The Handbook
The Handbook
By | 25th January 2010

Yes, with Valentine’s Day approaching fast as one of cupid’s darts, love is officially in the air – as is a mild note of panic as men across the capital (sorry to be sexist but it’s your job to sort out V Day ok?!) deliberate the merits of flowers v jewellery (the answer is both btw).

However, with the big day falling conveniently on a Sunday, you really can’t go wrong with a romantic weekend break at a top class London hotel. It doesn’t matter if you live in the capital already. In fact, there’s real illicit pleasure to be had holing up a 20 minute taxi ride from you own front door and no A303 Sunday night traffic to contend with either!

For die hard romantics, Kensington & Chelsea’s The Bentley London Waldorf Astoria Collection, has the perfect Valentine’s package, ‘A Fine Romance’. Believe us, this is the stuff that fairy tales are made of. What girl wouldn’t feel like a princess in the Bentley’s opulent surroundings of delicate gold leaf, silk, polished marble and velvet.

The package, £369 per couple, includes one night’s accommodation in a Deluxe King room complete with rose petals strewn on the bed, love-themed cupcakes upon check-in, two 30 minute aromatherapy body massages at the hotel’s Le Kalon Spa, a bottle of Champagne, strawberries & petite fours in your room (how you choose to enjoy these is strictly your own business) and then a deluxe Champagne breakfast served in the restaurant the following morning though we think you might favour the room service option.

Across the park in Soho, The Courthouse Doubletree by Hilton has a package that will speak to your darker side. Its ‘Come a-Courting’ overnight package, from £399 per couple features a spacious and rose petal stewn Queen Room, complete with an expertly chilled bottle of Champagne, strawberries and petit fours. But that’s just for starters. Work up an appetite during a half hour relaxation massage in the tranquil Sanook spa – there’s an indoor pool and sauna too if you really want to turn up the heat and then the main course is a Valentine’s themed candlelight dinner in one of the hotel’s restaurants. Pudding is up to you…

Finally as an optional extra or simply to be enjoyed on its own merits, the hotel is offering a ‘Locked up in Love’ Valentine’s dining package as well. No you won’t be handcuffed to your chair. Housed in a former magistrates’ court, the hotel boasts three original jail-cells where guests can enjoy a private Valentine’s dinner with a little edge. This exclusive package, £300 per couple, includes a welcome ‘love bite’ cocktail, followed by a sumptuous 5-course Valentine’s themed meal accompanied by a bottle of chilled champagne. However, in order to ensure complete privacy and personal service, a limit of three packages per evening are available over the weekend so although you can’t hurry love, you’d better be quick to snap this one up.

Don’t worry if you miss out though. The hotel’s Michelin recommended Silk restaurant will also be serving a delicious 5-course tasting menu inspired by the cuisine of the Silk route – £55 per person including a glass of champagne. The more casual Carnaby Brasserie is a great pre-theatre option and will feature a 4-course menu accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine for £40 per person. Otherwise you can do away with dinner altogether and opt for a chef’s selection of Love Bite canapés plus a glass of champagne each for £25 per couple -served in the bar.

The Bentley London, Waldorf Astoria Collection, 020 7244 5555,

The Courthouse Doubletree by Hilton, 0207 297 5555,