Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Can't Cook, Won't Cook the Turkey; Dear Auntie Christmas

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Can't Cook, Won't Cook the Turkey; Dear Auntie Christmas

Article excerpt

Byline: ALICE HART-DAVIS

I JUST can't face the thought of cooking a vast meal on Christmas Day.

Which restaurants are open, and have they any free tables?

Many restaurants are doing one festive sitting, and have special menus, often including drinks with the price of the food. Try: Glass in Holborn (pound sterling49.50, including half a bottle of wine); Butlers in Mayfair (pound sterling70); Hispaniola on the river in SW1 (pound sterling55); Salieri (about pound sterling25), Sarastro (pound sterling27.50) and Souk in Covent Garden (pound sterling15.50). Blow the budget at the Conservatory at the Lanesborough on Hyde Park Corner (like, seriously - it's pound sterling200 per person), or save for the sales by going modern-oriental at Noho, W1 (pound sterling12 per head).

And I have to admit I didn't magic up this list myself - it's from those e-wizards at www.toptable.co.uk, through whose portals you can find out other restaurants also open on 25 December and book online, for free, at any hour of day or night.

I'M stuck for ideas for my beauty-addict girlfriend - she already has half the contents of the average beauty hall in our bathroom cabinet. What's new?

Almost anything from the Sephora shop in the new N1 shopping centre off Upper Street, Islington (020 7354 6420). There's luxury stuff, niche brands, and a wide range of fragrances. A real girly girl would love something from its own-brand Sephora Girls range (bath flakes from pound sterling1.90) or the Kneipp Bath Spa sets, from pound sterling5.99. Allow time for gift-wrapping, which it will do for free. She might think Penhaligon's a little old fashioned, but it has a delightful scent-sampler tin, the Ladies Fragrance Library containing phials of all its top smells. pound sterling7. Call 0800 716 108 for branches.

MY Christmas tree is looking a bit plain - I need some fancy decorations to liven it up.

Accessorize has a great selection, for around pound sterling5; Musa, 31 Holland Street, W8 (020 7937 6282) has Victorian crystal drops (pound sterling4. …

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