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Eight of the best places to eat Christmas puddings in the UK

Whether you’re looking for a classic take on Christmas pudding or a new twist, here’s where to find it.

A decadent Christmas pudding.

Photograph by the cinnamon collection
By Joel Porter
Published 6 Dec 2021, 15:00 GMT, Updated 7 Dec 2021, 09:51 GMT

1. The Game Bird, London
Set within century-old hotel The Stafford London, The Game Bird is headed up by chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen, also of Michelin-starred Northcote. Her extravagant Christmas Day menu features everything from game pâté and smoked duck eccles cakes to butter-poached native lobster with caviar and roasted Essex Bronze turkey. The Christmas pudding is as classic as they come, served with brandy sauce. 

2. The Spaniards Inn, London
Built as a tollgate in 1585, The Spaniards Inn is one of the capital’s oldest pubs, immortalised in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. The festive menu, which runs throughout December, includes turkey with trimmings, as well as alternatives like roast venison and crispy pork belly. The Christmas pud is topped with sticky toffee sauce and served with vanilla custard. 

3. Cinnamon Club, London
Set in the Grade II-listed Old Westminster Library, Vivek Singh’s restaurant serves a garam masala Christmas pudding (pictured). Infused with the Indian spice mix and served with nutmeg-spiked custard, it’s available throughout December on the Christmas tasting menu, which also includes dishes such as tandoori partridge and clove-flavoured goose breast. 

Read more: Deconstructing Christmas pudding: secrets of a seasonal staple

4. Lympstone Manor, Devon
At Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, chef Michael Caines has created a Christmas Day menu that includes quail ravioli, turkey with onion and sage puree, and ‘mum’s Christmas pudding’. Made to a recipe passed from his grandmother to his mother then to him, the pudding contains beef suet and is served with brandy sauce, plus — this being Devon — clotted cream. 

5. The Yan, Cumbria
Will Manley, head chef at The Yan, in Grasmere, makes his pudding using a mix of fresh apple, sultanas, raisins, dried cranberries and kirsch cherries, combined with brandy, kirsch and white wine. It’s then stored for a year before going into the pudding and mince pies. The Christmas Day menu features even more festive desserts, including a chocolate log and a brandy snap basket. 

6. The Hollybush, Oxfordshire 
The Christmas menu at this cosy pub in the pretty Cotswolds town of Witney runs from the end of November to Christmas Day, offering traditional favourites like cured salmon, free-range turkey with pigs in blankets and Christmas pudding. The latter is made with dried fruit that’s been soaked in port, brandy and stout and steamed for six hours, resulting in an extra-rich, dark pudding. It’s then flambéed and topped with brandy sauce.

7. Where the Light Gets In, Stockport
Set in an former Victorian warehouse in Stockport, chef Sam Buckley’s restaurant holds a Michelin Green Star for sustainable cooking. Offered throughout December on the tasting menu, Buckley’s Christmas pudding has a unique twist: it’s made with root vegetables. Parsnips, beetroot and celeriac are dried along with waste fruit such as damsons and rhubarb, then it’s all soaked in brandy to create mincemeat.

8. The Wroxeter Hotel, Shropshire
Throughout November and December, this Shrewsbury hotel offers a Christmas pudding tasting menu. Guests can try three versions from a lineup that includes a fruity number topped with whipped brandy butter; Guinness and treacle Christmas pudding with stout caramel cream; a salted caramel iteration; and one made from ice cream, topped with snow marshmallow foam. The classic is also available as part of the hotel’s standard festive menu. 

Published in Issue 14 (winter 2021) of National Geographic Traveller Food (UK)

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