Features

02/09/20


The Best Romantic Restaurants In London

The best romantic restaurants in London aren’t really restaurants that try to be romantic.

That’d be boring.

They’re the dimly-lit, intimate places that successfully combine great lighting, good music and a buzzy ambience: the sorts of places that get you excited as soon as you walk through the door.

Whether your date’s there or not.

So by “best romantic restaurants in London ” we really mean “restaurants in London most likely to subconsciously encourage your guest to find you even more attractive than they already do”.

Impossible, we know.

 

The Palomar | Soho

Romantic restaurants: The Palomar

It’s a front-row seat to see some of London’s most talented chefs at work. The total lack of pretentiousness; the quality of the service; and the sheer deliciousness of the modern, Jerusalem-inspired food keeps you determinedly coming back. And any and every date is likely to want to come back with you. READ MORE

Details: 34 Rupert Street, W1D 6DN £££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Sucre | Soho

Carol Sachs

Sucre is a restaurant so good-looking, it’s bound to rub off on you. Mood lighting is provided by thousands of cut-glass decanters artfully crafted into chandeliers; there are smoothly curving booths to snuggle up in; and the food – gorgeous Argentinian dishes from chef Fernando Trocca – basically defines the word aphrodisiac. And if things are going well, you can always slip downstairs to the moody cocktail bar for a nightcap. READ MORE

Details: 47 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JP £££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Bob Bob Ricard | Soho

Romantic restaurants: Bob Bob Ricard

If the Great Jay Gatsby owned a restaurant and thrust into it all his elegance, panache and charm, it would pale in comparison to Bob Bob Ricard. Then go out of business. And be scorned for trying to compare. There’s also a ‘press for champagne button’ in every booth, which, some would call a gimmick. We’d call it a press for champagne button. READ MORE

Details: Upper James Street, W1F 9DF ££££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Kitty Fisher’s | Mayfair

Romantic restaurants: Kitty Fisher's

Kitty Fisher was an 18th century courtesan who ate thousand-guinea notes for breakfast. And we’re not figuratively speaking. Now her taste for decadence and debauchery has been distilled into this eponymous restaurant, where you can dine on sumptuous European dishes in a candlelit, velvet-boothed dining room. READ MORE

Details: 10 Shepherd Market, W1J 7QF ££££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Andrew Edmunds | Soho

Romantic restaurants: Andrew Edmunds

Andrew Edmunds is like Cupid’s gift to London – all brooding, Dickensian-looking frontage and candlelit, close-set interiors, it’s pretty much impossible to leave here without another date in the bag. Especially if you ask to take a bit of your date and toffee pudding home. READ MORE

Details: 46 Lexington Street, W1F 0LP £££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Aqua Shard | London Bridge

Romantic restaurants: Aqua Shard

Ok, this isn’t exactly subtle. But it’s very impressive, particularly once night has fallen over London and the place is lit up by candles… READ MORE

Details: Level 31, The Shard, SE1 9RY | ££££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Tranga | Stoke Newington

Romantic restaurants: Trangallan

Don’t be fooled by the bare plaster walls, mismatched furnishings and occasional ladders leant against the wall – this place is open and ready for business. Settle in to a candlelit corner or a table outside, order as much tapas as you can, and crack open a bottle of natural wine to get the conversation flowing. READ MORE

Details: 61 Newington Green, N16 9PX £££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

40 Maltby Street | Bermondsey

Awkward gaps in conversation. Overbearing waiters. Prolonged eye contact. First dates are riddled with potential pitfalls, and the best way to avoid them is to head somewhere casual that still has that impressive cachet. Set in a railway arch off Maltby St. Market, number 40 is both a warehouse for Gergovie Wines, and a buzzy restaurant where diners crowd round high tables and a dining counter circling the open kitchen. Seasonally-driven small plates are chalked up on a menu by the stoves, and (as you’d expect) there’s a killer wine list to go with it. Watching the chefs, you’ll have plenty to talk about, and the stool seating is both relaxed and a little bit thrilling when your knees knock. READ MORE

Details: 40 Maltby Street, SE1 3PA £££ No reservations – find out more here

Campania & Jones | Bethnal Green

Romantic restaurants: Campania

Hidden down a little cobbled street, you’ll see a sign for a dairy named ‘S.Jones’. Head towards it, and you’ll bump into a romantically dilapidated little eatery – bare brick walls & a tiny courtyard boxed in by a forest green stable gate and rusty shop windows, with a smattering of little marble tables. And the food? It’s got fresh pasta, whole pan-fried fish, and slabs of herb-rubbed meat. Italian soul food, basically. READ MORE.

Details: 23 Ezra Street, E2 7RH | ££ | Want to book? Email them at their website here

Petersham Nurseries | Richmond

Sure, it might feel a little bold to bring up nurseries on a first date. But this place – a bohemian plant nursery in Richmond – is unexpectedly home to one of the most romantic restaurants in London. And with freshly plucked ingredients from the on-site gardens and the founders’ own farm in Devon, it might just be one of the most delicious, too. READ MORE

Details: Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 7AB ££££ Want to book? Visit their website here

London Shell Co | Paddington

Romantic restaurants: London Shell Co.

The fact that you’re dining on oysters should be aphrodisiac enough… but London Shell Co add understated flower arrangements, candlelight, cocktails, and a gentle cruise along London’s canal system just for good measure. READ MORE

Details: The Prince Regent Boat, Moored by Sheldon Square, W2 6EP£££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Café Deco | Bloomsbury

Studious assessment of your date’s profile has led you to conclude that they are definitely cooler than you. You need somewhere in your arsenal that will effortlessly win them over; somewhere that’s romantic without being all crisp tablecloths and tinkly piano music. Anna Tobias’ pastel eatery, housed in an old greasy spoon, is that place: natural wines, modish small plates, and chocolate pudding pie to finish. READ MORE

Details: 43 Store Street, London, WC1E 7DB££ Want to book? Visit their website here.

Sager + Wilde | Bethnal Green

Romantic restaurants: Sager Wilde Paradise Row

A festoon-lit dining terrace with bistro tables and bentwood chairs, a killer wine list and cocktails from a former Dandelyan mixologist, and melt-in-the-mouth pasta. You could tell terrible jokes all night here and still get a second date. READ MORE

Details: 250 Paradise Row, E2 9LE£££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Spring | Temple

Romantic restaurants: Spring

Another place that – ahem – springs to mind is Skye Gyngell’s Spring. For starters it’s set in the newest wing of Somerset House, which is pretty wow-ing in itself, not to mention makes for a perfect pre-dinner culture hit. The restaurant too is a pretty dreamy mix of powder pinks, marbles, and gold; and serves a daily-changing menu of seasonal dishes, alongside a small menu of signature cocktails, house-made liquors, and plenty of wine. READ MORE

Details: Somerset House, Lancaster Place, WC2R 1LA | ££££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

104 Restaurant | Notting Hill

Romantic restaurants: 104 restaurant

104 Restaurant is pretty much the perfect date spot. Not just because the food is a) delicious and b) cooked up by a Michelin star-winning chef, but because there’s room for just six tables, making you look both impressively well-organised and in-the-know. READ MORE

Details: 104a Chepstow Road, W2 5QS | ££££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

The NoMad Restaurant | Covent Garden

Simon Upton

Taking your date to 28 Bow Street ten years ago would have meant taking them to court. Now, however, it means taking them to the first international outpost of the ridiculously plush NYC hotel, The NoMad. The cocktail bar here, Side Hustle, has already made it on to The World’s 100 Best Bars list (one of just a handful of London inclusions), and the restaurant is set in an unspeakably beautiful central courtyard, surrounded by glass lanterns, greenery, and galleries that make you feel like you’re in a Roman villa. That serves roast chicken stuffed with truffle and foie gras to share, that is. READ MORE

Details: 28 Bow Street, WC2E 7AW ££££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

Sessions Arts Club | Clerkenwell

Taking your date to court is a good thing when that courtroom’s been transformed into one of the most romantic destinations in the city. Sessions Arts Club has kept this double-height room’s grand fireplaces and peeling plaster walls, throwing intimate tables for two and candlelit mezzanine booths into the mix. The beautiful menu here is the work of former Polpetto head chef Florence Knight, and is designed to be shared – though be warned, that may test you. READ MORE

Details: The Old Sessions House, 22 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0NA £££ Want to visit? Book here

Jolene | Stoke Newington

Romantic restaurants: Jolene

A stupidly good-looking eatery from the good people behind Primeur and Westerns Laundry. Perfect for breakfast dates (with freshly baked breads & pastries); lunch dates (home-made pappardelle up at the bar); and dinner dates (chocolate cake to share by candlelight on their terrace out front). READ MORE

Details: 22 Newington Green, N16 9PU ££ Want to book? Visit their website here

Maggie Jones | Kensington

Romantic restaurants: Maggie Jones

Candles in bottles of Moet; baskets full of Provençal herbs hanging from the ceilings; intimate wooden booths – this place has the works. And a menu of deeply finessed comfort foods and house wines charged by however much you drink go to show that it’s not just a pretty face, either. Just like you. READ MORE

Details: 6 Old Court Place, Kensington Church Street, W8 4PL £££ Want to book? Visit their website here

Fischer’s | Marylebone

Romantic restaurants: Fischers

Fischer’s is romantic in that old-school, Viennese grand café way; with intimate banquettes, wood-panelled walls, and a big clock. Share apricot dumplings and ice cream for pudding under the warm glow of the lighting (which is doing great things for your skin, by the way). READ MORE

Details: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HN £££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

J. Sheekey | Leicester Square

Romantic restaurants: J Sheekey

Oysters: A natural aphrodisiac. J. Sheekey Atlantic Bar: A Theatreland restaurant with a centrepiece horse shoe bar, banquet seating and an open kitchen – from which they serve London’s best natural aphrodisiac. READ MORE

Details: St. Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL ££££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

My Neighbours The Dumplings | Clapton

Romantic restaurants: My Neighbours the Dumplings

Whether you’re eating in their candlelit dining room, knocking back sake in their subterranean, artfully neon-lit bar or listening to live jazz in their lantern-strewn back garden, My Neighbours are going all out to make you become more than good friends. READ MORE

Details: 165 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EQ ££ | Want to book? Visit their website here.

 

Last Updated: 4th February 2022 | Main image: Jolene


Now that you’re familiar with the most romantic restaurants in London… you’ll need our list of 100 London Date Ideas




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