Valentines Day is just over a week away, so if you haven’t planned anything yet you better start soon! London is the perfect place to celebrate this special day, with its wide selection of beautiful restaurants and romantic activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
For a refined dining experience that’s sure to impress your date try Searcys at the Gherkin, a luxury restaurant in the dome at the top of 30 St Mary Axe (or The Gherkin as it is better known). Their delicious dishes by Michelin Star Executive Chef Barry Tonks, combined with the wide selection of wines and cocktails and breathtaking 360-degree views across London, make this restaurant the perfect place for a valentines dinner.
Just a short walk away from the Gherkin lies another one of London’s iconic towers, 20 Fenchurch Street, or as it is otherwise known The Walkie Talkie. At the top, there are two luxury restaurants, Fenchurch Restaurant and Darwin Brassiere, as well as two bars, City Garden Bar and The Sky Pod Bar. What makes this building extra romantic is that after your meal or drinks you can take a wander around the beautiful Sky Garden, the highest public roof garden in Europe, with it’s stunning views out across London.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little more low key and relaxed than the top of a skyscraper, Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill might be more up your street. The Rocco style interior design inside an old English townhouse gives the place a cosy yet elegant atmosphere, with intimate tables for two set in front of large open fireplaces. The restaurant serves a menu of modern European cuisine at night as well as a great weekend brunch, or if you’re not going for food BBB is still ideal for a few date night cocktails.
If you’re a living cliche and, like every other couple in London, heading to see the new 50 Shades film, which comes out just in time for Valentine’s day, why not do it in style? Instead of the back row at your local Cineworld, try one of London’s more unique cinemas for a change.
How do you get your date into bed early in the night? Take them to Electric Cinema Portobello of course! Electric is located on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and has just the one screen showcasing new releases. There are 6 double beds in the front row, single armchairs with foot stalls and several double sofas in the back row. Snuggle up under a cashmere blanket and enjoy the film with some nibbles and a few glasses of wine, just please remember there are other people in the room too!
On Saturday 11th February Electric are hosting an opening evening event for 50 Shades Darker, which for £45pp includes a welcome cocktail, dinner and the screening, as well as a few ‘themed surprises’.
If you’re not ready to jump into bed quite yet you can opt for comfy sofas instead. Try one of Everyman Cinema‘s several London locations, including Canary Wharf, Kings Cross, Baker Street, Hampstead (the original) and Belsize Park. The cinemas have luxurious sofas and armchairs covered in pillows and a side table for drinks and snacks from the bar.
On Friday 10th of February Everyman are also hosting a special evening for the opening night of 50 Shade’s Darker, but this one’s a masquerade party! The dress code is evening attire and there will be food and drink as well as music and entertainment all included in your ticket.
Rather than picking up a last minute box of chocolates from the local supermarket, try something a little bit more personal this year. M&M World in Leicester Square has gone valentines day crazy with romantic gifts and personalised M&M’s which you write special messages to your other half on.
Alternatively, you could bring your partner along with you and try making the chocolate yourselves at one of MyChocolate‘s events. Their romantic Valentines Chocolate Indulgence course starts with a glass of prosecco and chocolate dipped strawberries before you begin making your own truffles, fudge and infused chocolate slabs.
Or, instead of chocolates, you could pick up some delicious chocolate brownies from Bad Brownie. They have a wide variety of flavours, which change month to month and have previously included Jaffa Cake, Ferrero Rocher and Amaretto and Cranberry, however, their classic Triple Chocolate is definitely my favourite! There is also currently a Valentines 2017 Collection which includes these gorgeous looking Brownie Sweet Hearts…
“At the heart of each heart is raspberry compote encased in white chocolate, packed into a rose brownie, smothered with dark chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate, raspberry flakes and crushed pistachio nuts.”
– Product Description from Website
Bad Brownie has street food stalls at various London locations throughout the week (check out where you can find them here) and can be found in the fresh bakery counter at Selfridges Food Hall. You can also order on their website for home delivery service or through Amazon Fresh and Uber Eats.
One of the things I love about London is that the florists can be just as beautiful as the flowers themselves. Try taking your Valentines date along with you to pick out some flowers.
The photo below is Wild at Heart in Notting Hill (222 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RJ), one of my favourites.
For more inspiration check out one my of favourite London Instagram accounts @prettycitylondon, who can point you in the direction of plenty of beautiful London florists.