Festive Fare

PUBLISHED: 17:01 09 November 2007 | UPDATED: 14:54 20 February 2013

A mouth watering Copas turkey

A mouth watering Copas turkey

Enjoy food with friends this Christmas at one of our selected venues in Part Two of our guide to festive dining...

Berkshire and Chilterns Life, November 2007

  • Ascot area

The Belvedere Arms, Sunninghill.
Tel: 01344 870931, www.thebelvederearms.co.uk

What's on offer?
Getting into the spirit of Christmas is easy at The Belvedere where the assurance is 'great beer, mulled wine and jolly good food, together with roaring log fires, and Christmas trees'. The Belvedere is also open for lunch from 12noon to 5pm on Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The seasonal Christmas party menu features red onion and apple tart tatin with goats' cheese and rocket, grilled sea bass fillets with Piedmont peppers and basil pesto, or a ribeye or spit roast chicken with all the trimmings and yummy puddings including lemon parfait with honey shortbread.

Cost: The seasonal Christmas party
menu starts from the first week of December and is £25 a head. Christmas Day lunch is £55.

The Pavilion, Ascot Racecourse, Ascot. Tel: 0870 727 4321, www.ascot.co.uk

What's on offer?
An evening of feasting, drinking, dancing and live entertainment, provided by top burlesque dancer Immodesty Blaze at The Carnevale di Venezia Christmas Party. Dates vary from Friday, November 30 to Saturday, December 22, so check the website (above) for further details and information.
Cost: The evening costs from £50-£60 per head, depending on the date.

  • Aylesbury area

Hartwell House, Stone, near Aylesbury.
Tel: 01296 747444, www.hartwell-house.com

What's on offer?
Louis XVIII of France felt quite at home in exile, at historic Hartwell House, set in rolling acres of beautiful landscaped grounds and Christmas guests have the opportunity to enjoy the same elegant surroundings and experience a warm and festive welcome.

Hartwell House is also hosting a Boxing Day luncheon and a New Year's Eve programme with the opportunity to retreat to Hartwell's Spa for a spot of recovery and pampering.

Cost: The festivities begin with a Christmas Evening black-tie five course dinner and a Champagne reception at
an inclusive price of £85. Christmas Day luncheon features perennial Christmas favourites and winter
delicacies preceded by a Champagne cocktail with six sumptuous courses to follow with accompanying wines for
£175 a head.

  • Henley area

Ye Olde Bell, High Street, Hurley,
Nr Maidenhead. Tel: 01628 825881

What's on offer? There are few restaurants with as much age-old charm as Ye Olde Bell in Hurley. Presenting the perfect backdrop to a Christmas gathering, the celebrated restaurant has devised a festive lunch menu throughout December. For £30 per person the choice of starter includes: Jerusalem artichoke soup or smoked trout and prawn mousse; for the main course, there is roast turkey and traditional trimmings or roast salmon with a butter and chive sauce, or, port with apricot and almonds and a vegetarian dish of asparagus, peas and mint. Desserts include Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, a chocolate roulade or fresh fruit salad.

Cost: Christmas day lunch at £85 per person includes a glass of Kir Royal on arrival, a five-course meal and a present from Father Christmas for children with festive novelties. For those who need a break after a busy Christmas at home, Ye Olde Bell is hosting a Boxing Day buffet lunch for £30 with festive novelties and the promise of unlimited visits to the buffet.

  • Hungerford area

The Pelican Inn, Bath Road, Froxfield. Tel: 01488 682479,

What's on offer? The Pelican Inn has been transformed and now offers fine wine, dining and accommodation in elegant surroundings in its beautiful rural location. It prides itself on creating seasonal dishes using local suppliers.

Cost: £22 for four courses that include dishes for the traditional turkey lover to those who like something that little bit different or £55 for a special seven-course menu on Christmas Day. With eight en suite contemporary bedrooms available, it may just be tempting to stay the night afterwards.

  • Maidenhead/Cookham area

Chequers Brasserie, Dean Lane, Cookham Dean. Tel: 01628 481232, www.chequersbrasserie.co.uk

What's on offer? Crispy duck, rib eye steak or filet of salmon with garden pea risotto are just some of the dishes available on the three-course Christmas party menu.
Cost: £25.95 for three courses. Danesfield House Hotel & Spa, Henley Road, Marlow-on-Thames. Tel: 01628 891010, www.danesfieldhouse.co.uk

What's on offer?
Huge roaring log fire in the Grand Hall, time with family enjoying great food and leisurely walks.
Cost: Christmas Eve and Day package £495 per person; Christmas Eve only £215 and Christmas Day only £305. Boxing Day luncheon three-course buffet, £60 per person. Children under 12, £26.

  • Marlow area

The Vanilla Pod, 31 West Street, Marlow. Tel: 01628 898101, www.thevanillapod.co.uk

What's on offer?
The award winning Vanilla Pod restaurant in Marlow has a seasonal lunchtime menu of three starters, three main courses and three desserts running throughout December and January. The restaurant will be closed on Christmas day but it is possible to pre-order The Vanilla Pod's own homemade Christmas pudding to collect any time in December. The pudding, which comes in a traditional earthenware pot, costs £15 and serves eight to 10 people. A private dining room for up to eight people is available for family parties or business lunches and the menu can be tailored to requirements.

Cost: With a variety of enticing fish, meat and additional vegetarian choices, the price for the seasonal lunchtime menu is £15.50 for two courses or £19.50 for three.

  • Pangbourne area

The Cross Keys, Church Road, Pangbourne. Tel: 0118 984 3268 www.crosskeyspangbourne.co.uk

What's on offer?
Excellent dining in one of Pangbourne's quaintest buildings. Lunchtime special menu includes tomato and goats' cheese tart or baked mackerel and salad as a starter, followed by wild boar and apple sausages with mashed potato and onion gravy or risotto of crayfish and asparagus. The Christmas party menu is available at lunchtimes and evenings.

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