Valentine’s Day, it’s like Marmite isn’t it? You either embrace it whole-heartedly, love hearts and rose petals everywhere or you wish you could just forget all about it. If you do have an SO/a crush that doesn’t know you exist but you want to impress or just want to show your friends a bit of extra love this year then here is our guide on to how to spend the day of love in London:
Ah the humble oyster, the thing itself is anything but sexy unless you’re into slimy and grey and yet people still turn to them for their aphrodisiac properties – Casanova was a big fan (never judge a book by its cover and all that). So when it comes to Valentine’s Day where better to benefit from these than Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill. They’ll be serving up a four course tasting menu with canapes and petit fours.
Where: 11-15 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DG, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.3 miles)
Chambord cocktails and contortionists
Sometimes it’s not just the main event that is the enjoyable part; the build-up is all part of the experience so over at Circus they have created a series of tempting cocktails in the lead up to the big day with alluring names such as Femme Fatale (Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur, aged rum, cold pressed pineapple juice and white chocolate liqueur). On the actual day diners are invited to spin on the roulette wheel and enjoy a Chambord Royale cocktail (Perrier Jouet Champagne and Chambord) served in a ‘flamingo’ glass to start the fun. Circus performers will also be on hand to shock and amaze with a special performance of contortionists, fire breathers and acrobatics.
Where: 27-29 Endell Street, Westminster, London, WC2H 9BA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.1 miles)
Spice things up with a romantic meal for two at Daawat
Spice up your romance and your meal with a little dalliance over at Daawat, the Indian restaurant situated inside the Strand Palace Hotel, where you can indulge in dishes like Murgh Shahi Korma (chicken, cloves, bay leaf, poppy seed and cashew cream sauce) and desserts like chocolate samosas with mango dip. End the most romantic day of the year with a delicious cocktail in the stylish surroundings of the Gin Palace.
Share your dishes...and your heart
Nothing can get in the way of love, not even Tom’s Kitchen’s opening times so they have opened their doors on a Sunday especially for this momentous occasion. Diners will be welcomed in from 5.30pm -9.30pm to enjoy dishes like Venison Tartar with sourdough toast and slow cooked egg, and Cumbrian Cote de Boeuf Steak with wild mushroom ragout and truffled triple cooked chips. All of the dishes are made to share and finish with desserts such as the Maltesers Ice Cream Sundae.
A view to rival the one across the table from you
With stunning views from the restaurant overlooking the Thames and St Paul’s you may find yourself distracted from your date but we would recommend against getting too side-tracked if you want a successful night. Helping to refocus you back to your table will be a Valentines menu with optional wine pairing, serving dishes like Dover Sole and Lobster with leeks, pear, fennel, saffron, and sharing desserts such as Pink Champagne, Strawberry and White Chocolate Lollipops.
3 course brunch
Make the most of Valentine’s Day being at the weekend by introducing your two great loves: brunch meet boyfriend, boyfriend meet brunch. We’re not suggesting you’ve never brunched with your other half but we bet you’ve never had a three course champagne brunch with oysters, roast sirloin of beef and salted caramel tart. The brunch is available on Sunday 14th only but a Champagne dinner will be served all weekend and a rose Champagne tasting in the wine cellar will kick things off on Thursday 11th.
Where: 350 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UU, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.8 miles)
A sharing pudding and complimentary Champagne
Percy & Founders are no stranger to brunch, with their menu being served as usual from 9am to 4pm all Valentine’s weekend. Give yourself something else to love, with a chocolate fondant and Oreo sharing pudding, created especially for the occasion. Fancy dinner instead? Any guest who makes a dinner booking will each receive a complimentary glass of Champagne.
Love-themed afternoon tea
If you want to show someone they are really special, you’re going to need a really special venue. Afternoon tea at the Lancaster Lounge Bar sounds about right. Complete with rose petals, the handwritten menu features Laurent-Perrier Rose Champagne, heart shaped macaroons, and oyster beignet with caviar. Rose infused tea completes the authentic experience.
Steak and Champagne
Scottish 14oz rib-eye is the order of the day at Smith & Wollensky. We’d expect no less from the steakhouse so if some of the other Valentine’s Day offerings sound too dainty or ‘petite’ for your appetite, steak is the way forward. Complete with an amuse-bouche, chocolate heart petit four and three courses (not just steak) you can enjoy scallops, pheasant, duck confit and mini desserts with a straberry bellini or bottle of Canard-Duchene ‘Charles VII’ Champagne to share with your date.
Where: The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, Covent Garden Riverside, London WC2N 6HT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Charing Cross (0.1 miles)
Embrace the cringe-factor
If you prefer an understated Valentine’s, look away now: The Richmond are going all out with OTT decorations, heart-shaped white chocolate mousse desserts and slow jam music. The bartenders will be shaking up specially created Valentine’s cocktails on arrival, followed by a Carlingford oyster (their speciality) and 3-course meal of pork rillettes, gurnard, duck breast or the whole seabream with clams for 2 to share.
The one for the one
If you think you’ve really found the one, we mean really think, then we’ve found quite the Valentine’s Day experience. Oh and you’ll have to have some spare money because this isn’t just supper for two. Instead (are you ready for this?) it’s: a stay in a Studio King Suite at Belgraves, private gallery visits and museums tours, guides explorations of London’s best shopping destinations; drinks at the best bars and dining at some of London’s top restaurants, plus a three hour atelier tour and co-creation session with designer, Anabela Chan. If you don’t have anyone to take, we wouldn’t say no to a date.
Where: 20 Chesham Place, London, SW1X 8HQ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Victoria (0.5 miles)
So you don’t have a date but that’s ok, because you know what will always be there for you? You know what you can always rely on to make you feel good? Food, that’s what. It just so happens that Bar20 are offering complimentary bar snacks with every bottle wine or Champagne bought. And it’s available throughout February, Monday to Friday so you can have a whole month of love.
Where: Bar20, First Floor, Birleys, Pocket Park, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BY
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)
All the Love
Love really is in the air at the Corinthia, they’ve got: Valentine’s afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge, Champagne and macaron pairing at The Northall Bar, special Valentine’s menus at the restaurants, a love brunch on the Sunday, Romeo and Juliet cocktails in the Bassoon Bar, a couples package at the ESPA spa and a retreat packages available too. If you don’t arrive feeling loved up you certainly will when you leave.
When you book a loft, loft suite or penthouse at the London Edition, you’ll receive all you need to make you look like a true romantic – a bottle of Champagne, sweets, a limited edition scented candle and a luxurious rose knot by Wild at Heart. It’s going to be a good night.
Seduce your sweetheart with a love potion created at one of the Drake & Morgan exclusive mixology sessions. Flaunt your skills and make the perfect concoction for your crush filled with aphrodisiacs such as chilli and chocolate. Head back the next day for their Valentine’s brunch which includes the likes of lobster benedict and salmon and caviar and of course unlimited Bellinis, and Bloody Marys to keep the love flowing. Taking place in various venues, so check out the website!
All day Valentine's Party
Beaufort House have partnered with Belvedere Vodka and Veuve Clicquot Rich for a Valentine’s brunch party, so if you’re single you might still be able to find someone in time… just saying. Get some Dutch courage with the unlimited Champagne and Bloody Marys (although don’t be that drunk mess, however hot-a-mess you might be: not a good look) and then when the DJs start, get dancing. The party features performances from The Girly Show and carries on until 6pm meaning you can carry on your search for love after; or if you’ve found it, then head on home… We also recommend the Champagne Punch; Russian Standard vodka and fresh passion-fruit syrup, topped up with champagne.
Where: 354 King's Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UZ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.7 miles)
The Height of Love
Want to impress your date with a stunning view (other than that of your own face?) Then head to the Sky Gardens; whether you’re going for drinks at the Sky Pod Bar or going for the dinner at Fenchurch or Darwin Brasserie (they both have special Valentine’s menus) they’ll all be accompanied by a stunning view of London and whilst it might not be the city of love you’re both bound to leave loved up.
Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 8AF, UK
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)
Romance in Covent Garden
There are times when less is more, when it’s best to keep things simple and Tuttons are keeping things traditional so that love can do the talking this Valentines. Things get off to a fine start with Prosecco which is followed by three courses showcasing the very best of British produce including the likes of beetroot cured Scottish salmon and 28 day aged rib eye of beef.
Where: 11/12 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.2 miles)
Candy Rose Cocktails
If you love cocktails as much as you love your date, The Jones Family Project are allowing you to combine the two this February 14th. Try the Candy Rose cocktail which mixes vodka, vermouth rosé and Prosecco with strawberries, sugar and basil before (or after) a meal in their basement restaurant.
Cosy Couples Dinner
There’s something romantic about Mews of Mayfair simply being down an alleyway that makes it feel intimate. The chic brasserie area is putting on a three course tasting menu for Valentine’s Day (well, two days) including cured Scottish salmon with strawberry and pink peppercorn a strawberry, basil and vanilla mille-feuille. Their afternoon tea is also receiving the Valentine’s treatment with pink Champagne alongside the classics.
Bed, Flicks & Chill
Making Valentine’s plans can be tough. Some people want to go out, some people want to stay in, and difference in opinion always leads to a fight. Thankfully we’re on hand to save the day with the perfect compromise. “Bed, Flicks & Chill” at Andaz is a great way to get out of the house and change up the scenery while still enjoying the comforts of unlimited movies, prosecco and popcorn from the comfort of bed. Topped off with a lazy morning late check out and full English breakfast, it’s like being home without being home.
Cuban Romance in the West End
Whisking your other half away for a weekend break on Valentine’s Day is the dream. Unfortunately for most of us it’s not possible, so alternatives are appreciated. Asia De Cuba are offering a unique “Chino Latino” bottomless brunch on the big day, complete with bottomless cocktails or champagne. Dig in to a 3-course meal from the brunch menu while listening to entertainment provided by the live Cuban band and convince yourself you’re not in London anymore.
Sky high dining
When it comes to good date night options, Duck & Waffle is always in our top five, so when it comes to Valentine’s Day you know it’s going to be a safe bet, especially with those views. Dan Doherty, the Executive Chef has put together a creative tasting menu with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients with dishes including truffled polenta croquettes, smoked halibut and miso glazed 18 hour short rib. There’ll also be two exclusive cocktails including the ‘Original’ Old Fashion with whiskey, salted caramel, toffee and burnt sesame. Even we’ll cheers to love with drinks like that!