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Booking your Christmas do?

4 November 2015
Booking your Christmas do?
Okay, so maybe it’s only the start of November but blink and the party season will be upon us… Love them or loathe them, office Christmas parties always provide a healthy amount of gossip and stories for the year to come. These occasions may always finish in a festive blur but you can at least begin them in a refined fashion, wining and dining in some of Leeds’ classiest culinary joints. Lots of places in the City offer Christmas menus but many of these can leave you feeling disappointed, with tough turkey cuts and a few sad spuds rolling around your plate. To save you all the hassle of trying to vet out a fitting venue we’ve created a rundown of our top Christmas party picks whose food has potential to be more memorable than the messiness that will surely follow.


Christmas parties often have an air of romance about them, so where better to host your do than a charming Italian restaurant. Gusto has a whole host of festive treats lined up this winter from their ‘Shaken and Stirred’ cocktail master classes to a New Year five course culinary bonanza, plus an Italian Christmas menu which will make your foodie heart flutter. Low cooked beef daube and fried potato gnocchi served with a green peppercorn, garlic and red wine sauce is just one of the attractive looking choices on the menu, accompanied by the seafood option of baked fillet cod with creamed cannellini beans and tomato dressing. If this wasn’t inviting enough the bar team at Gusto has designed their own range of Christmas cocktails such as the Figgy Pudding and Ding-Dong daiquiri. Bring in a booking of 10 or more and Gusto will treat you to a complimentary meal for two (£50 worth of food and drink).

Dinner is set at three courses for £31.50 with lunch bookings priced at £19.95 for two courses and £24.95 for 3 courses. Cocktail master classes include two courses and two cocktails for £34.95. New Year Party is £54.95 for five courses and event.

Bar Soba

Booking your Christmas do? - Article 1Photography provided by Bar Soba

Offering something a little bit different to your conventional culinary expectations, Bar Soba is holding Christmas with a twist with their festive Pan-Asain menu. Determined to mix things up when it comes to their Christmas party, alternative starters include Turkey and Pomegranate Salad and Thai Wonton Broth. Plus, their Thai Christmas Dinner puts a bit of a different spin on things with chicken rubbed with peppercorn, lemongrass, garlic and ginger marinade which is served with jasmine rice and a cranberry tamarind sweet chilli sauce. If you’ve ever wondered what a mulled wine meets Pan-Asian meal tastes like then look no further than Bar Soba’s unique Malaysian style dish of confit duck flavoured with cinnamon, star anise and soy which is slow cooked and then topped with ginger plums and spiced nuts. For Christmas dinner with a difference, do your party Soba style.

Lunch bookings priced at 2 courses for £16.95 or 3 courses for £19.95. With dinner bookings at a set 3 course price of £20.95 Sunday to Wednesday and £23.95 Thursday to Saturday.

Shears Yard

Classy and cocktail-ready, Shears Yard has an up market interior and a Christmas menu which will set your mouth watering with foodie lust. As well as the traditional turkey breast with all the typical trimmings there are also more unusual options such as twice-cooked pork belly, malt glazed parsnips, smoked bacon and pearl onion forestiere sauce or pottage of winter roots and spelt barley with truffle dumplings and parmesan. These dishes take the characteristic Christmas fixings but change it up for more innovative options.

3 courses for £29.95. Available 7 days a week at both lunch and dinner.

The Reliance

Intimate, cosy and with a well equipped wine bar, The Reliance has all the ingredients to provide that warm festive fuzz which comes with a successful Christmas gathering. Their Christmas menu has been curated with seasonal produce at its heart, with options such as spiced pork belly, sprout tops and apple jus as well as half a roast pheasant, bread sauce and game chips. The pudding offering is also especially tempting with polenta and Satsuma cake and dark chocolate terrine with black cherry compote on the blackboard. The homely yet sophisticated appeal of The Reliance makes it the ideal setting for a more stylish celebration.

2 courses for £20.95 or 3 courses for £25.95. Available Monday to Saturday during the festive season.

Arts Café

Relaxed, friendly and with creative culinary offerings, Arts Café allows a dining experience with a difference with high quality food in an unpretentious setting. Their Christmas menu showcases their innovative cooking style with options such as beef brisket & Guinness daube, blue cheese gnocchi & honey glazed carrots and also beetroot, leek & feta cheese spring roll with beetroot ketchup and dressed red chard & dill salad. The team at Arts Café aims to provide you with an indulgent experience elevated by culinary excellence and an accomplished wine offering – perfect for a merry-making bash.

Lunch is £22.95 for 3 courses and dinner is £25.95 for 3 courses.

Black Swan

Booking your Christmas do? - Article 2Photography provided by Black Swan

At the Black Swan they know that if there is one thing Yorkshire folk know how to do right it’s feeding - and these guys sure know how to feed with a Christmas menu which draws on the best of Yorkshire produce to create a festive feast for all. Proving they are the Christmas hostess with the most-ess they have gone all out on the Christmas dinner with butter poached turkey with chestnut stuffing, fondant potato, creamed sprouts and bacon and cranberry gel. Other options are equally enticing, with 24 hour beef featherblade with sautéed wild mushrooms and red wine onions on the menu as well as pan-fried seabass with braised fennel, parsley mashed potato and a hearty drizzling of white wine & chive sauce. Kitted out to cater for parties of 2 to 200 pre-party cocktail masterclasses, DJ booths and projectors are also available to cover all your party needs. The Black Swan is already getting a feel for that festive generosity, offering free fizz to the organisers of groups of ten or more.

3 course for £24.95 or buffet options for larger groups from £14.95.

Becky Peartree is our resident food writer and is in her final year at Leeds University where she studies English Literature.