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VALENTINES DAY IN LONDON: 2022 GUIDE

ST PAULS LONDON

Valentine’s Day in London: some love it, some hate it, some staunchly remind everyone that it’s nothing more than a marketing gimmick and others spend weeks plotting the most romantic way to show their love for their other half. 

Us? We’re somewhere in the middle. But we’re always looking for an excuse to head out and visit some of London’s coolest and most photogenic spots. So we’ve put together a little guide of all of the best places to celebrate Valentine’s Day in London this year, ranging from a quick drink and game of mini golf in Stratford to a stylish multi-course dinner and luxury hotel stay. 

Looking to celebrate but don’t have another half? We recommend visiting these spots anyway, especially when there’s no one to judge if you get a second dessert.

Best hotels for Valentines Day in London

If you're looking for a classic spot with that quintessential British charm, we'd recommend...

Rosewood is one of the city’s oldest hotels and has the prestige to match. A hotel that ticks all the boxes for being seriously grand, classically designed and home to unbeatable service, it’s a perfect spot for a few days of luxury. Huge white beds, a stylish bar and great location just add to its list of things to show off about.

The Goring’s impossibly soft bed sheets are something you’ll remember long after you’ve checked out. This elegant five star hotel is another of the city’s oldest and constantly retains its position on plenty of “top London hotels” lists. Come for the Afternoon Tea and swanky cocktail bar, stay for those white bedsheets that’ll make you seriously consider booking a late checkout.

Take anyone to The Kensington and they’ll know you’re serious about them, just from the pure indulgence of the hotel itself. And that’s before you’ve even stepped inside. The Kensington is set in a Regency townhouse mansion and comes with uniquely designed rooms. Duck down duvets and Italian marble bathrooms are just two of the things you’ll admire when checking in.

Prefer to spend some time in one of London’s coolest new spots? Some of London’s best boutique hotels include…

NoMad might be a luxury London hotel but it’s definitely not a traditional one. Set inside a former 19th-century courthouse and police station, it’s filled with modern artworks, Art Deco elements and an impressive cocktail bar. NoMad was designed as part of a collaboration with New York-based interior design studio Roman and Williams, fusing together English charm with cool NYC style.

Taking a trip out of the centre? Head to The Mitre Hotel, which is technically in Surrey but easy enough to access that it still makes the list, anyway. The Mitre Hotel is a boutique hotel on the banks of the River Thames next to Hampton Court Palace. That means you’ll wake up to the sounds of the river rather than London traffic. Top points for romance. 

Henry’s Townhouse is located by Marble Arch, which means you can spend the day wandering Oxford Street and dipping into somewhere fancy for lunch, before stopping by the Townhouse and making yourself at home. The closest thing you’ll find to a house in London (hidden inside a luxury boutique hotel, of course), Henry’s Townhouse is home to stylish bedrooms, a Georgian Pantry Kitchen where you’ll love the leisurely breakfasts and a terrace for evening drinks.

Best restaurants for Valentines Day in London

For a picturesque spot with beautiful backgrounds:

What says Valentine’s Day in London more than a bright pink, flower filled brunch haven? Known as the most Instagrammable cafe in the world, you’ll need no excuse not to snap a photo or two of your other half while digging into sumptuous cakes, dainy macaroons and vibrant hot drinks.

The Nest Rooftop Bar ticks a lot of boxes: a great drinks selection, plenty of plants and a varied enough menu to keep everyone happy. Also known as the treehouse bar, it’s simultaneously romantic and cosy, with spectacular 360-degree skyline views and comfy sofas that you can easily spend hours chatting away on.

Aubaine is beautiful inside and out, with stunning decor and a fancy French menu that’s perfect for a romantic occasion. You’ll find a few branches of Aubaine across the city but the one inside Selfridge’s is probably the prettiest. Warning: you’ll want to pre-book your table, especially if you’re visiting for dinner.

If you’re looking to go all out and say “I love you” surrounded by spectacular views, book a table at…

Aqua Shard

As its name suggests, you’ll find Aqua Shard perched high up on the 31st floor of The Shard. This classy restaurant is stunning in the evenings, when you’ll watch the lights turn on across the city from Aqua Shard’s floor to ceiling windows. Choose the set menu and make sure to visit the toilets (for their views) while you’re here.

Nobu’s a classic that doesn’t disappoint. Park Lane location? Check. Fancy Japanese-Peruvian fusion? Check. Plates arranged so artistically they look too good to eat? Check. Dress code here is smart casual but you’ll want to err on the ‘smart’ side when dining here. Be sure to reserve, as Nobu’s packed out even on weekdays.

ANGLER

Come to ANGLER for Michelin-starred seafood at this minimalist restaurant atop South Place Hotel. ANGLER feels like a proper date night spot, thanks to its 7th-floor city views and mirrored ceiling. Expect to bond with your other half over plenty of varied flavours and textures. It’s the kind of place where “try this!” is heard pretty often.

Looking to go for a delicious meal but not necessarily spending a fortune? If you want a classic, laidback favourite, try…

You never really need an excuse to visit Dishoom but here’s one anyway. Bringing Indian food to a whole new level with vibrant dishes and colourful arrangements, Dishoom is a failsafe dining option any day of the week. Warning: it’s also a place where you’ll stuff yourself silly, so perhaps best suited for more established couples!

The Ivy

The Ivy is impossibly beautiful and provides a brilliant backdrop for a romantic dinner. It also does wonderful cocktails, so there’s a high chance you’ll extend your visit past what you initially planned. You’ll find various branches of The Ivy across London and The Ivy Soho Brasserie is one of favourites.

Hawksmoor is a haven for meat lovers, but you probably wouldn’t want to visit with someone who follows a vegetarian or vegan diet. Home to some of the best steak in the city, Hawksmoor’s portions are huge but so delicious you’ll keep on eating anyway. Stick around for dessert if you fancy a challenge – you won’t regret it. 

Best bars for Valentines Day in London

Spending Valentine’s day with someone you’re getting to know but haven’t quite put a label on it yet? Head for a casual drink or two at…

Roof East wins all the awards when it comes to keeping everyone entertained. A great date spot come day or night, new or old relationship, it’s home to everything from cocktails and street food to basketball hoops, mini-golf and an outdoor cinema. Just keep in mind you might discover a whole new level of competitiveness from your other half (or maybe you).

Blame Gloria is a cocktail and wine bar but you’ll definitely opt for the former. Set in a vivid underground spot in Covent Garden, its seriously imaginative cocktail menu caters for all tastes – as does the music choice. Expect neon lights, patterned floors and loud music. Its Covent Garden location also makes it a great post-dinner choice.

Hackney’s Netil 360 is an ever-popular spot and, time your visit right, you’ll be treated to a beautiful sunset. A place leaning more towards the end of casual drinks, it’s one reserved for good weather and spontaneous pints. Visit around 5pm to grab a seat while the sun goes down on a clear day.

You know the deal: this isn’t your first rodeo together. Looking to properly celebrate with some IG-worthy cocktails? You’ll love…

Even the name “Sky Garden” sounds posh, so your date will already have an idea as to what to expect when heading here for a drink. Known as the highest public garden with both a restaurant and bar in London, this romantic setting has plenty to offer. Bonus: it’s also free to enter, which means more money to spend on cocktails.

The Hari Bar sits inside the Hari Hotel and is intimate yet glamorous: a bar you’ll feel like you can really have a good chat in. Set in Belgravia, The Hari Bar is the perfect fusion of oversized velvet sofas, uniquely designed cocktails and a delicious wine menu.

Jin Bo Law is a rooftop bar on the 14th floor of Dorsett City Hotel, with pretty views of the London skyline in every direction. One of London’s most popular rooftop bars, it produces beautiful cocktails, delicious food and a relaxing ambience. You’ll want to book this spot in advance, too.

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