The holidays are coming so that means it’s time to eat, drink, be merry and overdo things to a shocking degree. And don’t worry about the calories, putting on weight is a vital safeguard against those cold winter nights – just ask our ancestors (and forget central heating exists). The North has plenty of options, from fancy Mulled cocktails to special Santa-themed courses, so here’s everything you need for the upcoming weeks of gluttony. We’ll fix it all in January, promise.
Here are our picks
Harvey Nichols Manchester, 21 Cathedral Approach, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1AD - Visit now
One of Creative Tourist’s favourite Manchester eateries, the Harvey Nichols Second Floor Bar and Brasserie never fails to impress. This year their Christmas menu features all the classics, but always with that elegant twist. Expect a winter game cottage pie and Mildford Farm turkey breast, along with pears poached in mulled wine and the most important element of all, a classic Christmas pudding. This festive menu runs from November 16th up to Christmas Eve, offering three courses (plus a cocktail after 5pm) for just £30. See here for more details.
Ham and Friends, Grand Arcade, Leeds, LS1 6PG - Visit now
Leeds’ favourite offspring, Ham & Friends are pushing the boat out this Yuletide season, with hampers available online, along with a Christmas shopping preview night on Tuesday 28th November and even a wreath making class on Sunday 3rd December for all those who really want to put their neighbours to shame. All this and a special December-themed menu, what more could you ask for? (Special Ham & Friends Pigs in blankets, that’s what. Make it happen, Santa.)
The White Rabbit, 1 White Hart Fold, Todmorden, OL14 7BD - Visit now
No surprise that Todmorden’s Alice In Wonderland-themed White Rabbit are jumping into Christmas with the enthusiasm of a giddy toddler. Their monthly-rebooted menu is taking full advantage of the winter season, offering up dishes such as ‘Chestnuts Roasting’ (roast chestnut veloute with fresh bread and smoked charcoal butter), ‘Merry Quincemas’ (Cheddar Gorge custard, Christmas cake crumb with quince and sprout crisps), and ‘A Christmas Date’ (sticky date cake with salted caramel sauce, mascarpone and honeycomb). You won’t get this round your nan’s on Christmas day.
Manchester Christmas Markets, Various, Manchester, M1 - Visit now
Love them or hate them, they’re here every year and getting bigger and better each time. With ten locations across the city, head here if you’ve got a taste for the hustle and bustle of trans-European festivity, washed down with a mug of mulled wine and some sort of Germanic sausage.
The Art School Restaurant, 1 Sugnall Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L7 7DX - Visit now
Nowhere does Christmas quite like Liverpool, and The Art School have been busy crafting a series of festive launches. Head chef Paul Askew’s book comes out on the 4th December, a perfect gift for the seasoned food-lover in your family. Plus the long-awaited tasting room will finally be opened to the public, and there’s even a special festive menu on offer in the main dining room.
Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now
If you like your restaurants buttoned-down and stuffy, Tattu won’t be for you. This Spinningfields restaurant is showy, bolshy, and brimming with outlandish ideas – right down to the gleaming silver fire extinguishers. And the new winter food menu more than matches the drapes. Bright, colourful and full of inspired flourishes, there’s a good reason Tattu is a firm Creative Tourist favourite. Highlights from the new menu include the fantastic Szechuan lobster and the satay chicken lollipops that wipe the floor with any other satay dish in the city.