Top 10: Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas in LondonBy Angelica Malin
Currently planned sod-all for V-Day? We hear your faint, nervous cries from across the Thames. Don’t worry, we’ve discovered some cracking last minute Valentine’s Day ideas – there’s everything from boxes of doughnuts to heart shaped pizzas and an oyster delivery service. Get planning:
What: Whisper sweet nothings over finger sandwiches and scones at the uber chic Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington.
The Run-Down: A firm favourite since its launch, The Ampersand Hotel’s afternoon tea inspired by the hotel’s South Kensington neighbour The Science Museum, has been given a romantic twist this Valentine’s Day to explore the science of love. Wolf down lovingly-prepared treats including heart-shaped biscuits, mini meringues with fresh strawberries and a special Love Elixier mocktail.
Price: £37.50 per person or £49 per person with a glass of Charles Heidsieck Rosé Champagne
Where: 10 Harrington Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3ER
Photo Credit: Amy Murrell
What: If you really want to impress your loved one (and blow the budget) on V Day, visit Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester for a unique three Michelin starred experience.
The Run-Down: Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet has created a five-course menu to mark this special day, available exclusively on the 14th February for dinner. The menu includes a a glass of rosé Champagne, and features dishes such as hand-dived sea scallop, pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke, dry-aged beef, black tie of agria potato and to finish, chocolate and raspberry tart for two.
Price: £225 per person
Where: 53 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA
Photo Credit: Pierre Monetta
What: This Valentine’s Day, Crosstown Doughnuts will be making a trio of indulgent chocolate dough bites to showcase the chocolate from their new supply partner, Guittard. Pre-order online now until 1pm February 13th for free delivery or collection on February 14th.
The Run-Down: The limited-edition dough bites will be available on Valentine’s Day only, at all Crosstown locations. Doughnuts in the range include the Champagne Custard Chocolate with a champagne custard filling, topped with a dark chocolate ganache (Guittard 70% Musique Foncee bittersweet) and decorated with a gold glitter cross; Salted Caramel Coffee Chocolate – salted caramel coffee custard filling, topped with a single origin dark chocolate ganache (Guittard 65% Machu Picchu Peru bittersweet) and dusted with edible gold glitter; and Mini Mississippi Mud Pie – triple chocolate indulgence, with a dark chocolate custard filling, topped with a thick layer of dark chocolate ganache, chocolate soil and dark chocolate flakes.
Price: From £25
Where: Locations here
What: Want to pull out all the stops, but can’t be bothered to leave your living room? We feel you. Sparkling wine brand Freixenet has teamed up with Islington eatery, Galley, to launch a luxury ‘Sip and Shuck’ delivery service – containing a seafood platter and dessert, as well as a bottle of Freixenet’s premium Cordon Rosado.
The Run-Down: Galley’s sharing platter includes an array of seasonally inspired and ethically sourced seafood; from tiger prawns and mussels to a whole crab served in the shell and a selection of delicious oysters. Freixenet’s Cordon Rosado sparkling wine has delicious summer berry flavours without being too sweet, and the acidity beautifully balances out the natural saltiness of oysters, mussels and crab. The platter will arrive on a bed of ice, accompanied by a refreshing bottle of rosé Cava and complimentary lemon and ginger cheesecake for two.
Where: The limited-edition offer will be available to pre-order on Deliveroo. The service will be available from 5pm on 14th February. Users will simply need to select the Freixenet Valentine’s Platter on the Galley London menu and will be able to place their order up 24 hours in advance, whilst stocks last.
What: Ditching the cliches (apart from a pizza shaped into a love heart) and bog standard V Day experiences, Swingers have launched a special Valentine’s Day package featuring discounted booze, pizza and a round of crazy golf, available on February 14th only.
The Run-Down: If you fancy a romantic date with a side of heathy competition, Swingers ticks all the boxes. The couples package includes a round of 9 holes of crazy golf, a bottle of Perrier Jouet Champagne, and a heart shaped pizza of your choice from Pizza Pilgrims. And if you don’t have a date, take some mates and enjoy crazy golf for 4 people and 2 cocktails per person for £105.
Price: £70 per couple
Where: 8 Brown’s Buildings (Between St Mary Axe and Bury Street), London EC3A 8AL
What: Senor Ceviche, the restaurant that whip up a mean Pisco Sour, has created a 10-dish San Valentín menu featuring classic Peruvian bites with a Señor Ceviche twist, and a luxurious dessert of Peruvian profiteroles filled with rose crème anglais and dulche de leche sauce.
The Run-Down: Highlights from the menu includes slow cooked, crispy pork belly with smoked sweet potato purée and chancaca soy, crispy baby squid with pickled jalapeño miso salsa, and beef tiradito with kizami wasabi salsa, ponzu onions and crunchy enoki mushrooms. Feast on main dishes such as slow cooked lamb shoulder with bacon, black beans and Nikkei rice, and marinated and grilled corn fed chicken leg with rocotto salsa. Save space for the profiteroles pud.
Price: £30 per person
Where: Locations here
What: Be someone’s Beyonce and not Michelle this Valentine’s Day with Butterscotch’s handcrafted Valentine’s special bakes. Handmade by founder Bea, the selection features cupcakes, traybakes and love potions.
The Run-Down: The limited edition Valentine’s range includes the conversation heart cupcakes with flavours of red velvet, raspberry vanilla and vegan gluten-free chocolate truffle, all stamped with personalised fondant conversation hearts. If not quite the wordsmith, Bea has come up with an array of messages to stamp on your sweet treats including Woman Crush Wednesday, Bae All Day and Crazy in Love. As well as cupcakes, you can also print your love note onto vegan gluten-free chocolate brownies, gluten-free sea salt caramel brownies, and indulgent white chocolate strawberry blondies.
Price: From £4.50
Where: Unit 7, Westworks, White City Place, 195 Wood Lane, London W12 7FQ
What: This Valentine‘s Day, Pasta Evangelists has collaborated with Russell Norman’s Polpo restaurants to create a limited edition Venetian inspired menu. You can cook up a feast at home or book into one of Polpo’s restaurants.
The Run-Down: The idea is simple: click on the pasta recipes for the week, fresh pasta, sauces and garnishes will be posted to your door, and you can knock together restaurant quality pasta dishes in your home (or head to Polpo if you don’t want to wash up). The special Valentine’s Day collaborative menu features dishes like ravioli with spinach and ricotta filing, taglierina with beef ragu, and tagliatella with chestnut and mushrooms.
Price: Dishes start from £8.50
What: With only 14 covers per night, Marianne offers guests one of the most exclusive and intimate experience that Londoner’s could wish for. With such intense focus on precisely crafted plates, spend Valentine’s Day tucked away in this softly lit restaurant, enjoying beautiful, seasonallay-led food.
The Run-Down: Starting with Champagne, the nine-course tasting menu includes hot calcot vichyssoise with Oscietra caviar, white salsify and truffles and Highland wagyu, radicchio and chilli. Grue de cacao soufflé, salted caramel ice cream, peanuts and butterscotch is a stunning conclusion to a meal where Chef Marianne’s attention to detail is unrivalled and ingredients are sourced from the UK’s most celebrated producers.
Price: A la Carte £160 (Deluxe Recommendation £100 & Sommelier Wine Recommendation £75)
Where: 104 Chepstow Rd, London W2 5QS
What: This Valentine’s day, join the Junkyard golf gang as they send all of their golfing proceeds to their partner charity, Love Support Unite. Expect some sweet sweet cocktail specials, the ultimate ballad playlist and the joy of puttin’ around their three mashed-up courses with a good conscience. Plus fours and golfing attire optional.
The Run-Down: Love Support Unite is a grass roots charity changing lives everyday through sustainable development in Malawi. They strive to towards helping break the cycle of poverty with a leg-up rather than a handout approach. Grab a mate, a date or your office pal and show off your dazzling/limited golfing skills on one of Junkyard’s golf courses. They’ll be plenty of liquid delights flowing too.
Price: From £9.50
Where: Book here