Dec 14 2011
Yes, we know it’s 20-odd degrees Celsius and there’s not a drop of snow to be had, unless you count the interior of my neglected freezer. And we know that the odds of finding a fat man in an enormous red suit that hasn’t collapsed from heat stroke are somewhere around the snowflake in hell level. On the other hand, for the people who live in Siem Reap, 20 odd degrees is bleedin’ freezin’, so they’ve let nothing stop them when it comes to putting on a fantastic Christmas feast.
First, in case you’d like a warm-up for a little bit of Christmas spirit, we can thoroughly recommend a trip to the Hotel de la Paix’s currently exquisite Arts Lounge, where their spectacularly conceived Christmas tree is a real treat.
But of course, we all know Christmas is all about the eating, and the sitting in chairs clutching our tummies wondering if we’ll ever be able to get up again. We can do that for you. The only thing you’ll be missing is your Granny getting sozzled on the sherry and mistaking the cat for a cushion, to the final and great consternation of both.
So here is the great Siem Reap Christmas round-up:
This year Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor has a spectacular Christmas tree, designed by Eric Raisina, a locally-based fashion designer whose electrifying dresses can be found on catwalks in New York, Paris and Bangkok. For a real treat on Christmas Day, Raffles will host a buffet dinner by the pool, with cocktails in the garden, an apsara show and live band. Tickets $90, plus taxes and service.
On Christmas Eve, the Heritage Suites Hotel will host a gala set dinner, starting at 19:30, including a pre-dinner cocktail, canapés, live sax player, apsara show, jugglers, firebreathers and a live band. Booking is strongly recommended, and tickets are $60. The special set menu will also be available for the week following Christmas.
Siem Reap’s hottest little café, the River View, will be doing a special menu on Christmas Eve at 20:00 and Day at 14:00, featuring steamed New Zealand mussels, smoked ham and lots of sides. Portions here are super generous. Tickets, inclusive of drinks, are $15 or $12 for under 12s. As the River Café is quite small, we recommend booking.
The Soria Moria is everyone’s favourite Scandinavian hotel, and won’t disappoint this year with a packed buffet on Christmas Eve featuring roasted pork belly, sauerkraut, potatoes, veggies, Christmas ham, pease pudding, herring of course, and much more. Children from the Sangkheum Centre will lead the Christmas Carols, and there’ll even be a Santa, all the way from Norway. Tickets are $28 for a feast.
Nest Angkor is preparing a special set menu on Christmas Eve and Day. Offering crab tartare with avocado, braised pork shank in palm sugar, turkey consommé with edamame, veal tenderloin or turkey with a chestnut crust, and Christmas log, at $35, including a glass of wine and a gift, this is great deal for one of the classiest joints in Siem Reap.
If the thought of turkey turns your tummy, then head down to Pizzeria Tomato whose Christmas Day $25 set menu includes bruschetta with tomatoes, real lasagne, roasted potatoes and a special Italian cake. This place is also small and they recommend booking.
The Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa‘s Christmas Eve dinner starts at 19:30, and includes a poolside buffet dinner in their drop-dead gorgeous grounds with entertainment and Christmas carols over the evening. Tickets are $85.
Molly Malone’s are going all out with a traditional roast turkey dinner from midday on Christmas Day with all the trimmings, including mashed pototo, roast potatoes (it is Irish after all), cauliflower cheese, seasonal vegetables and gravy. If turkey doesn’t float your boat, there’s also filet mignon, also with all the trimmings. Tickets are $28.75.
Bon, as they say, appetit.
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
T: (063) 963 888
Heritage Suites Hotel
Next to Wat (Pagoda) Po Langka
T: (063) 969 100
River View Café
T: (089) 477 907
Soria Moria Hotel
Wat Bo Road
T: (063) 964 708
T: (069) 999 967 or (063) 966 381
T: (097) 243 7697
Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa
Central Park, Siem Reap
T: (063) 760 428
T: (063) 963 533
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