Spending in restaurants and bar was up 13.2% year-on-year over Christmas, according to transaction date from Worldpay.

The busiest day of the festive period was 22 December, with spending up almost a quarter on 2016 figures at 23.1%.

Total hospitality spending across the pre and post-Christmas period was £491m, with £8.1m spent on Christmas Day.

The biggest regional increases in spending were Bristol and Brighton, where restaurant and bar spending was up 23.1% and 22.0% respectively, while Edinburgh recorded an increase of 18.4%.

On Christmas Day itself, hospitality spend was up by 5.3% on the previous year, as more Brits than ever ditch the kitchen, opting to eat out on 25th December.

James Frost, UK chief marketing officer of Worldpay, said: “This was a really interesting and a positive Christmas season for the hospitality sector.

“The fact that the pre-Christmas working week ended on Friday 22 December is a likely reason for the surge in bar and restaurant spending on that day, as revellers finished work and embraced the festive spirit.

“We also saw increased hospitality spending on Christmas Day, which is evidence of the trend towards more people eating out on the day. It might also indicate that many people chose to take some of the stress out of the day with pre-lunch pint at the local pub.”

The analysis of Worldpay transaction volumes 18-31 December 2017 compared to the same two-week period in 2016.