About Time You Tried: London’s Best Valentine’s Day MenusBy Angelica Malin
Why say it with flowers when you can say it in sushi? This Valentine’s Day, get stuck in to one of London’s best special menus – from four-course feasts to romantic brunches (yeah, that’s a thing), we’ve got it covered:
What: We say: London’s ultimate dinner date this Valentine’s Day has to be a table for two, with 360 degree views of capital’s skyline. This paired with the Valentine’s Day sharing menus at both SushiSamba and Duck & Waffle will have your loved ones in a tizz.
The Lowdown: At Sushisamba Executive Chef, Claudio Cardoso, has created a special tasting menu with the restaurant’s iconic dishes, including sashimi with Beluga caviar and signature Sushisamba rolls.
A floor above, Dan Doherty has put together a creative tasting menu with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients, featuring truffled polenta croquettes, smoked halibut and miso glazed 18 hour short rib. To compliment, Richard Woods will be preparing two special cocktails, available exclusively on the 14th – Rose Royal with rose liqueur and champagne and the ‘Original’ Old Fashioned with whiskey, salted caramel, toffee and burnt sesame.
Price: The menu at Sushisamba is six courses and is priced at £100 per person, including a glass of NV Bruno Paillard Champagne Brut Rose, Premiere Cuvee. The sharing menu at Duck & Waffle is five courses and priced at £85 per person including a glass of NV Bruno Paillard Champagne Brut, Premiere Cuvee.
Where: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
What: Not ready to let go of the sparkle of Christmas? You’re not alone! Threadneedle Bar is excited to announce a New Year collaboration with Theo Fennell; founded in 1982, Theo Fennell is one of Britain’s leading jewellers, renowned for their imaginative, unique and amazingly crafted pieces.
The Lowdown: To celebrate Theo Fennell’s latest creations, bar Manager Sebastian Kasyna has created 3 bespoke cocktails drawing on these beautiful pieces of jewellery and the glamorous surroundings of The Royal Exchange for inspiration. Try the Rosemary’s Sapphire Fizz – fresh rosemary, sugar, Ruby Red grapefruit juice, gin and Prosecco. This fizzy cocktail is a tribute to Theo’s Peach & Purple Sapphire Empress Necklace. Priced at 23,500, the hand crafted 18 carat white gold necklace is decorated with dazzling sapphires and pave diamonds.
Price: Priced at £10, these jewellery-inspired cocktails will be served from 25th January 2016. For an extra sparkle, Threadneedle Bar will offer a bespoke service in collaboration with the Theo Fennell store in The Royal Exchange where guests will be able to choose a piece of jewellery to be served alongside these stunning cocktails – the perfect surprise for a loved one this Valentine’s Day!
Where: Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LR
What: At this time of year it can be difficult to know the protocol – while you want to avoid clichés, Cupid forbid if your other half is the only one in the office not to receive Valentine’s flowers. Petersham Nurseries might just have the answer to this annual dilemma.
The Lowdown: For the first time, the Nurseries will be hosting a flower workshop exclusively for men, where guests will create exquisite hand tied bouquets to present to their loved ones, using British grown seasonal flowers, under the expert guidance of in-house florists: Thomas Broom-Hughes and Amanda Brame. In the restaurant, Head Chef, Damian Clisby, has created a very special dinner menu, to be served by candle light in the Nurseries’ Café amongst blooming jasmine, citrus trees and freshly cut stems. The event is one of only a handful of evenings held throughout the year where guests are able to experience the magic of Petersham Nurseries by night – usually only open for lunch.
Price: The workshop is exclusively for men at Petersham Nurseries on Saturday 13th February, 10:30am – 1:00pm. Tickets are £55 (includes workshop and bouquet to take home). For Valentine’s Day, guests will be able to enjoy a four course dinner for £75 per guest without wine, £115 per guest with wine.
Where: Petersham Rd, Richmond, Surrey TW10 7AB
What: Spoil the apple of your eye; lavish the yin to your yang; treat your better half this Valentine’s Day to a meal with Gordon Ramsay Group. Michelin-starred Pétrus, set in the heart of Knightsbridge, welcomes lovers with an eight-course tasting menu of modern European dishes, prepared by Head Chef Neil Snowball.
The Lowdown: On Saturday 13th February feast upon: beef tea with winter vegetables; grilled Scottish lobster with black truffle and artichoke macaroni; truffled Brillat-Savarin with grilled sourdough; and Champagne granité with cassis jelly; before finishing the meal with a ‘black forest’ dessert of kirsch mousse with cherry sorbet. Why not splash out and really celebrate the spirit of romance by toasting with a bottle of vintage Château Pétrus from the incredible wine list or enjoy a classic wine pairing (£75 per person) or Prestige wine pairing (£125 per person)?
Price: Eight-course tasting menu, £135 per person
Where: 1 Kinnerton St, London SW1X 8EA
What: Join maze Grill Mayfair, Park Walk and Royal Hospital Road on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th as they welcome couples for dinner with a hearty four-course set menu and a themed cocktail on arrival.
The Lowdown: Begin with snacks of smashed and smoked miso aubergine and grilled bread wrapped in beef ham before a sushi selection is served including scallop yuzu miso nigiri and Thai tuna sashimi. Share a main course of surf ‘n’ turf featuring a 16oz Chateaubriand with grilled tiger prawns, beef fat chips, peppercorn sauce and butter lettuce salad before the perfect, indulgent finish in the form of sticky toffee pudding with Bird’s custard ice-cream.
Price: Four-course menu, £70 per person
Where: maze Grill Mayfair, Park Walk and Royal Hospital Road
What: You just can’t beat cocktails with a view of London, right? Well, La Vie en Rose at British favourite aqua shard is a dream; created with rose infused Tanqueray Ten, rose tea and syrup, Balthazar rose vermouth, topped with Ruinart Rose especially for Valentine’s Day.
The Lowdown: Located on level 33 of The Shard, the 220 cover restaurant allows guests to enjoy contemporary British cuisine at the same time as the ever-changing views of the London skyline from sunrise to sunset. The views stretch from the Houses of Parliament to St. Paul’s, Tower Bridge and the City to the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Linking the two wings of the restaurant is a stunning atrium bar with three-storey high panoramic windows – arguably one of the most sought after spots to someone special on Valentine’s Day.
Where: Level 31 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
What: The stunning Zaha Hadid Architects designed Magazine Restaurant at Serpentine Sackler gallery has a fantastic selection of treats over the next month, including Pancake Day becoming Pancake Week, with a selection of delicious savoury and sweet buttermilk pancakes available for four days. They’ve also got a fantastic Valentine’s Day special brunch menu and evening dinner, which we’re too excited about.
The Lowdown: The Magazine will open for dinner for Valentine’s with a special five course menu – this features a Valentine’s cocktail, Scottish Lobster and grab chantilly with mango and macadamia, black truffle raviolo, Parmigiano Reggiano and Champagne veloute and Filet Mignon, with Jerusalem artichoke and beetroot. There’s a special weekend set brunch menu available on both Saturday and Sunday.
Price: £65 for 5 courses, £95 including matching wine. A vegetarian menu is also available on request. Valentine’s brunch priced at £30 per person.
Where: West Carriage Drive, Kensington Gardens, London W2 2AR
What: Forget old-fashioned cards this Valentine’s Day as love is 100ft in the air at The Roof Gardens!. With spectacular entertainment, scenic views over London’s dazzling skyline and mouth-watering cuisine there is no better place to spend time with your loved one over the Valentine’s weekend.
The Lowdown: On Friday 12th February Live! at The Roof Gardens is hosting a ‘Night of Amy’ featuring classic songs from the late Amy Winehouse performed by a live band. Those celebrating on Saturday 13th February can enjoy a romantic meal at the award-winning Babylon Restaurant with a specially prepared menu. Guests can continue to celebrate in style by dancing the night away one floor below in The Roof Gardens’ Club where the evening will finish with a bang and a breath-taking firework display at 10.45pm. On Valentine’s Day itself couples can enjoy Sunday lunch in Babylon. The menu offers a selection of traditional roast dishes each accompanied by sharing platters of seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes.
Price: A Night of Amy is priced at £10. Babylon’s special 4-course menu is priced at £85 per person and includes a glass of Champagne on arrival and entry into the Club afterwards. Drinks are not included. Valentine’s Day lunch is £27.00 for two courses and £30.00 for three courses.
Where: 99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
What: Private hire venue The Deck at the National Theatre is opening its doors to the public for one day only, with a pop-up romantic restaurant serving Valentine’s Day brunch. With spectacular sweeping views across the London city skyline and the Thames, the glass-walled rooftop venue with private terrace is the perfect place for a romantic celebration.
The Lowdown: The Deck’s pop-up Valentine’s restaurant will be offering two sittings for brunch on Sunday 14 February, at 11am and 2pm. Created by executive sous chef at the National Theatre, Jason Wild, the menu puts a twist on a breakfast classic with a starter of home-cured salmon and salad of poached egg, truffle brioche and crispy parsley, followed by a champagne sorbet. Couples then have a choice of corn-fed chicken stuffed with Taleggio cheese and wrapped in Parma ham, or a butternut squash and feta pithivier, both served with grilled baby gem, crushed new potatoes and either anchovy or herb dressing. To finish, The Deck will be serving up a romantic sharing dessert of warm chocolate brownie, raspberry ripple parfait and hazelnut macaron.
Price: Valentine’s Day at The Deck is available to book from 11 January at £55 per person, by calling the box office on 020 7452 3000 or emailing email@example.com.
What: Located in some of the most iconic destinations worldwide, Dorchester Collection hotels will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with romantic overnight packages, special spa treatments and gourmet menus for guests to enjoy quality time as a couple. Located in the heart of London with outstanding views over Hyde Park, The Dorchester will offer a romantic overnight package for two, featuring a bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries and a full English breakfast the next morning as well as a late check-out at 2pm.
The Lowdown: Guests can also select treatments from The Dorchester Spa and receive a complimentary Aromatherapy Associates gift if treatments are booked during Valentine’s Weekend. The Bar at The Dorchester will offer a Love at First Sight cocktail priced at £18, whilst The Promenade is featuring a special Valentine’s Afternoon Tea, priced at £65 inclusive of a glass of champagne, available from February 12-14. Head chef at The Grill at The Dorchester, Christophe Marleix, has created the perfect menu for Valentine’s, available February 13 and 14. Highlights include smoked salmon, Scottish lobster, scallops or Aberdeen Angus with a complimentary glass of champagne.
Price: Priced at £110. The Dorchester’s Valentine’s overnight offer is valid from February 12 – 14, 2016 inclusive and is subject to availability. Rates start from £570 for a Superior King Room per night, based on two people sharing.
Where: 53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA
Photo credit: James Bedford
What: For all you whisky lovers, Rosewood London has collaborated with leading premium whisky brand Johnnie Walker Blue Label to create an exclusive romantic cocktail designed for two to share. With oak smoked whisky flavours, The Perfect Encounter is served in a vintage travellers chest and is perfect for an elegant date night.
The Lowdown: Settle into the relaxed atmosphere, unwind to the live music and escape the cold weather with a new Johnnie Walker whisky cocktail for two this Valentine’s Day at Rosewood London. With a roaring fire and live music every evening, Scarfes Bar is the perfect date venue for a special occasion. The exclusive new sharing cocktail is only available for a limited time and is the ideal winter warmer to share with a loved one.
Where: Scarfes Bar, in Rosewood London. 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN
What: Iconic Westminster restaurant The Cinnamon Club is running a romantic four-course Indian feast for Valentine’s Day. Alongside fantastic Indian dishes, the menu features an aperitif of A Fool In Love – rye whiskey, Chambord liqueur, cranberry juice, rosé Champagne and pink peppercorn.
The Lowdown: The menu includes starters of Malabar-style crab rasam flamed with Cognac and garlic naan and Galouti kebab – clove-smoked tender lamb kebab with gold leaf and saffron bread. For mains opt for the pan-seared halibut with fennel and rose petals with malai curry sauce; slow-braised Herdwick milk-fed lamb shoulder with saffron sauce or the Hyderabadi-style biryani of root vegetables. Finish off with the sweetest touch – milk and vanilla panna cotta with rose preserve jelly and rose petal biscotti; or Original Brans dark chocolate and rasgolla tart with calamansi and chilli sorbet.
Where: The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith St, London SW1P 3BU
What: 8 Mount Street has just announced a new brunch menu, launching on Valentine’s Day and continuing every Sunday between 11am and 3pm. Come here for brunch with an extravagant twist, think lobster omelette and truffled scrambled duck eggs, as well as bloody mary and bucks fizz stations – perfect for letting them know just how much you love them.
The Lowdown: Combining the best of breakfast and lunch, brunch is a fabulous way to both indulge and restore – and this one certainly hits the spot. As created by executive chef Adrian Mellor (The Waldorf Astoria, Maldives) it offers up a whole array of tempting treats. Choose from delicacies such as home cured bresaola, celeriac remoulade and pickles, lobster omelette and truffled scrambled duck eggs, crème fraiche & sourdough toast. Classic brasserie favourites are not forgotten, with the likes of organic granola with berries & honey and eggs Royal, Florentine or Benedict all featured. Pledging your undying troth can be thirsty work. Fortunately there is plenty of refreshment on offer, courtesy of the Buck’s Fizz and Bloody Mary stations.
Price: Dishes from £9.50
Where: 8 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3NF
What: Feeling lucky? Well, then, check out the Lucky Luck Valentine’s meal at Circus in association with Chambord on Sunday 14th February. It’s going to be an event to remember. This Opulent, mirrored club serving cocktails and Pan-Asian cuisine, with cabaret and late-night dancing, is the place to be.
The Lowdown: On arrival on the 14th, couples will be handed a poker chip each, to be played on the roulette wheel during their dinner, prizes include a complimentary Chambord Royale (Perrier Jouet Champagne and Chambord served in a ‘flamingo’ glass), Chambord miniatures and more raspberry liqueur inspired gifts. The Circus performers will shock and amaze with a special performance of contortionists, fire breathers and acrobatics.
Price: £75 per person for a choice of three courses from the exclusive Valentine’s menu with a complimentary Chambord Royale (Perrier Jouet and Chambord) to start. 3.30pm lunch or 6.30pm dinner sittings.
Where: 27-29 Endell St, London WC2H 9BA
What: French food really is love, isn’t it? Brasserie Joel is running a Valentine’s Set Menu based on aphrodisiac ingredients: champagne, passion fruit, chocolate, truffles, ginger and blood orange. Think smoked salmon with ginger crackers, truffle pasta and strawberry parfait.
The Lowdown: A modern French brasserie with Japanese influences, Brasserie Joel is headed by Chef Walter Ishizuka who uses the highest quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients to bring a new twist on classic French dishes such as lobster bisque, duck terrine and boeuf bourguignon with a lightness of touch borne of his Japanese heritage.
Price: £49 for 3 course – on the 13th and 14th Feb
Where: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, 200 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7UT
What: Nothing quite says romance like champagne, and there is no better way to enjoy it than in The May Fair Bar’s specials cocktails. Try the ‘Touch of Lavender’ which combines elegant Moet & Chandon with a lavender syrup, or the ‘Raspberry Sherbet Fizz’ with citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit sherbet.
The Lowdown: Mix it up this Valentine’s Day with a specially curated menu of cocktails at the May Fair Bar on London’s Berkeley Street. Available exclusively from the 8th – 14th February, the menu includes ‘The Aphrodisiac’, a tempting mix of Grey Goose vodka, Noilly Prat and lemon, complete with a Carlingford Lough oyster to either enjoy on the side, or for those more daring, to be added to your cocktail.
Where: The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8LT Tel