When it comes to date night, London’s got no shortage of restaurants. But when it comes to finding one that truly impresses, it can be a bit of a minefield. So ditch your chocolates and petrol station flowers, for we’ve rounded up some romantic places in London that really cut the mustard.
1. Southam Street Book Southam Street
Little sister of acclaimed 108 Garage, Southam Street is the kind of hidden gem venue that’s worth keeping up your sleeve for date night. Uber-cool decor meets a fusion menu and signature cocktails, with dishes like steamed bao bun with Korean-spiced fried chicken or Kurobuta baby back ribs in a sticky chipotle miso bound to impress.
2. Helix at The Gherkin Book Helix at The Gherkin
With views like those from the top of The Gherkin, it’s hard to go wrong. The food at Helix lives up to the setting, with dishes like Goosnargh duck with chicory and gooseberries, and line-caught wild bass with octopus and sea vegetables.
3. inamo Book inamo
If conversation runs dry on date night, stare at the table… inamo brings added entertainment value to a meal, with interactive tables where you can order your food, watch a live chef cam and even play games. Don’t let it distract you from the food however, with signature sushi dishes served alongside a host of sakes and Japanese beers.
4. Picture Marylebone Book Picture Marylebone
A charming neighbourhood restaurant, Picture Marylebone is the sister restaurant to the original Bib Gourmand-winning Picture Fitzrovia. The menu changes daily but high quality produce and value for money are guaranteed, particularly when you can get a 6-course tasting menu with a cocktail for £35.
5. The Duck & Rice Book Duck & Rice
From Alan Yau, the man behind Michelin-starred Yauatcha and Hakkasan, The Duck and Rice fuses British pub style with authentic Chinese recipes. Sharing-style dim sum plates and signature specials are joined by indulgent desserts and an impressive beer selection. What’s more, you can really impress/appall your date by logging onto the wifi and selecting a track for the jukebox.
6. Ember Yard Book Ember Yard
If your date’s impressed by awards, Ember Yard has 2 AA Rosettes. If your date’s impressed by some of the best tapas around, Ember Yard’s got your back. And if your date’s not impressed by Ember Yard, it might be time to find a new date.
7. Mac and Wild Book Mac and Wild
Dates don’t have to be all candles, flowers and fine wine. Sometimes a top quality burger and a creative cocktail is far better than anything soppy. As well as boasting a mouthwateringly meaty menu, Mac and Wild’s Devonshire Square restaurant also has the option to add something out of the ordinary to date night – its virtual shooting gallery comes complete with a tweed-filled dressing up box, ensuring that this will not be your average romantic night out.
8. Wright Brothers Book Wright Brothers
What’s more romantic than oysters? Eating them in an iconic riverside location next to Battersea Power Station, is the answer. Seafood specialists, the Wright Brothers menu features the likes of fillet of Icelandic cod with sautéed chorizo and shitake mushrooms, maple-cured pork chops with kimchee, and a build-your-own shellfish and oyster platter.
9. City Social Book City Social
For when you need to pull out all the stops, a Michelin-starred restaurant from a celeb chef with panoramic views is sure to do the trick. Served on the 24th floor, expect creative dishes with signature Jason Atherton flair, such as scallop tortellini with lemongrass velouté or the ribeye steak with duck fat chips.
10. Kitty Fisher’s Book Kitty Fisher’s
It may be named after a famous lady of the night, but Kitty Fisher’s has a far more respectable reputation these days. Tucked away in Mayfair’s Shepherd Market, this intimate, candle-lit restaurant has earned a stellar reputation for its modern British cooking.