With Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Whether you are in a committed relationship, on cloud nine or flying solo, London definitely has many Romantic Valentine Destinations for you! From romantic walks, to beautiful rooftop terraces, to secret corner’s that will insight a kiss, to the perfect restaurant to propose in, here’s my pick of London’s 14 most romantic places, and just in time for February 14th too…
1# STEAL A KISS IN LONDON
That first tentative kiss must be one of the most romantic moments in any relationship. Unfortunately some first kisses are a little more romantic than others. If you time it badly it might be after a drunken night out, under the fluorescent lights of a swaying tube. But time it just right and you will cherish the moment for the rest of your life. Why not take a stroll through Clapham Common and gently lead your date to the beautiful bandstand at it’s center. Then when she or he least expects it, steal that kiss!
2# TAKE A ROMANTIC STROLL
My absolute favorite Park in London just has to be Greenwich Park. Now that might come as a surprise to some of you. Most people would probably tend to recommend Hyde Park. But the views from the top of the hill in Greenwich are simply unrivaled. Heading up the hill with a lover to soak up the sprawling green lawn and Palladian architecture of Greenwich will put stars even in the eyes of the most jaded Londoner. On top of that Greenwich itself is simply one of my favorite spots to hang out. If you want to find out more about Greenwich and additional activities to pursue in this borough head to my post: Greenwich Meantime
3# DINNER FOR TWO
If you are looking for a romantic setting to take your date for a meal for two, you cannot go far wrong with Clos Maggiore. In fact if anything this restaurant might be a little over the top when it comes to being romantic. I would recommend you ask for a table in the atmospheric conservatory, cloaked in a forest of fake white blossoms. Fairy lights, candles and the crackling fireplace all but add to the romantic atmosphere. The menu is french inspired and the wine selection pretty impressive.
4# GET A LITTLE TIPSY
If you really want to surprise your date take them to a speakeasy bar. Speakeasies date all the way back to the Prohibition Era of 1920s America. These hidden bars, quenched the first of sneaky punters, in an era when drinking was highly illegal. Nowadays they are incredibly popular and fashionable. Invite your Valentine date for a secretive tryst at ‘The bar with no name’? 69 Colebrooke Row is located a short walk from Upper Street (on an Islington backstreet). The bar will take you right back into the era when Jazz dominated the world. A live pianist adds to the intimate atmosphere. The Cocktails are seriously impressive – try Death in Venice. -age style and the cocktails are seriously impressive, all ingredients to help Cupid strike in this backstreet bar in Angel.
5# PAMPER YOURSELF
I you would rather relax and enjoy a pampering session with your loved one or yourself you might want to seek out one of London’s numerous spas. I would recommend ESPA Life. Situated on the mezzanine level of the five-star Corinthia Hotel, just of Trafalgar Square, this is the perfect location for a day spa. This amazing spa incloods an indoor pool, vitality pool, amphitheater sauna, ice fountain and private sleep pods. Drool over the monochrome interior and enjoy a thorougly lavish day out.
6# FIND A ROMANTIC BOLTHOLE
Now that you have relaxed every muscle in your body, you probably won’t want to head back out. You won’t want to go back home either instead find your very own bolthole in London. You could of course stay at the Conrithia Hotel itself. But the price for a one night stay is just a little steep for most people. Instead stay at the Great Northern Hotel near Kings Cross and enjoy their Vintage Valentine Day Package. A bottle of Billecart-Salmon Champagne and a bouquet of pink roses will await you in on eof their small but elegant rooms. Then dine on a beautifully presented three course menu created by celebrated chef Mark Sargeant at acclaimed restaurant Plum + Spilt Milk. Alternatively opt for the the Montague On The Gardens. Especially known for their afternoon tea, they offer good value for money and even have a special valentine package that includes: abottle of pink champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, a single long stemmed red rose, a romantic turndown with rose petals and candles, full breakfast and a late check out when departing on a Sunday.
7# SWEAT IT OUT
If you and your partner are adrenaline junkies, you might not want to spend Valentine’s day in a Spa and Hotel. No! You are looking for far more adventurous things to do. How about climbing the O2? Up at the O2 gives visitors the opportunity to follow a guided expedition across the arena roof. At the highest point you will find yourself 53 meters above the ground. Here you will find an observation platform with amazing views across the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, canary Whard and the Shard. You will get kitted out with a jumpsuit, the proper shoes required for the climb and a harness. This is definitely a once in a lifetime valentine Date!
8# THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Are you the tragic romantic kind? Go sob your eyes out at the Phantom of the Opera. This great classic must be one of the most popular and most romantic Musicals in the World. The legendary musical opened it’s doors on the 9 October 1986 and has since played more than 11,000 performances. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mesmerising score along with jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking special effects, magically combine to bring this tragic love story to life each night.
9# GET DOWN ON ONE KNEE IN ONE OF lONDON’S MOST ROMANTIC VALENTINE DESTINATIONS
Are you thinking o proposing to your girl? Please don’t do it in the London Eye. That could end up very awkward if she says.
Instead, try something a little more private like the beautiful and very romantic the lovers’ arch that borders the flower beds in front of the royal residence. The vines form the perfect ellipse for romantic strolls, a kiss perhaps and potentially a proposal.
Originally built for William III and Mary II at the end of the 17th century, Kensington Palace has been a museum, a barracks and a private residence. It is perhaps best known today as the London home of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Whilst you are there you might also want to visit one of the many temporary exhibitions.
10# YOUR LOVE WILL REACH NEW HEIGHTS
Who doesn’t want to spend Valentine’s Day at jaw dropping heights? How about Lunch at the Shard? The Shard offers up a multitude of dining experience: the Aqua Shard, the Oblix, the Hutong, the Lang, the Ting and the Gong.
Ting is one of the restaurants inside the Shangri-La Hotel. Located 128m above ground on the 35th floor of the Shard, it offers some of the most extraordinary views across London, St Pauls Cathedral, the Tower, the Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf . The Ting Restaurant and Lounge offer a distinctive A La Carte Menu of Authentic Asian Specialities alongside European Comfort food. The price for a set lunch menu is relatively reasonable, coming in at £. The panoramic view is thrown in for free.
Alternatively you could head up to see The View from the Shard, for the same price. Read more about my Dining Experience at the Shard. by following the link.
11# AFTERNOON TEA FOR TWO
From afternoon tea at The Ritz to The Savoy, there is a afternoon tea London venue to suit all tastes. Find the best afternoon teas in London here or book one of these sweet. I find the prospect of a good old-fashioned tea ceremony pretty romantic, don’t you?
The Athenaeum has earned a multitude of accolades. In 2012, it was awarded ‘Top London Afternoon Tea’ by The Tea Guild and in 2013 received’The Tea Guild special Award of Excellence’. Served in the welcoming Garden Room with its views of the vertical living wall, you have the choice between two sets of afternoon teas. The Athenaeum Evergreen-Tea is a fusion of a traditional English Afternoon Tea with a breath of botanical, floral flavours inspired by the hotel’s enchanting Living Wall. It is priced at £34.50 per person – or £42.50 including a Glass of Rose Petal Champagne. If you have a sweet palette and would like to swap your scones for chocolate tea cups with strawberry mousse choose the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. You won’t be disappointed.
12# DIAMONDS ARE A GIRLS BEST FRIEND OR OR THEY?
One of our favourite past-times is to head to Harrods and have a browse through this refined store. Not to buy anything – no, I am not made of money – but to marvel at the confectioneries and items on sale. It’s true that all the glitz and marble can be a bit much, but it’s hard not to soften at the imposing grandeur of this London institution, even if you prefer to duck into Harvey Nichols down the road. If you do brave entry, the legendary food halls and 27 restaurants are worth it.
We could spend hours looking at the various spy gear that is on sale in this shop, be astonished that Harrod’s sells real Dali’s or laugh at some of the conversations you cannot help but overhear.
13# YOU CAN LOOK BUT YOU CAN’T TOUCH
Are you looking for something naughty but nice? Not really the romantic kind? More like the kinky type? You and your partner could have a lot of fun at a Burlesque Show!
Tucked away in a corner of the City, Proud Cabaret City is one of the lushest dinner-cabaret spaces in town, with a well-positioned thrust stage nestling below plush, cosy booths. The modern British menu is good too. There’s an art deco, speakeasy feel to things here, with much of the cabaret following aesthetic suit. Shows range from music, burlesque and vaudeville to circus acts, fire-play and risqué dance. Keep an eye out for DJ nights, too.
14# OR TRY SOMETHING ALTERNATIVE
Do you really hate soppy Valentine’s Dates? Or are you flying solo this year? I have a idea in store for you. Instead of following the crowd, join us and celebrate Chinese New Year!
The Year of the Monkey is coming up and, as usual, celebrations for Chinese New Year in London will be loud and colourful – decorations, dragons and dancing will take over Chinatown for one of the best London events in February. The Chinese New Year begins on January 14 2016 with the main London parade taking place a couple of days later. Everyone’s welcome to join in the party, of course. But if you’re hoping to enjoy a meal in one of London’s best Chinese restaurants, you’ll definitely need to book ahead.
The parade will set off in Trafalgar Square and wind it’s way through the streets of Soho. You can grab a bite to eat and buy a couple of souvenirs from the many stalls that are sure to pop-up. then head back to Trafalgar Square and enjoy the rest of the ceremony. Dancers, Comedians, Musicians and Acrobats will all be performing just for you.