Planning a Boxing Day Lunch

Christmas crackers on the table.

After the rich food eaten on Christmas Day it is generally understood that Boxing Day is an opportunity to polish off any leftovers in a turkey and stuffing sandwich and enjoy any gifts that you received on Christmas Day. Most people spend their Christmas Day bundled up indoors, only heading outside for events like carolling or a nativity. Boxing Day, on the other hand, is often a great time to shake off your Christmas lethargy and head out, either to explore the post-Christmas sales or to go on a hike.   

No matter how you choose to spend it, Boxing Day is an opportunity to relax rather than spend the day organising your Christmas feast. Many book a restaurant meal so they can enjoy the company of family without spending the time cooking more dishes for a Boxing Day meal. If choosing to eat out at a restaurant, most people will be interested in lighter dishes rather than something heavy after the culinary extravaganza of Christmas.  

A table set for Boxing Day.

Plan in Advance  

While Boxing Day is a more relaxed day than Christmas, it can still be difficult to coordinate, especially if you are hosting extended family for their Christmas holidays. Boxing Day is a bank holiday in the UK, so most people will be free to enjoy the day, whether it is by visiting the horse races, taking a walk or enjoying the post-Christmas sales. With so many people out and about, most restaurants will be completely booked weeks or months before Boxing Day actually comes around, and restaurants which don’t allow for bookings will still likely have a huge waiting line before you will be served.  

To ensure that your celebrations go smoothly it is key to ensure that you have your Boxing Day lunch booked and planned out well in advance of the day itself. Here are a few key tips for pre-planning your Boxing Day lunch: 

  • Select your venue carefully; different venues have different specialities and atmospheres. If you are hosting young children for Boxing Day, for example, a livelier venue would be a good idea rather than a more formal restaurant. If you are arranging a lunch with a lot of extended family, then a private room may make sense, depending on the number of guests you are bringing with you.  
  • Book your table a few weeks in advance to ensure you can get a place. Venues can book up very quickly at Christmas, so be sure to book well ahead of the day itself. Christmas is one of the busiest times for restaurants and caterers, so many will not allow walk-in service throughout the Christmas period as they are completely booked.  
  • Timing is important. If you are going out on a walk, then booking your table for later in the afternoon is a good plan, whereas if you are headed to a dinner party an early lunch would be best.  
  • When it comes to eating out at a venue on Boxing Day, you should consider your options for transport. This is especially true if most of your party will want to drink or if the guests are staying in different accommodation, such as a rented house or hotel. Salomons Estate is a longer walk from the Tunbridge Wells train station than most would choose on a cold day. Booking a taxi ahead of the event or organising a designated driver to give others a lift are probably the best options available.  

Menu  

After the bustle of Christmas, planning a Boxing day lunch can seem like added stress when all you want to do is relax. Booking your lunch or brunch at a venue like Salomons Estate will ensure you have arrangements made weeks or even months in advance of the event so you will not have to organise the lunch during the Christmas season.  

If you plan ahead and book lunch with a venue, they will have a menu already set with a range of options to choose from. The most important thing to consider for a lunch hosted by a venue are any allergies or intolerances your guests have, and if there is a meal that will work well for them. If in doubt over the ingredients included in the dishes, calling the support staff for the chosen venue and discussing their vegan, gluten free or dairy free options before you arrive can save you a lot of hassle on the day. 

Christmas crackers on the table.

Children  

Before you arrive at your venue, consider what your guests will need throughout the meal to keep them in high spirits. Most adults will require little other than fantastic food and good company, but children are often overtired after Christmas and may need a little extra thought.  

If you have a lot of young children coming out with you on Boxing Day it is important to consider how to keep the mood high before your lunch arrives. Bringing along packs of cards or even playing charades can help keep all your family entertained, whether they are four or forty. 

Hikes  

One of the best time-honoured traditions of Boxing Day is taking a morning walk to enjoy the day and to shake off the food and whisky induced fug that has descended following Christmas Day, whether it is a short wander around your local area or a proper hike. If you have booked a Boxing Day meal it is a good idea to consider walks in areas nearby so that it isn’t too far to walk to arrive at your well-deserved lunch.   

If you are considering going on a hike in the area near your restaurant, be sure to look up the different footpaths nearby and try to ask a local if the route is easy for the less adventurous of your family members, such as young children or those with difficulty getting around. Paths that are set on concrete are far easier to walk on compared to muddy ground.  

If you are considering a Boxing Day lunch away from home, Salomons Estate has all you need with beautiful countryside views and a delicious Boxing Day menu. If you are considering booking with us, please contact us here to enquire about or availability and what we have to offer our guests this Christmas.