Valentines day for couples is one of the most anticipated dates in the new year. For singletons it’s a night many go out and make some questionable decisions. The anticipation and expectation towards the evening can be huge and quite often varying between either party in the relationship. In fact after valentines day divorce lawyers in New York see on average a 40% increase in business. Moving on from the doom and gloom my advice is that in order to make sure the evening is a success you should have a well planned arrangement. If you’re visiting London or are one of it’s 8 million residents a dinner date is a very popular choice and you need to book your place at the top restaurants early to avoid disappointment.
On this website we’ve already reviewed two restaurants in London that are perfect for a romantic, star studded evening, Clos Maggiore and Aqua. They will be included but more in depth experiences can be found of either of those pages.
5 Romantic Dining Experiences
Galvin at Windows – Hilton Park Lane
This restaurant is situated on the 28th floor of the Hilton on Park Lane and commands stunning views over hyde park and the surrounding London skyline. There is something mesmerising about dining high in the sky, it’s as if you’re getting away from everything and experiencing something only a few have. The perfect place to take your Valentine. Galvin at Windows is a Michelin starred establishment that was opened by Jeff and Chris Galvin who own a number of high quality restaurants throughout London and Edinburgh. The menu is inspired by modern French haute cuisine, with a set 3 course menu starting at £69 be prepared for a meal for two to come to around £200 with wines starting around £35 a bottle.
Aqua – The Shard
This restaurant is also situated over 30 floors above the London skyline, with views down the river to Canary Wharf and past Parliament up to Battersea. The Shard is the hottest address in London, gaining an array of awards for it’s literal, cutting edge design it will leave a lasting impression. The cuisine is contemporary British and you’ll find dishes ranging from wood pigeon to Cornish seabass. It features a bar with the best view in London, where you can enjoy the mixologists fixing you the best martini in town. Mains start at £25 with wine from £36.
The Ledbury – Notting Hill
Quite possible the most high class establishment in this list. The Ledbury holds two Michelin stars and is headed by the world renowned chef, Brett Graham. Graham has earn’t his masterclass status through blood sweat and tears and began in the business aged just 15. His talent and dedication and brilliant support has made The Ledbury one of the most desirable dining spots in town. Situated in Notting Hill on, of course, Ledbury road. You have the option between a fixed price, 3 course menu at £80 or a tasting menu of 8 courses at £105 per person.
Clos Maggiore has been voted the most romantic restaurant in London for at least the last two years. This Covent Garden establishment really pushes the boundary when it comes to fine dining. The French’s notoriety for romance, resonates throughout the restaurant. Almost all the staff are french or at least speak it. The Sommelier knows the 1000 wines they have in their cellar like the back of his hand and they stock wines that you will not find in any other restaurant. The decor and seating arrangement is intimate, the bonus is being sat in the conservatory room which has thousands of fairy lights in the ceiling, no doubt taking your valentines breath away. Mains on the menu start at £20 with wine starting at £25.
Odette’s – Primrose Hill
The most understated restaurant on the list, Odette’s is set among Victorian shops in the Highstreet of Primrose Hill. Primrose Hill is a fantastic place to enjoy a romantic walk and taking your date to the view point in primrose park will set an excellent tone for the evening to follow. Albeit this is only worth doing should Valentines day fall on a balmy, starry evening. There is a tasting menu at £50 per person which serves some top quality local British cuisine. The a la carte menu begins at £16 for a main and wines begin at £20.
If you visit any one of these restaurants and your Valentine will be blown away. Some additional tips aside the choice of venue are don’t raise expectations too much and try and keep any dinner reservations as much of a surprise as possible, if you are the one with the task of arranging them. Order wine, lots and lots of it and if don’t be stingy and make sure you choose a restaurant you can splash out in.