Top 14: Delicious Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ in LondonBy Angelica Malin
This Valentine’s Day, don’t just say it with flowers – say it with personalised pillows, hotel stays in libraries and gourmet food you didn’t cook yourself. If you really want to wow your partner this Valentine’s Day, it’s about time you tried wooing them with…
What: Nomad Cinema hosts pop-up cinemas in unusual locations throughout London – this Valentine’s, they are running a series of romantic-inspired films at The LockOut, Hyde Park, including with ‘Odd Couples’ night and a Ryan Gosling double bill.
Why: Tickets include a glass of bubbles on arrival and a hot meal courtesy of Madame Gautier. With roaring outdoor fire pits to toast your marshmallows over, and the beautiful surroundings of the wooden lodge of The LookOut, this is the perfect place for a romantic date.
Book: See the schedule here
What: K West Hotel in Shepherds Bush has launched a Valentine’s package inspired by Christian Grey’s ‘red room of pleasure and pain’ in 50 Shades of Grey. Guests can check into a sumptuously decorated ‘Red Room’ with red silk bed sheets, red candles and red rose petals. In the room, you will find luxurious ‘F Boxes’ filled with bondage toys -including restraints and blindfolds, bondage tape, a saucy love game and a feather tickler.
Why: A lavender massage candle will also be provided so couples can use the warm wax to pour all over each other’s bodies. Need we say more.
How Much: £699 per night – includes breakfast in bed, sensual bath oils, Aphrodisiac Tasting Menu for two, and cocktail on arrival.
What: Need a little romance injection? Then spark a chemical reaction and create passion-fuelled love potions as you learn the art of mixology at London’s latest experiential cocktail bar, The Alchemist.
Why: You and your date can shake, smoke and steam your way through a 90-minute masterclass of matchmaking mixology with leading bartenders. Guaranteed to be good fun.
How Much: £30 per person on Saturday 14th February at 3pm. Book your place on the Valentine’s masterclass – email firstname.lastname@example.org
What: This Valentine’s Day, why not treat that special someone to a romantic dinner at Tate Modern’s 6th Floor Restaurant, the perfect setting for an idyllic meal for two.
Why: It boasts unrivalled views across London, making it one of London’s hidden gems for 14th February. Expect to enjoy a special menu brimming with shellfish soup, sea kale and scallop rissole, then the 21-day aged Long Horn chateaubriand served with truffle, parmesan chips, smoked bearnaise sauce or opt for a best of British Line caught halibut with cauliflower crust. Finish with a zingy Raspberry and passion fruit cream bavarois with basil marinated apples.
How Much: Set tasting menu £55, with wine flight £74. To make a booking please call the restaurant +44 (0)20 7887 8888
What: The Gleneagles Hotel has teamed up with Royal Yacht Britannia to offer one lucky couple the ultimate Valentine’s Day. The evening begins with a chauffeur-driven Range Rover that will bring the couple to Britannia’s private quayside, where they will be piped aboard. An exquisite five course candlelit dinner with vintage Champagnes and wine will be served in the state Dining Room, followed by a spectacular private fireworks display. Price on application. Obviously.
Why: For those who’d rather stay on dry land, Gleneagles has their Valentine’s package, which includes a one night stay with a champagne and canapé reception, followed by a four-course dinner with wines by Maisons Bollinger and Chapoutier in the stunning ballroom, breakfast and full use of the club leisure facilities, all for just £450.
How Much: POA
What: Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Covent Garden has created the extraordinary eight-course Menu Saint Valentin this year. Taking inspiration from the traditions of French cuisine, Chef Boyer has infused L’Atelier’s elegant Valentine’s Day menu with contemporary imagination to create a truly sublime Valentine’s Day experience.
Why: L’Atelier will also be serving their exclusive Valentine’s Day cocktail Love is in The Air at Le Salon Bar at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. A modern take on the classic Kir Royale, this indulgent cocktail combines crisp Champagne with Crème de Cassis pearls that delicately pop in the mouth. Delicious.
How Much: Priced at £195, £260 with Sommelier’s choice of wines, or £280 with French matching wines.
What: Check out Gladstone’s Library in North Wales – it’s a residential library with an ‘opportunity to sleep with books’. The library is a beautiful listed building with reading rooms and 26 boutique style bedrooms. For couples wishing to indulge in romantic inspiration, you can spend Saturday 14th February at Gladstone’s Library with an evening meal at the Food for Thought Bistro.
How Much: From £60 per night
What: The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington are inviting guests to personalise their pillows for the ultimate romantic stay. Guests can also enjoy Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea in the beautiful setting of The Drawing Rooms as well as cocktails and modern Mediterranean sharing plates in the hotel’s atmospheric vaulted restaurant Apero.
Why: Personalised pillows, people.
How Much: Studios from £360, pillows £90, tea £45
What: Soren Jessen, Founder of 1 Lombard Street, has just launched Goose Box, a cooking class in a box with pre-measured ingredients from the restaurant and expert instructions, delivered straight to your door. The Valentine’s Goose Box provides the best restaurant quality ingredients to cook an impressive four-course menu for two people to share, with step-by-step video and recipe card instructions.
Why: Think Beetroot Shooter as an aperitif, followed by Lobster Thermidor to start, succulent Beef Wellington for main, and rich Chocolate Fondant with white chocolate sauce to finish – all accompanied with a bottle of Champagne for the occasion.
How Much: The Valentine’s Goose Box can be delivered to selected locations within London or collected from 1 Lombard Street, and costs £150 for two people. Orders can be placed over the phone on 020 7929 6611
What: Frescobaldi, Mayfair’s glamorous new haunt, is presenting a selection of San Valentino specials that will ensure that Cupid’s arrow finds its mark.
Why: Among the seductive choices lovingly created by head chef Roberto Reatini are Ostriche con salsa al kiwi (Oysters with kiwi dressing); Gnocchi con triglie, n’duja e filetti di mandorle (Gnocchi with red mullet, n’duja and almond flakes) and Gamberoni con avocado e salsa picante (King prawns, avocado and chili sauce).
How Much: Dishes from £17
What: OPSO, a Greek-inspired, London-made, restaurant in the heart of Marylebone at 10 Paddington Street, has some great drinks options. With Valentine’s Day looming, OPSO are also bolstering its cocktail offering with a limited edition menu of three bespoke creations, designed by award-winning mixologist Giannis Petris.
Why: Love Radio (champagne, lychee liqueur rose water), Passionistas (Vanilla vodka, passion fruit, lime, ginger) and Berry Heart (Rum, lime juice, crème de cassis, cranberry juice, raspberry) are all amazing.
How Much: Available for £9.00 on Saturday 14th February and Sunday 15th February.
What: A specially created a Valentine’s Day Dinner which allows couples to share each course, with specials including a Milk Chocolate Marquise Dessert. Includes delicious Valentine’s cocktails: the Rose Petal Martini and Passion Fruit Mojito.
Why: Sharing pudding, what could be more romantic? Unless, of course, you hate sharing. And then it’s a nightmare.
How Much: Dishes from £16