15 of London’s Best Restaurants for Valentine’s Day, No Matter Your Plans
They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, so with that in mind, we’ve rounded up 15 of the capital’s finest culinary offerings to book ahead of the most romantic night of the year. Flashy skyscraper restaurants to impress on a big date, joy-inducing eateries for a galentines group meal, and cosy and low-key venues for a solo evening – there’s something for everyone.
17-19 Maddox Street, W1S 2QH
Head chef: Atul Kochhar
Order the: Chicken tikka pie
Michelin Star chef Atul Kochhar’s contemporary Indian establishment not only offers tastebud-tantalising flavours, but this year sees a special five-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu designed especially for a night of romance. Expect traditional street food and mishti alongside aphrodisiacs like asparagus and figs. See the special V-day Menu here.
3 Prince Edward Rd, E9 5NP
Head chef: James Toth
Order the: Pickled oysters
If something low-key but nevertheless delicious is more your style, then Tom Brown’s solo debut, Cornerstone, should be your first point of call. His produce-driven approach sees seafood as the star of the show, while a seat at the bar offers an unparalleled view of the chefs at work.
2 St James’s Market, SW1Y 4RP
Head chef: Jack Croft and William Murray
Order the: Cod’s head with sriracha butter sauce
Just two years old and with a slew of awards under its belt already, Jack Croft and William Murray’s sustainably minded Fallow is a hotpot for a reason. Explore a special Valentine’s menu, accompanied by half a dozen Carlingford oysters, alongside the signature nose-to-tail dishes; better yet, take a seat at the chef’s counter for a night of gastro theatre. Don’t forget to check out their Valentine’s Set menu here!
4. 34 Mayfair
34 Grosvenor Square, S Audley St, W1K 2HD
Head chef: John Edwards
Order the: Ceviche
In case the giant heart installation outside didn’t give the game away, 34 Mayfair is doubling down on all things romantic this Valentine’s Day. The eatery is setting the mood with a limited edition love-inspired menu, mouthwatering cocktails and copious amounts of roses, all accompanied by live jazz music.
5. Oblix East at The Shard
Level 32 The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Head chef: Marcus Eaves
Order the: Wagyu burger
Who could fail to be impressed at the sprawling floor-to-ceiling views that Oblix East provides? The vertiginous restaurant has curated an inviting menu to celebrate Valentine’s Day, including a glass of champagne on arrival, three courses of signature dishes and a bottle of wine between two. How could we refuse? Check out the Valentine’s specials here!
6. Big Mamma Group
Head chef: Filippo La Gattuta
Order the: La gran carbonara
The Big Mamma Group’s playful trattorias are the perfect place for an evening of unbridled fun with friends. Fantastical cocktails, eccentric decor and delectable Italian food await you at Gloria, Circolo Popolare, Avo Mario and the newest opening Jacuzzi. And in case you needed an excuse, finish the evening with a towering slice of the hallmark lemon meringue pie to share.
7. Bob Bob Ricard
1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF
Head chef: Ben Hobson
Order the: Chicken Kyiv
If the mouthwatering menu and flamboyant interiors weren’t enough to entice you, then Bob Bob Ricard’s iconic ‘Press for Champagne’ button will ensure you make a reservation. Discover an elevated array of indulgent British and French comfort food, perfectly chilled vodka shots, oysters and more. To finish? Crème brûlée flambéd at the table, of course.
1 Mount Street, W1K 3NA
Head chef: Athinagoras Kostakos
Order the: Grilled octopus
Damien Hirst statues, selfie-inducing bathrooms, and, of course, a menu showcasing the best of Mediterranean cuisine, recent opening Bacchanalia is not to be missed. Inspired by historic Greco-Roman feasts, the Mayfair hotspot serves up sharing dishes such as lobster paccheri and rib-eye steak with inventive cocktails to match and an atmosphere that inspires hedonism.
16 Henrietta St, WC2E 8QH
Head chef: Gregory Marchand
Order the: Lamb ragu pappardelle
If a trip to Paris with your nearest and dearest is off the cards, Covent Garden’s Frenchie is the next best thing. A chic and contemporary take on classic French cuisine, the aptly named eatery is famed for its inventive but comforting dishes, but on February 14th, the five-course tasting menu, complete with petit fours and a wine pairing, will be on our hit list.
10. 14 Hills
14th floor, 120 Fenchurch St, EC3M 5AL
Head chef: Thomas Piat
Order the: Halibut
An indoor forest with over 1000 plants and awe-inspiring views over the City, 14 Hills certainly delivers on the ‘wow factor’. Once on the 14th floor, you’ll be met with a menu highlighting the best of British cuisine with a hint of French influence and an extensive cocktail list, not to mention lunch and brunch options, a DJ from Thursday to Saturday and an exclusive Valentine’s menu.
Head chef: Leigh Hartnett
Order the: Pork bao
Each of Bao’s five branches offers a different take on Taiwanese culture, from the original Michelin-awarded Soho location to the Shoreditch noodle shop. Take a seat at the bar and indulge in an authentic array of cloud-like buns, decadent fried rice and a classic Negroni; if you still have room, don’t leave without trying the Horlicks fried ice cream.
58 Brewer Street, W1F 9TL
Head chef: Ben Chapman
Order the: Glass noodles with Tamworth belly and brown crab
An intimate setting perfect for a solo evening, Kiln offers seating around a long counter running around the open kitchen. Alongside the theatrics of watching the chefs at work, the Soho spot is lauded for its ever-changing menu of Thai and Burmese dishes cooked in clay pots on a charcoal range that are far too good to share.
119 Queen’s Road, SE15 2EZ
Head chef: Patrick Williams
Order the: Kudu bread
With its dimly lit interiors and plush velvet furnishing, this cosy neighbourhood bolthole is the ideal place to spend a solitary evening. The menu boasts an ever-changing array of South African-inspired small plates, which you can see being made if you nab a seat opposite the bar. Once you’re satiated, hop across the road to Smokey Kudu for a nightcap (or two).
14. Lina Stores
119 Queen’s Road, SE15 2EZ
Head chef: Masha Rener
Order the: Tagliolini al tartufo e parmigiano
Authentic Italian pasta, mouthwatering antipasti and people-watching galore – there’s a reason that Lina Stores consistently makes it onto lists of London’s best eateries. Take a seat at the counter tables at its Greek Street location, and watch the chefs artfully prepare dreamy dishes inspired by the original delicatessen. Finish with a digestivo and a dolci.
15. 40 Maltby Street
40 Maltby St, London SE1 3PA
Head chef: Steve Williams
Order the: Natural wine
The softly lit arches hidden in the hustle and bustle of the nearby market make 40 Maltby Street a welcome retreat for those seeking a cosy evening. Nestled at the back of Gergovie Wines’ warehouse, the tiny restaurant serves delectable modern European dishes that change on a weekly basis alongside a slew of natural wines. Don’t forget a bottle of vino to enjoy at home.