It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas will be even more special this year for obvious reasons, and we can’t wait to spend it with loved ones, friends and colleagues and celebrate another challenging year before it comes to a close. We’ve worked hard behind the scenes to pull together all of the best venues across Chester and beyond for your parties, dinners and drinks this festive season. From Christmas Day menus to Thanksgiving and the very best party menus, there’s something for everyone right here in the WLGT Big Christmas Cracker! Go on, give it a pull!
So tinsel at the ready, we’ve got you covered… Let the venue searching commence!
Artezzan, Pepper Street
My how the city of Chester has fallen head over heels in love with this Mediterranean jewel of a restaurant since it opened last July! Hotly anticipated and delivering on all levels, Artezzan has taken its place as one of the city’s favourite venues, giving guests a true taste of the Med, with stunning food, sun-kissed cocktails and authentically superb service. I absolutely love their Mediterranean-inspired Christmas menu, Seas & Greetings, and the dishes certainly evoke those treasured holiday memories of carefree dining far, far away.
This is no ordinary Christmas menu. Christmas at Artezzan combines a taste of the traditional with contemporary versions of classic dishes from Greece, Spain and Morocco, ensuring there is something delicious for everyone.
There are so many reasons to book your Christmas party at Artezzan, but you’ll need to be quick, as this one is sure to be a sell-out!
The Forge Restaurant & Bar, Grosvenor Park Road
Since bursting onto the Chester Food & Drink scene back in late Spring of this year, The Forge has continued to WOW us with their pioneering and trailblazing approach to food and drink. Created by TV Chef Mike Robinson, a true champion of sustainability with a zero-waste ethos, the entire team, both front and back of house, is totally committed to delivering superb hospitality to every single guest. The Forge is so named due to its bespoke grill, hand ‘forged’ to Mike’s specific requirements using traditional craftsmanship. The food and service at The Forge are outstanding, and don’t just take my word for it as they were awarded their Michelin recommendation just three weeks from opening. If you’re a meat lover, a fish lover, a vegetarian, or vegan, you will be very well catered for at The Forge. On Christmas Day itself, you can expect a totally different and exceptional experience, with a six-course tasting menu for £130. Enjoy dishes such as Jerusalem artichoke soup with brown butter and Cornwall trout with cucumber, sour crème and dill. Of course, what would Christmas be without turkey? At The Forge, it’s a roasted herb-fed turkey breast with all the trimmings, or choose the roast Creedy Carver duck crown, and wash it all down with a glass of fizz on the house! The drinks list is just as seasonal with the most incredible cocktails and mixed drinks, some with foraged local ingredients. Ever come across a booze trolley before? This one is full of fabulous drinks including a signature pre-mixed Negroni steeped in rosemary, and award-winning British fizz, adding plenty of sparkle to your Christmas celebrations, right at your table.
Book your Christmas event at The Forge, where you will enjoy the very best Great British produce with superb service and genuine hospitality. Private Dining is also available
The Chester Fields, Bridge Trafford
Once again, they’ve gone all out whilst planning their Christmas party menu, with some tantalisingly tasty treats that will no doubt go down a storm with guests, loved ones and colleagues.
Prices start at just £22 per head, and you can book now for dates after the 28th of November.
Contact the team to book or enquire on 01244 303100
Barlounge, Watergate Street
Barlounge, the much-loved restaurant and bar located on Watergate Street, has revealed a truly stunning Winter menu that will tick all of your boxes if you’re on the hunt for somewhere fabulous to dine this festive season.
Whilst they’ve kept their more popular dishes on the menu, they have also brought in some gorgeous new additions that are perfect for celebrating with friends, family or work chums. We highly recommend their Orange-scented winter berry cheesecake, it’s just WOW!
You can view their Winter menu by visiting their website, and you can enquire or book with the team by giving them a call on 01244 327394.
Liquor & Co, Watergate Street
Liquor & Co are pretty well known for pouring delectable drinks, and we cannot wait to see what fabulous festive tipples will make it onto their Christmas list – so we’re chuffed to get a sneak preview from Martyn’s seasonal repertoire. Coconut infused Pampero Blanco, Crème de cacao blanc, William Fox almond syrup, Malic acid, Honey tincture, Egg white, Aztec chocolate bitters. All ingredients are shaken and then strained into a tall glass that’s been rimmed with desiccated coconut and cocoa, and then garnished off with a few chunks of coconut and a mint sprig.
The Ring O’Bells, Christleton
What do you get when you cross an award-winning kitchen and a beautiful countryside pub & restaurant? The Ring O’Bells! Incredibly well known across Chester and Cheshire, the Ring O’Bells is a firm favourite amongst diners and drinkers alike throughout the year. Located in the gorgeous little village of Christleton, it’s a stunning venue and the perfect place to celebrate the festive season.
And their outside tipi is so Christmassy and cosy with fairy lights and a real log fire right in the middle.
They’ve both a Christmas Day menu and a Christmas Party menu for you to choose from this year, featuring all your festive favourites, with a little extra added Bells sparkle of course!
The Yard, City Road
We love The Yard for so many reasons! The Italian themed menus are always totally delicious, and the really great news is that Chef Carl Noller always ensures that are packed full of as much superb local produce as possible.
This year’s Christmas menu is just as exciting as all of the others, but of course with a few festive and magical twists. Start with a mouth-watering Antipasti selection, followed by some scintillating second courses (I’ll be going for the Lobster Ravioli with Saffron, fish, cream, tomatoes concasse, and chives). Your Dolci course is just as tempting with a choice of epic desserts to leave the lasting memory of a fabulous festive dining experience at The Yard.
Check out the menu using the link below and book in!
Hickory’s Smokehouse, Chester River Front
Hickory’s Smokehouse, located on Chester’s beautiful River Dee Front, is keeping things all-American this festive season. They’re hosting a Thanksgiving celebration, with a delicious seasonal feast on offer for those wanting to celebrate USA-style for a pre-Christmas get-together. The Thanksgiving feast is available from the 25th of November to the 29th, and features succulent Turkey breast, tater tots, pigs in blankets and so much more!
You can book by visiting their website, or by giving the team a call.
White Fox Wines
For our Christmas food and drink guide, Juliusz and Bianca have chosen a couple of Christmas Crackers for your festive table this year. There’s a lot to celebrate in 2021, so it’s definitely time to crack open the bubbly and celebrate in style this festive season.
Firstly, Bianca has chosen a stunning champagne, A.Bergère, that is only produced in the best years of harvest. This particular edition is called Tentation – so how could she possibly resist? A beautiful golden hue and fine perlage, a complex and elegant nose, with buttery notes. On the palate it is fruity and long, revealing the richness and aromatic complexity.
Her second choice is Motivo. Bianca describes this gorgeous Italian fizz as her go-to sparkling tipple for any other occasion where champagne would be too much (as if that were even possible!). A brilliant pale pink, delicately-fragrant, fruity, clean and refreshing sparkling wine, perfect any time.
If you wish to purchase any of these lovely bottles or any other from their website as a gift, they can gift wrap and add a handwritten personalised card too.
The Black Dog, Waverton
Enjoy a spectacular Christmas Day lunch this year at The Black Dog in Waverton, just a short trip from Chester City Centre. They’re offering a spectacular five-course menu with a real touch of luxury and decadence.
The menu features all of your festive favourites as well as some gorgeous new dishes created by their incredible chefs. Together, the delicious food on offer and the wonderful welcoming team and atmosphere will ensure you have a day that you won’t forget – minus the washing up!
Urbano 32, Upper Bridge Street
Upstairs at Urbano32 is a beautifully decorated, spacious and modern dining space that’s perfect for throwing the ultimate Christmas party. Well known for their fantastic homemade pizzas and delicious drinks and cocktails, Urbano has firmly imprinted itself upon the food and drink maps of Chester and Cheshire.
They’re offering out this private space for your Christmas party exclusively, priced at £25 per head which includes a welcome drink of your choice and a selection of hot and cold menu items to be replenished throughout the evening. Food would consist of their homemade pizzas, fries, salads, hot sides and olives – the perfect party food! Drinks packages are also available for pre-order.
To enquire or book, contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01244 311 487.
The Suburbs, Hoole
The Suburbs Eaterie & Cocktail bar, based in Hoole, is well known for its incredible food and drinks offerings in a much-loved part of Chester. Their seasonal menus are always a hit, and this year is no different! Their Winter menu includes their bestsellers along with special addition dishes that will warm you up on the coldest of days.
Their Beef Short Rib dish (pictured) has been a huge hit since they’ve introduced the new menu – and we totally get it. We seriously recommend that you pay the team a visit through the festive season, and you just know that the cocktails are gonna be epic!
We love a local collaboration! Check out this delicious combo of Cake Chester Christmas hampers with White Fox Wines.
CAKE CHRISTMAS HAMPERS
Personalised Christmas Cake and two bottles of White Fox Wine
Choose your cake size
6″ feeds 8 / 8″ feeds 12
Choose your cake:
Fruit / Vanilla / Chocolate
Choose your wine:
Any two bottles of the below:
Mi Villa Rioja Blanco – A very elegant, crisp and floral Spanish white wine from the best areas in Rioja Alta. Delicious as an aperitif and everyday drinking (vegan).
Mi Villa Rioja Tinto – A fruity, smooth, medium-bodied red Rioja from the best areas in Rioja Alta. A very versatile wine, works well with or without food. Cheers!
Sant’Elisa Pinot Grigio – A cut about Pinot Grigio and from Friuli, this is a clean, fresh wine with floral notes of rose and acacia, with a hint of spices |(vegan).
Nero di Troia – A ruby red wine from a grape native of Puglia, with notes of ripe fruit and a low 12% ABV. On the palate, it is intense with hints of spices, and smooth with pleasant tannins.
6″ Cake Hamper – £45
8″ Cake Hamper – £60
Delivery to the Chester area £10, or collect from Cake Chester.
The Pied Bull
The Pied Bull haven’t yet released their Christmas menu, but we have added them to our Great Big Christmas Cracker for one great big reason, and that is that their Christmas decorations are probably the very best in town!
Every year, Mrs Christmas sneaks in overnight and works her incredible Christmas magic to transform this already super-cosy pub into an enchanted winter wonderland, which is simply stunning!
To be honest, their menus are always sensationally seasonal too, so whenever you visit over the Christmas period, you can be sure of the most fabulously festive food and drink.
We can’t wait, as nothing says Christmas in Chester like a visit to The Pied Bull!
Vin Santo & Vinological
When I asked Simon and his team about what they love to drink at Christmas time, I could see their excitement flash before me, as these guys are simply crazy about wine! If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s not to hold back on enjoying the good times, so this Christmas gives us the perfect opportunity to let our hair down and celebrate big-time, with amazing food and drink bought from our fabulous local makers, bakers and retailers. There is no need to do the Christmas wine shop in a supermarket this year, when we have impassioned experts ready to recommend everything you need for your fabulously festive Christmas table.
From Vin Santo on Watergate Street, they have chosen a white wine, made by one of Italy’s finest and most revered wine estates, Tenuta Antinori. Bramito is an exceptional Chardonnay, produced from the vineyards surrounding the medieval castle at Castello della Sala. The vineyards are on soils rich in fossil deposits with veins of clay that give the wine minerality and elegance.
The red is the perfect pairing with a Christmas roast dinner as it is a great partner to turkey, ham and goose. This stunning Bourgogne Pinot Noir by Jean-Claude Boisset is a gorgeous ruby colour with aromas of ripe black and red fruits, plus some peppery notes.
Over at the all-new Vinological on Brook Street – the festive theme continues with more epic choices for the best at-home celebrations.
Francois Saint-Lo Hey Gamin! Gamay from Loire, France is produced from a tiny 0.3-hectare plot in Loire, and is vinified naturally with native yeasts. They press the grapes as slowly as possible to extract finer, elegant tannins. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered, and there are no additives and no added sulphites.
Heading to the Northern Cape, South Africa, Lowerland Die Wonder Draai Colombard / Chenin Blanc uses grapes that are pressed whole-bunch, and the juice is spontaneously fermented in old French oak. No enzymes or finings are used in this unusual and spectacular wine, which has aromas of golden apple, and its white fruit flavours are followed by delicate spiciness and vanilla. The finish is fresh and clean.
The Boathouse, Chester River Front
The Boathouse, located on Chester’s beautiful River Dee front, have both a Christmas party menu and a Christmas day menu on offer for this year’s festivities. Their festive food menu includes traditional and hearty home-cooked dishes – the perfect way to celebrate with friends, family and colleagues.
The Ship Inn, Handbridge
The Ship Inn, located just over the Old Dee Bridge in Handbridge, is a beautifully decorated and cosy pub and restaurant with that rustic feel – perfect for cosying up on a cold winters evening. Their Christmas menu is of great quality and traditional, featuring delicious dishes such as chicken livers, brandy and herb pate, roast turkey with all of the trimmings and so much more.
Their Christmas menu is available between the 26th of November and the 23rd of December and can be booked for two or three courses. They have a beautiful private dining room up in the crow’s nest for up to 18 people, and their restaurant space can also be hired privately for larger groups up to 50, subject to availability.
To enquire or book, call the team on 01244 678400
Rowton Poplars Bar & Kitchen, Cheshire
Located in rural Cheshire, the Rowton Poplars Kitchen & Bar with rooms is a beautiful country venue offering a cosy setting with delicious food and drink.
They’ve pulled out all of the stops whilst putting together their 2021 Christmas Party Menu, with a selection of delicious dishes for you to choose from. There’s an option for two or three courses, with prices starting at just £22 per head.
The perfect setting for a work party or for celebrating with your nearest and dearest this Christmas.
To book or enquire, you can call the team on 01244 335901
Duttons, Godstall Lane
Celebrate the festive season with fabulous food and drink at Duttons on Godstall Lane, the prettiest street in the city. Their Festive Menu is packed with hearty winter dishes for a delicious 2 or 3-course celebration meal served from 26th November, ideal for get-togethers with friends or a Christmas meal out with colleagues.
Big celebrations mean big bottles and they’ve got a choice of four fantastic Magnums available to pre-order, to make your celebrations extra special and double the fun! If you’re planning after-work drinks, they’ve also got the perfect selection with award-winning cask ales, seasonal specials, quality wines, spirits, fizz and some pretty awesome cocktails too.
Opera Grill, Pepper Street
Opera Grill have (once again) pulled out every possible stop to ensure they offer the very best to their guests this Christmas. They have four fabulous Christmas menu options, including two incredible Christmas party menus, a festive A La Carte menu and a festive lunch Menu. There really is something for everyone, and the menus include so many delicious dishes for you to choose from.
For prices and to enquire, you can call the team on 01244 343 888
Olive Tree Brasserie, Watergate Street
The Olive Tree Brasserie team would like to treat you to an extra special Christmas this year! Their expert chefs have been super-busy behind the scenes creating a delicious celebration menu for you to enjoy this festive period.
From baked goats cheese to beef stifado, their sumptuous menus incorporate some of the most popular dishes and flavours you may already know and love from the Olive Tree Brasserie kitchen.
Their 3 Course menu is available between the 24th November and the 23rd December.
The Townhouse Secret Garden, Lower Bridge Street
The fantastic team at The Townhouse Secret Garden have really gotten into the spirit this year with their Christmas offering. From a beautiful festive afternoon tea option to Christmas lunch and dinner menus, festive drinks packages and also Christmas party nights across the weekends, there is so much going on at The Secret Garden this year!
Delicious dishes, Christmas classics, crackers, songs and more – it’s all you could possibly dream of for the ultimate Festive bash or celebration with loved ones, colleagues or friends.
These offerings will be available throughout the festive period, you can visit their website for more information.
The Old Dukes, Bell Tower Walk
The Old Dukes is a fantastic city centre, multi-floored Sports Bar and Restaurant venue located in Chester. Their food menus are always served with a side of entertainment, be it through a full programme of sporting fixtures on their huge TV screens across the venue, or their in-house table games including chess, scrabble and full-size pool and shuffleboards.
They’ve added some delicious festive delights and cocktails to their Christmas Party menus for the most wonderful time of the year, with a choice of small plates, a festive Turkey burger, baked camembert and lots more – all perfect for enjoying whilst out with friends or after a Christmas shopping session in the city centre.
Palm Cocktail & Eatery
Palm Cocktail Bar and Eatery takes pride of place, right in the middle of Watergate Street. This is one of our true local independents – great quality and totally unique in every way. Palm is such a pretty bar, and so much more than an oh-so luxurious Instagrammers destination. These guys are famous for their insanely decadent and super-kitsch afternoon teas (their entire food offering is pretty amazing by the way), with oodles of delicious sweet and savoury treats to surprise and delight. This Christmas, it’s definitely time to treat your crew to a fabulously festive version of this Great British tradition – imagine turkey and cranberry sliders, honey glazed pigs-under-blanket rolls, mini Palm smores, edible white chocolate lips, cotton candy cheesecakes and so much more… and you can pimp it all up with Prosecco or those infamous Palm cocktails including mimosas and Christmas gin fizz.
Make it a Palm Christmas this year with something totally delicious for everyone!
Rowton Hall Hotel & Spa, Whitchurch Road
Rowton Hall Hotel and Spa, located on Whitchurch Road, is a magically traditional venue that is really perfect for celebrating the festive season with loved ones. They’ve a huge selection of Christmas events scheduled throughout the holiday season, as well as different food offerings depending on what you’re looking for.
They have a stunning Christmas menu available as either a lunch or dinner booking, a fabulously festive afternoon tea, as well as a Santa Photo Special lunch available on two December dates – and Father Christmas will be making an appearance for a special meet and greet with the little ones too.
They also have two Sparkling Christmas Party nights as well as two Christmas Party Tribute events, all of which take place in December.
For more information on these events and menus, or to book, you can call them on 01244 335 262 or view their website using the link below.
Gnome & Away
Gnome & Away is a drink and food emporium full of delicious things to eat and drink. You will find it snuggled up to Artichoke Café Bar & Bistro, so you already know that these shelves will only be stocked with the best quality items. This Christmas, treat someone special to a fabulously festive Christmas hamper filled with gorgeous treats – all hand-picked by you – and best of all, from one of our local and best-loved retailers. Nev and Thor have great taste when it comes to food and drink. Choose from the very best European beer selection from beer-loving countries such as Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Holland and many more. The wine selection is also vast (Nev has included one of his favourites here; Chateau Larose-Trintaudon Haut-Médoc 2016 for £26.95 and the perfect choice for your Christmas table). There is plenty more to choose from including olives, flavoured oils, pasta, tapenade, coffee and much more ‘stuff’. Gnome and Away is a local shop for local people, so make it your next stop this Christmas.
Pars Kahve Kitchen & Bazaar
Kitchen and Bazaar, Pars Kahve. This is something very special and of superb quality, and I was intrigued to learn more about the name. Owner Adem explained that Pars is a Turkish name for a tiger, leopard or panther (which you can see in their gorgeous branding and signage), and Kahve means quite simply a bustling street café in Istanbul.
I absolutely love this gorgeous new Chester venue – and I especially love the fact that you can pop in for a delicious bite to eat and drink, and to shop at the same time! But this is no ordinary shopping experience. This is an authentic Turkish shopping experience, where you will find the most beautiful textiles, cushions made from stunning vintage fabrics, Kilim rugs, Patik slipper socks – all handmade using traditional Turkish materials. You can also pick up some fabulous pieces of jewellery, which will make the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family.
The items in the Bazaar have been sourced from a number of small suppliers located throughout Turkey, and Adem and Holly are always looking for new and exciting hand-crafted pieces.
Head on up to Watergate Street Row this Christmas, to enjoy all that this wonderful new venue and shop have to offer – and I can’t wait to try their range of Turkish wines and beer arriving very soon too!