Belfast Telegraph

Poll: Would you pay £680 for a family Christmas dinner at a Northern Ireland hotel?

Up to £170 a head... what some NI families are forking out to avoid cooking this Christmas

By Claire McNeilly

Would you pay £680 for a family Christmas dinner at a local hotel?

You might be amazed at how many are willing to do just that.

Indeed, if you're interested in shelling out £170 per head for a festive feast this year, you might already be too late.

Research by the Belfast Telegraph has revealed that most high-end establishments have already been sold out for weeks, having promised mouthwatering dinners at eye-watering prices.

The Merchant in Belfast, which has two restaurant venues for Christmas lunch, is fully booked, but there are still a smattering of places at The Culloden in Holywood.

But there is no availability in popular hotels in Londonderry, Templepatrick, Ballygally, Carrickfergus and Enniskillen, while places at tables in Ballymena, Larne, and Dundonald are at a premium.

A "traditional Christmas Day luncheon" at the Mitre Restaurant in the plush Co Down Culloden costs £170 a head for adults and children over 12, while younger kids (aged between 4-11) will set you back a mere £90 each.

Tables at The Merchant's Great Room Restaurant, where the bill for a "sumptuous six-course Christmas lunch" for a family-of-four is £500, have all been taken since the beginning of September.

For £165 per adult and £85 per child, you'll enjoy a Champagne reception followed by starter, mulled wine sorbet, main course, dessert and cheese, finishing off with mince pies and petit fours.

Around the corner in Bert's Jazz Bar, also fully booked, patrons will be sampling a six-course Christmas offering priced at £95 per adult and £42.50 per child on December 25.

A few tables remain at the Stormont Hotel in Dundonald, where a grand buffet lunch comprising five courses costs £330 for a family-of-four if both children are under 12 - £105 per adult and £60 a child.

At Leighinmohr House Hotel, Ballymena, a five-course carvery meal comes at a relatively modest £69.95 for adults and £29.95 for children - but there are only a couple of spaces left.

Christmas Day luncheon at the Burrendale Hotel, Newcastle, which has limited places, costs £67 per adult and £30 for children aged between four and 12.

There is no longer any availability at the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick, where adults can dine for £79, while children aged between 12 and 15 pay £39 and four to 11-year-olds cost £15.

At the Everglades in Londonderry, the Grand Buffet five-course lunch comes in at £80 per adult and £40 for the under-12s, although it has been fully booked since before Halloween.

But you can no longer have a standalone Christmas dinner at the Manor House Country Hotel in Enniskillen - it isn't offering Christmas dinner to non-residents for the first time in 15 years. Last year it was £60 per adult and £40 for children, but this year it's fully booked with those who snapped up a two-night deal, priced from £339 per person for two people sharing.

A five-course Christmas carvery at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel in Carrickfergus is £65 for adults and £20 for children aged three to 12, but has been fully booked since the start of this month.

Meanwhile, places are rapidly filling up at the Curran Court Hotel, Larne, where adults can eat for £69.50 and children under 12 cost £25, while the under fives cost £5.

Also booked up six weeks ago is Ballygally Castle, Ballygally where an adult buffet costs £95 and children under 12 incur a £60 charge.

Tables still remain, however, at the Premier Inn, Lisburn, where it costs adults £47.99 for five courses; £45.99 for four courses and £42.99 for three and children go half price.

Belfast Telegraph


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