You know that warm, fuzzy, indescribable feeling you get when you’re in the moment? No we’re not talking hanging with bae, we’re talking hanging at the bar. On and around Valentine’s Day, plenty of London restaurants and bars are offering up love-themed cocktails worth falling for. So take a sip of these sexy potions, and see if you fall in love…
Blind Spot at St Martin’s Lane Hotel, Covent Garden
Make sure you have an ace up your sleeve by impressing your date with Blind Spot’s amorous cocktails. The Queen of Hearts mixes gin, grapefruit juice, vanilla liqueur and pomegranate juice, while King of Spades is a punchy combination of Bacardi Carta Blanca, Cherry Heering liqueur, Noilly Prat vermouth and Kirsch brandy.
How much: £14 each, £25 for two
Bōkan, Canary Wharf
This three-floor, sky-high restaurant and bar in Canary Wharf is far sexier than its Novotel hotel wrapper suggests. 39 floors up and boasting 360-degree views of the capital, Bōkan is actually quite the romantic spot. You can strike gold by purchasing your date its love-fest offering, called Dena’s Treasure (a mix of gin, lemon and raspberries).
How much: £10
Dirty Bones Carnaby, Kensington, Shoreditch and Soho
Across all its restaurants, Dirty Bones will be serving up its More Dirty Passion sip to mark the most romantic night of the year. The flirty cocktail is made from Campari, Solerno blood orange liqueur, sweet vermouth and fresh blood orange juice with egg white, lemon and Peychaud’s Bitters. Grab a straw, it’s time to get dirty.
How much: £8
Ella Canta, Mayfair
Ella Canta, with its quirky interiors and stylish staff, is not one to do things by halves. To celebrate this year’s love fest, its bar will be serving a range of Valentine’s Day cocktails, including Makech: a fresh and candied blend of Patrón silver Tequila, coconut Tequila, cola and vanilla reduction, fresh lime, Dandelion & Burdock bitters, and muddled cardamom.
How much: £15
Ginza Onodera, Mayfair
My Berry First Kiss is Ginza Onodera’s take on a Valentine’s cocktail. Combining apple brandy, whisky, crushed raspberry and topped with tonic water, this little mix can be enjoyed at the bar if it’s a first date, or if you’re ready to make the move to full-blown dinner, have it as part of the restaurant’s Valentine’s Menu.
How much: £11
L’Ami Malo, City
Let the French spark the romance for you and your date at Spitalfields newcomer L’Ami Malo. After tucking into delicious, light galettes and crêpes (perfect for sharing), take a seat at the restaurant’s intimate speakeasy bar, Le Moulin, and finish the night over some ruby-red Emilienaire cocktails, featuring rum, gin, lime and grenadine.
How much: £10
The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych, Covent Garden
The name sounds a little bit like a line from a desperate Tinder user, so be sure to serve The Lobby Bar’s Take a Chance on Me cocktail to someone with a sense of humour. Designed to share, one half is a refreshing blend of gin and gooseberry liqueur while the other is richer with Cognac and buckthorn liqueur – both come topped with Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne.
How much: £30
Mnky Hse, Mayfair
Mnky Hse must have spies in our editorial department, because its Valentine’s cocktail is actually named Love Potion. The drink mixes mezcal that’s been shaken with strawberry syrup, yellow chartreuse liqueur, Antica Formula vermouth, lemon juice and egg white. Drink a few of these and Mnky Hse’s vowel-missing name might appear a little less silly…
How much: £18
Perception at W London, Soho
At the glossy Perception bar at W London, you and your date can enjoy a special sharing cocktail, called Pear Shaped (let’s hope that’s not a bad omen). The fruity sip mixes Patron silver Tequila, Aperol, pear, lemon, syrup and egg white. We’re not sure why there’s a cracked egg in the picture either...
How much: £13
If you’d rather take away the awkwardness of a formal dinner date, head to this cheeky small plates restaurant in Shoreditch, which is next door to adult ball pit Ballie Ballerson. The three-course Valentine’s menu kicks off with the Kiss From A Rose cocktail, which blends gin, rose petals, cucumber, lemon, egg whites and bitters.
How much: £45 for a cocktail, three courses and tickets to Ballie Ballerson
Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell
If you’re happily single, or you and your partner have an ‘arrangement’ (no judging here!), then head to the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell. It’s offering one complimentary cocktail from its ‘Three is the Magic Number’ menu for parties of three. Choose from the Jasmine Gimlet, Fig Leaf Collins or the Vieux Kir.
How much: £11
Check out more ideas on how to spend your Valentine’s Day with our guide, or defy office boredom by taking our Valentine’s restaurant quiz. If you need to book a restaurant for Valentine’s Day, we’ve got you covered.