CRAB & LOBSTER
Push the boat out when it comes to your festive celebrations by booking up for a fine-dining feast at Crab & Lobster restaurant in Thirsk. The sophisticated set menu is a foodie’s dream, showcasing local, just-caught fish and seafood, meat and stellar UK cheese and veggies. Enjoy two courses for £22 per person, or three for £25. Definitely worth the journey!
Start with this: Ham hock terrine, duck confit, black pudding and prunes with fig and pear chutney and sage and onion brioche.
For mains: Roast fillet of sea trout, samphire, fresh crab, herb crushed potatoes with crab and lobster bisque.
End with this: Baileys chocolate and mint crisp creme brûlée with gingersnaps.
Disforth Road, Thirsk, YO7 3QL; crabandlobster.co.uk
The Alnwick Garden’s twinkly Treehouse Restaurant is a must-visit if you’re a fan of dining high in grotto-like surroundings (who isn’t?). Head to Northumberland, make your way up through wooden walkways, find a table by the roaring log fire and dig in to a mouthwatering Christmas-inspired menu, packed with seasonal produce. You get two courses for £29.95, or three for £34.95.
Start with this: Roast winter squash and parsnip soup with toasted cumin and coriander oil.
For mains: Honey nut roast, roast parsnips and carrots, brussel sprouts, roast potato and nutmeg mash.
End with this: Mulled wine trio, cheesecake, jelly and sponge.
Denwick Lane, Alnwick, NE66 1YU; alnwickgarden.com
There are far worse places to find yourself on Christmas Day than Middleton Lodge. This gorgeous Georgian country retreat, set in 200 acres of rural North Yorkshire, is something out of a magical festive film – and its food offering on the big day sounds out of this world. After champagne and canapés on arrival, diners will be treated to a small, but perfectly-formed menu of wintry goodness, stretching from traditional dishes, to fancy party plates.
Start with this: Cured salmon, beetroot, horseradish ice cream.
For mains: Yorkshire beef, smoked potato, oxtail, onions and cavolo nero.
End with this: Christmas pudding, ice cream and brandy sauce.
Kneeton Lane, Richmond, DL10 6NJ; middletonlodge.co.uk
THE FEATHERS INN
This charming traditional inn, which has tons of character and community spirit, is renowned for its Northumbrian-inspired cuisine, using locally-sourced and foraged produce. This year, the kitchen will be serving up two menus for groups of six or more. Filled with inventive dishes with Christmassy spins on the traditional, they’re definitely worth considering if you’re part of a big brood or friendship group! £22 for two courses or £25 for three.
Start with this: Salad winter leaves, mulled wine pear, salted caramel walnuts and blue cheese.
For mains: Wood pheasant, sage and onion stuffing, chipolatas, honey roast parsnips, sprouts and chestnuts, braised red cabbage with bread and cranberry sauce.
End with this: Dark chocolate and spiced rum pot with boozy prunes and biscuits.
High View, Hedley on the Hill, Stocksfield, NE43 7SW; thefeathers.net
If a cosy Christmas lunch or dinner, in snug surroundings, is your idea of festive heaven, then look no further than The Broadchare – the perfect place for gangs of chums and small groups of family (six to eight people) in search of a laid-back pub oozing with festive cheer. For a very reasonable £28, you can indulge in three top, rustic plates of food.
Start with this: Duck sausage roll, celeriac and prune ketchup.
For mains: Venison and smoked bacon pie, crushed roots and spiced red cabbage.
End with this: Brown sugar meringue with mulled pears and chestnut cream.
25 Broad Chare, Newcastle, NE1 3DQ; thebroadchare.co.uk
BEAMISH HALL HOTEL
Alongside festive Afternoon Tea (enjoyed while you watch a Christmas film), dazzling party nights, wreath-making workshops and Sunday lunch with Santa, the kitchen team at Beamish Hall Hotel are also offering diners a show-stopping Christmas Day menu. Not only will you be treated to a jaw-dropping festive feast, you’ll also enjoy bubbles and canapés on arrival – plus gifts for every child. Up to 14 guests are welcome per table – best get planning your guest-list! £75 per adult and £33 per child for three courses.
Start with this: Smoked chicken, asparagus and black pudding terrine with spiced piccalilli and toasted focaccia.
For mains: Roast turkey with all the traditional trimmings, plus Yorkshire puddings.
End with this: Trio of chocolate desserts with contrasting sauces.
Beamish, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0YB; beamish-hall.co.uk