From romantic oyster and champagne combos to vegan menus, beef Wellingtons to share and a Gatsby-themed cabaret with dinner, The Resident picks out some of London’s best Valentine’s Day menus
Lead image: The Mexican Seduction menu at Ella Canta
1 Dine Under the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel Staircase
For the first time in history, since St. Pancras Renaissance opened its doors in 1873, guests are invited to dine beneath the hotel’s world-renowned staircase. Originally designed to allow ladies to pass each other in their wide ballgowns, the staircase has been trodden by notable guests from Victorian royalty to The Spice Girls, who filmed their Wannabe music video there. Arguably the soul behind Sir George Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece of architectural design, the staircase features glorious gothic metalwork, gold leaf and a rich tapestry carpet, making it one of London’s most romantic spots. Now you can dine here in private by soft candlelight, enjoying a four-course menu created exclusively by Executive Chef Adam Ashe. The evening begins with a private champagne and canapé reception at 6.30pm, followed by a romantic candle-lit dinner at 7pm and wine pairings hand-selected by the hotel sommelier. Menu highlights include Devon crab cakes, slow-cooked beef cheek and a wicked sticky date pudding (vegetarian and vegan options available). Bookings available for 2-8 guests at £155pp. For a truly unforgettable evening, the hotel team can also arrange operatic performances on the staircase for an additional £594.
Euston Road NW1 2AR; marriott.com
2 GBR Restaurant at DUKES LONDON, St James’s
GBR (Great British Restaurant) is offering an exclusive five-course set menu on 14 February. Highlights include Crispy Oysters to start, with sea herbs, tarragon mayonnaise, Fillet of Beef served with duck confit chips, Three Grain Risotto with charred leeks and chestnut mushrooms, and, finally, Dark Chocolate fondant with cherry ripple ice cream, chocolate brownie and black forest mousse. Priced £70pp or £115pp with wine pairing.
35 St James’s Place SW1A 1NY; dukeshotel.com
Regarded as one of London’s most romantic restaurants, Michelin-starred Galvin La Chapelle is perfect for a Valentine’s dinner date. Jeff Galvin has designed an exquisite three-course Valentine’s Day menu (£125pp) book-ended with champagne and canapes to start and coffee with handmade chocolates and macaroons to finish. In between you can choose from the likes of ravioli of Dorset blue lobster and ceviche of wild sea bass, avocado purée, fennel and golden oscietra caviar to start; tea-smoked Cumbrian beef fillet with pommes Anna and cêpe purée, or poached Cornish halibut with fresh linguine, shellfish and basil emulsion for the main course; and crimson Yorkshire rhubarb cheesecake, or hot chocolate fondant with white chocolate marshmallow and honeycomb for dessert. Available 14 & 15 February.
35 Spital Square, the City E1 6DY; galvinrestaurants.com
4 Mexican Seduction at Ella Canta, Park Lane
Ella Canta, the contemporary Mexican restaurant on Park Lane, is offering a six-course Mexican Seduction tasting menu in celebration of El Día de San Valentín (as one says in Mexico). Martha has also drawn inspiration from the Mexican celebrations of El Dia del Amor y la Amistad (The Day of Friendship and Love), when towns are painted red and balloons, roses and hearts are scattered across the streets. Designed to make the senses sing, the experience begins with a quintessential aphrodisiac oyster dish, served with pickled red onion and lime. The menu also features red snapper with guajillo adobo, red raddichio and hummus and finishes with indulgent chocolate tamal with cherry ice cream. The menu is available from 10-22 February priced £70 including a Mexican Seduction cocktail.
One Hamilton Place, Park Lane W1J 7QY; ellacanta.com
5 Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Park Lane
Enjoy a three Michelin-starred experience at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester with Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet’s enchanting five-course menu. The menu features dishes such as hand-dived sea scallop with beetroot and caviar; confit duck foie gras with fermented salsify, hazelnut and black truffle, and fillet of turbot or fillet or cross continental beef. For dessert there’s A Heart For Two to share, with rose and almond or caramel and chocolate. You can also book the most romantic table in London, Table Lumière, which is cocooned by 4,500 shimmering lights, starting from £920 for two guests. Available exclusively on 14 & 15 February for dinner priced £235pp with a glass of rosé champagne or £590 for two guests with a bottle of nv Champagne Ruinart rosé.
The Dorchester, Park Lane W1K 1QA; alainducasse-dorchester.com
6 Petersham Nurseries, Richmond & Covent Garden
Petersham Nurseries Cafe in Richmond is often described as one of the most romantic restaurants in London, and its urban offshoot in Covent Garden, where Floral Court will be transformed into an ethereal garden, is equally magical. At Petersham Nurseries’ private garden greenhouse in Richmond, you can enjoy The Gut’s candlelit Valentine’s Day supper club 13 & 14 February. The 10-course tasting menu, designed by Will Hopper and acclaimed nutritionist Hannah Richard to improve heart health, will be cooked over an open fire to create a romantic atmosphere, and guests can either dine all together on one table or cosy up in the candlelit nooks scattered around the greenhouse. Priced £70pp. At the Covent Garden site will be a bespoke three-course menu served from 14-16 February, featuring indulgent plates like Lindisfarne rock oysters and a roast loin of venison with parsnips, braised red cabbage and burnt onion, rounded off with romantic desserts like passion fruit pavlova or prosecco jelly with raspberries and raspberry ripple ice cream. You can also pre-order a bottle of prosecco or a floral bouquet to the table. Priced £75pp, or £95pp with a bottle of prosecco and £125pp with a bottle of prosecco and bouquet.
Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB & 1-2 Floral Court WC2E 9FB; petershamnurseries.com
7 Gatsby With Love at The London Cabaret Club, Bloomsbury
The London Cabaret Club is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a rip-roaring foray into a bygone era for a fabulous dinner and show experience. The Gatsby With Love dinner party will transported guests back to the giddy magic of the Roaring Twenties, when footloose flappers and dapper gents danced the Charleston and sipped on champagne. The bespoke show features dancers, musicians, acrobats, magicians and breathtaking costumes, with music from the Great Gatsby film and specially selected culinary delights from the London Cabaret Club’s award winning chefs. Doors open 6.30pm, show starts 8.30pm. Tickets £105pp-£275pp.
The Bloomsbury Ballroom, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square WC1B 4DA; thelondoncabaretclub.com
8 Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Mayfair
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, just off Regent’s Street, celebrated its centenary in 2016, so this is a restaurant of both style and substance – perfect for a flawless Valentine’s date night. Bentley’s is serving a three-course Valentine’s Day menu for £95pp, complete with the chef’s selection of canapes to whet the appetite. To start, choose from the likes of ceviche of scallops with blood orange mint and jalapeno, oyster and sea vegetable risotto, or spiced foie gras. Options for the main course include Dover sole with lobster bearnaise and sea shore greens, Irish Hereford beef Wellington to share, and royal fish pie. For dessert, enjoy the likes of rhubarb, ginger and champagne trifle, or Baked Alaska with amaretto and almond to share.
11-15 Swallow Street, Mayfair W1B 4DG; bentleys.org
9 Corrigan’s Mayfair
Corrigan’s Mayfair is celebrating the most romantic day of the year with a six-course tasting menu for £125pp. You’ll start with a selection of Chef’s Canapés by Richard Corrigan, followed by Foie Gras Torchon, Roast Orkney Scallops, Cornish Sea Bass with Squid Ragu and Wild Rice, and Fillet of Irish Beef en Croute. For dessert, there’s Vanilla Bavarois with Navel Orange, Yorkshire Rhubarb and Pistachio, and a Dorstone cheese course. Available on 14 February only. corrigansmayfair.co.uk
10 Omakase at Nobu London & Nobu Berkeley Street
Nobu London and Nobu Berkeley St are serving a Valentine’s Day Omakase menu for dinner from 13-15 February. Meaning ‘I’ll leave it up to you’, the Okamase menu is chosen for you by the chef. Specially curated by Executive Chef Mark Edwards, diners at Nobu London can feast on a nine-course menu of elegant dishes such as yellowtail tostadas, seared tuna with sansho salsa, a sushi trio of smoked salmon nori tacos, king crab ama ponzu, and scallop ceviche, and Japanese mushroom risotto. Priced £100pp or £170 with wine pairings (vegetarian menu £75pp). At celebrity-hotspot Nobu Berkeley Street, diners can enjoy a vibrant seven-course menu with dishes such as spicy salmon caviar with scallop and maui salsa, Wagyu katsu with cabbage salad and Wagyu sauce, and cold inaniwa udon with ceviche dressing. Priced £120 or £190 with wine pairing (vegetarian menu £70).
19 Old Park Lane W1K 1LB & 15 Berkeley Street W1J 8DY; noburestaurants.com
11 The Milestone Hotel, Kensington
At The Milestone Hotel’s Cheneston’s restaurant, you can enjoy a sensual six-course meal with a welcome glass of Lanson Pere Fils champagne, from £90pp. Highlights of the menu include an appetiser of Native Oyster with green chilli, dill and sour cream, starters like Lobster Ravioli or Wagyu Beef Tartar, and main course of Pan Roasted Halibut with crab bon bon, cauliflower, baby leeks and champagne sauce, or Fillet of Veal Wellington. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. To cleanse the palate, there’s a Champagne Granita with raspberry curd, and for dessert you can choose from Vanilla Parfait and Dark Chocolate Fondant. To finish, enjoy tea, coffee and Valentine’s Petit Fours. Available from 14-16 February. You can even book a private dining experience in The Oratory, housed in The Milestone Hotel’s original chapel.
1 Kensington Court W8 5DL; milestonehotel.com
12 Roast, Borough
Quintessentially British restaurant Roast is offering a romantic three-course set menu this Valentine’s Day. Situated above the hustle and bustle of the iconic Borough Market, you can enjoy dishes such as kohlrabi avioli with avocado and lemon, or beef Wellington to share with terderstem broccoli, roast potatoes and Bordelaise sauce. Dessert choices include blood orange meringue, apple tarte tatin and an indulgent hot chocolate fondant. Available for lunch and dinner from 13-15 February priced £69pp for three courses plus a complimentary glass of prosecco or Valentine’s cocktail of your choice, including the Sweetheart cocktail or Roast Julep.
The Floral Hall, Stoney Street SE1 1TL; roast-restaurant.com
Greg Marchand’s modern French brasserie, Frenchie, is offering a five-course tasting menu for Valentine’s Day with a glass of champagne on arrival. To start, choose from the likes of Foie Gras Presse with Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb and Sorrel, or Roots & Black Truffle Feuilleté with Vin Jaune Sabayon and Vegetable Jus. For the main course, choose between Hand-Dived Scallop en Croute with Duck Foie Gras and Black Truffle with Wooley Park Farm Duck Breast, Salsify, Wild Mushrooms and Black Iranian Lemon. Finally, for dessert, enjoy Banoffee with Nutmeg and Caramelized Pecan, followed by petit fours. Priced £95pp (£85 for vegetarians), with wine pairing for an additional £50. Available for Valentine’s weekend from 14-16 February.
16 Henrietta Street WC2E 8QH; frenchiecoventgarden.com
14 Boundary London, Shoreditch
Boundary London on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch is offering a candlelit rooftop dinner in the heated Glass Orangery with four courses and a Valentine’s cocktail. Enjoy a drink and canapés before settling down in the Orangery, which has great views of east London. Choose from a range of starters and mains, and do indulge in the sharing dessert of Passionfruit Tart with Chocolate Ganache, Rhubarb & Crème Fraîche, dressed in edible flowers for a romantic ending to the meal. After eating, why not can snuggle up under a blanket next to the fire on the terrace, or head down to Wilder bar for late-night drinks? Priced £75 per person.
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch E2 7DD; boundary.london
15 The Landmark London’s Winter Garden, Marylebone
The Atrium at The Landmark London, a magnificent five-star Grande Dame hotel located in Marylebone, houses The Winter Garden – a perfectly romantic setting for modern European dining. There’s no specific Valentine’s menu on offer, but who needs one when the dinner menu offers indulgent starters of Lobster and King Prawn Cocktail and Aubrey Allen Steak Tartare, alongside mains of Aubrey Allen’s Dry Aged Grilled Cote de Boeuf, Whole Pan Seared Dover Sole, and Canon of Cumbrian Lamb?
222 Marylebone Road NW1 6JQ; landmarklondon.co.uk
16 Oblix at The Shard, London Bridge
Contemporary restaurant Oblix at the Shard, located on level 32 of London’s tallest skyscraper, is offering a four-course Valentine’s menu with a complimentary with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé on arrival. The menu, priced £98pp, features dishes such as crispy squid, burrata and steak tartare to start, with a middle course of roasted sea bass, and mains of Josper grilled sirloin & caramelized shallot or grilled tenderloin with wild mushrooms & truffle sauce. To round off, there’s an indulgent ‘sharing is caring’ dessert. Wine pairing is available for an additional £45pp. Plus, you get to choose whether you’d like to dine facing east or west London. Available for dinner on 14 February (the à la carte menu won’t be available) and for 15 February (a reduced à la carte menu will also be available).
Level 32, The Shard, Thomas Street, London Bridge SE1 9RY; oblixrestaurant.com
17 Norma, Fitzrovia
Norma, a converted characterful townhouse in Fitzrovia, offers a sumptuous setting for an unforgettable Valentine’s night with loved ones. For a truly cosy experience, sit in the sought-after alcove to enjoy the affectionate Italian hospitality. Culinary Director Ben Tish has created a select few Valentine’s specials, including grilled scallops with pumpkin, nduja butter and 30-day aged T-bone steak with pepperonata, almond and rosemary aioli.
8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1T 2LS; normalondon.com
18 12:51, Islington
James Cochran of 12:51 in Islington has curated and fun Valentine’s Day menu kicking off with James’ take on a classic Pina Colada on arrival, followed by an eight-course tasting menu. Dishes include squid ink potato with chip-shop curry sauce, smoked Cornish mussels with cured bacon, and James’ infamous buttermilk fried chicken with 12:51 Scotch Bonnet jam. Mains consist of celeriac xc with aged parmesan, confit egg yolk and pickled celeriac, and roast breast of Aylesbury duck with leeks, grains and BBQ apple. Available on 14 February priced £75pp (vegetarian menu available for £65pp). Click here to book.
107 Upper Street, The Angel N1 1QN; 1251.co.uk
19 Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar, One Aldwych
Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar and One Aldwych are offering the ultimate Valentine’s Day date combo – dinner and a movie – all served up under one roof. One Aldwych is hosting a special Valentine’s screening of Pretty Woman with a glass of fizz and popcorn, and following the film, guests will indulge in a Basque-inspired three-course dinner at Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar, the London restaurant from three Michelin-starred Eneko Atxa. Dishes include mussels cooked on charcoal with txakoli wine; pork ribs in a pork sauce; and roasted aubergine. End the night with a dessert like Torrija, a traditional Basque vanilla sponge, or smooth Chocolate Tart with a cookie base. 6.30pm. £68pp. Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar is also offering its eight-course Txoko tasting menu on Valentine’s Day with optional wine pairing.
One Aldwych WC2B 4BZ; eneko.london
20 The Dining Room at The Goring, Westminster
The Michelin-starred Dining Room at The Goring is offering an exclusive six-course set menu this Valentine’s Day. Under the direction of Executive Chef Richard Galli, the quintessential British menu includes canapes to whet the appetite, followed by starters such as poached St Claire oyster with horseradish and nasturtium, or scallop carpaccio with blood orange and yuzu, followed by chicken consommé with winter truffle and Alsace bacon; roast John Dory with artichoke, black olive and preserved lemon, or beef fillet with salt-baked celeriac, black truffle and lovage. For dessert, enjoy a white chocolate, lychee, raspberry and rose desert. Available on 14 February priced £115pp.
15 Beeston Place SW1W 0JW; thegoring.com
21 Kitty Fisher’s, Mayfair
Kitty Fisher’s – Mayfair’s seductive dining spot with dimly lit corners, mahogany tones and candelabras – is a perfect destination for subtle Valentine’s dinner. Named after Kitty Fisher, the renowned British courtesan, the restaurant’s British fare is similarly coquettish, serving tasteful riffs on classics like Welsh rarebit and partridge breast with celeriac & pickled peer, or monkfish with cauliflower & curry butter. Puddings include chocolate with brown butter ice cream and hazelnuts, Jerusalem artichoke cake with crème fraiche sorbet & quince, and British cheeses. For those looking to spark romance, kick proceedings off with a Bad Kitty cocktail.
10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair W1J 7QF; kittyfishers.com