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.
Where: 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Charing Cross (0.3 miles)
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.
Where: 1 Commodity Quay, London E1W 1AZ
Nearest station: Tower Gateway DLR Station (0.3 miles)
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.
Where: 20 Upper Ground, London, UK
Nearest station: London Waterloo East (0.3 miles)
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.
Where: Fitzroy Place, 1 Pearson Square, London, W1W 7EY
Nearest station: Goodge Street (0.2 miles)
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.
Where: Lancaster Terrace, Bayswater, W2 2TY
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)