London on Valentine’s Day can be a minefield of cheesy set menus, fuzzy pink decor and below par oysters more likely to conjure up a fit of projectile vomiting than feelings of lust. But worry not, heed our recommendations below and you and your beloved can enjoy a romanic experience to remember at one of the capital’s most luxurious hotels, minus the magenta teddies.
For a romance with a touch of Edwardian grandeur
This iconic London hotel is conveniently nestled within the bustling streets of Aldwych. Just a stones throw away from Covent Garden and the capital’s famous theatres, The Waldorf Hilton is perfect for those who wish to watch a glitzy West End show as part of their Valentine’s Day experience.
Amorous couples can dine decadently at the hotel’s stylish Palm Court restaurant, where a shamelessly romantic five course dinner will be served alongside fine wines and vintage champagne.
The special Valentine’s Day menu includes a smooth foie gras mousse with confit duck, a trio of salmon, Sipsmith and pink champagne sorbet, tender lamb rump and lamb shoulder croquettes, and a pleasing to the eye white chocolate dome worthy of its own Instagram account.
Protected by The English Heritage, the Palm Court is steeped in history and numerous marriage proposals, weddings and anniversary celebrations have taken place over the last 110 years within its regal walls.
The hotel will also be providing a romantic version of its famed afternoon tea, with picture-perfect, Valentine’s themed cakes served in the Waldorf Tea Room.
Good Godfrey’s, the hotel’s bar, will be serving Romeo and Juliet cocktails to star-crossed London lovers. The Romeo is a heady concoction of Auchentoshan Oak Whisky, caramel syrup, honey, lemon, smoked cinnamon and Brewdog IPA, while the Juliet is a saintly dalliance of vodka, Antica Formula Vermouth, homemade orange syrup, orange bitters and caramel.
The Waldorf Hilton’s Astor suite comes complete with a ‘press for champagne’ button, and die hard romantics can ask the guest relations team to arrange flowers, chocolates and even rose petals to be strewn over the bed.
The Valentine’s five-course dinner is £69 per person and available on Wednesday 14th February, between 5.30pm and 9pm. The afternoon tea is £39.50 per person or £49.50 per person with a glass of champagne and available from 1.30pm to 3pm from Saturday 10th February to Wednesday 14th February.
For long lazy soaks and science themed afternoon teas
This South Kensington gem is located minutes away from The Royal Albert Hall and some of London’s finest museums – ideal for lovers with a penchant for ancient history and geeky science installations.
The rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished in a contemporary, striking style and feature white roll top bathtubs with views of chic Chelsea streets – just remember to draw the curtains if you’re not the exhibitionist type.
L’Occitane toileries adorning the opulent bathroom shelves and heated marble floor tiles make you feel as though are are staying at a luxury-loving friend’s house, rather than a hotel.
The Ampersand’s delightfully plush restaurant is aptly called The Drawing Room – part quintessentially English drawing room, part Parisian tea room, and serves one of London’s most romantic afternoon teas. Lovers can lock eyes as they feast on freshly baked scones, delicate pastries, pretty cakes and savoury treats such as brioche buns filled with roast beef and smoked salmon blinis.
For Valentine’s Day, the hotel’s renowned afternoon tea has been given a romantic (and rather sciency) twist inspired by the hotel’s South Kensington neighbour The Science Museum. The ‘Science of Love’ afternoon tea features a tempting menu of lovingly-prepared treats including heart-shaped biscuits, mini meringues with fresh strawberries and a special ‘Love Elixir’ mocktail.
For romantic strolls in the park and vegan afternoon teas
This minimalistic London boutique hotel sits smugly on the edge of the capital’s iconic Hyde Park, so loved-up couples can take long scenic walks before retiring to their room for cozy (or racy) nights under the covers.
Shunners of meat will be particularly enamoured with the 100% vegan afternoon tea, which includes freshly baked scones served with strawberry jam and coconut cream and delicate dairy-free cakes. A selection of dainty finger sandwiches are also served with imaginative fillings such as scrambled tofu and mustard cress, Portobello mushroom pate and cashew nut butter and avocado chilli mouse.
The hotel’s Suite Lovers Package is available until the 18th February and includes a 15% discount on stays for up to three nights with a unashamedly romantic set-up on arrival and continental breakfast in bed.
For amourous foodies with fine tastes
This Park Lane hotel is a truly lavish choice for those in search of luxury escapism and exquisite fine dining.
The Athenaeum has been a regular haunt of the rich and famous for decades. Executive manager Sally Bulloch heralded the hotel’s Hollywood golden age in the 1970s, where her charming presence at the hotel’s glitzy bar made her a hit with well heeled guests. She was known to drink champagne with Elizabeth Taylor and famous for scolding a naughty Russell Crowe for leaving his room untidy. Take That announced their split from the hotel’s penthouse, leaving an obscene number of teenage girls in tears and legendary film director Steven Spielberg installed an editing suite in one of the hotel’s residences when working on E.T., Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Today, the hotel is regularly visited by those in search of exceptional service, comfortable beds and world class fine dining. Those planning on impressing their food-loving other half can book a table at Galvin at The Athenaeum – the hotel’s restaurant from Michelin-starred London chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. The brothers have finally distanced themselves from their trademark French-inspired menus in favour of celebrating Britain’s homegrown produce and independent farmers across the UK. Dishes such as chateaubriand of Cumbrian beef and fillet of Cornish halibut will ensure a dinner date with a very happy ending indeed.
For minimalist chic rooms and candlelit hot tubs
For the perfect Valentine’s staycation, Londoners can book themselves into the ultra luxurious Lucy Suite at the Bermondsey Square Hotel. Prepare to be welcomed extravagantly with artisan chocolates and find scarlet red rose petals scattered over your plush bed for the night.
Make the most of your precious time with your favourite person with an early check-in and late check-out, and spoil yourselves with a ludicrously indulgent dessert served in the privacy of your bedroom. The opulent Lucy Suite boasts a spacious outdoor terrace overlooking the city skyline, complete with bubbling hot tub for long, steamy soaks accompanied with glasses of your favourite chilled champagne. Strawberries available upon request…
For those who can manage to tear themselves away from their temporary love nest, romantic strolls to the river await and the nearby Bermondsey Street beckons with its thriving restaurant and bar scene, art galleries, design studios and boutique shops.
Prices for the Valentine’s Offer start from £149 per night in a Club Room, £161 per night in a Terrace Room or £525 per night for the Lucy Suite. The offer is available from Friday 9th – Sunday 18th February 2018 and includes overnight accommodation, full breakfast in bed for 2, rose petals and chocolates on arrival, in-room dessert of choice for 2, early check in and late check out.
Featured image: The Lucy Suite at Bermondsey Street Hotel