Belfast Telegraph

We've developed huge appetite for eating out on Christmas Day

By Claire McNeilly

How much would you pay someone else to make dinner on Christmas Day?

Clearly, some people in Northern Ireland are prepared to fork out a lot for a stress-free festive feast.

A straw poll by the Belfast Telegraph of hotels across the province suggests there's a massive appetite among people with big budgets to eat out on December 25.

From Belfast to Ballymena, and Larne to Londonderry, there's a place at the Christmas table for your family - if you're willing to pay hundreds of pounds for the privilege.

At the Mitre Restaurant at the Culloden in Holywood, a festive lunch for two adults and two children under 12 would set you back a mouthwatering £520.

But that hasn't deterred some families because the plush Co Down venue - which charges adults £170 per head and children £90 - is already sold out.

Also completely booked is the Merchant Hotel in Belfast city centre, where a "sumptuous six-course Christmas lunch" costs £440 for a family-of-four.

For £145 per adult and £75 per child, you'll get a Champagne reception followed by a starter, soup, main course, dessert, finished off with tea, coffee and mince pies.

Over at the Stormont Hotel in Dundonald, the grand buffet lunch comprising five courses costs £310 for a family-of-four, where both children are aged 12 or under (that's £95 per adult and £60 per child).

At Leighinmohr House Hotel in Ballymena a five-course meal is priced at £59.95 per adult and £29.95 per child.

Christmas Day luncheon at the Burrendale in Newcastle costs £65 per adult and £30 per child.

At the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick adults can dine for £79, while children aged between 12 and 15 pay £35, four to 11-year-olds are charged £15, and kids aged two or under eat for free.

Christmas lunch at the Everglades Hotel in Derry comes in at £80 per adult and £45 for the under-12s.

Five courses at the Manor House Country Hotel in Enniskillen is £65 per adult and £40 for children aged between four and 12.

Christmas carvery at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel in Carrickfergus is priced at £65 for adults and £25 for children aged three to 12.

A five-course feast on December 25 at the Curran Court Hotel in Larne is coming in at £69.50 for an adult, £25 for under 12s and £5 for children under five.

Meanwhile, a three-course dinner for an adult at the Premier Inn in Lisburn, which is now fully booked, costs £39.99, with children between five and 12 charged £16.99, while the younger ones eat for free.

This newspaper's survey comes as new research found there has been a huge rise in the numbers of people opting to eat at a restaurant on Christmas Day.

Reasons behind the eating out craze include the fact that people are fed up with rising at dawn to make a massive dinner they will be too tired to eat when the time comes.

Increasing demands for vegetarian, vegan, wheat and dairy-free and other specialist foods have also been cited, as they make satisfying everyone's requirements for the perfect festive lunch harder than ever.

Data compiled by online meal-booking agency OpenTable suggests there has been a 45% rise in restaurant reservations for December 25.

Price tag for 12 festive menus

The Culloden: adult - £170; child - £90.

The Merchant: adult - £145; child - £75.

Stormont Hotel: adult - £95; child - £60.

Leighinmohr House: adult - £59.95; child - £29.95.

Burrendale: adult - £65; child - £30.

Hilton Hotel: adult - £79; child - £35.

Everglades: adult - £80; child - £45.

Manor House: adult - £65; child - £40.

Loughshore Hotel: adult - £65; child - £25.

Curran Court: adult - £69.50; child - £25.

Premier Inn: adult - £39.99; child - £16.99.

Ballygally Castle: adult -£90; child - £60.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph