Some say the best meals are those made by someone else. And during one of the busiest times of the year, that couldn’t be truer. If the holidays have snuck up on you, leaving you little time to map out Christmas feasting plans, here are a few last-minute ideas.

Dine in and leave it to the pros

Place your Christmas in the good hands of Scott Pickett this year with lunch at ritzy CBD bistro Chancery Lane. Expect a spread including Rock oysters, prawn cocktail, and a duo of Wagyu beef with beetroot, radicchio and spicy Sauce Diable. Plus, a black forest terrine with cherry sorbet for dessert. Book online.

For a change from the classic holiday roast, spend Christmas Day at Thai-inspired eatery BKK. Tuck into a four-course banquet of Tom Yum soup, grilled squid, lamb rack with Thai dipping sauce, plenty of bite-sized snacks and a cocktail (or mocktail) upon arrival. Just downstairs, Her Bar is offering its own festive, seafood-centric set menu featuring piquant oysters with mignonette sauce, mussels escabeche, and cured Hiramasa kingfish. A trifle of honey sponge, berries, vanilla cream and almonds will top off the five-course feast. Book BKK here and Her Bar here.

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For a more casual affair, grab a seat at the Espy’s main bar for à la carte pizza, seafood, snacks and cocktails overlooking the bay. Book online. Or you could settle in at Arbory, which is taking bookings for tables of up to 16 guests. Book online. Or you can go big on meze at Maha.

Impress your guests with a fancy finish-at-home meal

For all the satisfaction of cooking your own Christmas lunch with a skerrick of the effort, order one of Blakeaway’s Christmas Banquet packs. There’s ham with pineapple and rum glaze, plus all sorts of fixings – think hot smoked salmon and poached king prawn cocktail. The boxes are designed to feed six people, and you’ll be covered for dessert as well with a mixed berry pavlova and fruit mince pies. Order here..

Meanwhile, Hagen’s Organics is also putting in the legwork with a range of pre-prepped ham, turkey and rib eyes. Keep it simple with a basic roast or spice things up with the glazed ham pack which includes a seven-kilo whole ham on the bone, a bottle of Darling Distillery’s festive Cherry & Pine Needle Gin, and a cherry and gin ham glaze. All the details..

Head to the park with a luxe picnic pack

The Refectory Parlour’s expansive grounds at Werribee make for a stunning backdrop for Christmas lunch. Pick a spot among the roses at the Werribee Park lawns and enjoy your selection from The Refectory's range of hampers. Prices start at $30 for cheese hampers and top off at $135 for trays of canapes – think zucchini, mint and saganaki fritters or caramelised onion and Milawa ashed goats cheese tartlets. Or maybe you’ll opt for the ploughman’s picnic or high tea for two. Gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options available. Pre-orders are essential. Book here.

If you’re more the grazing type, iPantry’s got you sorted with Christmas hampers filled with bottles of Chandon, fruit mince tarts and several varieties of Koko Black chocolate. Order here. Cannoleria by That’s Amore has dessert sorted, with new limited edition cannoli flavours every week and gluten free options available. For $12, you can add a decorative cannoli tower to your order as a festive centre-piece for your Christmas picnic spread. Order here.

This article was originally published on December 13, 2022. It has been updated to reflect new information and remove out-of-date details.