Christmas nights out in Edinburgh & Glasgow

Where to go with friends, or family, in tow

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Christmas nights out in Edinburgh & Glasgow

There's comfort food crowd-pleasers at Mimi's Bakehouse

Let's face it: your Christmas night out with your pals is going to be very different to your festive family outing. We've got guidance on where to go with both groups, whether you're planning an afternoon out for ice-cream, or a scoop of ice-cream with a vodka shot on the side

Family-friendly fun

When you've got your elderly relatives, the sprogs and that auntie who isn't really your auntie in tow this December, you need somewhere to eat that's going to keep everyone in good festive cheer.

In Glasgow, the Brooklyn Café has been feeding families for 85 years. The menu covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, with café classics like mac'n'cheese and an ice-cream counter full of traditional and quirky flavours. Over at West Brewery, the kitchen serves up quintessential German cuisine as well as old favourites such as fish and chips and the delightfully named Kinderschnitzel for the kids. It's also dog friendly, for those whose definition of family extends to our four-legged friends. After the complexity of three-course Christmas meals, bask in the simplicity of Paesano Pizza. There are just eight pizzas to choose from, all made with ingredients direct from Italy, and retro ice-cream offerings like 99s and oysters for dessert. If the kids in the party need to run off some energy, Scaramouche boasts a kids' play area to keep younger diners entertained while you tuck into classic pub grub.

In Edinburgh, Hemma also has an in-restaurant play area. You'd be hard-pushed not to find something you like on one of their smörgåsbords, and the menu also boasts a variety of veggie, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options. Mimi's Bakehouse serves comfort food crowd-pleasers including stovies and quesadillas for adults and children. Avoid the Christmas pudding versus yule log debate and enjoy some of the glorious homemade cakes for afters. La Favorita has a reputation for family-friendly service and offers an extensive menu of wood-fired pizzas and gourmet pastas. Once the kids have selected from the dedicated menu, they can engross themselves in the complimentary kids pack. Elsewhere, Scran & Scallie is Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin's version of the pub. This relaxed venue serves breakfast, lunch, 'bar scran' and dinner, all following the pub's ethos of 'from nature to plate', and welcomes children of all ages (and even pooches) for some top-notch grub.

Christmas nights out in Edinburgh & Glasgow

Alcoholic ice-cream at Hoot The Redeemer

Friend-friendly fun

Ah, the Christmas night out: sequins, shots and squabbling over the disappointing Secret Santa gifts you and your friends exchanged earlier. Your night will almost certainly end with a visit to the local chip shop and a bit of a sore head, but at least there are plenty of interesting places to drink cocktails and beer before you reach that point.

For a group night out in Edinburgh, Akva is a good place to start your evening. It's nice and big, which means you can cram all your pals plus their reluctant partners into one space. It's good for cider and beer, and if all that Rekorderlig gives you an appetite, there's a tasty selection of bar bites, too. For a fun night filled with cocktails, Hoot The Redeemer is the one. As well as having one of the strangest bar names in the city, this place has a retro funfair theme and something called a 'mystic ball cocktail'. If you're after a more upscale cocktail bar, try 99 Hanover Street. There's usually a DJ spinning some mad tunes too, so if that third cosmopolitan sends you over the edge, you can bust a sweet move. For a simple pint and a chat, try Jeremiah's Taproom or The Hanging Bat. Both are craft beer havens, and have ever-rotating taps. Or, if you fancy wine and dulcet music, Smith & Gertrude and The Last Word Saloon are two Stockbridge haunts that will be right up your street.

If you and your squad in Glasgow are all about craft beers, start at Drygate. This East End industrial-styled beer wonderland has all the barley and hops you can dream of, and it's pretty stylish, too. At six°north, Scottish brewers bring a unique blend of Belgian beers and Flemish food to a big bierhalle setting. It's like Oktoberfest in December, which can only call for the donning of festive lederhosen. For an East Village-style speakeasy, head to Chinaski's. This is the place to order a bourbon and impress your pals with your love of wintery whisky. Or, for Scottish craft gins and tonic pairings, try The Salisbury. If you get hungry, you can always order one of their famous fish dishes, too. An obvious place to end the night is Nice'n'Sleazy: it's got all the live music and White Russians you could need. Or, there's Hillhead Bookclub for cut-price cocktails, and a gramophone filled with punch. Naturally.

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