The Handbook
The Handbook

Before you drop the needle on a Barry White record, put Champagne on the rocks and scatter rose petals over the duvet, you’re going to need to grab a shucking knife and step over to the stove…

Because as we all know, foreplay starts in the kitchen. Before you grab for the disinfectant, read on… Food as a route to sexual lust and pleasure is a well oiled trope, but one that appears to have the backing of medicine, with aphrodisiacs acting as hormonal stimulants and catalysts for the giddy parts of our bodies. Take oysters, we all know they’re nature’s flobby sloppy Viagra, well turns out their high zinc levels cause the production of testosterone and increase in energy. And what woman doesn’t want to trigger their testosterone production (hello moustache)? Am I right?

So here are a list of our favourite foodie sexual stimulants, and where in London you can go to eat them. See you in the bedroom!

Take oysters, we all know they're nature's flobby sloppy Viagra

Oysters…

Everyone knows that oysters are basically sex in a shell. A shot of salty phlegm slithering down your gullet may not sound like much of a turn-on, but damn they’re sure to make us frisky.

The guys in white coats will explain that they’re filled with zinc, which is apparently necessary for a healthy male sperm count (believe me, there aren’t many restaurant round-ups that include the phrase ‘male sperm count’ – and on balance we’re all the better for it). But this aside, in 2005 unusual amino acids were also discovered in oysters, which increases testosterone production, so  there’s the slightly less romantic back story.

So here are some of our favourite places to eat them, and remember to swallow, not spit…

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill

One of London’s most loved seafood restaurants, Bentley’s has been flogging fish and chips to Londoners for over a century, but for the last decade or so it’s been the brainchild of chef Richard Corrigan whose take on his speciality Native Oysters “Natives are an acquired taste, you either love them or loathe them”. But let’s assume if you loathe them then you’re probably not getting some tonight, Romeo.

WHERE: 11-15 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DG, United Kingdom
WEBSITE: www.bentleys.org

Hix Oyster & Chop House

Hix is almost guaranteed to lead to hickies if you’re knocking back the oysters. The staff are apparently required to try the oysters themselves every week (that must be one raunchy kitchen!) and the menu includes at least four different types of oyster.

That must be one raunchy kitchen..

WHERE: 36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6BN, United Kingdom
WEBSITE: www.hixrestaurants.co.uk

Scott’s

Scott’s is a byword in seafood. Well that and Charles Saatchi’s domestic abuse exploits (it’s where he was photographed attempting to strangle Nigella Lawson). But let’s focus on the seafood. The restaurant is dominated by a huge seafood altar with oysters served at the Champagne bar as a house speciality.

WHERE: 20 Mount Street, London, W1K 2HE, United Kingdom
WEBSITE: www.scotts-restaurant.com

J Sheekey Atlantic Bar

J Sheekey Atlantic Bar is a hidden jewel, if being hidden involves gaudy pinks and blues. Nestled between the bright lights of Leicester Square and chic Covent Garden. The menu offers diners all manner of seafoodie delights, not least oysters.

WHERE: 33-35 St Martin's Ct, London WC2N 4AL, UK
WEBSITE: www.jsheekeyatlanticbar.co.uk

Watermelon

Watch those bouncing watermelons, because they’re even more sexual than you think. After oysters, the massive fruit is said to be one of the richest sources of the non-essential amino acid citrulline, and as we all (now) know, citrulline relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra. So where can you get nature’s version of poppers?

Eclipse

Cocktail bar Eclipse have a party piece, and good for any lovers seeking watermelon medication, it’s watermelon martini. The tipple, featuring Kettle One vodka and kaffir lime leaves as well as watermelon, has remained a best seller over the years… we wonder why!

WHERE: 158 OLD BROMPTON ROAD, LONDON, SW5 0BA, UNITED KINGDOM
WEBSITE: WWW.ECLIPSEBARS.COM

Sexy Fish

Ain’t nothing so sexy as fish. At least, if you’re another fish. Or a mer-person. But sexy fish is the place to head if you’re after a swift duck. No typo. Because the smart Mayfair restaurant’s Crisp Duck and Watermelon is a great way to get intimate with watermelon. The restaurant’s even called Sexy!

WHERE: BERKELEY SQUARE HOUSE, BERKELEY SQUARE, LONDON W1J 6BR, UK
WEBSITE: WWW.SEXYFISH.COM

Chocolate

Notoriously naughty, calorific chocolate is the steaming brown secret to love. Our trusty go-to in times of happiness or sad, our sweetest sweet tooth tempter, actually contains phenylethylamine — a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of general well-being. The L-arginine, an amino acid in chocolate, works as a natural sex-enhancer for either sex, increasing nitric oxide and promoting blood flow to sexual organs. From Coco-Pops to Green & Black’s, the sweetest sweet tooth temptress increases sensation, satisfaction, and desire. Pass the 75% cacao.

Said

He said she Said head to the London branch of Rome’s oldest chocolate factory. The glass shop-front display showcases all of the chocolate treats from this Roman masterpiece. Almost a pre-requisite is a steaming cup of hot chocolate, made from their melted homemade bars.

Where: 41 Broadwick St W1F 9QL and 29 Rathbone Place W1T 1JG
Website: www.said.it

Melt

Feel yourself melt at Melt, the Notting Hill and Holland Park-based chocolatiers. An interesting feature of chocolate is the fact that it’s the only food that melts at body temperature.

The open kitchen in the shop, where a team of chocolatiers craft all of Melt’s cocoa treats, allows easy access to an expert if you’re not sure where to start looking.

Hot Chillies

Want to make things hot in the bedroom? Looking to spice things up? Literally? Look no further than chillies. Known to stimulate nerve endings on the tongue, releasing epinephrine (adrenaline) increasing your heart rate and, well, making you horny to put it in the most blunt of terms. Here are some places you can put the theory to the test…

Looking to spice things up? Literally?

Hutong

If you’re looking to get lightheaded and feel like your head’s in the clouds, then make that a reality at Hutong. The Chinese restaurant perches on Level 33 of The Shard and offers panoramic views across the capital. As if that weren’t romance-inducing enough, check out the Ma La beef tenderloin, which is served with bell pepper chillies. It’ll scorch your mouth, but may also make you scorchio in the bedroom…

WHERE: Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
WEBSITE: www.hutong.co.uk

Red Dog Saloon

Want to blow the top of your mouth to smithereens? You’ve come to the right place if you’re at Red Dog Saloon. The chilis are incredible, but boy are they hot. Not even Man vs Food could take on the Naga Viper Hot Wings. Make sure you get it on before they reach the, um, other end…

Where: 20 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 0PY
Website: www.reddogsaloon.co.uk

Tonkotsu

If you like it hot, you could head to Tonkotsu who will serve you a ramen that’ll leave you panting. Their signature “Eat the Bits” chilli oil is hotter than the sun.

It’ll scorch your mouth, but may also make you scorchio in the bedroom…

Where: 63 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 4QG
Website: www.tonkotsu.co.uk

Avocado

They say that millennials are having less sex than ever. Well it’s not for lack of trying because avo is an aphro! Fun fact which, may or may not, put you off: the Aztec word for avocado is “ahuacatl” which means testicle. With that image now imprinted in your mind, let’s move on to avocado’s qualities as a receptacle of  high levels of folic acid, vitamin B9 and vitamin B6. All  yummy sexy-time liquids.

Avobar

It was only a matter of time before someone opened a café dedicated to the millennial obsession that is avocado. And so it came to pass, and this ancient Aztec fruit became the focus of Avobar.

WHERE: 23 – 24 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8ND
WEBSITE: www.avobar.co.uk

Farm Girl

After all that rolling in the hay it’s amazing Farm Girl has time to run a series of upmarket cafés. But if there’s one place that avocado fiends head before trying out their new folic-acid fuelled frolics, it’s this health conscious modern avocado-centric venue.

Where: 1 Carnaby Street, Soho (above Sweaty Betty), W1F 9QF
Website: www.thefarmgirl.co.uk

Of course, food isn’t the only thing that’ll get you in the mood for general sexiness, we’ve helpfully put together a list of more practical ‘toys’ to keep things vibing in the bedroom, or what’s wrong with good old fashioned amorous desire based on nothing more than mutual attraction?

The Handbook has teamed up with The Grill at The Dorchester for an exclusive competition. Entrants will have the chance to win a dinner for two at The Grill at The Dorchester when it re-opens! www.dorchestercollection.com