Want to do something a bit different this Valentine’s Day? Well, it’s not all set menus and single red roses - the more creative of London's restaurants have conjured up some special evenings
that’ll be a sure-fire hit, whoever your date is.
Boasting stunning views over London, as well as the perennially-popular Roof Gardens on its doorstep, Babylon is certainly a destination with a difference for Valentine’s Day. For £65 guests can
enjoy a five-course set menu, including dishes such as Cornish crab ravioli with violet potato, Perigord truffle and bisque cappacino, and braised belly of English lamb with pearl barley risotto
and Berkswell-glazed cauliflower, then a star-lit wander through the gardens.
Lesser-known among the capital’s diners due to it opening mere weeks ago, Boyd’s Brasserie, with its elegant, high-ceilinged, marble interior, is by far the best bet among London’s
recently-launched restaurants. A four-course set menu, including dishes such as artichoke, salsify and truffle salad, and red mullet fillet with crab, tomato and saffron risotto, is priced at £40.
And to make sure you get the best out of the offering, there is a guide to the best aphrodisiac foods printed on the reverse of the menu.
Enjoy a screening of classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Tickets cost £25 per couple, on top of which hardcore romantics can choose from a selection of additional packages:
Not on the first date (£25)
Rum punch served in a teapot for two (Goslings Black Seal, Havana 7, green tea, guava jelly, pineapple, lime, mango)
At the drive-in (£50)
Champagne cocktails (42 Below passionfruit vodka, apricot brandy, raspberry, pink peppercorn-infused Peychaud's Bitters, Campari, Moët and Chandon Rosé Champagne) with popcorn and dessert for two.
Breakfast in Bed (£70)
Bottle of Bollinger Champagne, six oysters with bloody Mary salsa and a dessert platter to share.
Screenings take place at 6.30pm and 9pm.
The Cinnamon Club
Four-course menu crammed with aphrodisiacs, priced at £45 for lunch and £75 for dinner.
Remember – spice is an aphrodisiac. Four-course menu and complementary cocktail priced at £50.
On the evenings of Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February, the restaurants at The Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel and Charlotte Street Hotel are offering a three-course dinner with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne, or a Champagne afternoon tea option (served between 3pm and 5pm) followed
by a screening of a film.
Screenings and prices vary across the three hotels:
Charlotte Street Hotel
13 February: Amelie (5pm and 8pm screenings)
14 February: Casablanca (5pm and 8pm screenings)
Afternoon tea and film £35
Dinner and film £65
Covent Garden Hotel
13 February: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (5pm and 8pm screenings)
14 February: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (5pm and 8pm screenings)
Afternoon tea and film £35
Dinner and film £65
The Soho Hotel
13 February: The Proposal (10pm screening)
14 February: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (3.30pm and 6.30pm screenings)
Afternoon tea and film £35
Dinner and film £55
Galvin at Windows
Few places in London beat Galvin at Windows for a sense of occasion. Perched on the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane, with a 180º panaroma, the Michelin-starred restaurant is putting on
a special five-course menu on the evenings of 13 and 14 February, priced at £105. Dishes will include Landes foie gras with date purée, Swiss chard, rhubarb and hibiscus syrup, fillet of
line-caught turbot with oyster, cucumber and wasabi jus, and saddle of Balmoral venison, creamed savoy cabbage, beetroot and sauce grand veneur.
The restaurant will also be open for lunch on Sunday 14 February, with guests able to pick from the menu prestige, priced at £58 for three courses.
Brunch with the mistress, then dine with the wife, at the very site where Oscar Wilde consorted with Lord Bosie and King Edward VII wooed Lillie Langtry. Long-standing Soho restaurant Kettner’s is
giving Casanovas the chance to treat either two lovers to two separate meals at the same venue on Valentine’s Day, or, more probably, to spoil one partner twice over, with enough time to fit in a
matinée or a trip to Tiffany’s in between. For breakfast, choose from eggs Benedict or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, along with fruit juice and tea or coffee, all for £14 – or £22 with a glass
of Champagne Gallimard Cuvée Reserve Brut. And for the three-course, £45 dinner, pick from dishes like seared diver-caught scallops with pea purée and mint vinaigrette or steamed brill with clams
The National Dining Rooms
Combine a Valentine’s lunch with a tour of the National Gallery. Dishes on a special menu include the likes of baked Colchester oysters with shaved vegetables infused in chives, roast halibut with
Jerusalem artichoke and a saffron, leek and mussel broth, poached beef fillet with celeriac mash, and rhubarb crumble and fool with white chocolate ice cream. Lunch is priced at £26.50 for two
courses and £29.50 for three.
Procuring a table at Paramount, the restaurant atop London’s Centre Point building, is normally something of a gamble, with non-members having to ring on the day to check availability. However, for
Valentine’s Day lunch the site is open to the public to book in advance. And a visit is certainly worth it, with stunning vistas across the whole of the cityscape from the 32nd floor location. Dine
on dishes like ballottine of foie gras with endive tatin, and John Dory with crushed new potato, fennel and sauce vierge, and drink in the view.
Enjoy a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ menu at Rotunda. Dishes from the gentlemen’s menu include smoked eel with beetroot and apple jelly, horseradish cream and baby cress and assiette of pork with savoy
cabbage, smoked bacon and potato purée and calvados sauce, while dishes on the ladies’ include seared scallops with pea purée, crisp pancetta and pea shoots, and corn-fed chicken breast stuffed
with red pepper mousse, Puy lentil salsa and herb pesto. Dishes can, however, be swapped between menus.
The menus are priced at £45 per person, including a glass of Henriot Rosé Champagne and the background tinkerings of a pianist.
The Silver Sturgeon
The Veuve Clicquot Love Cruise aboard the Silver Sturgeon
Float leisurely down the Thames on the 61m river yacht The Silver Sturgeon, and enjoy a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne and a three-course dinner by caterers Rhubarb (full details below).
The evening is priced at £125 per person for a table for two, or £140 per head for a two-person booth. Hurry though, as there is only enough space for 50 couples.
Tian of Cornish crab and avocado mousseline with beetroot cress, Parmesan wafer and red pepper oil
Roasted rump of Welsh lamb, with slow-braised shoulder, pommes mousseline, cavolo nero with chestnuts and morels, roasted tomato and cep jus
Valentine’s sundae – wild strawberry and rhubarb compote, vanilla bean brûlée and rose-petal ice cream
‘Love in the Afternoon’ tea cruise aboard the Silver Sturgeon
Enjoy an afternoon tea aboard river cruiser the Silver Sturgeon, along with a glass of pink Champagne. The afternoon tea is priced at £60 and the cruising times are either from 2-4pm or
Book a table for two and be in with a chance to win a night's stay at Malmaison London.
At 9pm two diners will be chosen at random to receive a complimentary night’s stay at the capital’s Malmaison hotel. The winning couple will be whisked straight to the Charterhouse Square property
where they will revel in an even more romantic evening then they planned, complete with a full English breakfast the next morning.