valentine's day restaurants london

Romantic restaurants in London for Valentine’s Day and beyond

02 Feb 2024 | Updated on: 06 Feb 2024 |By Luxury London

From the Art Deco grandeur of Zedel's to the lush greenery of 14 Hills, make time to be together at London's most romantic restaurants

‘Making someone think of love; suitable for romance’: the definition of romantic itself is vague, making a definitive list of what constitutes a romantic restaurant rather tricky. However, we think there are a few essential boxes that should always be ticked.

Great food – the most obvious, and important. Great lighting that flatters both the décor of the restaurant and the diners themselves. Great music that you notice for being well-chosen. Staff who are just the right mix of friendly, efficient and invisible. Décor that makes you feel at home, in the comfort sense, but very far away from the home in which you prepare (and wash up) all meals. Read on for dinner inspiration for every type of romantic meal out in London: we’ve honed in on the best Valentine’s Day set menus, but these spots are also great for a big anniversary, a special occasion or just because. And, to make things even easier, we’ve split them up into location – because nothing spoils the mood like a long tube ride home.

Central London

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair

alain ducasse dorchester

With three Michelin stars to its name, it’s unsurprising that Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is one of our top picks for a romantic occasion. Expect impeccable service, modern but not outlandish decor and exquisite food. The à la carte menu has a degree of French flair and takes full advantage of the delicious produce from both French and British suppliers. Curated by chef patron Jean-Philippe Blondet, who has reimagined Ducasse’s cooking, stand-out dishes include saddle of Denbighshire venison with butternut squash and kombu, and Cornish turbot, Kalibos cabbage, chestnut and clementine.

For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant is offering couples a delectable five-course menu including dishes using the best seasonal produce from poached langoustine through to beef tenderloin with Cornish turbot with black truffle. For an even more enchanting evening, guests can book the Table Lumière Experience and dine surrounded by 4,500 shimmering optics in a semi-private space. It’s made all the better with a glass of 2006 Dom Pérignon in hand.

Courses: Five
Price: £340 per person including a glass of champagne
Served: 14 February 2024

53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA,

Hide, Mayfair


Offering sweeping views across Green Park, the Hide dining room is a peaceful haven set away from the hustle and bustle of city life below — the perfect culinary escape for date night. You won’t be let down in the gastronomic department: the restaurant has a Michelin star to its name and serves delicious light plates with experimental flavours. The culinary offering here abides by the seasons and changes on a regular basis, with the current à la carte five-course menu including roasted Orkney scallop and rhubarb and custard tartlet.

This Valentine’s Day, head chef Ollie Dabbous has curated a special eight-course menu starting with black truffle and ending with a decadent dessert of chocolate, hazelnut and Thai basil. Highlights also include crispy lobster caramelli with chive and celery, as well as A5 Wagyu cooked over charcoal with green peppercorns and crispy kelp.

Courses: Eight
Price: £195 per person
Served: 14th February 2024

85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB,

Bocconcino, Soho

With two buzzy outposts in Mayfair and Soho, upscale Italian restaurant Bocconcino serves up elegant fare hailing from the diverse culinary traditions of Tuscany, Rome, Venice, Naples and Sicily. With interiors inspired by traditional trattorias - think exposed brickwork and walls lined with glass wine cellars - it's the perfect setting to get cosy with your partner over some crowd-pleasing plates.

Its La Fiesta di San Valentino menu, which is available at the Soho restaurant, is a celebration of timeless Italian cooking. Choose from antipasti of beetroot cured salmon, truffle burrata or vitello tonnato before moving on to mains of ossobuco, salt-baked celeriac and scallop mousse with aubergine caviar. For dessert, there's a classic tiramisu or the special San Valentino Heart: a chocolate shell filled with lychee Creme Diplomat and strawberry.

Courses: Three
Price: £85 per person
Served: 14th February 2024

59 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JY,

Aqua Kyoto, Soho

aqua kyoto valentine's day menu
Image: Ben Carpenter

If you're a couple who can't get enough of all things sushi and sashimi, make Aqua Kyoto you're date night go-to. Tucked away just off Regent Street (and mere seconds from Liberty should you have forgotten to pick up the flower sand chocolates), it boasts both a sleek indoor restaurant and a beautiful year-round terrace which is decked out in ever-changing seasonal flora and foliage.

Its Valentine's Day offering takes the form of a journey through the span of Japanese cuisine, including an omakase sushi platter, spicy Wagyu tartare with caviar, nori shenbai and a dessert of raspberry crème fraîche mousse with yuzu sorbet. There's also a menu of special cocktails to toast the occasion in style.

Courses: Eight small plates
Price: £85 per person
Served: 14th February 2024

240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR,

Benares, Mayfair

If Indian cuisine is the way to your heart, look no further than Michelin-starred Benares in Mayfair. Led by executive chef Sameer Taneja, the menus combine fine British ingredients with unique and innovative modern Indian cooking techniques to create a selection of unforgettable dishes, including baked Malabar scallop in coconut curry and Batak Curry with pan-roasted Gressingham duck fillet and puy lentils and leg masala.

Benares' Valentine's Day offering includes an eight-course tasting menu that has been expertly curated by Taneja and his team to make the romantic evening one to remember. Tuck into hearty dishes inspired by the Indian subcontinent from a scrumptious tawa halibut and clam moilee to chicken momo and lamb chop pulao. Elevate your evening with the restaurant's expert wine pairings, before ending the evening with a nightcap by the Lounge Bar’s beautiful lily pond.

Courses: Eight
Price: £129 per person, £119 supplement for paired wines
Served: Daily

12a Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS,

Bacchanalia, Mayfair

Thanks to its opulent interiors inspired by Greek and Roman extravagance, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Bacchanalia offers the perfect backdrop for any intimate date night. Nothing says romance quite like sampling an array of cocktails and authentic dishes — from keftedes to tempura courgette flower — in this breathtaking, golden-hued dining room.

Alongside the à la carte offering, 12-18 February will see internationally-renowned chef Athinagoras Kostakos bring a premium Aphrodite tasting menu to Bacchanalia. The beautifully-curated menu is made up of five sharing plates with highlights including angel hair prawns fried with saganaki sauce, orzo pasta with Sicilian red prawns, and cherry tomato salad with Gorgonzola picante and pomegranate dressing. The meal will be followed by Aphrodite’s Embrace, a unique dessert featuring vanilla whipped ganache with Yorkshire pink rhubarb and strawberry sorbet. Guests can also splash out on the exquisite wine list with over 650 references from Greece, Italy, France and beyond.

Courses: A la carte
Price: From £18
Served: 12-18 February 2024

1 Mount Street, W1K 3NA,

The Northall at the Corinthia, Whitehall

northtall corinthia london

One of three gorgeous restaurants at Westminster's Corinthia hotel (including the beautiful Garden eatery), the Northall boasts soaring ceilings, elegant views over Embankment and a menu of fine dining modern European cuisine spearheaded by executive chef André Garrett. With classic white-tablecloth service and an extensive wine menu, the Northall excels in making every meal feel like a special occasion, so if you're looking to impress there are few better options.

The seasonal menu is filled with decadent dishes, such as poached Isle of Gigha halibut and Chateaubriand of Lake District farm beef, while the Northall will also be serving up a special tasting menu for Valentine's Day 2024. Highlights from the four-course menu include yellowtail tuna tataki, herb roasted guinea hen with carrot and braised freekah and Black Forest baked Alaska for dessert.

Courses: Four
Price: £120 per person
Served: 14 February 2024

Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD,

Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden

clos maggiore

Inspired by the romance of Tuscan and Provençal inns, Clos Maggiore is an intimate oasis of calm in the heart of Covent Garden. Offering up a contemporary take on classic European fare, locally sourced, well-balanced menus change regularly to reflect the seasons. The restaurant’s current selection includes Brixham hand-picked crab, Rhug Estate fallow deer with blackberries and beetroot, and Atlantic John Dory with baby fennel and orange, while for Valentine's Day it will be offering a special five-course tasting menu with a vegetarian option available.

Elsewhere, a world-renowned wine cellar boasts an impressive selection of over 2,500 bottles that have been carefully curated by the restaurant’s sommeliers. But it’s the restaurant’s airy conservatory, trimmed with flourishing cherry blossom, that truly steals the show: opened up to the elements throughout the warmer months, in winter the space becomes a cosy retreat illuminated by candles, starlight, and a crackling wood fire.

Courses: Five
Price: £160 per person, wine pairings from £65 per person
Served: 14 February 2024

33 King Street, WC2E 8JD,

The Barbary Next Door, Covent Garden

barbary next door

Set in Covent Garden’s colourful Neal’s Yard, the Barbary made its name serving up traditional North African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and now, the restaurant’s cooler little sister is here to steal the show. Fittingly situated just next door, the Barbary Next Door is a relaxed, intimate neighbourhood wine bar, with enough room for just ten guests, inspired by backstreet Andalucian bars and airy Moroccan courtyards. Dishes are inspired by the fragrant spices and smoky flavours of Moorish Spain and North Africa, with highlights including chicken and apricot tagine, Essaourian tomato salad and beef tartare. You won't find anything as formal as a set menu, but we suggest starting things off with an order of Moroccan olives washed down with a white port martini or cocchi sbagliato.

Courses: A la carte
Price: From £4.50
Served: Daily

16a Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP,

Barrafina, across London

barrafina london

Specialising in small plates and big flavours, Barrafina has been serving up modern Spanish tapas across London for 15 years. Daily specials, unique to each of the five locations throughout the capital, join a flavourful selection of authentic regional dishes from around Spain. Guests are offered a vast selection of plates designed for sharing, from ham croquetas, padron peppers and grilled squid with chickpeas and pancetta, to fennel and ajo blanco, chicken thigh with romesco and cured monkfish. Perfect for both intimate date nights and larger celebrations.

Courses: A la carte
Price: From £4.20
Served: Daily

Across London,

La Goccia, Covent Garden

la goccia

Built on the slow living values of good, clean and fair, as well as an unwavering respect for the planet, La Goccia offers up seasonal, nose-to-tail Italian aperitivo and small plates — or cicchetti – with minimal waste and maximum flavour. Run by the family behind Petersham Nurseries, top quality, fresh ingredients are sourced from small, independent producers and the family farm in Devon, then prepared in the restaurant’s theatrical open kitchen before an audience of hungry guests.

Highlights from the Valentine's menu include La Goccia’s signature fried chicken, risotto cacio e pepe, and apple millefoglie. Seasonality is key to the restaurant’s ever-changing a la carte menu, which is best enjoyed al fresco in the sunny courtyard when the weather allows.

Courses: Three
Price: £75 per person including a cocktail
Served: 14 February 2024

1 Floral Court, WC2E 9FB,

Spring, The Strand

spring restaurant

Housed in the New Wing of Somerset House, Spring serves up fresh Italian-inspired fare in an elegant venue that feels warm despite its near all-white interior. Dishes are simple ingredient-led, and full of rich flavours. Drop by in the early evening for chef Skye Gyngell’s ‘Scratch’ menu – a three-course offering utilising the previous day’s leftovers – or opt for the seasonal à la carte menu which might include winter tomatoes with anchovy cream, Chalk Stream trout with preserved lemon, herbs, rocket and yoghurt tartare and slow-cooked pork belly with celeriac, quince and winter greens.

Courses: A la carte
Price: From £4
Served: Daily

Somerset House, New Wing, Lancaster Place, WC2R 1LA,

Brasserie Zédel, Soho

brasserie zedel

Finding classic French fare in the heart of London at an affordable price may seem an impossible task, but that’s exactly what the team at Zédel does so well. Paying homage to the bohemian beauty of Paris, the grand subterranean Art Deco dining room makes an impressive setting for any date and the menu follows suit. The restaurant’s renowned prix fixe menu will give you three courses – including a chopped steak with peppercorn sauce and French fries, and a chocolate and caramel tart – for just £19.75, while the rotating plâts du jour feature a selection of French favourites including lamb tagine, oxtail meatballs and tarragon roasted chicken. Delicieux.

Courses: A la carte
Price: From £6.50
Served: Daily

20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED,

East London

14 Hills, The City

14 hills london

Aptly nicknamed ‘the forest in the sky’, 14 Hills sits high above Fenchurch Street, overlooking the city skyline and stuffed to the hilt with luscious greenery. Showcasing the best of British, head chef Emrah George has created an inspired range of menus for the restaurant, offering up seasonal produce with a touch of French flair.

The Valentine's Day menu boasts an impressive choice of dishes, with everything from Black Hereford chateaubriand with pommes frites, and burrata with artichoke pesto, black truffle and grapes to venison tartare with wild mushroom and smoked buttermilk dressing, and dark chocolate and passion fruit cremeaux. A plethora of innovative cocktails by head mixologist Spyros Apostolopoulos are not to be missed.

Courses: Five
Price: £130 per person including a glass of champagne
Served: 14 February 2024

120 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 5BA,

65a, Spitalfields

65a restaurant london
Image: Charlie McKay

Nothing says romance like some proper old school French fine dining and 65a, which opened in Spitalfields in autumn 2023, is your go-to for refined Francophile food in The City. Its everyday menu is an ode to classical techniques and sophisticated flavours: think surf and turf, French onion soup, native lobster with lemon and herb butter, and moules frites.

For Valentine's Day, 65a has curated a three-course set menu designed to inspire some serious amour. Start with seared scallops or beef carpaccio before moving on to mains including grilled fillet of turbot and roast curried cauliflower. A sharing dessert of Paris-brest provides the perfect finishing touch.

Courses: Three
Price: £59 per person
Served: 14 February 2024

65a Brushfield Street, E1 6AA,

West London

Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge

harvey nichols valentine's afternoon tea

Think Harvey Nichols is only for shopping sprees? Think again. Head to the Knightsbridge boutique's fifth floor and you'll find a culinary wonderland complete with a glorious outdoor terrace, chic bar and fine dining restaurant. For Valentine's Day it's curated a romantic All Hearts Desire afternoon tea - which will also be available at its OXO Tower Restaurant sister site - featuring delicate finger sandwiches, traditional scones and a selection of pastries inspired by the most loved-up day of the year. Have your phone handy: the heart-embellished glazed cherry cake is seriously Instagrammable.

Courses: Three
Price: From £40 per person
Served: Until 31 March 2024

109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ,

Daphne's, South Kensington

daphnes london

Another crowd-pleaser from Richard Caring, this Martin Brudnizki-designed restaurant in South Kensington draws on the elegance of Italy, with a gleaming marble-topped bar, lemon trees and Murano glass chandeliers. Lovebirds can enjoy upmarket Italian classics, including a shellfish risotto to share, tiger prawns with garlic, chilli and parsley, and Bannockburn ribeye steak. Lock eyes over a Daphne's Martini on the elegant heated terrace.

Courses: A la carte
Price: From £11.50
Served: Daily

112 Draycott Avenue, SW3 3AE,

Core by Clare Smyth, Kensington

core by clare smyth

Boasting no less than three Michelin stars, Core by Clare Smyth specialises in seasonal, sustainable food sourced directly from the UK’s most devoted farmers and producers. Two elegant set menus, as well as an a la carte offering, promise guests a taste of Smyth’s culinary genius, expertly paired with an eclectic range of wines. Dishes are as delicious as they are delightful, think Isle of Harris scallop tartare, roasted cod with Morecambe Bay shrimps and braised lamb with sheep's milk yogurt.

Courses: Seven
Price: From £215, £145 supplement for wine pairings
Served: Daily

92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN,

Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond

the petersham

Overflowing with fragrant jasmine and bougainvillea, the glasshouse restaurant at Richmond’s Petersham Nurseries is sure to inspire romance and impress your date. Dishes are contemporary, clean, and seasonal with a touch of European influence. Recent offerings include venison croquettes with porcini sauce, roasted Jerusalem artichoke with wild mushroom, pine nuts and tarragon dressing and herb-crusted lamb rack with leeks and rainbow carrots. Sustainability is a key focus at the family-run restaurant (ingredients are sourced from Haye farm in Devon) and the venue holds a covetable Michelin green star to prove it.

Book a table on 14 February to enjoy a special six-course Valentine's tasting menu. Highlights include crispy polenta with whipped cod, Haye Farm beef carpaccio, halibut, mussels and cannellini beans, and a cheese board to finish.

Courses: Six
Price: £120 per person
Served: 14 February 2024

Church Lane, London, TW10 7AG,

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