Discover the best restaurants to impress your Valentine
Gentlemen, take it from us. If you want your lady to swoon then a beautifully enchanting restaurant must be on the agenda too, as well as those flowers, diamonds and spa days. The old fashioned proverb ‘ The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ works for the opposite sex too.
It is so hard to choose from over 350 of the finest restaurants to find the most romantic destinations. Our criteria was strict: atmospheric but not loud, mood lighting, the setting, table-cloths are a must, table spacing and table sizing, discreet service, bijou on size, relaxed but attentive service. For men of few words, your destination could speak volumes.
Our top ten best restaurants for romantic dining:
A beautiful Georgian townhouse boutique hotel and gastonomique restaurant with a riverside location by Richmond Bridge. The ultra-elegant restaurant has long held a Michelin star for Chef’s Shay Cooper’s incredible masterpieces. Daytime you have the views and the Balcony use during summertime and at night you have romantic candlelight dining – one of the tables has even been aptly named the ‘Love Seat’ for its cosy setting.
Between Marlow and Henley on Thames sits the exquisite luxury country house hotel, Danesfield House. It’s situated a breast a hilltop plateau with full views from the rear sweeping down to the River Thames. A neo-Tudor style grand white building with an equally spectacular restaurant, The Adam Simmonds is small and elegant with well-spaced tables. The restaurant was delicately designed by the famous designer, Anouskha Hempel and retains the house’s character but with light wooden panelling, good use of mirrors, good seating and white linens. Award winning as Buckinghamshire’s finest for numerous years and now the Michelin star ensures this as a destination restaurant to visit.
Perhaps one of Scotland’s finest and most highly awarded hotel and restaurant’s, its pedigree is almost as awe inspiring as its location. At the foothills of Ben Nevis and overlooking its own loch, Queen Victoria once said “I have never seen a lovelier or more romantic spot”. Once there you can savour the excellent British cuisine of Philip Carnegie and his brigade, with the impressive restaurant credentials of having held a Michelin star every single year since 1982. Decor is grand Scottish Castle with period pieces.
For the foodie or the traveller, first and foremost, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa is one of England’s most glorious 5 star Country House Hotels and a member of Relais & Chateaux. A magnificent XVIIIth century palladian mansion in 500 acres of parkland only 6 miles from Bath. Top class facilities include an impressive spa complex and renowned equestrian centre. Rich and lavishly decorated, The Park Restaurant is located in the house’s former ball room and offers classical menus with modern European influences. Chef Hywel Jones ensures to use the finest local ingredients in his Michelin awarded dishes.
A very special small 11-bedroom hotel overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District. Used frequently as a celebratory haven for the Beckhams, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Stella McCartney, where more than often it becomes an exclusive use property, it is famous worldwide for its unspoilt English charm, romantic setting and excellent cuisine. Currently minus its long held Michelin star but nevertheless somewhere well worth a visit and to stay if at all possible.
Perched on the hillside overlooking Cornwall’s stunning Roseland Peninsula, Hotel Tresanton is a former yachting club which has seen a stunning transformation at the hands of owner Olga Polizzi. Described as ‘Seaside chic at its finest’, Hotel Tresanton is a delightful fresh mix of white washed walls, watercolours and mosaics for a emotive carefree holiday feel whenever you visit. The elegant restaurant is flooded with natural light from the windows on two sides making the most of the beautiful sea views and at night you can enjoy candlelight dining. Outside, a delightful two tiered terrace enables you to really make the most of the setting during the warmer months. Head Chef Paul Wadham makes the best use of the wonderful local produce within the daily changing menu and introduces a hint of Italian to the otherwise eclectic cuisine.
In the cove at Portloe, an unspoilt Cornish fishing village sits The Lugger Hotel. A building carefully extended from an original boat builder shed and house to surround the small water inlet where you can sit and dine both inside or out on the small balcony and watch the local fishermen bring in their hauls. Much of the catch is used in the restaurant for amazing British cuisine. During the summer months we recommend a walk before or after dinner across the headlands straight from the hotel and along the coast, where you can marvel at the stunning views of the land and sea for miles.
The dining in this upmarket bijou Chelsea townhouse off Kings Road is spread over several beautiful small rooms on the ground floor. A Michelin starred Indian restaurant of perfection with the chef, Vaneet Bhatia winning formally the Michelin star also for Zaika. The lighting is to perfection for day or night and hugely atmospheric as each room holds a comfortable amount of seating.
The village of Castle Combe is a regular used as an idyllic film setting for the quintessential Cotswold village, such as War Horse, and the 14th Century Manor House Hotel as the magical setting Stardust. As a setting, you will be stunned. The Bybrook restaurant is Michelin starred, extremely comfortable and reaps much praise for its imaginative menus. Its brigade of chefs use fresh produce from the Manor’s own orchard and kitchen garden to create culinary masterpieces together with a cellar of your dreams.
La Becasse is a boutique fine dining townhouse setting in the medieval market town, now gourmet mecca, of Ludlow in Shropshire. At La Becasse there is a very simply philosophy – “We aim to exceed your expectations leaving you wanting to return.” The food style is Modern French cuisine using the finest ingredients and with seasonality key to the success of the dishes. At the helm in the kitchen is Chef Will Holland, a true craftsman, having previously been Head Chef at the sister Michelin starred L’ortolan restaurant, Berkshire. Perfect for lingering memories.