Valentine’s Day 2022: Where to Celebrate in LondonBy Alicia Grimshaw
M&S’ ‘Love Sausage’ has made its comeback which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.
With V-Day 2021 spent indoors (big up the fancy dine-in meals for two ), this year, however, you can expect indulgent three/five/ten-course menus from some of London’s hottest restaurants. We’ve got great-value options to full-blown feasts…
The Run-Down: There’s a reason Prawn on the Lawn are especially popular around Valentine’s Day – and it’s not just for their show-stopping oysters, which are served either straight up or deep-fried with garlic crème fraîche.
The Menu: With all the fish sourced from the Cornish coast, diners can hop onto a barstool or settle into a two-seater for imaginative seafood dishes like scallops in a Thai marinade; lemon sole with ‘nduja and tarragon; and seared tuna with soy, mirin, and spring onion.
Where: 292 – 294 St Paul’s Rd, London N1 2LH
The Run-Down: With a focus on dishes cooked over the fire and a show-stopping bar at the centre of the room, all the elements at Ottolenghi’s grown-up restaurant, ROVI comprise to make the ultimate Valentine’s Day destination.
The Menu: Enjoy grilled octopus with butter bean piyaz and burrata piled high with muscat grapes, radicchio and honey, along with a one-off special dessert celebrating the occasion.
Where: 59 Wells St, London W1A 3AE
The Run-Down: With no sign of a starched white tablecloth in sight, Apothecary is offering a less traditional Valentine’s dining experience, with a more upbeat and relaxed vibe that includes Spiritland programmer and live DJ, Miche. Miche will be challenging himself to play three hours of heartfelt and funky songs with ‘love’ in the title, making Apothecary the perfect date night à deux or Galentine’s gathering spot.
The Menu: Diners will receive two carefully crafted cocktails of choice and twelve Japanese-inspired small plates including a selection of appetisers and sushi rolls, as well as tempura, fish, meat and vegetable dishes. Dishes include: salmon avocado sushi rolls; teriyaki chicken thigh skewer; blackened salmon; grilled cauliflower with truffle sesame; and prawn tempura. Vegetarian or vegan menus are available on request in advance.
Where: Apothecary, 36 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PG
The Run-Down: Shangri-La The Shard has come up with new and unforgettable ways to show appreciation to all the loves in your life, including a special V-Day menu at TĪNG.
The Menu: TĪNG, on Level 35, is offering a decadent Valentine’s Day menu featuring Maldon oysters with rose and passionfruit, camembert ‘fondue’ with asparagus and truffle, and heart-shaped chocolate mousse. With the option to pair each course with wines selected by the hotel’s expert sommelier, and a signature Midnight Delight cocktail, this menu is a showstopper.
Where: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG
The Run-Down: temper will be serving a series of ‘anti’ Valentine’s specials created by David Lagonell. Out with the love hearts and in with the ox hearts.
The Menu: We’re talking about dishes such as: Siete Potencias (two rock oysters, aguachile negro, pickles); Get Tongued (Ox tongue, BBQ sauce, green sauce, fried shallots, black tortillas); and Eat Your Heart Out (ox heart anticucho, aji panca, peanut and aji amarillo, giant corn, burnt sweet Romaine).
Where: Locations here
The Run-Down: From the 11th to the 14th of February, Pizarro Restaurant Bermondsey will be offering an indulgent 8-course Valentine’s tasting menu.
The Menu: Expect delicacies from earth and sea including Ostras con manzana (oysters with apple vinaigrette); Canelon mar y montaña (Mediterranean prawn and Iberian pork Catalan canelon); and Txuleton Gallego (Galician rib eye steak on the bone served with green salad and baby potatoes), all washed down with José Pizarro’s Brut Nature ‘Gran Reserva’ and finished off with homemade Turfs de chocolate (chocolate truffles).
Where: 194 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ
The Run-Down: Taking inspiration from Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, Brother Marcus have created an exclusive sharing dish and cocktail for Valentine’s Day which will be available at both their Angel and Spitalfields Market restaurants on 14th February.
The Menu: The special for the evening is pulled beef and merguez sausage en croûte with purple potatoes and raspberry sauce which has been designed to share with whoever your chosen date is, friend or lover. The bar team have created a bespoke Valentine’s Day cocktail, the Rozenti made with gin, rhubarb, lemon and served with dehydrated rhubarb on the side.
Where: 37-39 Camden Passage, N1 8EA and 2 Crispin Place, E1 6DW
The Run-Down: For a spectacular date, head to Searcys at the top of the Gherkin for dinner alongside the best views in the capital.
The Menu: Serving up a three-course menu, from 11th-14th February, specials include a starter of aged Longhorn beef and black truffle ravioli with bone marrow butter; mains of Dover sole fillet with Portland crab, lemon and brown shrimp beurre noisette; and a decadent Valrhona chocolate dome with raspberry and rosewater mousse.
Where: 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP
The Run-Down: This year Duck & Waffle has created a Valentine‘s Day menu of celebratory dishes, to be enjoyed overlooking the romantic London skyline, on the 39th floor of the iconic Heron Tower.
The Menu: Along with a welcome plate of crispy polenta and truffle mayonnaise, the menu includes dishes such as: Jersey Rock Oysters or mini lobster roll with spicy Marie Rose sauce for starters; the famous Duck & Waffle with mustard maple syrup or beef fillet with wild mushrooms, cauliflower puree and Foie Gras for main; and to finish the evening, the ‘Golden Duck Egg’ dessert with Valrhona Opalys chocolate and orange.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
The Run-Down: Love is in the air at Aquavit London with a selection of sharing specials designed for two, available exclusively from 11th – 19th February.
The Menu: Dishes include cep and onion crusted chateaubriand with celeriac and truffle purée, green beans, pancetta and red wine jus, with the option to add a Västerbotten cheese gratinated lobster for a spot of Surf ‘n’ Turf. Other dishes available are the whole roasted Dover sole with burnt leeks, dill, fennel, white wine sauce, grilled lemon and crispy oyster, plus a romantic red velvet cake with mirror glazed raspberry mousse and white chocolate crumb.
Where: 1 St James’s Market, Carlton St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4QQ
The Lowdown: Speak the language of love this Valentine’s with a little help from Isola, the capital’s hottest new dining destination bringing la dolce vita to London’s St Christopher’s Place.
The Menu: With swoon-worthy sorbet hued interiors, a menu inspired by the southern Italian islands and a bijou selection of limited-edition Valentine’s cocktails and desserts, there’s plenty to amore at Isola. Order a lip-smacking Pucker Up, a refreshing blend of warming Kings Ginger liqueur, bitter Aperol, Italian lemon and raspberry before indulging in Isola’s heavenly hand-crafted chocolate melting bombe dessert filled with creamy gelato and a gold-dusted cherub, served with hot salted caramel sauce.
Where: St Christopher’s Place, London W1U 1AY
The Lowdown: Belgravia’s hottest haunt, Ganymede, is offering three courses for under 50 quid, including a glass of fizz or a special Valentine’s Day cocktail.
The Menu: Starters include rabbit and foie gras ballotine with salty fingers and toasted rye bread, or crab and basil ravioli with leek fondue and bisque. Mains offer the choice of suckling pork belly and rack with pommes gratin, or roast turbot on the bone for two with hand-cut chips, bearnaise, fennel, wakame and bean salad. Finish on a sweet note with rhubarb souffle with hazelnut crumble and custard ice cream, or bitter chocolate and dulce de leche tart with chocolate chip honeycomb parfait. Available dinner only on Monday 14th February.
Where: 139 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QU
Photo credit: Lateef Photography
The Lowdown: At his Park Lane restaurant, Theo Randall has created a menu designed to share and inspired by Italy’s best-loved rustic dishes and flavours, available from 12th-14th February.
The Menu: Randall’s limited-run set menu features plates like the – fresh burrata with grilled marinated red peppers, farinata, swiss chard and Taggiasche olives; fresh Devon crab with Florence fennel, dandelion and Sardinian bottarga; and thinly sliced black Angus beef with zucchini, rocket,
pine nuts and Parmesan and aged balsamic vinegar.
Where: InterContinental, 1 Hamilton Pl, London W1J 7QY
The Lowdown: Perfect for treating your eco-conscious partner, Native at Browns – the foraging-focused restaurant – will serve ‘A Hug Around The Waste’ tasting menu, exclusively on the 14th.
The Menu: With dishes including native lobster with foraged leaves and Exmoor caviar, lamb’s heart with harissa and labneh, and ‘Truffle Fluffs’ (chocolate truffles covered in seared meringue) to round things off, this isn’t one to miss.
Where: Native at Browns, 39 Brook St, London W1K 4JE
The Lowdown: Over in East London, cult Dalston restaurant Angelina is serving a 10-course Italo-Japanese omakase tasting menu with an option to pair with Italian wines too.
The Menu: Dishes include chawanmushi (savoury egg custard), hamachi with truffle, and handmade pasta, all served up in the intimate, candlelit dining room. For a real celebration, match the menu with Angelina’s ‘rare and old wine’ pairing, showcasing a hand-picked selection of unique and exceptional Italian wines.
Where: 56 Dalston Ln, London E8 3AH
Photo credit: Anton Rodriguez
The Lowdown: Cocotte – known for knocking out the best French rotisserie chicken this side of the channel – is celebrating with a poultry-led Valentine’s menu, available from the 11th-14th February
The Menu: At beautiful sites across London, guests will begin with a glass of Jacquart Mosaique Rose Champagne and foie gras croquettes, followed by Cocotte’s signature ¼ rotisserie chicken with chicken jus gravy, mushroom and chestnut sauce, truffle fries and Cocotte ratatouille. The menu closes with a warm vegan double choc cookie.
Where: Locations here
The Lowdown: An unmissable destination for red meat lovers this V-Day, CUT at 45 Park Lane, Wolfgang Puck’s first European venture, has one of the finest steak selections in London.
The Menu: Its Valentine’s Day four-course menu begins with a selection of indulgent canapés, including hot gougères, gruyère and mini wagyu beef sliders, with a choice of mains including a selection of succulent steaks, wagyu beef Wellington, Dover sole and lobster.
Where: 45 Park Ln, London W1K 1PN
The Lowdown: Junsei is dishing up a one-off tasting menu for a date night with a difference this Valentine’s Day. Tucked away on Marylebone’s Seymour Place and with a 13-dish menu of elevated plates and perfectly grilled yakitori, Junsei is the ideal spot for a romantic evening à deux.
The Menu: The menu features some of Junsei’s best-loved dishes, including a grilled Wagyu beef skewer with fresh wasabi, a unique miso sticky toffee pudding, and a selection of Chef Patron Aman Lakhiani’s signature skewers expertly grilled over Japanese Binchōtan charcoal, including six chicken cuts – which consciously use every part of the bird – and two kushiyaki (vegetable) skewers.
Where: 132 Seymour Pl, London W1H 1NS
Photo credit: Justin De Souza
The Lowdown: Masters of low-key luxury, Sette at Bvlgari Hotel offers a seriously stylish setting, perfect for a romantic evening in London.
The Menu: The decadent Valentine’s Day menu, will start with oysters and champagne before 4 courses of modern Italian dishes, including seared beef loin with truffle aioli, and a delicate sharing dessert of lychee, raspberry and rose mille-feuille.
Where: Ground Floor, 4 Knightsbridge Green, London SW1X 7QA
The Lowdown: From 7th to 14th February, Norma in Fitzrovia will be rolling out the red carpet with a Sicilian-inspired five-course feast, alongside Italian wine pairings, to celebrate Valentine’s Day in delicious style.
The Menu: Executive Head Chef Giovann Attard has created a tempting set menu that includes Mersea oysters with dill and chilli; Lobster and tomato tortellini, lemon buttersauce and basil; and Scaloppine di vitello with marsala. For dessert, Cardamom and rosewater panna cotta, pistachio crumb and crystallised rose petals will provide a delicate, sweet end to a romantic meal for two.
Where: 8 Charlotte St., London W1T 2LS