The Resident recommends 15 ways to treat your loved one on Valentine’s Day, from unique adventures for two to the classic dinner-and-flowers combination, all handpicked especially for south Londoners
1 Up at the O2
Bored of the usual Valentine’s Day celebrations? Then dare to experience urban mountaineering with an invigorating trip up the most iconic of landmarks. During the 90-minute climb, couples can enjoy a unique journey to the peak of The O2 with spectacular 360 degree panoramic views across the capital, where climbers can take in the sights of all the famous other landmarks London has to offer. What’s more, you are doing this as a team and you’ll feel a tremendous sense of achievement when you reach the top of the viewing platform.
Book your tickets at theo2.co.uk/upattheo2
We are lucky enough to have two Chapters restaurants in our area, one just outside of Bromley and the other located in the heart of Blackheath. We recently revisited the latter and are pleased to report it still surprises and delights in equal measure. The setting is super romantic and the food top notch.
43-45 Montpelier Vale, Balckheath SE3 0TJ; chaptersblackheath.com
A fabulous menu – particularly their signature hamburger – tasty cocktails, and top service makes this Crystal Palace destination a firm favourite. Want to spend Valentine’s Day with others? Then book their private table, also known as the ‘train carriage’ and ‘table 99’, perhaps an extra special setting for a couple (with minimum spend applying).
56 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace SE19 1RX; joannas.uk.com
4 Royal Observatory
Be starry-eyed with your loved one in the Royal Observatory’s special planetarium show of love-themed constellations. The fun begins with a romantically themed planetarium show, followed by spending some time on the Meridian Line with an amazing view and a glass of bubbly – and a classic red rose for each couple attending too.
Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk
5 Pia Jewellery
The Pia collection celebrates their passion for truly creative styling and craftsmanship from all over the world. Head to their Bromley store to see why their designs are timeless classics, often inspired by nature or reflecting a cool modernity. Pia Jewellery is lovingly crafted to the highest standards and yet surprisingly affordable.
intu Bromley Shopping Centre, Bromley BR1 1DN; piajewellery.com
6 The Blues Kitchen
This is not your typical romantic cliché of a Valentine’s date: The Blues Kitchen is for the quirky couples looking to inject a bit of blues fun. Bringing the flavours and sounds of the Deep South to one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, Brixton, enjoy world class live blues, roots and soul music served up with authentic Texan barbeque and Cajun food, alongside London’s largest selection of rare and vintage bourbon. A date night like no other.
40 Acre Lane, Brixton SW2 5SP; 020 7274 0591; theblueskitchen.com/brixton
7 Karen Woolven Flowers
Nothing says I love you like a gorgeous bunch of flowers. What’s more, Greenwich-based Karen Woolven can ensure it’s not the same old, same old, offering a variety of ways to put together floral arrangements. Woolven creates flowers for any occasion and space.
18 Royal Hill, Greenwich SE10 8RT; 020 8858 1112; karenwoolvenflowers.co.uk
8 Selhurst Park
Now, a guy may be writing this feature, but there is a justifiable reason why Crystal Palace FC are appearing here. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one at Speroni’s Restaurant, where they are offering diners a romantic evening of champagne and canapés, followed by a delicious three-course dinner.
Selhurst Park Stadium, Whitehorse Lane SE25 6PU; selhurst-park.co.uk
9 The Montpelier
The Montpelier kitchen currently serves an ever-changing menu featuring British produce. Stuart Kilpatrick, their head chef, has combined his passion for local seasonal ingredients with his experience of working in some of London’s top fine-dining restaurants to deliver what is a fantastic pub menu.
43 Choumert Road, Peckham SE15 4AR; 020 7635 9483; themontpelier.net
10 Mama Lan
In 2010, Ning Ma started the Mama Lan Supper Club in her own home to bring a taste of Beijing to London. The supper club led to the opportunity to open their first restaurant in Brixton Village and, today, they are operating over six sites across London. Marking Valentine’s Day, they will be launching a very special dumpling at Brixton Village.
Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane SW9 8PR; mamalan.co.uk
11 The Lodge
TV chef Jimmy Garcia returns to London with the third edition of his autumn/winter Alpine pop-up restaurant, The Lodge. Launched on 21 October and running through to the end of February 2017, The Lodge delivers the flavours and fun of the Alpine mountains to Clapham with seasonal sharing plates, fondue, bottomless bubbles, hot cocktails, Swiss wines and Morand Liquors, plus Michelin-star restaurant chefs. Open Tuesday-Sunday 5.30pm.
The Lodge, 409 Clapham Road SW9 9BT; thelodgeclapham.com
Clapham’s former public conveniences may seem like an odd suggestion for a first date but WC, the wine and charcuterie bar that opened there last year, is an destination ideal for dinner (or drinks) à deux. The building’s history is an ice breaker for starters and the menu lends itself perfectly for sharing (a great way to get to know one another). Sit in an intimate booth and show off your wine-selecting skills.
Clapham Common South Side SW4 7AA; wcclapham.co.uk
13 Bistro Union
Abbeville Road’s Bistro Union is owned by Adam Byatt of Trinity fame (if you’re looking to push the boat out on a first date do try Trinity) so you’ll be on to a good thing…with the food at least. A ‘quintessentially British bistro’ that has proved popular with local Clapham residents (especially those in Abbeville Village), it’s advisable to book in advance. Or if you want to wing it, they do welcome walk ins.
40 Abbeville Road, Clapham SW4 9NG; bistrounion.co.uk
14 Clapham Omnibus
Show off your cultural side by choosing Clapham’s art space, Clapham Omnibus, as a daytime first-date destination. From theatrical productions to music concerts and comedy, stop by for a diverse programme sure to start conversation.
1 Northside (The Old Library), Clapham Common SW4 0QW; omnibus.org
15 The Picturehouse cinema
For a classic Valentine’s date catch a movie at one of south London’s branches of The Picturehouse cinema. If you’re feeling like something dark and sensual head to Clapham to see Fifty Shades Darker. Or if you’re feeling something more pensive and poetic then go to the East Dulwich cinema to see LoveTrue. Picturehouse also has cinemas in Greenwich and Brixton.