Christmas is all about relaxing, making merry with family and friends and eating until you're fit to burst – it's not about slaving away in the kitchen, getting frazzled over odd developments with the roasting turkey and scrubbing cranberry sauce off your best linen tablecloth. Keep it simple this year by indulging in some Christmas cheer at one of our twelve pubs of Christmas.
James Squire matches Christmas cheer with Christmas beer.
Twelve drinkers drinking… The Malvern Hotel is sticking with tradition, offering all the favourites in their Christmas Day Lunch. Starting with seafood platters (including fresh lobster) for entrée, then roast turkey, ham and plum pudding, washed down with unlimited quality beers and wines, you're sure to finish the day feeling festive. Bookings are $170 for adults, $120 for children under eighteen years, and $85 for children under thirteen years.
…eleven Irishmen jigging… Enjoy the Christmastime craic with a two course lunch plus a glass of wine or half pint of Guinness at PJ O'Brien's on Southbank. The cost is $40 for adults and $15 for children under twelve years.
…ten squires brewing…
Enjoy a fine brew and then order a la carte at James Squire Docklands. No set packages for this pub but a minimum of two courses is required per person (as if you could go without pudding on Christmas Day anyway).
…nine ladies dancing… Liven things up in luxury with Christmas in the Ballroom at the Langham Hotel on Southbank. This first-class festive celebration costs $250 for adults and $130 for children aged three to twelve (free for children under three years) and includes a premium feast of various cuisines, a kids' room with Santa and a multitude of games, and a live band for the dancefloor.
One of the great favourites of Melbourne's outer suburbs, the Lower Plenty Hotel will be open for business on Christmas Day, but you better get in quick if you want to make a booking – this popular pub is filling tables fast.
…seven wharfies rejoicing… Diners will relish a riverside two course Christmas lunch at the Wharf Hotel. Bookings are $55 per person or $85 per person including drinks.
…six rats carousing… Enjoy three deliciously decadent courses plus coffee and a glass of wine for $85 per person at The Water Rat Hotel in South Melbourne. There's also a special menu package for kids under fourteen for just $20.
…five star hotel... Soak up the ambience of the Amberoom then head in to the adjoining Dish restaurant at St Kilda Road's Royce Hotel. Choose from a three course lunch with a glass of Domain Chandon, followed by coffee and petit fours for $110 per person ($35 for children under twelve years).
Four trend seekers…
Be one of the first in the door of the Southern Star Hotel this Christmas when it opens under the Observation Wheel at Docklands. Check the website for updates in the lead up to the launch.
…three Moroccan dishes… Try Christmas with a twist at Docklands' Mecca Bah – it's not exactly a pub, but it will definitely spice up the festivities. Get in early to grab a beer and a table (Mecca Bar has a no bookings policy) at this Middle Eastern delight.
…two lavish lunches… Diners will be spoilt for choice at the Hotel Windsor on Spring St, which is offering either a degustation lunch in the Ballroom or a sumptuous buffet featuring fresh seafood and a chocolate fountain in the Bourke Room. The cost is the same for both, $275 for adults (including boutique wines and other selected beverages) and $125 for children aged five to twelve years.
…and an abundance of good Aussie beer...
Check out Prahran's newest pub and have a lovely Christmas lunch at the same time at The Smith. $220 gets you canapés and champagne on arrival, followed by tasting plates, then turkey, wagyu or snapper, and pudding or petit fours for dessert. All wine and Australian beers are included.