As I write this list in October, December feels like a long way away. However when you walk into supermarkets and see Christmas puddings and decorations starting to line the shelves, you realise the festive season is closer than you think. Although these stores get in their Christmas stock way too early (especially when you have to explain to kids that Christmas is still months away), it brings up the topic of what we will be doing on Christmas Day. If you are planning on booking a table at a Christmas Day lunch, perhaps it is time to start thinking about where you would like to go, to avoid the last minute panic. A number of Canberra venues have got in early with their Christmas Day lunch menus and events, so you can book in early and then relax this December. Where will you be on Christmas Day?
1/ Crowne Plaza Canberra in the CBD will be hosting a Christmas Day Lunch in their Redsalt restaurant with a delicious buffet of traditional and modern festive favourites including fresh seafood, tender roasts, fresh breads, salads and a selection of hot dishes. See the Redsalt Restaurant website for all details, inclusions and pricing. * Prices are $185 adult, $99 teens (aged 13-17 years), $59 child (aged 6-12 years), under 6's dine free.
2/ The Hyatt Hotel Canberra in Yarralumla will be having six festive options held throughout the day, in various sophisticated locations around the hotel property. There will be a Promenade Café Christmas Breakfast, a Promenade Café Christmas Lunch, a Christmas Carvery Buffet, a traditional Five Course Christmas Lunch, a Tea Lounge Festive Afternoon Tea and the Promenade Café Christmas Dinner. See the Hyatt Hotel website (scroll down to December 25th) for more details, inclusions and prices. * Prices start from $68 per person (for the Promenade Café Christmas Breakfast).
3/ Rydges Capital Hill in Forrest will be hosting a Christmas Day Gourmet Seafood and Traditional Roast Buffet with all the trimmings. After your meal, leave some room for the mouth watering desserts from the gourmet dessert buffet. Santa will also make an appearance and deliver gifts for children under 12. See the Rydges Capital Hill website for more details, inclusions and pricing. * Prices are $170 adult, $95 for teens (aged 13-17 years), $60 for child (aged 6-12 years), under 5's free.
4/ Hotel Kurrajong in Barton will be having a delicious roast carvery and seafood extravaganza on Christmas Day. There will also be a festive themed beverage package including house beers, whites, reds, sparkling wine, soft drinks, luxury teas and freshly brewed coffee. Relax in festive and stylish surroundings in this restored historic building which first opened in 1926. See the Hotel Kurrajong website for more details, inclusions and pricing. * Prices are $185 adult and $55 a child (aged 6-14 years).
5/ Boathouse By The Lake in Barton has organised a scenic, fine dining Christmas Day lunch, overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. There will be a 6 course festive degustation menu, created by Chef John Leverink and his team. Spend the afternoon lakeside, where you can relax between 12pm - 4pm and take your time savouring each meal. See the Boathouse By The Lake website for more details, inclusions and pricing. * Prices are $190 per adult (food only) and $90 per child (food only).
6/ Pod Food in Pialligo will be hosting their annual Christmas Day Lunch with a 5 course degustation lunch with paired wines. This leafy restaurant is renowned for its Modern Australian cuisine in a tranquil garden setting. See the Pod Food website for more details, inclusions and pricing. * Prices are $160 adults, $60 child.
7/ Benchmark Wine Bar is a Modern European restaurant, located in the heart of the CBD. On Christmas Day they will be hosting a Christmas Day Lunch and serving a 5 Course Degustation Lunch with champagne on arrival. See the Benchmark Wine Bar website for more details, inclusions and pricing. * Price is $125 per person.
8/ Hotel Realm in Barton will be hosting an extravagant Christmas Day Lunch in their National Ballroom. As well as the tasty traditional fare there will also be live music, a present for kids from Santa and also a kids buffet and entertainment just for them. See the Hotel Realm website for more details, inclusions and prices. * Prices are $165 per adult, $85 older child (aged 11-17 years) $45 for a child (5-10 years).
9/ Canberra Southern Cross Clubs are popular venues to spend Christmas Day, with a good variety of options to choose from. There will be a marquee set up for a sumptuous seafood buffet at their Yacht Club Marquee Buffet, as well as a sit-down lunch in their Yacht Club restaurant in Yarralumla. On the water they will also be having a Christmas Day Lunch on their boat MV Southern Cross, at Woden they will be having two sittings of Christmas Lunch in their Golden Grille restaurant as well as a Christmas Day Buffet up in their Corinna Ballroom. Jamison will also be having a 3 course Christmas Day Lunch, with Santa also making an appearance for the kids. See the Southern Cross Canberra website for what is happening at Tuggeranong as well as all the details, inclusions and prices. * Prices start from adults $80 and $30 for a child (plus booking fee).
10/ The Vikings Group of Clubs will be hosting Christmas Day events at their Clubs in South Canberra. Tuggeranong Town Centre and Lanyon will have an extensive Christmas buffet each and Erindale Vikings will have a 5 course set menu. If you are not a member of the Club it is $5 to join for a year. See the Vikings Group website for more details, prices and inclusions. * Prices start from $69.90 member adult price and $26 for a child (12 years and under).
This is just a list of 10 venues around Canberra that will be hosting Christmas Day lunches around the Capital. Also check with your local Club, pub or restaurant to see if they will be having their own Christmas Day celebration, or organise your own Christmas fun at home. You may need to loosen your belt a notch or two, to fit in all those fresh prawns, succulent roasts, dessert buffets and colourful beverages. If you are anything like me, the seafood buffet gets more than just one visit - as does the dessert buffet. When the Christmas spread looks this good - it may be easier just to not wear a belt at all!