The Carolina Inn
Chapel Hill’s the Carolina Inn celebrates the season every year with festive holiday decorations inspired by the “12 Days of Christmas” song. A month full of Christmas-related events, including a Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party and horse-drawn carriage rides, culminates with several special dining opportunities during the week of Christmas.
The inn will offer a formal four-course dinner on Christmas Eve from 5:30pm to 8pm. Course selections include a duck confit starter and a roasted prime rib entrée for $60 per person. Christmas Day brunch will also be offered from 11am to 2:30pm. Buffet selections will include a seafood display with oysters on the half shell and crab claws, roasted turkey and honey apple French toast.
The Carolina Inn will also serve its afternoon tea service throughout the week, with the exception of Christmas Day. The Classic Tea with a variety of sandwiches and sweets is $25 per person. For an extra $9, weary holiday chefs can upgrade and treat themselves to the Royal Tea, which includes a glass of sparkling wine.
The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
The holiday week is also a busy one at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham. On Christmas Eve, the inn will offer a special Sugar Plum Tea service from 11:30am to 3pm. The event will feature live holiday music, holiday desserts and festive beverages including hot chocolate and hot cider. The cost for adults is $25, while children ages 6-12 can participate for $15.
The Washington Duke will serve both a Christmas Eve brunch as well as a special prix fixe dinner from 5:30pm to 9pm. The four-course meal costs $65 per person. The restaurant will also offer its annual Christmas Day brunch buffet with seatings at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm. The cost is $69 per person, with reduced prices for children. The meal includes a carving station and a chocolate fondue fountain.
The Umstead Hotel & Spa
The upscale Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary will feature a four-course dinner service on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The prix fixe meal is $80 per person ($25 for children), with seatings starting at 5:30pm both nights. Entrée choices are roasted pheasant, seared halibut, wood-grilled beef filet and “Hoppin’ John”, a classic Southern dish with black-eyed peas and rice.
Long-time Raleigh restaurant Irregardless Café will also be open for the holidays. Christmas Eve reservations can be made from 5pm to 9pm. On Christmas Day, the restaurant’s meal service will last from noon through a final seating at 8pm. Entrée options include lobster manicotti, rack of lamb and a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings.