The UK’s most romantic restaurants
Love it or hate it Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to make that special restaurant booking, for one of the most difficult nights of the year. When getting it right, will really impress that all-important date.
The perfect destination for a romantic evening out has to have all of the right ingredients from a beautiful setting, fantastic food & wine to a subtle but intimate ambience.
So we’ve done all the hard work for you and have handpicked the top 20 romantic restaurants in the UK.
Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London
It’s difficult to beat Hélène Darroze at the Connaught. In the beautiful surroundings of her two Michelin-starred restaurant at the Connaught, Hélène’s lifelong passion for the finest produce and incredible skill is reflected in every aspect of one of Mayfair’s most intimate dining experiences. Each day, Hélène selects the very best and freshest ingredients from the network of suppliers she has spent a lifetime gathering, and cooks them with precision, honesty and passion. The resulting menu celebrates the tastes and textures of the most stunning individual produce, prepared in a way that allows each ingredient to shine.
At the heart of this whole experience is trust. It starts with the trust that Hélène places in her suppliers, to provide her with exceptional produce, of impeccable seasonality and provenance. And it extends to the diners, who place their trust in Hélène’s culinary skill by selecting from the simple list of exceptional ingredients available that day, to be served as a succession of impeccably realised dishes. The result is a thrilling expression of French culinary craft, delivered with a contemporary flourish, enjoyed in a truly elegant setting. India Mahdavi’s calm, sophisticated interior and a specially commissioned glasswork installation celebrating the visual beauty of the ingredients found in Hélène’s cooking complete what is a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul.
Hélène Darroze at the Connaught has to be the ultimate venue to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.
Address: Carlos Pl, London W1K 2AL
Gidleigh Park, Chagford in Devon
Set majestically within a Tudor-style country house on the very edge of Dartmoor National Park, Gidleigh Park offers a truly romantic Valentine’s experience. Thanks to carefully crafted dishes from new Executive Head Chef, Michael Wignall, couples can enjoy a unique journey together through taste, aroma and texture. Michael’s new menu includes octopus pressé with Portland crab and smoked scallop roe emulsion, Lancashire suckling piglet with winter truffle paste and golden enoki mushrooms or cassoulet of razor, palourde clams and cockles and cuttlefish gnocchi, all served in the elegant surrounds of Gidleigh Park’s restaurant.
For couples who wish to take full advantage of this romantic location, the one-night Valentine’s offer starts from £605 per room per night and includes luxury accommodation, a ten-course tasting menu with a complimentary glass of champagne and a cooked or complimentary breakfast. Our food editor, Natasha Heard, described Gidleigh as the best dining establishment outside of the capital.
Address: Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8HH
Paris House, Woburn in Bedfordshire
Set on 22 acres of picturesque deer park of the historic Woburn Estate, at the end of a sweeping drive Phil Fanning’s Michelin starred Paris House is the ultimate romantic and classy country escape.
Head chef and owner Phil Fanning uses modern Japanese cooking techniques to refine exceptional British food with outstanding results. The food is playfully exciting, without trying too hard and creations such as this winter’s edible Mr Frosty create a truly memorable dining experience.
The building itself has an amazing back story; it was originally built in 1878 as part of The Paris International Exhibition. The 9th Duke of Bedford fell in love with the building, had it dismantled, shipped piece by piece to its current home and rebuilt for his wife in the stunning grounds of Woburn Abbey. The Woburn estate itself is often credited with the birth of the afternoon tea in 1840.
Guests to Paris House can stay at the nearby Woburn Hotel, a friendly boutique hotel which is offering Paris House preferential accommodation rates. The outstanding food, stunning setting and the place itself really steals your heart.
Address: Woburn Park, Woburn, Bedford MK17 9QP
La Rive, Cobham in Surrey
La Rive is a beautiful restaurant located directly on the River Mole in Cobham, offering stunning views and serving the best of authentic Provencal Cuisine. The warm and intimate dining room is the perfect place to cosy up this Valentine’s Day and the beautifully romantic conservatory created by Harriet Forde who, famous for her delicate, feminine and floral designs has adorned the ceiling with stunning blossom, making it the perfect room for Valentine’s Day.
Exclusively for Valentine’s Day, La Rive is offering a delicious luxury 5-course tasting menu created by head chef Eric Payet, which includes dishes such as warm lobster salad, wild rosemary biscuit and leek and birch powder as well as braised beef, black winter truffle and swede mash with Beurre Rouge.
Address: 48 High St, Cobham KT11 3EF
Galvin at Windows Restaurant and Bar @ London Hilton on Park Lane
Offering breathtaking and stunning views over London, Galvin at Windows Restaurant and Bar is pretty much the perfect setting you could ever wish for to celebrate a romantic occasion. Since opening in May 2006, this Michelin-starred establishment has become one of the most talked about dining destinations in the capital. Situated on the 28th floor of London Hilton on Park Lane, visitors can enjoy a 360-degree birds-eye view of London.
Diners are treated to seasonally inspired modern French haute cuisine created exclusively by Head Chef Joo Won and his talented team. Visitors can also enjoy a range of modern classic cocktails, expertly mixed and created from the finest ingredients. Offering a collection of whisky and gin varieties, Galvin at Windows Bar is an idyllic destination for a pre or post-dinner drink.
Address: 22 Park Ln, London W1K 1BE
Oval Restaurant at The Wellesley, Knightsbridge in London
Oval Restaurant is a small and intimate restaurant within luxury boutique hotel The Wellesley, which overlooks Hyde Park. Head chef Michele del Monaco has devised authentic Italian menus with an emphasis on seasonality and fresh flavours, and there’s a special Valentine’s menu to celebrate this year. This includes a warm seafood salad with Gazpacho sauce, and a Sweet Valentine’s Heart for dessert.
It’s an intimate and romantic venue with a maximum of 28 covers, and its design evokes the elegance and glamour of the 1920’s with art-deco inspired features, for example, the intricate marble inlaid floor was inspired by an elegant luxury sunburst clutch by Judith Leiber.
Address: 11 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LY
Sindhu at The Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow in Buckinghamshire
Sindhu is situated within the elegant Macdonald Compleat Angler hotel, beautifully placed overlooking the River Thames at Marlow Bridge, Buckinghamshire. The transformation of the restaurant took inspiration from the rivers of India and their connection to culture and life. The result is an impeccable fusion of complementary colours. Set against the backdrop of its peaceful riverside location, the splashes of golden saffron across the plush furniture, striking tributary-style carpet and vibrant canvases are blended with subtle muted tones to create a comfortable, welcoming space that is both elegant and eclectic – the perfect setting for Atul Kochhar’s sophisticated cuisine.
The menus are inspired by Atul’s love of traditional Indian cuisine, kept alight by his continuous research into ever-evolving regional dishes, combined with his dedication to using the finest British ingredients. The result is an innovative style of authentic modern Indian cuisine that is totally unique. So you’ll find deliciously distinctive creations such as Hiran ka Boti (venison saddle with cardamom and mace), Meen Moilee (wild sea bass with coconut moilee sauce) and Bathak Falliyan (Gressingham duck breast with three bean stew and coriander cress) to name but a few.
Address: Marlow Bridge Ln, Marlow SL7 1RG
AG’s Restaurant at Alexander House, near Crawley in Sussex
Set within 120 acres of glorious Sussex countryside, Alexander House is a luxury manor house with beautiful vistas, a choice of restaurants, an award-winning Utopia Spa and rooms designed for absolute comfort. AG’s Restaurant, the hotel’s fine dining establishment, has just been rewarded for its culinary excellence with a third AA Rosette. Executive Chef Darrel Wilde takes influences from classic dishes, works with innovative cooking techniques and uses the South East environment as a basis for the restaurant’s food philosophy. The menus are inspired by the countryside, woodland, land and field and Wilde and his team bring dishes to life through the clever use of colours, textures and theatrical presentation.
Their holistic attitude and technical savoir faire make AG’s arguably the most interesting and innovative restaurant in Sussex.
Address: East St, Turners Hill, Crawley RH10 4QD
Café Rouge, St Pauls in London
Whilst we all may wish to be whisked away to the city of love for a touch of romance, Café Rouge allows diners to enjoy a taste of a traditional Parisian bistro on English soil. Let Café Rouge play cupid and provide the idyllic backdrop and array of tantalizingly tempting dishes that will definitely impress any date. What could be more romantic than a cosy candle-lit bistro serving authentic French classics?
In particular their newly refurbished flagship site in St Pauls London is an ideal location. Warm, intimate, and beautiful views of St Pauls, you can’t get any more romantic than that!
From 6pm on 12th – 14th February, couples can relish in a romantic 3-course meal with glass of fizz for £25 per person and let their romantic recipes make them fall in love with Rouge again.
Couples can choose from entrees like timeless Soupe de Jour or indulge in Camembert a partager – a perfect date night sharer – and follow with an intimate feast of Café Rouge’s signature Steak Frites or Poulet Breton. Whether it’s a sweet or savoury end to the date with a luxuriously rich heart shaped chocolate fondant or plateau de fromage to share, it’s sure to be a meal to savour.
Address: Unit 5 Condor House, St Paul’s Church Yard, London EC4M 8AY
The Dysart Petersham, Richmond in Surrey
The family-run, award-winning Dysart Petersham overlooking Richmond Park will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with a leisurely Saturday evening on Valentine’s weekend. It is a gloriously romantic setting and tables are spaced comfortably apart to offer that degree of conversational privacy.
This romantic restaurant offers two Valentine’s menus, including one for vegetarian diners, in a comfy setting of open fire, candles, flowers, tables set well apart, soft lighting inside, with the garden gleaming green and silver through the leaded windows and soft piano music from one of the restaurant’s musicians.
Head chef Kenneth Culhane’s menus have brought together some lovely flavours and colours, champagne, black truffle, caviar, chestnuts, the red of raspberries and hibiscus, meringue and chocolate, leavened with some unusual ingredients. And manager Barny Taylor will be happy to recommend wines to accompany the menu.
Address: 135 Petersham Rd, Richmond TW10 7AA
Angelus Restaurant, Paddington in London
Angelus is a French fine dining restaurant tucked away in Paddington allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of London. With its low lights and homely interior, guests can relax and enjoy the intimate atmosphere.
Angelus has an award winning wine list where owner Thierry Tomasin can expertly match a glass of champagne or wine to each dish to give that extra va va voom. From succulent snails to a chocolate mousse dessert, Angelus has all the ingredients for a night of romance. If you cannot make it to Paris this February then Angelus is the next best thing.
Address: 4 Bathurst St, London W2 2SD
Upstairs at Trinity Restaurant, Clapham in London
Critically acclaimed chef Adam Byatt has re-opened his restaurant Trinity in Clapham – introducing “Upstairs” as an elegant addition with views on to Clapham Old Town piazza.
All dishes are cooked to order from a wholehearted island kitchen. A selection of 12 small plates are available, a refined tapas that makes for a perfect romantic meal. Sample items on this menu include roast chestnut salad, BBQ squid and gremolata, burrata and spiced aubergine with chilli and leek vinaigrette with shrimps.
Not only is the food selected perfectly for a loved up couple, “Upstairs” is a truly stunning setting. London’s most sought after artist, Kristjana S Williams, has recently added beauty and splendour in the form of a dreamy art installation, a floral feature with beautiful butterflies making the place even more enchanting.
Address: 4 The Polygon, London, Clapham, SW4 0JG
The Cinnamon Club, Westminster in London
Set within the grand Grade II-listed Old Westminster Library, The Cinnamon Club is London’s original fine-dining modern Indian restaurant from renowned chef Vivek Singh. Following a £1million transformation last summer ahead of its 15th anniversary in March, the restaurant is a magnificently majestic, a stunning venue to celebrate a romantic Valentine’s Day.
The restaurant has recently added celebratory sharing dishes. Carved and served tableside for between two and eight guests, the new sharing platters are perfect for special celebrations and lingering suppers. Dishes include exclusive ingredients to The Cinnamon Club such as the very special milk-fed Herdwick lamb – a slowly-braised shoulder of highly sought-after lamb from the Lake District served with saffron sauce, pomegranate pilau, burhani raita and coriander chutney.
A brand new gin trolley in the main dining room offers an exceptionally curated collection of gin, sourced from iconic brands and small-batch producers across the UK.
Address: The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith St, London SW1P 3BU
Lanes of London, Park Lane in London
Housed within London Marriott Hotel Park Lane, formerly an Edwardian mansion block, Lanes of London is an informal, modern space, complete with comfortable booths, snug inlets and private dining facilities.
Led by Blacksheep, the award-winning restaurant design agency, the interiors incorporate marble, aged brass, traditional leaded glazing, racing green leather banquettes, oak and antique detailing throughout.
Enjoy Valentines Afternoon Tea on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th February, or indulge in a Valentine’s weekend set dinner menu in partnership with Chambord Royale, against unrivalled backdrops of Marble Arch and Hyde Park.
Alongside a food menu that delivers great flavours, Lanes of London bar serves great wines, craft beers and excellent cocktails.
Address: 140 Park Lane, London, W1K 7AA
La Fosse at Cranborne in Dorset
La Fosse at Cranborne is an award-winning restaurant and boutique B&B situated in the heart of the countryside on the Dorset/Wiltshire border in the UK. With this beautiful location La Fosse attracts avid walkers and cyclists from all over the UK, Europe and further afield, visiting for short breaks or longer holidays. Guests are charmed by the history of the small Cranborne village and the Cranborne Manor Estate to which it once belonged.
La Fosse also boasts a gourmet restaurant where local ingredients are a passion for Mark Hartstone, chef-proprietor. Mark is an advocate of sustainably caught seafood, makes imaginative use of game and wild food in season and is a cheese expert. Food on the menu often travels yards not miles! Mark creates mouth-watering dishes for the restaurant, as well as an award-winning cheeseboard.
Address: London House, The Square, Cranborne, Dorset BH21 5PR
Seven Park Place by William Drabble, Piccadilly in London
Seven Park Place by William Drabble, located at the luxury St. James’s Hotel and Club, was launched in September 2009 and was awarded one Michelin star only one year after opening and four AA Rosettes.
In Seven Park Place William Drabble has created his own inimitable style menu, influenced by classic French cuisine but made using the best British ingredients and taking inspiration from the seasons. Of course, like any great chef, William has his signature dishes, poached native lobster tail with cauliflower purée and lobster butter sauce springs to mind, but his continuing love of good food ensures that each dish he creates is as exquisite as the next.
To reflect the style of his menu William was heavily involved with the design and decor of Seven Park Place, an elegant and intimate space, with only 26 covers and nine tables. The restaurant uses rich colours and natural fabrics in bright, jewel inspired colours, to produce a stunning backdrop for the perfect romantic dining experience.
Address: 7-8 Park Pl, London SW1A 1LS
Queen Anne Restaurant at the Buckland Tout-Saints Hotel, Kingsbridge in Devon
Buckland Tout-Saints Hotel is privately owned by the Eden Hotel Collection, winners of the ‘AA Small Hotel Group of the Year’ 2014-2015. Built in 1690 as an impressive grade II Listed manor house, Buckland Tout Saints is a small country house hotel situated in an idyllic location in south Devon amongst spectacular woodlands and gardens.
Dining in the elegant Russian oak-panelled Queen Anne Restaurant (holds 2 AA Rosettes) is an experience to be savoured. Meat, fish, fruits and vegetables are delivered daily from local farms and fishing boats straight to the kitchens to inspire exciting daily European menus with a modern twist. The hotels has a ‘fork to fork’ ethos, growing food in their own grounds and sourcing local, organic and seasonal produce wherever possible.
It’s safe to say that Buckland Tout-Saints Hotel would make the perfect Valentine’s Day weekend break.
Address: Buckland Tout-Saints, Goveton, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2DS
Kinloch Lodge, Sleat on the Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is the perfect setting for a romantic break. Check into Kinloch Lodge, twice voted Scotland’s Most Romantic Hotel, for the perfect starry-eyed getaway with a gourmet twist thanks to head chef Marcello Tully.
Kinloch’s restaurant is recognised worldwide as one of Scotland’s best and it’s held one of the country’s most remote Michelin stars consistently for six years. Guests can enjoy dinner in the elegant dining room or choose to take their place at Marcello’s table and see the Michelin magic for themselves – £15 supplement per person.
This is an intimate country house experience, recognised by Conde Nast and The Sunday Times as one of the world’s best. But leave your thoughts of stuffy dress codes and whispery dining rooms at the door, the Macdonalds’ philosophy is ‘our home is your home, so after dinner, kick back in front of a roaring fire in one of the hotel’s three drawing rooms.
Address: Sleat, Isle of Skye IV43 8QY
Tudor Farmhouse, Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire
Tucked way in the glorious Royal Forest of Dean and Wye Valley countryside is the Tudor Farmhouse, one of the UK’s best boutique hotels. With it’s gorgeous bedrooms, award-winning restaurant and unstuffy farmhouse hospitality it’s the perfect retreat for a romantic dinner or minibreak.
Whether you want a light lunch, cosy supper or the six course tasting menu, the Tudor Farmhouse kitchen is committed to innovation and locally-sourced ingredients. The menu is described as modern British with a twist, choosing flavourful ingredients from nature’s larder and ‘not messing around too much’, letting the ingredients express themselves.
There are two relaxed dining rooms – one with atmospheric oak beams, exposed stone walls and a wood burner; while the other has a farmhouse kitchen vibe with fresh decor, modern foraging-inspired art and a cheeky nod to a love of chickens.
A two course set lunch costs £22, dinner from £31 for three courses and the tasting menu is £60pp.
Address: High St, Royal Forest of Dean GL16 8JS
Céleste at The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner in London
Following an extensive 18-month renovation, The Lanesborough, the latest masterpiece hotel of Oetker Collection, opened in July 2015. Its new restaurant Céleste hails a new culinary era for the hotel. French inspired, the cuisine is modern and imaginative, using only the best of British ingredients.
Florian Favario, Executive Chef of The Lanesborough was chosen by Chef Patron Eric Frechon – Paris’ most esteemed three Michelin-starred chef and leading figure at Oetker Collection’s Le Bristol since 1999 – to lead one of London’s most celebrated addresses into a new gastronomic chapter. Formerly Head Chef at Epicure in Paris, Florian brings a wealth of experience and creativity, inspired by his travels to add to his generous, rigorous yet refined gourmet cuisine. The cuisine at Céleste draws on traditional French ‘savoir faire’, whilst championing the authenticity of the finest British organic produce.
Address: Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA