No oven mitt for you this Christmas

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Throw away your shopping list, forget cleaning the house, fret not about the chipped china and definitely don’t record Jamie, Nigella, Gordon or Delia. We’re eating out this Christmas!

Plenty of local restaurants are open on Christmas day, so whether you fancy something traditional, spicy, exotic, or Mediterranean, there are a plenty of options beyond your front door.

Dining locally means less stress, zero cleaning up and is great for local businesses. So banish any concerns about turkey ordering deadlines, get your good gear on and eat, drink and be merry!

“Now is your chance to indulge in a banquet for the whole family without a single dish to wash-up afterwards. Bliss!”

Stick with tradition

Getting out of the house for your Christmas lunch doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the annual festive favourites. Foodie pubs will often open their doors on Christmas day and provide a great setting for a proper Christmas roast. If you don’t have a good old traditional free house in your neck of the woods, plenty of chains run a turkey and trimmings menu on the big day. Check whether your local Harvester, Toby Carvery or Café Rouge are planning to open.

Turn up the heat

Why must a good curry only be relished on a Friday or Saturday night? I’ve had wonderful Christmas dinners at Cinnamon Culture - an excellent Indian restaurant local to me - for the past two years. Indian meals are often designed to be shared, so are perfect for a family group on a festive occasion. If you’re feeling experimental, seek some traditional Goan Christmas desserts, such as a chilli biscuit or a dodol – a firm coconut-flavoured jelly cooked over a slow fire.

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Break out those chopsticks

Forget the Christmas turkey – how about some Peking duck? Although New Year is a much bigger event, there are many Chinese restaurants celebrating and open Christmas day. Now is your chance to indulge in a banquet for the whole family without a single dish to wash-up afterwards. Bliss!

You may have to search a little harder to find a Japanese or Thai restaurant nearby that’s open, but it’s not impossible. We’ve spotted that the Thai Orchid in Banbury is offering a banquet at £52 per head, so it’s worth checking your local area.

Let Christmas mean carbs

Depending on the region, an Italian Christmas menu can be comprised of different dishes, but is most likely to be pastas and broth, fish and meat, followed by a variety of delectable desserts. Pheasant Alla Fiorentina? Parmigiano Reggiano and Truffle Tagliolini? Yes, please! Although traditionally Italians have their big celebration on Christmas Eve, here in the UK there are many Italian restaurants providing a wide range of menu options on Christmas day.

Or for the smaller appetite

If you’re more of a health-conscious type that enjoys celebrating but doesn’t feel the need to overdo things, perhaps a Spanish restaurant and a tapas menu is more the way to go? Relish the opportunity to try different things with a variety of little plates to share. The tapas element of a Spanish Christmas meal is predominately seafood – prawns or langoustines – so although there is the element of decadence, you won’t be rolling out of the joint.

So how do you find out where is open Christmas day? Keep an eye open for local press or if you have a local favourite they’ll no doubt advertise their plans in the restaurant throughout November and December. You can also check online – sites like OpenTable and Yelp could prove very helpful.

Image credit: Cinnamon Culture, Methi chicken from Christmas menu 2015.

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