Some great places to eat in the run-up to Christmas

Borough Market eateries bounce back after second London Bridge terror attack


Looking for some inspiration for places to eat in either al fresco style or more formally? Well, in no particular order (stolen from I’m a Celebrity), let’s take a look at a few examples:

The Black Pig has launched, among other traders, in the new Borough Market Kitchen in time for the festive season. Of course, the market faced disruption during the recent terror attack on London Bridge, but all is now back in working order and I’m sure all businesses at the market will be pleased to see you.

The stall is a partnership based on the experience of Borough trader Philip Crouch, who runs the Italianate company, teaming up with restaurateur Nick Willoughby, of Street Food Union. Willoughby has successfully opened, run and supported several street food and other food-orientated businesses over the past decade.

The Black Pig will serve fine Italian products, ready to eat straight from its stall in a specially-created dining area.  This format, which is new to Borough, allows for quality premium cured meats and other products to be enjoyed while soaking up the renowned and exciting market vibes. Products like Black Pig Crudo Cone and The Muffuletta Sandwich are something a little bit special.

Willoughby, one half of the founding team, said at the opening: “We are incredibly excited to launch The Black Pig as part of Borough’s new offering. Philip has been selling his delicious products on the market for years but until now people have had to buy and enjoy at home. We hope having The Black Pig will not only allow people to try the best of Italian artisan products when they visit the market, but might also encourage them to then visit Italianate to buy the products we use and be able to recreate at home.”


Not far away from Borough Market is The Table in Southwark Street. The award-winning independent café and Urban Garden has lifted the lid on two tasty seasonal specials, which will be available until Christmas Eve.

The perfect Christmas brunch in one epic dish, Stackmas (£16.50 – pictured) has three grilled bagels stacked with The Table’s secret recipe chorizo and ham hock baked beans, a pan-fried stuffed turkey roll, pigs-in-blankets and two free-range, organic poached eggs. And for some extra seasonal indulgence – it’s Christmas, after all – you can smother your stack with extra-cheesy cheese sauce.

Vegetarian festive indulgence – stacked! The Veggie Stackmas (also £16.50) also has three grilled bagels piled high, this time with The Table’s secret recipe cherry tomato and charred red pepper baked beans, a pan-fried nut roast roll, veggie pigs-in-blankets and two free-range, organic poached eggs – also with extra-cheesy cheese sauce on the side to smother your stack with.

Stackmas and Veggie Stackmas will be available daily from 7.30am – 4pm, Monday to Sunday until Christmas Eve. But Christmas doesn’t stop there at The Table. Diners can treat themselves to four great value special menus, created especially for the festive season. Twinkle (£19) offers a brunch dish plus a cocktail and coffee, or go for Glisten with two courses and a glass of fizz (£27). Alternatively, you can Sparkle with three courses and a glass of fizz (£33) or Dazzle with a three course (including a choice of the Stackmas dishes) and two drink sharing feast (£35). Gift vouchers can be bought online.


Turkey kebab with winter root vegetable Tikki

To celebrate this holiday season, Hankies Marble Arch is offering a sumptuous sharing-style, tasting menu priced at £29.50 per person. Head chef Ani Arora (currently also at Cedar & Spruce Bar + Kitchen in Winter Wonderland) has played with some favourite festive flavours to give them a spicy Indian twist, such as Winter Root Vegetable Tikki and Turkey Kebabs with Cream Cheese & Spiced Cranberry Chutney. Enjoy in the main restaurant, or book the private dining room for up to 24 guests for an extravagant festive get together. Website here.


In the heart of North London, Terra Terra has been preparing for its first Christmas with the launch of their decadent Italian Festive Feast. The three-course menu is designed to be shared, and has been created to celebrate the essence of Italian cooking; centred around the tradition of connecting people over heart-warming food.

Spearheaded by award-winning head chef Massimo Mioli, the Italian-led team has reinvented the rustic offerings of their homeland’s festivities and Christmas recipes with a touch of contemporary flare at 120 Finchley Road. Guests can expect to be met with the welcome of spirited family conversations, loud laughter and generous portions of satisfying food and drink at the comfortable eatery.

Terra Terra’s culinary principle is to use only the best organic ingredients from trusted suppliers who share the same passion for quality. This continues with the Christmas offering as Mioli has sourced the very best of local produce for dishes. Served family-style to share, a selection of antipasti including crispy arancine served with bolognese and peas and polenta, wild mushrooms and asiago cheese are temptations to indulge in before relishing a main choice of lamb shoulder.

No Italian feast would be complete without traditional tiramisu and a serving of grappa, before guests are invited to continue the festivities at the bar, where they can sip on specially created seasonal cocktails; a warming Mount Gay XO and blackberry, ‘Terra Delight’, and a sparkling ‘Symphonia’ made with Prosecco, Belvedere vodka and Chambord liqueur, alongside other signature drinks.

Set across two floors with a capacity of 80 guests, Terra Terra is the perfect venue for Christmas parties and large groups in the bustling hub of Swiss Cottage. Menu priced at £35pp, and available from 18 November 2019 for parties of four or more. To book visit here.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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