Valentine’s Day 2019: the best hotels and restaurants to celebrate across London and the UK
The most romantic day of the year is just around the corner and here's where to spend it
The most romantic day of the year? For the true believers it’s only around the corner, and to ensure you’re not left in a panic trying to find the perfect way to celebrate, we got in touch with DesignMyNight for a list of romantic restaurants and fun things to do across the UK.
From a hotel stay and an adrenaline-pumping skydive to a screening of Romeo + Juliet at the top of The Shard, here’s a snappy guide to planning a memorable Valentine’s with your other half.
Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea - London
If you’re after a Valentine’s date that really pushes the boat out, we’ve got just the place. Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea has exclusively teamed up with MBNA Thames Clippers to take loved-up couples on a romantic cruise past London’s famous landmarks, before disembarking at their restaurant near Battersea Power Station for a beautiful four-course meal. Promising a Velvet Rain sparkling cocktail upon arrival, you’ll have a memorable evening tucking into the likes of Bengali-style king prawns, sandalwood-flavoured tandoori chicken and sticky ginger toffee pudding with cinnamon ice cream. Picking up from 22 different locations along the river, this unique experience won’t disappoint.
The Dorchester - London
The Dorchester is giving its famous afternoon tea a twist this Valentine’s Day, and it’s all in the name of love. Shaking up its tiers with themed pastries - like strawberry milkshake macaroons and jasmine honey and raspberry rose tart - this loved-up affair is ideal if you’re planning on starting your celebrations a little early. Throwing in a complimentary sparkling glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé and a red rose to take home once you’ve finished your last scone, it’s a sweet way to spend the 14th.
The Swan - Southwold
The Swan, a boutique hotel located a two-hour drive from London, has pulled together a spectacular offer for Valentine’s Day. Drawing in adrenaline seeking couples, their premium package includes a two-night stay, a meal worth up to £100 in their restaurant, The Still Room, breakfast in bed and a skydiving experience for two. Falling (in love) at 120mph, this once in a lifetime Valentine’s experience will end with a bottle of Champagne and a celebratory cake when you both land back on solid ground.
No. Ten Manchester Street - London
No. Ten Manchester Street is a four star boutique hotel in Marylebone and they have a brilliant package for couples looking to celebrate Valentine’s. Running from 4 to 24 February, this exclusive deal will see you spending the night in the luxurious hotel and waking up to a full English breakfast the next morning. You’ll also get passes for an hour-long BXR couples training session for the next day (either boxing or strength and conditioning), and access to spa and gym facilities afterwards. A Valentine’s package that will definitely work out.
Bōkan 37 - London
London isn’t short of rooftop restaurants but if you want one with a romantic edge and unrivalled views of the capital, you can’t go wrong with Bōkan 37. Floor-to-ceiling windows give way to breathtaking scenes of the expanding skyline, and to celebrate the most romantic day of the year, the restaurant’s Executive Chef Aurélie Altemaire, has put together a stunning six-course tasting menu. Including one glass of Taittinger Champagne per person, diners will be picking up a knife and fork to tuck into a moreish Portland crab meat salad with citrus jelly, Greek yoghurt and coriander, lightly smoked confit of Scottish salmon jazzed up with daikon velouté and black berries alongside British dry aged beef fillet and foie gras duo, Savoy cabbage, bacon and mashed potato.
Ubiquitous Chip - Glasgow
Found on Ashton Lane, Ubiquitous Chip is a Glasgow gem that’s been billed as a one-of-a-kind date spot. It’s home to Scotland’s smallest pub (giving you a fantastic excuse to get up close and personal) and once you’re done cosying together over a glass of wine in the tiny boozer, you can make your way towards the rainforest-style rooftop that’s festooned in fairy lights. With a limited edition menu running for Valentine’s, you can gaze into each other’s eyes while feasting on goats cheese croquettes and Aberdeenshire lamb shoulder for mains, ending things with a sweet vanilla and passionfruit cheesecake.
Cloud 23 – Manchester
Located in the heart of Manchester and offering stunning views of the city, this 23rd-floor cocktail bar and restaurant sits atop the famous Beetham Tower.
“Valentine’s week” runs from 11 to 17 February and includes the Pink Champagne Progression, a five-course pairing menu featuring crayfish blini, peppered beef carpaccio and aged brie and balsamic vol-au-vents with Jacquart Rose, Kir Royale and Bollinger Rose.
It is also a perfect spot for a romantic afternoon tea, where chocolate fondant is served with a glass of Jacquart Rose Champagne. Those staying after 8pm will be serenaded by a live saxophonist.
Because of Cloud 23’s popularity, it often gets booked up well in advance – especially on Valentine’s Day - so be sure to reserve your table early.
Tattu - Leeds
If you and your date have a soft spot for sharing plates (and Chinese food), Tattu might be the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s. This Instagrammable restaurant has a broody atmosphere with low lighting, intimate tables for two and a massive cherry blossom tree that glows with deep purple hues. Taking a modern approach to their dishes, pick up a pair of chopsticks and fight over the likes of wagyu dumplings and salt and pepper aubergine before making up over an indulgent chocolate fondant dessert.
Restaurant Ours - London
With a name like Restaurant Ours, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this eatery is a safe haven for couples. Stylish in so many ways, the entrance to this celebrity favourite is through a white neon tunnel that’s as bright as the Pearly Gates themselves. Boasting a floor-to-ceiling living wall and an upstairs botanical bar, we’re not exaggerating when we say the interiors are just as dazzling as the food (we highly recommend trying the truffle tagliatelle), but for Valentine’s you can order from a special menu of sweet potato gnocchi, native half lobster and strawberry and coconut pavlova.
York and Albany - London
This intimate experience might take place on the 15th February but it’s well worth delaying your Valentine’s Day plans for. The York and Albany is located a short distance from Regent’s Park and they’re offering one lucky couple the chance to have their Gingerbread Cabin exclusively for the evening. Plucked straight from the pages of a fairytale, this snug hideaway is decorated with swirls of colourful sweets, and before you retire to your deluxe room for the night (where you’ll discover a bottle of Chapel Down sparkling wine and a bouquet of roses), you’ll get to make your way through a selection of canapés and a British-inspired three-course meal.
Romeo and Juliet Valentine’s Screening - London
If Netflix and a bag of microwave popcorn won’t cut it this Valentine’s, take things up a level (or indeed 72 levels) and visit The Shard. The Travelling Cinema Club is the highest pop-up cinema in the UK and they’re taking over the top of the iconic building for Valentine’s. Screening Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, you can wander around the space and take in the city’s bright lights before the film flickers onto the big screen. With a flute of Champagne and a box of popcorn included in the ticket price, you’re sure to win brownie points with this quirky date night.
Murder on the Bart’s Floor - London
Bart’s is one of London’s best speakeasy bars (running a strict password policy to gain entry) and this Valentine’s they’re reeling in recruits to help solve a deadly murder. Rip through police tape with your partner-in-crime on February 13th and come face to face with a gang of suspects, each with their own version of events. It’s up to you to gather as much evidence as possible to find out whodunnit, and once the murderer has been revealed, you’ll be rewarded with a cocktail and access to their knees-up party den.
Iris Bar at The Gherkin - London
There’s a premium Champagne bar in the dome of the Gherkin and it’s now open to the public if you make a booking through DesignMyNight. Brandishing 360 degree views of London, you can clink glasses while marvelling at iconic buildings like the Walkie Talkie, Tower Bridge and The Shard. A guaranteed winner for an unforgettable date on Valentine’s, they have a selection of offers for the holiday including a celebratory three-course lunch with a glass of Searcys Cuvee Brut or two glasses of Champagne, three oysters and William Curley chocolate for £45 per person.
Lokhandwala - London
Dreamed up by the same people who look after India’s biggest food festival, Lokhandwala is one of London’s must-visit restaurants. Food is flawless with delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian plates, and Colonial-inspired interiors with greenery spilling from their mint-washed walls. That’s not all though - this place has a secret cocktail bar called Vijay’s Lounge inspired by the Victorian aristocrat, Lady Charlotte, and her Mumbai lover. The perfect spot for a secret assignation come 14 February.
The Pompadour by Galvin – Edinburgh
Housed in the luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel, French duo Jeff and Chris Galvin have created one of Edinburgh’s most romantic dining spots that is perfect for a Valentine’s Day date.
The ornate dining room was given a complete makeover a few years ago and, since then, the restaurant has bagged the Urban Restaurant of the Year Award.
The Galvin brothers’ ethos of “quality and luxury in simplicity” is on full show, as “French techniques and Scottish produce are combined to create such wonders as their roast fillet of Peterhead stone bass, or their tender Perthshire pheasant”, says Scotsman Food and Drink.
To top it off, the restaurant boasts stunning views of Edinburgh Castle that, combined with a stay at the Astoria, will make it a night to remember.
Three courses start from around £58 per person.
Thames Rockets - London
Thames Rockets is the perfect Valentine’s alternative if you’ve grown tired of celebrating with sit-down meals and quiet nights in. This action-packed experience will see you and your lover set sail from London Eye Pier, zipping past London’s famous landmarks (think Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare’s Globe and St Paul’s Cathedral).
For more information on Valentine’s Day in London and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Facebook; @DesignMyNight.