Christmas in Doha

Brunches, movies and more ways to get into the festive spirit this December Discuss this article

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Al Jawhara Ballroom
Head to the majestic Al Jawhara Ballroom for a grand celebration. The delectable festive offerings include some traditional favourites such as roast beef, turkey with all the trimmings, a decadent Christmas log and many more surprises in store. Children will have fun activities to try out as well.
QR315 (soft beverages), free (children below six), children aged six-12 get 50 percent off. Intercontinental Doha The City, West Bay (4015 8888).

Choices
They’re transforming this family-friendly restaurant into a winter wonderland with sparkling lights and beautifully decorated tables. The brunch buffet features traditional turkey with different trimmings, a selection of themed corners, fresh seafood, live cooking stations, music, gifts for the children and, of course, plenty of seasonal cheer.
QR290 (soft drinks), QR390 (selected beverages), QR440 (full package), QR120 (children aged six-12). Oryx Rotana, Umm Ghuwailina (4402 3333).

Coral
Savour exquisite seasonal delights while enjoying the festive performance by the live band and an Xmas choir. There are special gifts for children, too.
QR295 (soft drinks), QR420 (festive beverages), QR145 (children aged six-12). Intercontinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 4444).

Corniche Restaurant
This venue’s going to be buzzing with a profusion of festive food and the good news is they will even take care of all those who over-ate the night before with a selection of light bites.
QR299 (soft drinks), QR399 (house beverages). Doha Marriott, Ras Abu Aboud (4429 8499).

Doha Marriott

Children will get the chance to share fun and memorable moments making, decorating and eating gingerbread men at this creative workshop. They might even make one for you, too.
QR100 (to decorate one gingerbread man). Coffee, tea and soft drinks will be included. , Ras Abu Aboud (4429 8499).

Flying Carpet
This is a great place to go with the family, not just for the delicious festive food but also for the children’s playground with chocolate masterclasses, gingerbread house decorating and lots of other festive activities.
QR210 (soft drinks), QR100 (children aged six-12). Booking and payment required 48 hours in advance. The Torch Doha, Al Waab (4446 5600).

Garveys

Get some sunshine and bring in the spirit of the holiday the day before by the Garveys poolside. On offer is a set menu that includes starters, main course and homemade desserts. Then toddle off home and put your stockings out for Santa.
QR65 (two courses), QR75 (three courses). December 23 and 24, noon-8pm. Garveys, Al Aziziyah (5560 2779).

Hunters Room & Grill

If brunch is not your thing, here’s a more intimate dinner to try. Enjoy live entertainment with the resident violinist (she’s really, really good) and a festive set menu.
QR360 (soft beverages included). December 25, 7pm-11pm. Hunters Room & Grill, Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, Fereej Bin Mahmoud (3359 8514).

Il Teatro

Delicious food and festive activities for the little ones await you and your family at this grand celebration featuring four restaurants delivering an array of Christmas classics alongside a selection of international dishes.
QR550 (soft drinks), QR680 (selected beverages), QR275 (children aged five-12). Four Seasons Hotel Doha (4494 8600).

Mawasem
Try this spectacular buffet with a fun fusion of holiday favourites and local specialities. There’s pool access too, if you fancy a dip.
QR250 (soft drinks), QR300 (including pool access), QR350 (house beverages). Hilton Hotel, Diplomatic Street (4423 3112).

Santa Monica Breakfast Club
Looking for a traditional feast and a chance to meet Santa Claus himself? We’ve found it right here at SMBC. You can dive into its culinary creations while listening to party tunes courtesy of DJ Santiago Vittorelli (yes, the house band will be there, too). ’Tis the season to be jolly after all.
QR299 (soft drinks), QR449 (special beverages). Grand Hyatt Hotel Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4448 1195).

Santorini and Fuego
The Shangtastic Brunch is back for a special Christmas edition and it’ll take place across both Santorini and Fuego (we’re still hoping that dedicated chocolate room will be there).
QR305 (soft drinks), QR405 (house beverages). Shangri-La Hotel Doha, West Bay (4429 5295).

Sawa
The regular brunch here is pretty spectacular, so we have no doubt that this could be a top option for a festive chow-down. There will be a festive buffet, live band and entertainment for the kids including bouncy castles, face painting and, of course, Santa.
QR495 (soft beverages), QR595 (selected beverages), QR150 (children aged six-12), Free (kids under six). Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar (4035 5555).

Spice Market
The combination of an impressive selection of South East Asian all-time-favourites and some cracking entertainment (including DJ Gee on the decks) will make this festive day one to remember at W Doha.
QR350 (soft drinks), QR450 (speciality drinks). W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay (4477 4281).

Vine
We already know how grand the Grand Brunch at The St. Regis is. This season, it gets better with lavish offerings prepared by leading chefs from Astor Grill, Opal by Gordon Ramsay and others. The live music will really set the mood and you can have fuss-free fun thanks to the dedicated children’s corner.
QR555 (soft beverages), QR655 (sommelier selections). Book before December 15 (no refunds). The St. Regis Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4446 0105).

FESTIVE FILMS

Let your big old lunch digest with some of our favourite festive movies

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
It’s only 25 minutes long, but this beloved cartoon manages to pack in more warmth, wit and genuine seasonal spirit than most full-length Christmas movies. It’s largely down to Vince Guaraldi's flawless, jazz-tinged score.

Elf (2003)
This festive comedy makes full use of Will Ferrell’s man-child charm by casting him as a naïve human raised by elves and thrown into a cynical, modern-day New York. Highlights include a duet of Baby, It’s Cold Outside with an unwitting Zooey Deschanel.

Home Alone (1990)
Parents go on holiday, forget a kid, then he can eat ice cream and watch movies as much as he likes, before getting the chance to invent some booby traps to catch burglars. Four sequels followed but we could watch this one again and again.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A moving tribute to the power of the individual, Frank Capra’s snowy festive classic is a true delight, as entertaining as it is message-driven. James Stewart puts in the performance of a lifetime as a troubled man who’s given a second chance.

Love Actually (2003)
This is either unbearable schmaltz or a festive heart-warmer, depending on who you ask. Even a school play is an opportunity for romance in this ensemble comedy-drama. Comedy standouts include Bill Nighy as an ageing rock legend.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
The finest festive comedy of them all? Chevy Chase and his extended family suffer a series of unfortunate, unlikely and often downright gruesome seasonal setbacks. Chevy’s madcap speech at the dinner table is an all-time classic.

The Polar Express (2004)
Robert Zemeckis sprinkled his family-friendly magic on this performance-capture animation starring Tom Hanks. This one ticks a lot of festive boxes including reindeer, elves and a whole heap of snow.

The Snowman (1982)
Raymond Briggs’ book came to life once a year throughout many childhoods, as the animated film was shown on TV without fail. Nominated for an Oscar, the short film tells of a boy whose snowman magically becomes real. Add the beautiful but slightly haunting song Walking In The Air and you have a true festive classic.

By Shereen D’Souza
Time Out Doha,

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