Where to eat out on Christmas Day
If you have ever spent Christmas Day slaving over a hot oven on a hellishly hot day, you will have fantasised about heading out to a restaurant instead of hosting at home.
Just imagine not having to think about what time the turkey needs to go on and instead sitting back and sipping a glass of cold bubbles while someone else worries about whether water got into the steamed pudding.
The good news is it's not too late to book a table for Christmas lunch. So, if you'd prefer to outsource the cooking this year, one of these venues around the country may be the answer to your prayers.
Ryne, 203 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North, (03) 9482 3002
$150pp; $50 for children for a three-course version
Ryne is a modern French dining experience curated by chef Donovan Cooke. A special Christmas lunch awaits featuring five courses of Cooke's signature classics. Highlights include pan-fried scallops with peas and broad beans, beef Wellington, traditional roast chicken with chestnut stuffing and passionfruit pavlova.
The Press Club, 72 Flinders St, Melbourne, (03) 9677 9677
Head to George Calombaris' modern Greek fine diner and indulge in a decadent eight-course tasting menu designed by executive chef Reuben Davis. The menu includes dishes such as Tasmanian sea urchin, pullet egg, orange, and Flinders Island lamb, pea, mint, pickled garlic, and there is a wine-matching option by the head sommelier.
Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar, 23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne, (03) 9639 5777
5 plates for $58pp or 7 plates for $68pp
A quintessentially Melbourne experience, guests enter via a cobblestone laneway, beckoned by a red neon sign, for a fast-paced, fun and buzzy meal of eclectic Asian bites, tastes and plates, signature cocktails and music. In typical Lucy Liu style, for Christmas lunch guests will 'Let Lucy Choose' the menu, so it's a bit of a fun surprise on the day.
Point Revolving Restaurant, 410 Sandy Bay Rd, Hobart, (03) 6221 1888
Ascend to the top of the Wrest Point tower for a Christmas to remember in Hobart's only revolving restaurant. Guests will enjoy a five-course set choice menu, glass of sparkling on arrival, an international wine list and unforgettable views.
Tailrace Centre, 1 Waterfront Drive, Riverside, Launceston, (03) 6327 4538
Adults $105, 10-14 years $61, 4-9 years $51, 2-4 years $25, under-2s free
Chef Kelvin Bowers has created an incredible menu for Christmas at Launceston's beautiful Tailrace Centre, with plenty of options at the buffet for all tastes (and dietary requirements … vegan burgers with pistachios and cranberries anybody?) This venue has the added bonus of complimentary access to the Kid's Paradise play area, so parents and kids are both happy.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Biota Dining, 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral, (02) 4862 2005
Head to the country and indulge in a luxurious five-course lunch meal at the acclaimed Biota restaurant. Christmas Day menu highlights include a lobster and caviar jaffle, pork chops cooked over coals, and eggnog softie and rum-soaked raisins for dessert. There are two sittings available - 11am-1.30pm and 2pm-5pm.
Pier One Sydney Harbour, 11 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, (02) 8298 9999
Christmas Luxe Lunch at Pier One is an all-you-can-eat affair offering all the traditional Christmas favourites such as turkey breast and maple ham as well as roast pork and lamb at the live carvery station. However, it wouldn't be an Australian Christmas without showcasing some of our finest seafood including Sydney rock oysters, Balmain bugs and blue swimmer crab. All will be accompanied by a selection of salads and sides with Australian beer, wine, and soft drink to wash it down. A decadent dessert buffet will complete the long lunch.
InterContinental Hotel Ballroom, North Terrace, Adelaide, (08) 8238 2433
$170 per adult, 6-12 years $65, 0-5 years $20
If there is a vegan in your family, this is the place for you as they have a special vegan Christmas menu. On offer in the luxurious Intercontinental ballroom is a stunningly extensive buffet which includes braised lamb shoulder with white bean ragu and mint jus, turkey with apricot and pistachio stuffing, and gingerbread pancakes with seasonal berries for dessert. And for those vegans, there are such offerings as roast cauliflower with white bean puree, and a chocolate truffle slice with lemon and lime mousse, rosella and raspberry sorbet.
Stamford Plaza, 150 North Terrace, Adelaide, (08) 8461 0858
$183.79 per adult, 13-17 years $100.27, 5-12 years $79.39, under-5s free
A White Christmas buffet lunch will be held in the hotel's terrace ballroom this year, featuring antipasto and cheese boards, sushi plates, succulent seafood, traditional Christmas roasts, a Christmas dessert selection and a three-hour premium beverage package for adults.
Atrium Restaurant, The Pavilion Hotel, 242 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, 1800 828 000 $149 for adults, 13-17 years $80, 6-12 years $40, 2-5 years $20
Enjoy a three-course buffet Christmas Day lunch with a two-hour drinks package. The menu includes antipasto, seafood, salads, a hot buffet, dessert buffet, cheese selections and more. There is a 12pm sitting and a 1pm sitting.
Snapper on the Lake, Mariner Place, Yarralumla, (02) 6273 1784
Prices starting from $13.90
If you are wanting a more low-key experience in the great outdoors, Snapper, on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, is serving fresh fish and chips from 11am on Christmas Day, no bookings necessary. It's been voted by locals as Canberra's best fish and chippery, so you can't go wrong with the price, food and views really.
Hibernian Place, 480 Hay St, Perth, (08) 6559 1870
In Garum, a Roman osteria collaboration between Guy Grossi and The Westin Perth, the menu for this festive four-course meal is a spectacular array of Mediterranean flavours. Highlights include an authentic Italian antipasto plate to start, along with crab tortellini, roast suckling pig, turkey, plum pudding and tiramisu.
The Stirling Arms Hotel, 117 James St, South Guildford, (08) 6142 4352
$99 per adult, 13-18 years $68, 5-12 years $49, under-5s $25
This is a great one if you are dining with people with different dietary requirements, as they can cater to different diets - just let the team know in advance. The price includes bonbons, a surprise visit from Santa, a feasting menu and a three-hour beverage package. There are two sitting times - 11.30am or 12.30pm.
The Westin, 480 Hay St, Perth, (08) 6559 1888
$199 per adult, 13-17 years $149, 6-12 years $89
With a special appearance by Santa, you will be treated to a festive buffet luncheon with live cooking stations, fresh local seafood, a free-flowing sparkling and Sandalford wines beverage package, kids' corner, live music and gifts for the children.
DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Hotel, 116 The Esplanade, Darwin, (08) 8901 0792
$169 per adult, 12-16 years $99, 5-11 years $75, under-5s free
Escape the heat and settle in for a long lunch in the glorious airconditioning at the Hilton. There will be a mouth-watering buffet including turkey, glazed ham, roast beef and grilled barramundi designed by the executive chef. The price includes a three-hour drinks package. Each child will receive a gift and there will also be festive novelties and a visit from Santa.
Rydges Hotel, 15 Maluka Drive, Palmerston, Darwin (08) 8983 6666
$139 per adult, 12-17 years $79, 4-11 years $49
Treat yourself to a traditional Christmas and seafood buffet at the Fork and Dagger restaurant in Rydges. The price includes drinks on arrival and a visit from Santa with a gift for the kids.
Deer Duck Bistro, 396 Milton Rd, Auchenflower, (07) 3870 8482
$155pp (matched wines available for $85)
Enjoy a five-course degustation beginning with a shared chef's plate before moving on to a savoury tart of truffled ricotta, slow-cooked pork jowl and sous vide lamb. The feast finishes with a dessert of Bavarian cream, Greek shortbread, macerated cherry, toasted meringue and yuzu foam.
Black Fire, 74 Albert St, Brisbane, (07) 3013 0058
If you would prefer to celebrate on Christmas Eve, there are still spots left for the 6.30pm festive feast at Black Fire on December 24. Guests will enjoy the head chef's tasting menu of selected tapas, charcuterie, suckling meats and dessert. Shared at the table as a banquet, it's the perfect way to celebrate with friends and family.
Salon de Co, Ovolo Inchcolm, 73 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill, (07) 3226 8888
Treat yourself to a three-course family feasting menu designed to be shared among loved ones.
Dishes include prawn cocktail with burrata, melon and prosciutto, porchetta with roasted apricot, sage and savoy cabbage, and Christmas ice cream with apple and blackberry terrine and eggnog anglaise.
There's also a three-hour premium beverage package with a cocktail on arrival and a gift for all.