In charge of booking your office Christmas party? We've compiled the best place in London for everything from three-course gin palace dinners to Alpine-lodge fondue, and from festive darts to floodlit golf.
You know, in your heart, that Christmas wasn't invented just to give you a way to queue-jump for whisky and cardomom cocktails and cumin-laced lamb. It just feels that way when you realise you can waltz into a booking at Dishoom - usually no reservations at dinner and hours of queue to wait through - by having a group of six or more people.
Carving out a very specific niche among the Victoriana flooding London's restaurant and bar scene, Mr Fogg's have gone with: London tavern, gin parlour and home of Victorian explorer, Phileas J Fogg. In the gin parlour upstairs that translates to a claw-footed chaise longue or two, velvet curtains, a collection of ornaments and a few tasselled lamp shades - your grandmother's living room, basically, but with an aura of extreme wealth.
Downstairs that means ornaments, flags and tankards everywhere, and a food menu offering 'honest fare' - pies, mash, sausages and Sunday roasts. And a few candyfloss-coloured but viciously strong punchbowls. Much as our Dickensian ancestors would have drunk.
Both make for a good Christmas party - the Tavern with more of a knees-up feel than the statelier upstairs - and in Mr Fogg's Residence, on Bruton Lane, you can book the whole bar or a few of their velvet sofas for their festive afternoon tea.
Pick up your paddles at the door and start limbering up. There's the option to go independent and just book ping pong tables at £28 an hour, but Bounce also have a range of Christmas menu and private room options for that knock-out festive table tennis tournament of your dreams.
Book ahead for the gastropub's most famous offering on the group dining front - a suckling pig for 10 to 15 people, arriving whole at the table with side dishes and an obliging waiter to carve it for you. Make no mistake, this is a lot of meat. Think of it as a warm-up for Christmas lunch and clear space in your fridge for the inevitable bags of leftover pork after.
Private pianist playing show tunes, steak-heavy set menus and optional drag queen performance - if those sound like your Christmas party criteria, Joe Allen's going to tick a lot of boxes for you. Their WC2E restaurant can take private parties for up to 50 guests.
This part of London isn't short of a good local pub, but there can't be many lovelier than this candelit corner of W6. With an open fireplace, leather armchairs and other people's dogs curled in the corners, it's a bit Christmassy all year round, and hits peak pub yuletide from November onwards.
Carvosso's at 210
The walls at this restaurant and wine bar are covered with smutty Gallic paintings, the sort where women in feathered hats get touched up by mustachioed men and look really happy about it. So a night in Carvosso's restaurant or upstairs function rooms means a lot of opulence with a hint of disrepute, like all the best Christmas parties.
It's just nice, isn't it, a Christmas party at a neighbourhood pub? You won't be short of choices wherever you work - and there's our Best Pubs series for the gospel on good locals - but make sure wherever you choose for Christmas is doing it as well as the Queensbury. That means fireplaces, mulled wine, festive roasts on the menu and, if you time it right, live jazz in the bar.
Looking for a Christmas dinner heavy with Victorian grandeur? This pub was a gin palace in a previous life and comes with all the gilt, carvings and chandeliers - and gin - you could ask for. For big groups the Room Upstairs is for hire, but there's no less luxury in the main pub and restaurant.Deliveroo now from Shepherd's Bush
The Provencal menu and pastis Old Fashioneds might not be traditionally Christmassy, but thanks to the UK's only indoor petanque court this basement bar's still a great choice for a group event.
Book out the whole bar for a big group, or turn up impromptu and order plates of Corsican cured meat and tomato crostini while you wait for your turn on the court.
This is for when you want to go high-end for your Christmas party but also want it to be, you know, actually nice. Wright Brothers don't truck with the on-trend - they're about the warm, the inviting and the defiantly un-modern. Everything Christmas should be. And if you book their private space, 'the Cage', they'll also organise wine-tastings, and seafood served as big, family-style dishes to share.
Infamous for the weirdness of its design and the flamboyance of their parties, this Berlusconi-themed monument to excess is well worth a visit on any evening. But go at Christmastime to catch the restaurant at the height of its messy decadence - on weekdays that's a four-course festive menu, late licence, and a karoke stage that starts so early and finishes so late it takes a level of bravado even Berlusconi would approve of.Deliveroo now from Battersea
Powder Keg Diplomacy
This oddball Battersea restaurant's all colonial nostalgia, with an opulent jungle of a conservatory for dinner bookings and a bar for pre-dinner cocktails and post-dinner partying.
If wood-fired pizza, an on-site brewery, big sofas and a view of the canal don't make for a Christmas party everybody in your office can get behind - are you really working in the right office? Start with a private brewery tour if you like, or just stake out a space in the big, canalside taproom for daytime drinking and DJs by night.Deliveroo now from Hackney Wick
Unlike a lot of restaurants in this part of town, Rotorino takes bookings and welcomes groups. Book the long table running down the length of the bar for up to 24 people and settle in for a night of relaxed, Southern Italian-slanted charm. For a Christmas party that's likely to mean beautifully charred meat, a lot of cannoli and cocktails sharp with blood orange and bitters.
This modern Indian restaurant's a decent place for group dining, but for an office party their Toddy Shop bar at the front's even better. It's so full of warm lighting, silk hangings and slow-cooked saffron lamb smells you'll barely remember you're in the Wharf at all: toast to this Christmas miracle with chai cocktails over platters of chilli-laced fries.
There're reasons to love Pop Brixton's shipping container courtyard all year - like great food pop-ups, a secret garden feel and their contribute-to-the-community programme - but the Festive Feast has to be high among them. Their Christmas party package brings together some of the best of their food stalls, live music and unlimited beer and wine, burnished with a small village's worth of fairy lights.
This is both a wine shop and a bar, from the same people that run D Vine Cellars on Landor Road. Like its older brother venue, cellar sw4 has a basement space for booking out or invading as a horde - but cellar sw4 has a bigger range of beer, as well as their carefully-chosen organic wines, and a better menu of barsnacks. Also a stone's throw from the overground station and not much further from tube and bus.Deliveroo now from Clapham
Last year Street Feast's seasonal off-shoot had a Scandi-Christmas theme, but this Christmas they're promising an English winter garden, covered and heated seating and a steady flow of mulled wine. The food line-up this winter stars Nanny Bill's beef croquettes and churrasco BBQ - slow-grilled Latin American-style meat - from Bull & Rancher.
Get your Christmas off to a competitive start, in preparation for all those tense family board games. Flight Club has a series of oches - spaces for up to 12 people, with real-time scoring - where you can embed by the hour and order from their menu of pizzas, burgers and whisky cocktails.
But move fast for a Christmas visit: the evening tickets get booked up way ahead.
If you work in a mile radius of Camden Brewery's Kentish Town bar, this is going to be one of your best and lowest-effort Christmas party options. They're already set up for group drinking, with long tables inside, heated space outdoors and, obviously, a lot of beer. Extra allure comes from reliably good streetfood stalls - regulars including Bill or Beak with their pork and duck burgers and rosemary fries - and being a stone's throw from the overground for minimum journey time from partying to pillow.
This Basque restaurant would make for an excellent Christmas party in its own right, full of candlelight, great wine - along with an enormous list of lesser-known beers - and unpretentiously brilliant food. It's just a bonus there's a floodlit driving range attached, where you can embed with your colleagues, cocktails, and the growing realisation that golf is actually really hard.
Get fiercely competitive on the range, and move to Vinotech Compass after to reforge your friendships over Galloway onglet steak or Basque burgers.
Bringing apres-ski to SW9, this Alpine-themed restaurant isn't open all year. But they're back in time for your Christmas party, and they pack a lot of fur cushions, long, wooden tables and fondue into the winter months. Pop-up restauranteur Jimmy Garcia's in charge of the menu, so the food's inventive and strong on venison - all game, actually - and incredible burgers.
It's close quarters at this small, lovely, dimly-lit and weirdly-wallpapered Hackney newcomer. Bookable as a whole venue, this is a bar small enough for you to fill it up with just the people you like best in the world. And better that you do: whatever happens after more than two of their Maxwell's Demons is nothing you're going to want outsiders to witness.