Do you usually have Christmas dinner with all the trimmings at home with your family? Are you tempted to enjoy the festivities at a local restaurant for a change this year? Eating out on Christmas Day is becoming an incredibly popular option.
According to the song, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Eating out on Christmas day may seem like an expensive option, but there are many reasons why people are choosing to leave the cooking to someone else on Christmas Day.
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You can spend more time with family members instead of hiding away in the kitchen trying to make sure everything is going to plan. No-one wants to be stuck in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove all day while everyone else is opening gifts,chatting away and enjoying themselves.
There’s less planning – you don’t have to pre-order your meat, vegetables, desserts and booze several weeks in advance, or by a certain date. You won’t be disappointed if you go shopping at the last-minute just to find there are no turkeys left in the supermarket. You just need to decide where to eat, pre-order from their menu, and pay a deposit. You don’t need to worry about putting the turkey in the oven at silly o’clock in the morning or whether you’ve got enough potatoes and sprouts for all of your guests. It is, overall, much less stressful; you can just turn up, relax and enjoy. Even better, you don’t have to do a mountain of washing up while everyone else has fallen asleep on the sofa.
There is more choice – if you usually cook a turkey as your Christmas meat of choice, restaurants can offer duck, beef, or pork as possible alternatives. You may also choose to try a starter or dessert that you would not normally make at home. You and your guests can also all choose different meals, and you don’t have to worry about making sure they are all ready at the same time.
It’s easier to accommodate large families – not all of us have seating for ten family members in our homes. Eating out lets you be around the whole family without worrying whether you have enough room for everyone to sit comfortably.
You don’t have to worry about lumpy gravy or overcooked vegetables – you can leave all the concerns to the professionals, whose job it is to make sure your meal is perfect. You also don’t need to stress about timings, as someone else will be making sure that everyone in the party gets their starter at the same time.
If the thought of eating turkey curry, turkey sandwiches or even turkey for breakfast for several days after Christmas day fills you with dread, you’ll be happy to know that if you eat out, you won’t have to make up creative ways to use the leftovers.
Top tips for choosing where to eat:
Plan early – Believe it or not, some people like to make their bookings a year in advance if the restaurant or bar is well-known. The earlier you can secure your venue the better, particularly if you’ll be part of a large group.
Check the and hygiene ratings – Are there a variety of starters, main courses and desserts for people to choose from? Can dietary requirements, allergies and fussy eaters be catered for easily? You should also find out what food hygiene rating the premises has been given under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Ratings from 0 to 5 can be awarded – the higher the number, the better, and ratings of three and above are best. Find out more at http://ratings.food.gov.uk.
Is the price of the meal reasonably affordable for everyone? You want to ensure that the meal is good value for money. How many courses will be served? Are any drinks included? Most venues will expect a deposit upfront, so this may make it easier for those who’d like to pay in instalments.
Find out if people will have to dress particularly smartly, or if more casual clothing such as jeans is acceptable. You should make sure that everyone is attending knows the dress code so that no-one turns up under or overdressed.
Think about transport – If people are intending to have a festive tipple or two, it’s important that they plan how they will they get home. Would it be worth organising a minibus that will take everyone home? You could also provide people with a list of taxi numbers so they can make arrangements in advance, or you could see if anyone in your party would rather not have alcohol and be a designated driver.