Eating well is a vital part of making your festivities go with a swing. But a bit of a buzz always goes down well as a side dish. Tuck into these five restaurants and bars with atmosphere in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Banging tunes, an epic cocktail list and an interior decor that owes much to Dolly Parton - Absurd Bird (main pic) is not the sort of place where diners come to quietly worship at the chef's temple of gastronomy. However, if you want to partaaaaaay while fuelling up on fried chicken, burgers and waffles, then this newish joint on Nelson Mandela Place has a neon sign with your name on it. Naturally, they serve a Cheesemas Burger - fried chicken breast, brie, salad and tomato, all topped with the house festive slaw. Weekly promos add to the appeal and you can book in with 5pm.
The Clutha & Victoria Bar
The Stockwell Street bar has long had a reputation as a music-lover's paradise. And with live music seven days a week, there is always a reason to party at this Glasgow icon. As well as a wide range of freshly cooked pizza, they offer one of the most keenly priced set menus in town.
Two courses on the set menu will set you back £6.49 for starters such as the soup of the day, breaded mushrooms or BBQ chicken wings. Typical main courses include the pasta of the day, fish of the day, dish of the day and the veg casserole and mash. Of course, you can book in via 5pm dining.
The Voyage of Buck
If you are having a day, or night out, in Edinburgh's West End then you should set a course for The Voyage of Buck, a cocktail bar with a kitchen. This William Street venue is themed around a fictitious 19th century explorer named Buck. Expect a menu of globally influenced food and an extensive selection of creative cocktails, both inspired by Buck’s imaginary travels. Including a cabinet of curiosities, the decor is also a nod to heroic Victorian adventurers. Book in with 5pm and £14.95 will buy you two courses on the set lunch menu plus a 125ml glass of house wine; a schooner of Innis & Gunn or a Fever Tree soft drink.
Di Maggio's Theatreland
Going to see Cinderella at the Pavilion? Once Upon A Christmas at the Royal Concert Hall? Once Upon a Deadpool at Cineworld? If you fancy a bite to eat before, or after, then the Di Maggio’s Theatreland branch on West Nile Street is always a popular choice. It's all about the Italian American classics here. Hot and spicy pizza; spaghetti and meatballs plus the Bad Ass chicken wings are always winners. Remember to leave room for the cheesecake. Di Maggio's Theatreland has a number of special offers with 5pm Dining and you can both browse and book them from here.
Boteco Do Brasil
We would love to spend the festive season in Brazil. Until our lottery numbers come in, we will do the next best thing and book into Boteco Do Brasil. As the name suggests, a Brazilian theme is the central attraction at these restaurants on Lothian Street in Edinburgh and Glasgow's Trongate. Live music, salsa classes and party nights mean there is never a dull moment and both branches have several offers and deal running over the festive period. Try the peru recheado com frutas caramelizadas, Brazil's answer to traditional Christmas roast turkey and all trimmings. Don't forget the cocktails. Or your dancing pants.