It’s time to make that reservation, if you haven’t already. And even if you don’t yet have a date, we have a few events at which you will most likely find at least one dining partner before the weekend. So, with this in mind, here is, in no particular order, my top 5 most romantic restaurants for this Valentines week.
1) Andrew Edmunds
If it’s traditional yet eclectic style you’re looking for then Andrew Edmunds is a no-brainer. That’s ‘no-brainer’ as in you really don’t need to think about it too much because it’s so obvious, not ‘man without a brain’. That would be weird.
Anyhow, AE (as us LOLs texting ROFL types like to call it) is snuggled into a Soho townhouse. Replete with cosy hideaway corners, hand written menus, dried flowers on each table and bistro style menu updated daily it’s elegant romance to a tee. And it won’t break the bank.
Expect candlelight, mood music and a mixed clientele that make all feel welcome. Service is understated and helpful leaving you to the more important part of your evening, notably your significant other.
Relaxed, romantic European-village charm.
Andrew Edmunds 46 Lexington St, City of Westminster, W1F 0LW
They don't have a website but here are some reviews
If it’s a sharing experience you’re after then look no further than Amaya. Head Chef Karunesh Khanna has been working here since 2004 and is one of the very few Indian Chefs with a Michelin star to his name.
Service is exceptional, the food a modern twist on traditional Indian and the atmosphere one of relaxed indulgence.
Expect fantastic grills and kebabs in sharing plate sizes so you can eat as much or as little as you like (6-8 is approx 2 course size) while wrestling fingers for the last morsel.
Fun, stylish modern Indian
Amaya, Halkin Arcade, Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JT www.amaya.biz
Okay so it’s another Soho based restaurant but I had to include Aurora as it’s an absolute favourite of mine.
Suitably dimmed lighting, modern European menu, fantastically friendly and helpful staff and unpretentious décor give this small hideaway restaurant a charm of its own.
And depending on the weather they have a small but wonderful walled and heated courtyard that transports you to a Mediterranean village in just a few steps.
It’s the perfect place to gaze longingly into each other eyes without fear of unwanted intrusions from fellow diners or overzealous staff.
49 Lexington Street London, Greater London W1F 9AP 020 7494 0514 www.aurorasoho.co.uk
4) La Cercle
If well-heeled elegance is more your thing then perhaps a visit to La Cercle is in order. You can opt for the modern clean-lined yet surprisingly mellow high-ceilinged basement or, if your desire to be seen is less intense, there is the mezzanine lounge which offers a more laid back chic.
Gourmet luxury is the order of the day with a slight fetish for truffle apparent on the menu. ‘Expansive’ is the word often used to describe the cuisine and the wine list is a suitably extensive to match.
With an international clientele reflective of the restaurant’s proximity to Sloane Square this is a venue to dress and impress. Probably best not to order the JD & coke in front of your date. The staff will have a fit.
La Cercle 1 Wilbraham Place Belgravia London SW1X 9AE
A bit of a gamble this one as I’ve yet to go but it’s been highly recommended by more than one trusted source.
Our only restaurant on the list that’s south of the river, Trinity is often described a ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant – a term that does justice to its local charm yet neglects to highlight its innovative and startlingly fresh approach to food.
Situated in the heart of Clapham Old Town, Trinity serves up an eclectic take on Anglo-European cuisine. Understated elegance and friendly, knowledgeable staff make this the perfect place for the nervous dater and the dining expert alike.
And while its compact layout may intimidate, it’s a surprisingly private restaurant which, when busy, make it a wonderful evening out for couples and groups alike.
And to top it all off, they try and source all items as locally as possible so ethical as well as delicious. Typical South London!
Trinity 4 The Polygon Clapham London SW4 0JG www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS