out on a walk through the coastal RSPB Snettisham Reserve to see if you can spot the birds who visit to overwinter on UK shores. 

Norfolk cottages

Discover wonderful cottages for Christmas - Coachmans Country Cottage, Lake District

Plan your Christmas break 

Many of our Christmas cottages are equipped with large kitchens, perfect for cooking up a feast for the whole family. However, holidays are the perfect excuse for putting your feet up, relaxing and letting someone else worry about the dishes! 

Have you found your perfect pub on our list of places to eat Christmas dinner? Or perhaps a pub elsewhere has caught your eye? Book a holiday cottage proximal to your dinner booking for a wonderful Christmas break full of friends, family and good food! Take a look at our blog suggesting a few fantastic cottages for Christmas or browse our full collection of Christmas cottages to plan your own festive break today. 

Cottages for Christmas

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.