There are few experiences more romantic than enjoying a meal with the person you love. Luckily, London isn’t short on enchanting dining spots, whether it’s the grand dining room at The Wolseley, Hakkasan’s sultry glamour or Tom Aikens’ gloriously intimate new offering in Belgravia, a table at any one of these spots is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet. Here, we’ve rounded up the most romantic London restaurants for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
The Most Romantic London Restaurants
To Book This Valentine’s Day
Dining at Park Chinois is like eating inside an intricate jewellery box, with its gold pillars, ruby red velvet banquettes and sultry lighting. The Mayfair restaurant draws its opulent interiors from Thirties Shanghai and was inspired by the golden era of French chinoiserie, so you can expect full-on glamour with more than a touch of hedonism. The food is as delightful as the surroundings, with dishes like tea smoked wagyu beef ribs, grilled black cod and potted rice with winter black truffle encapsulating their elevated take on Chinese cuisine. For an even livelier experience, book a table at their underground hideaway, Club Chinois, where you can enjoy live jazz and cabaret performers with your supper.
17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1
Muse by Tom Aikens
With just 25 covers, restaurants don’t come more intimate than Tom Aikens’ Belgravia spot. Tucked away in a converted Georgian townhouse in a charming mews, this 2020 opening saw the celebrated British chef return to the London dining scene – and the city is all the better for it. The dishes here are all inspired by Aitkens’ Norfolk roots, with tasting menus drawing on key memories from his past, whether that’s the Smokey Summers (sea bass, aubergine and tomato) or Conquering the Beech Tree (langoustine, pork fat and burnt apple). For a truly theatrical experience book at the counter overlooking the open kitchen, where you can watch Aitkens and his team perform their magic.
38 Groom Place, Belgravia, London, SW1
Michelin-starred Hakkasan is hands-down one of sexiest dining spots in London, thanks to its sultry subterranean flair, atmospheric lighting and sophisticated modern Cantonese menu. The dishes here are made for sharing: order their signature Peking duck and a selection of side dishes, from steamed dim sum and slow roasted Iberico pork char siu to flavour-filled salads and golden fried soft-shell crab. The cocktails here are just as impressive and are split into four distinct sections: Passion, Captivation, Romance and Trust. Try the potent Mistress of Deception, made with Belvedere vodka, Aperol and passionfruit reduction, Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2012 and pomegranate. Alongside their original outpost in Hanway Place they also have a Mayfair restaurant on Bruton Place, which is no less seductive.
8 Hanway Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1
Dean Street is always a good idea for date night – there’s something about Soho that never fails to conjure up the sort of fizzing thrill that London’s dining scene is famous for. And the undisputed jewel in Soho’s crown is Quo Vadis. Helmed by chef Jeremy Lee, the thoroughly British (and beautifully illustrated) menu features indulgent dishes like braised ox cheek, oysters and pheasant pie, while their signature smoked eel sandwich is not to be missed. Settle yourself into a cosy corner (there are plenty to choose from) and work your way through the extensive wine list.
26-29 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1
Galvin La Chapelle
Housed in a former chapel, complete with a vast gabled roof and marble arches, this just might be the most spectacular dining room in London. Don’t expect a church-like atmosphere, though: the Grade II-listed building has been fully modernised, with metal chandeliers and lush foliage lining the walls. The Michelin-starred menu has its roots embedded firmly in polished French cuisine – start with slow cooked duck egg with Périgord black Winter truffle before moving on to barbecued Bresse pigeon, celeriac and dark chocolate. Finish off with apple tarte Tatin & Normandy crème fraiche – the very best of French romance summed up on a plate.
35 Spital Square, Spitalfields, London, E1
Bob Bob Ricard
It’s all in the details at this Soho institution, where designer David Collins is at his flamboyant best. There are retro leather booths, sleek marbled table-tops, eye-catching mirrored ceilings and exquisite hand-printed Japanese wallpaper. Then, of course, there’s the ‘Press for Champagne’ button, an absolute must when playing cupid. But this is a place for eating, too, with a menu of English and Russian classics given an exquisite twist. If the lobster mac and cheese or the beef wellington for two doesn’t sweep you off your feet, the crème brûlée, flambéed at the table, certainly will.
1 Upper James Street, Soho, London, W1
Housed in an elegantly restored 19th-century drawing room, Skye Gyngell’s restaurant at Somerset House is one of the most enchanting in London. The light-filled dining room is both impressively grand and warmly inviting, with stone columns and enormous arched windows offset by soft pastel hues (mint green walls and pale pink banquettes), though evenings are best for a more seductive vibe. The menu is designed around wholesome, seasonal ingredients, with dishes like scallops with celeriac and sea beets, and guinea fowl with grilled fennel. Sustainability is a key focus – if your date night plans include a show, their pre-theatre “Scratch” menu features dishes made solely from “waste” produce, like leftover potato skins or trimmings from their house made pasta.
Somerset House, Lancaster Place, London, WC2
For head-in-the-clouds romance, whizz 32 floors up the Shard to Hutong, the London flagship of revered Hong Kong-based restaurant group Aqua. Climb the sweeping staircase to the 33rd level and you’ll be met with glorious 360 views over the city through floor-to-ceiling windows. Decor is traditional oriental, a combination of dark wood, intricately carved furniture and glowing red lanterns. The northern Chinese menu takes inspiration from the dishes once served in the imperial palaces, with everything from dim sum to dumplings, seafood to tofu-based delights. Feast on crispy soft-shell crab with Sichuan dried peppers while the lights of London twinkle beneath you.
The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, Southwark, London, SE1
If you’re after bright, buzzing and good old-fashioned fun, this 70s Capri-style trattoria from restaurant group Big Mamma is a blast of sunshine in Shoreditch. Set over two floors, interiors are a kitsch mash-up and the service is joyful, while the food is as theatrical as the surroundings. Enjoy Italian classics made with love by chef Filippo – next-level fresh pasta with black truffle, creamy burrata filled with pesto, pizza Napoletana served bubbling from the Marana oven, creamy gelato… With a cocktail list that’s packed full of crowd-pleasers, this larger-than-life restaurant is the very definition of la dolce vita.
54 – 56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2
The Gallery at Sketch
Walking into Sketch is like entering a delightfully quirky art gallery, with hopscotch tiles painted on the floor in the foyer and curious sculptures dotted around the hallways. It’s just as wonderfully weird in the main restaurant, which is a vision in bubble-gum pink. Designed by British artist David Shrigley, his irreverent drawings line the soft pink walls, with pictures of swans and poodles sitting alongside headlines proclaiming witticisms like “Fools to Receive Less Encouragement”. Afternoon tea is the most popular occasion here, with the delicate finger sandwiches and cakes perfectly offsetting the pink velvet booths and adding to the romance.
9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London, W1
This restaurant in Covent Garden has long been hailed as the most romantic spot in London, and with good reason. The main dining room features a ceiling covered in branches laden down with blossom and twinkling fairy lights, above a crackling fire. There are also smaller, more intimate rooms featuring walls covered in foliage. The Provençal and Tuscan-inspired menu features dishes like roasted Black Iberian pork loin and shoulder of Loire Valley rabbit, while their wine list is one of the finest in the city – their impressive cellar includes over 2,500 selections from 18 different countries and vintages spanning four centuries.
33 King Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2
Tucked away in the backstreets of Richmond sits one of London’s most magical spots. The beautiful café (which is a lot more impressive than it sounds) is draped with Indian blinds and filled with bougainvillea and jasmine climbing across the ceiling. Antique furniture and mirrors sit alongside the fragrant foliage, while the tables are laden down with vases of flowers and pots of herbs. It’s as much of a feast for the taste buds as it is for the eyes. Sip on a spiced pear Bellini and peruse the menu, which focuses on seasonal, Italian-inspired food (Petersham is owned by the Boglione family, whose patriarch, Francesco, hails from Turin) – highlights include chargrilled monkfish with wild mushrooms, and rhubarb and almond tart with stem ginger ice cream.
Church Lane, Richmond, London, TW10
Hidden away in Mayfair, this ever-popular restaurant may be small (it seats just over 40 in two rooms) but it’s perfectly formed. Cosy, low-ceilinged and intimately lit, the dark green walls, velvet banquettes and flickering candles lend it a Dickensian charm. The kitchen is tiny too, sending out a concise, unpretentious menu that changes with the seasons and might include monkfish, cauliflower and curried butter, followed by Jerusalem artichoke cake, crème fraiche sorbet and quince (definitely a two-spoon number). The wine list is from Les Caves de Pyrene, Berry Bros and O.W. Loeb, while the famous Bad Kitty cocktail (gin, sloe gin, elderflower, lemon and Cava) is obligatory on a date. If you’re Covent Garden way, sister restaurant Cora Pearl is equally as warm and welcoming.
10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London, W1
When Corbin and King first opened The Wolseley in 2003 it was hailed as London’s first Grand Café. Now, almost two decades later, it has become one of the city’s most glamorous dining spots, where you’re just as likely to rub shoulders with a Hollywood A-lister as you are with a renowned newspaper editor or celebrated artist. Best known for its spectacular interiors, the restaurant is housed in a former car showroom and bank, and many of the building’s original 1920s features remain, from the impressive pillars and domed ceiling to the monochrome marble flooring. The service here is always impeccable and the food reliably delicious, with classic dishes like steak tartare, kedgeree and coq au vin on the menu. If you really want to impress, nab a table in the inner horseshoe, known to be the most prestigious spot (and the best for people watching).
160 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1
Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton’s restaurant in the chic Edition hotel is home to one of the most impressive dining rooms in London. Every inch of wall space here features a different gilt-framed artwork, from enormous portraits to elegant still lifes and miniature studies, while the ceiling is covered in the finest original cornicing. Tuck yourselves away into one of the cosy leather booths and order the chateaubriand to share with roasted baby parsnips, wild mushrooms and smoked bone marrow butter, washed down with one of their excellent cocktails – our top picks are the Dill or No Dill, made with Plymouth gin, cucumber, lemon, elderflower and dill, or Sweet Darkness, a heady mix of Jack Daniel’s single barrel, espresso and cocoa liquor.
10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1