It’s the biggest stickler of the year when it comes to dining out: where to eat on Valentine’s Day. Striking the balance between last-minute-booker nonchalance and red-rose-brandishing-barber-shop-quartet cheese fest can be quite a task, but never fear, as we’ve got restaurants for romance covered this year. Check out our 10 picks for dining out on Valentine’s.
1. L’Absinthe Book L’Absinthe
A gem of a neighbourhood restaurant in Primrose Hill, L’Absinthe showcases trusty French classics. The owner, Jean Christophe, hails from Burgundy, and will showcase a menu of rich flavours fit for romancing this Valentine’s: think seared scallops with crisp apple salad, beef fillet with fondant potato, and raspberry millefeuille.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 3 courses £42 per person
2. Ten Room at Hotel Café Royal Book Ten Room
A blissful retreat from the hordes of Piccadilly Circus, Ten Room brings innovative British cuisine to London’s iconic Hotel Café Royal. This elegant, marble-clad space has been restored to its former glory, and is now a cocoon of chocolate leather and soft lighting. Alongside a chilled flute of Laurent Perrier champagne, indulge in dishes like Denham Estate venison carpaccio, and a sharing chocolate temptation.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 3 courses & champagne £80 per person
3. Grand Imperial Book Grand Imperial
Grand Imperial London
For those wanting to veer away from the traditional chocolate-dipped strawberries and heart-shaped edibles, Grand Imperial London offers an eclectic oriental menu in an opulent setting. In the dining room, muted pastel shades and fresh flower displays are offset by twinkly chandeliers and Chinese symbol murals, creating a dream-like contrast from the rush of Victoria postcode. Enjoy alternative Valentine indulgences of a dim sum platter, or crispy aromatic duck.
4. Ormer Book Ormer
Enveloped by the glamour of Flemings Mayfair Hotel, Ormer presents British food from Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin, with much of the menu produce sourced from Jersey. Decked out with leather banquettes, wood panelling and bronzed lighting, the glitzy dining room takes inspiration from the 1920s, and a decadent Valentine’s menu includes oysters with saffron linguine, and pillowy profiteroles with cherry sorbet.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 5-course tasting menu £105 per person
5. Quaglino’s Book Quaglino’s
One of Mayfair’s most glamorous hideaways, Quaglino’s has served high-end European cuisine since 1929. Live jazz sessions are a regular fixture at this famous London restaurant, and guests can perch at the central island bar with a choice from the impressive cocktail list. For Valentine’s, indulgent creations include guinea fowl with potato pressing and truffle velouté, or a chocolate & cherry sharing dessert.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 4 courses £75 per person
6. Tuttons Book Tuttons
Surrounded by the bright lights of Theatreland and continental market square cobbles, Covent Garden’s Piazza is a romantic spot in its own right. Escape the crowds by stepping into Tuttons’ dining room: filled with scarlet banquettes, light-bouncing mirrors and sleek Art Deco pieces, all courtesy of acclaimed interior designer Russell Sage. With Tuttons championing the best of British produce, enjoy warming British comfort food with a refined twist: sure to banish the chills on what’s sure to be a chilly February evening.
7. Fifth Floor Book Fifth Floor
Atop the designer label haven of Harvey Nichols’ flagship store in Knightsbridge, the aptly named Fifth Floor showcases refined European cuisine. Enjoy a decadent menu focused on rich, special-occasion flavours, like lamb rump with dauphinoise potatoes & glazed vegetables, or a platter of dainty macarons & truffles.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 3 courses & a cocktail £30 per person
8. Rivea Book Rivea
Mixing Hollywood glamour and supreme cuisine from Alain Ducasse protégé Alexandre Nicolas, Rivea is housed in the ultra-sleek hotel of fashion house Bulgari. Descend the sweeping spiral staircase for the ultimate arrival, and dine encircled by geometric tiling, mirrored walls and sleek leather. Sip rose champagne and feast on dishes like handmade ricotta ravioli with black truffle, or veal with potatoes & olives.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 5 courses & rosé champagne £105 per person
9. Momo Book Momo
A seductive souk found just off Regent Street, Momo serves authentic north African cuisine in intimate surroundings. Splashes of colour and rustic stonework dominate the sprawling interior, and the buzz of the open kitchen is an excellent date night focal point. Enjoy traditional north African recipes along side exotic cocktail mixes.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 4 courses & cocktails £85 per person
10. The Blue Door Bistro Book The Blue Door Bistro
The Blue Door Bistro
Awarded an AA Rosette for its cuisine, The Blue Door Bistro is a homely hideaway, evoking the romance of 19th-century London. Shuttered sash windows, sprawling Persian rugs and vintage photographs are dotted through the distinguished dining room, and the menu is quintessentially British. With the resident pianist setting the mood, guests will be treated to the annual Valentine’s feast (4 whole courses, to be exact), along with a bottle of Lanson champagne to share.
Valentine’s 2017: Book 5 courses & sharing champagne £85 per person