The holiday season in London is a magical time filled with twinkling lights, festive cheer, and, most importantly, the tantalizing aromas of holiday cuisine. For travellers passing through Stansted Airport, the culinary adventure doesn’t have to wait until they reach their final destination. The area surrounding Stansted offers a wealth of dining options that capture the essence of Christmas in London. This guide explores some of the best spots for a festive meal, whether you’re just arriving or waiting for your flight.
1. Traditional English Festive Meals
For those craving a traditional English Christmas meal, several local pubs and restaurants offer the quintessential experience. The heart of a classic Christmas dinner is the roast, whether it’s turkey, beef, or goose, accompanied by stuffing, Brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, and rich gravy. A notable mention is The Windmill Tavern, located a short drive from Stansted. Here, you can indulge in a warm, hearty meal in a cosy, festive atmosphere. Their Christmas pudding, a rich, fruit-laden dessert steeped in tradition, is a must-try.
Don’t miss the chance to sample some mulled wine as well. This spiced, warm wine is a holiday favourite and can be found in most local pubs. The blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, along with the warmth of the wine, is the perfect antidote to the chilly December air.
2. International Flavors: A World of Choices
Stansted’s proximity to London means that international cuisine is never far away. For those who prefer to deviate from the traditional path, there are plenty of options. La Piazza, located in the nearby town of Bishop’s Stortford, offers an Italian twist to the festive dining experience. Their festive menu often includes unique takes on Italian classics, incorporating seasonal ingredients.
Alternatively, for a taste of something spicier, The Bombay Butler, also in Bishop’s Stortford, offers a range of Indian dishes that are sure to warm you up. Their holiday specials often include rich, flavorful curries and special tandoori dishes, perfect for those looking to add some heat to their holiday dining.
3. Cozy Cafés and Sweet Treats
If you’re in the mood for something lighter or need a sweet treat to tide you over, the area surrounding Stansted is dotted with charming cafés and bakeries. The Honeybee Café is a local favourite, known for its warm, inviting atmosphere and delicious selection of pastries and cakes. Their mince pies, a holiday staple in the UK, are filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices, encased in buttery pastry, and are simply irresistible.
Another delightful spot is The Rosey Lea Café, where you can enjoy a festive afternoon tea. Their selection of sandwiches, scones, and pastries, paired with a wide range of teas, provides a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of holiday travel.
A Festive Feast Awaits
Whether you’re looking for a traditional English Christmas dinner, international cuisine, or just a quick, sweet treat, the area around Stansted Airport is brimming with options to satisfy every palate. These dining experiences not only offer delicious food but also a warm welcome to travellers during the festive season. So, if your travels bring you through Stansted this holiday season, be sure to venture out and explore the culinary delights that await. Bon appétit and happy holidays!