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. Palm Court at The Langham Book The Langham
Offering an exclusive experience for 1 day only, Palm Court at The Langham’s sublime Valentine’s Day afternoon tea consists of a decadent stand crafted by Head Pastry Chef Andrew Gravett, complemented by fine teas, matched by the tea sommelier. Along with luxurious finger sandwiches and fresh scones from the Palm Court Bakery, exquisite pastries and cakes include the playful ‘Where’s Cupid?’ (coffee and chocolate-filled choux bun), and a ‘You melt me’ chocolate fondant. A take-home gift of a tea caddy and a chocolate and passion fruit mousse will be offered, as a memento of the day.
2. 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.
3. Avenue Book Avenue
Oozing effortless Manhattan chic, Avenue is a sure-to-impress dwelling in well-heeled St James’s. With clean angles offset by subtle natural hues, the dining room comes courtesy of renowned designer, Russell Sage, while the kitchen is headed up by Andras Katona. This year’s Valentine’s menu is a journey through decadent signature staples served with a fiery flourish: think sharing steak with Asian slaw and fat chips, and luscious chocolate & black cherry frozen parfait.
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.
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.
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. Outlaw’s at The Capital Book Outlaw’s at The Capital
A Michelin-starred venture from Nathan Outlaw, this supremely elegant seafood restaurant is found within 5-star, family-run boutique hotel, The Capital. Filled with mirrored panels, beach pebble-hues and natural materials, the dining room is a gorgeous backdrop for Outlaw’s elaborate nautical creations. Enjoy a 6-course feast with champagne this Valentine’s Day, featuring the likes of scallops with orange and rosemary, and rhubarb financier with ginger beer sorbet.
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.
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.
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.