Do you already know how to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Bahrain?
Below are some ideas for you.
Afternoon sky-high tea
Head up to Domain Privé, on the 36th floor of The Domain Hotel & Spa, for stunning views and a festive afternoon tea with seasonal pastries and freshly baked scones.
BD12++ (food only), BD17++ (with two glasses of bubbly). Noon-8pm. Dec 1-28. The Domain Hotel & Spa, Diplomatic Area (16 000 000).
Carol singing at The Crowne Plaza
‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through Bahrain the quiet hum of carols could be heard. Don’t hold back on the festive singing – four days of carol concerts in The Crowne Plaza’s lobby comes with Christmas beverages, cookies and puddings.
Free. Dec 19-22, from 7.30pm. The Crowne Plaza Bahrain, Diplomatic Area (17 531 122).
Christmas afternoon tea at Furn Bakery
Enjoy the warmth of the festive season by catching up with good friends over a traditional, festive-themed afternoon tea with pastries and scones at the new bakery.
BD20++ (for two). Dec 1-25, 2pm-6pm. The Westin Bahrain City Centre, Seef (17 171 441).
Christmas karaoke at Txoko
Iiiiiiiiit’s Chriiiiiiistmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas! Get your best Noddy Holder impression at the ready, as Christmas karaoke comes back to the 36th floor sky lounge, Txoko. There are big prizes, fun to be had and, we’re guessing, sympathy for performers in novelty hats and elaborate sweaters.
Free. Dec 1-23, 4pm-8pm. The Domain Hotel & Spa, Diplomatic Area (16 000 000).
Cooking master class at La Vinoteca Barcelona
Pastry chef Ajith Suranga and executive chef Joan Gomez will guide you through creating an array of unforgettable Christmas desserts in this masterclass at the upscale Spanish restaurant.
BD20 (including a takeaway package of sweets). Tue Dec 13, 6pm-8pm. La Vinoteca Barcelona, Adliya (17 007 808).
Festive brunch in Bushido
Head to this Samurai-inspired Japanese restaurant for a special festive-themed brunch, where a selection of traditional foods are on the buffet and at the carvery. This is a family-friendly occasion in a stunning setting.
BD18.5++ (soft drinks), BD24.5++ (house beverages). Fri Dec 23, noon-3.30pm. Bushido Restaurant, Seef (17 583 555).
Festive classics at La Fontaine
The contemporary art centre is hosting Bahrain-born brother and sister duo Danae Eleni and Kimon Pallikarapoulos, who are performing songs from opera and jazz, from Handel and Bach to Broadway and Berstein. Enjoy a festive dinner and welcome drink as they perform in the stunning courtyard.
BD20 (dinner, performance and one drink). Wed Dec 21, 7pm-10pm. La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art & Spa, Hoora (17 230 123).
Festive lunch with The Palm Association
Do your bit for charity and get a spot of Christmas shopping done at the same time, as the ladies from The Palm Association are hosting a festive lunch. There will be plenty of stalls to peruse, lots of food to eat and a shedload of seasonal spirit to enjoy. All proceeds will go to the Bahrain-based charity’s Feed A Family programme.
BD22. Wed Dec 7, from 11am. The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Diplomatic Area, www.thepalmassociation.com
Garden tree lighting at La Vinoteca Barcelona and Café Amsterdam
We’re huge fans of the outdoor terrace shared by these top-notch European-style venues. It is where we held the Time Out Live! Bahrain Jams party and we’re polishing our stars and plumping up the tinsel in preparation for the tree lighting. There will be mince pies and mulled grape to enjoy with the seasonal atmosphere and gorgeous weather.
Free. Tue Dec 6, 6pm-8pm. La Vinoteca Barcelona and Café Amsterdam garden, Adliya (17 007 808).
Gingerbread house decorating and tea party at Downtown Rotana
Kids can enjoy tasty treats, yummy snacks and traditional foodie favourites at this festive-themed tea party, all while they decorate gingerbread houses in City Lobby Lounge.
BD10++ (per child). Dec 8-31. Fri-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun-Thu 4pm-8pm. Downtown Rotana, Manama (33 605 070).
Gingerbread house making at Furn Bakery
German Santa, Sven, will guide children through the gingerbread house making process and give kids a sweet lesson in how to decorate the increasingly popular edible ornament. Alternatively, you can take the kit away and make it at home.
BD10++ (per takeaway kit), BD14 (per child for the class, inclusive of the house). Saturdays, 4pm-8pm. Until Dec 24. The Westin Bahrain City Centre, Seef (17 171 441).
Gingerbread house making at Mövenpick
Decorate cookie houses with sweets and frosting while soaking up some essential pre-Christmas atmosphere in Muharraq. Chefs present a perfectly made house so all your little ones need to do is decorate it. It’s good fun for all the family.
BD10. Sat Dec 10, 4pm-6pm. Mövenpick Bahrain, Muharraq (17 460 017).
Santa Claus afternoon tea at The Ritz-Carlton
Schools have broken up for the Christmas holidays by this time, so an easy way to spend an afternoon is in the presence of Father Christmas. Oh, and there will be a chocolate buffet, as well as traditional scones and pastries, if you need more convincing. We’ll see you there with bells on.
BD18++ (adults), BD10++ (kids). December 17-23, 3pm-6pm. Lobby Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Seef (17 580 000).
Teddy bear afternoon tea and gingerbread making at The Ritz-Carlton
There is nothing obviously festive about a traditional afternoon tea, so children will be presented with their own gingerbread house to decorate at La Med. With some fundraising for environmental causes, too, it is a chance to be cosy, creative and well-fed. Also, if they can part with it, then the children can donate their old teddy bear to the charity as part of the hotel’s Community Footprints campaign.
BD22++ per child. Dec 10 and 17, 4.30pm-6.30pm. The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Seef (17 580 000).
Tree lighting and carolling at Sofitel bahrain
Mark the holiday season at this beautiful Zallaq-based resort, as they light up the stunning Christmas tree and the hotel choir entertains us with beautiful renditions of traditional Christmas carols.
Free. Tue Dec 13, from 6pm. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, Zallaq (17 636 363).
Tree lighting at Downtown Rotana
In the heart of Manama, you can find a festive refuge with a giant tree and a lifesize gingerbread house in the Rotana’s lobby. The lights switch on at 5.30pm with an appearance from Santa dishing out toys and, also, a carol concert. On top of all that, there will be gingerbread decorating sessions from that date until the end of the month for just BD10, too.
Free. Thu Dec 8, from 5.30pm. Downtown Rotana, Manama (33 605 070).
Tree lighting at The Crowne Plaza
The Christmas tree lighting here is an annual highlight. Take your festive excitement to another level by joining the elves for cookies, carols and the switch-on of the lobby decorations in front of the giant gingerbread house.
Free. Thu Dec 8, from 7.30pm. The Crowne Plaza Bahrain, Diplomatic Area (17 531 122).
Christmas Eve meals
Do your celebrating the day before Christmas to leave the day itself free for presents, family and sitting around watching festive movies and eating sweets.
Load up on turkey and trimmings across the buffet pre-Christmas at Al Waha, where international selections are also available.
BD16++ (adults), BD8++ (kids six to 12), free (kids under six). 7pm-10.30pm. The Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Adliya (17 713 000).
The 28th floor sky lounge is hosting a grape and cheese night with artisanal dairy from Switzerland, France and Italy, all paired with grape and live music.
BD20. 8pm-11pm. Swiss-Belhotel, Seef (66 310 000).
A big buffet the night before could be a tradition families hold on to for years and
Le Méridien is a good place to start. BD16++ (soft drinks), BD26++ (house beverages), BD13++ (kids six to 12), free (kids under six). 6.30pm-11pm. Le Méridien Bahrain City Centre, Seef (17 171 441).
Bahrain Bay Kitchen
A night of music and food so complete that we’re hoping it doesn’t distract Santa from the job in hand. Pan-seared scallops with celeriac fondue and slow-cooked wagyu short ribs are traditional, right? Don’t worry, there are sprouts and stollen being served here, too.
BD32++ (soft drinks), BD42++ (house beverages). 7pm-midnight. Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (4494 8888).
CUT by Wolfgang Puck
Give somebody you really love an early gift and take them out for a holiday-inspired four-course dinner of soup, homemade pasta, roasted meats, fish and seasonal desserts at the celebrity chef’s steakhouse.
BD40++ (food only), BD50++ (beverage pairing). 7pm-11.30pm. Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (17 115 044).
There will be a lively atmosphere and plenty of noise when Canadian band Pop It and DJ Jonny de Karner perform at this party spot. Get a three-course meal or just a drink – it’s entirely up to you how you want to celebrate.
BD20 (unlimited beverages), BD10 (three-course meal and one drink). 9pm-2am. Ramee Palace Hotel, Juffair (33 544 291).
Flavours on 2
Rotana brunches tend to be plentiful and informal – what more could you want for a Christmas Eve tea? Eat your heart out, enjoy the live entertainment and also get involved with a raffle draw and potentially win an early Christmas present.
BD24++ (soft drinks), BD29++ (house beverages), BD12++ (kids six to 12), free (kids under six). 6pm-11pm. Downtown Rotana, Government Avenue, Manama (33 605 070).
The festive buffet in this attractive restaurant includes seasonal drinks with red grape and mulled spices. The traditional food will get you feeling all Christmassy we’re sure.
BD35++ (adults), BD18++ (kids). 7pm-11pm.The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Seef (17 580 000).
Celebrate the Italian tradition of La Vigilia di Natale with home-style dishes made with love at the newly refurbished restaurant.
BD20++ (one glass of sparkling). 7pm-11pm. The Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Adliya (17 713 000).
Sit down inside or on the lovely terrace for a whopping seven-course meal of delicious Italian dishes at this award-winning spot.
BD35++. 7pm-11pm. The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Seef (17 580 000).
re / Asian Cuisine | Wolfgang Puck
Get an early night by doing your Christmas Eve celebrations early. The renowned Asian restaurant has a good-value deal at less than BD20 for a dim sum brunch.
BD19++ (six dishes). 12.30pm-3.30pm. Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (17 115 044).
The Ritz-Carlton Gourmet Lounge
It is easy to over-indulge at a buffet, but with a feast to come on Christmas Day you may wish to have a smaller meal tonight. There are lighter dishes along with the decadent choices available at the quaint tea lounge.
BD25++. 7pm-11.30pm. The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Seef (17 580 000).
The high ceilings and scarlet drapes make for a romantic atmosphere at this Chinese joint. Enjoy an intimate set menu for dinner with a loved one on Christmas Eve.
BD14.900++ (food only), BD19.900 (house beverages). 7pm-11.30pm. Sheraton Bahrain, Manama (17 533 533).
The set menu includes potato taleggio tortelli with black truffle, smoked salmon and panettone. Sounds better than staying in to us!
BD36++. 7pm-11pm. Four Seasons Bahrain Bay (17 115 044).
The seafood market brunch has masses of food (not just fish!) and the restaurant boasts a casual, Christmassy vibe.
BD38 (house beverages), BD18 (kids five to ten), free (kids under five). From 7pm. The Crowne Plaza, Diplomatic Area (17 531 122).
Christmas Day meals
No washing up and no cooking, just great quality festive food and, if you’re lucky, an appearance from Father Christmas himself.