Surge in numbers heading out for Christmas dinner in Yorkshire

Will you be basting the turkey, or heading out for dinner?
Will you be basting the turkey, or heading out for dinner?
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No longer are Yorkshire families setting the alarm early to put the Turkey in the oven on Christmas Day, as rising numbers swap a traditional lunch at home for heading out for dinner.

Across the region, restaurant bookings for Christmas Day are up 52 per cent - with the biggest rises in Bradford and Sheffield, where bookings for December 25 are up 83 per cent on last year.

Restaurant booking website Bookatable said more Yorkshire families are opting to dine out in a bid to spend quality time with the family rather than hours spent tidying, cooking, and cleaning in the home.

The site also found bookings to be up by more than third in Leeds and a quarter in Hull.

Its research also gave an insight into the country’s Christmas kitchens, showing that 70 per cent of Brits spent three to five hours in the kitchen, away from family and friends, on Christmas Day.

A fifth of Brits host Christmas Dinner each year and as a result, feel out of pocket; while 87 per cent said they feel they buy too much food that goes to waste as well as ingredients that are not used at any other time of the year.

Almost a fifth (18 per cent), said they begin preparing for Christmas months in advance, during the summer or even earlier.

Psychologist Corinne Sweet said: “Ideally, Christmas should be all about spending quality time together as a family or with friends, but sometimes the hype, rush and stress of it all gets in the way. It’s no wonder so many of us are turning to alternatives, such as restaurants. It’s important to remember what the festive season is all about: connecting and celebrating.

“Don’t try to be perfect. Trying to make Christmas perfect simply puts too much pressure on, financially, socially and emotionally.”

Joe Steele, chief executive of Bookatable said: “We have seen a significant increase in diners booking Christmas dinner in restaurants this year and there is no wonder given our research has shown many people feel they are not able to spend time with their family due to the pressures of catering on Christmas Day.”

When the fun of decorating the Christmas tree is done, 40 per cent said they find the prospect of readying the house for guests and dealing with a messy house afterwards to be the most stressful elements of the festive period.

One in five admitted that, as hosts, they miss out on the festive fun of the day by worrying about guests’ enjoyment.

A further third are stressed out by time management dealing with preparing and cooking food, hosting and cleaning for multiple people; while the same amount said they find Christmas Day to be more stressful than a day at work.

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