London’s top 10 most romantic restaurants

Top 10 Romantic RestaurantsIf you’re heading out on a date night or a Valentine’s Day dinner and you really want to impress why not try somewhere special and head to one of our top 10 most romantic dining spots in the capital, as voted for by our 2016 survey reporters…

Clos Maggiore WC2

“A girl knows she’s being spoilt” at this Covent Garden “haven” – the survey’s No. 1 romantic choice – where for full effect you must sit in the “magical back conservatory, which is second-to-none for a date”. Service is “charming and courteous” and the cooking “delicious”, if arguably eclipsed by the “massive tome” of a wine list.


poule au potLa Poule au Pot SW1

“For romantic gazing across a candle into the eyes of your beloved”, there is no better choice than this famously “seductive” haven of “dark corners and intimacy” in Pimlico. The hearty, “classic” Gallic sustenance carries “no surprises”, but it and the “colourful”, “resolutely French” service all “add to the rustic charm”.


Andrew Edmunds W1

“For the perfect first date”, this “magical” (if “cramped”), candle-lit Soho townhouse is second to none – a “shabby-chic treasure” that’s “barely changed in three decades” (although actually, behind the scenes, they put in a big new kitchen this year). The “simple, daily changing fare” is unfailingly good value, but the star turn is the “incredible wines at stunning prices”.


bleeding heartBleeding Heart Restaurant EC1

“Tucked away in a quiet corner of Hatton Garden”, this “old-fashioned” warren – comprising a restaurant, tavern and bistro – is equally superb for “business bonding”, or “seductive romance”. The Gallic cuisine is “a safe bet”, but it’s the “epic” wine list and marvellously “cosy and intimate” style that are the real clinchers.


Chez Bruce SW17

“Still at the top of its game after all these years” – Bruce Poole’s “unpretentious” yet “consistently excellent” neighbourhood restaurant is yet again the survey No. 1 favourite, and “well worth the schlep to Wandsworth Common”. “There are no fads – just classic, interesting, perfectly executed cooking”, matched with service that “while impeccable, is completely devoid of airs and graces”. All this plus “stellar” wine and a “cheeseboard probably visible from space”. And price-wise, it’s “so reasonable for something so good!”


le gavrocheLe Gavroche W1

Michel Roux’s “iconic” Mayfair bastion (est 1967, by his father Albert) provides a “flawless and indulgent” treat, wherein “psychic” staff deliver “elegant” French cuisine and a “wine-lover’s” list “full of gems”. That the basement setting looks “a little dated” is all part of the traditional charm, and the main man’s regular presence helps underpin “a truly magnificent experience”. Top Tip – “the best value set lunch ever”.


Galvin La Chapelle E1

“To impress a client or date”, you can’t beat the “gorgeous” and “dramatic” setting of the Galvin brothers Spitalfields venture (“like eating in a minor cathedral”); it’s a “very slick operation” all round, with “classic, not overly fussy” Gallic cuisine and “top notch” service.


FerainteriordFera at Claridge’s W1

After a dazzling debut, Simon Rogan’s second year in this “stunning” Art Deco chamber still inspires adulation for his “wizard” tasting menus and “astonishingly good wine matches”. Prices, however, are “breathtaking”, and ratings slipped perceptibly across the board this year, with growing gripes about “an absence of fireworks”.


Le Caprice SW1

“Sooooo smooth, soooo suave” – this “effortless” ’80s brasserie tucked away behind the Ritz has always “eschewed culinary heights”, and even if its “classy comfort food” is a tad less excellent under Richard Caring’s ownership it’s “the front of house staff and overall buzz which make it so special”.


gauthierGauthier Soho W1

“Ringing the doorbell adds to the special feel” of a trip to Alexis Gauthier’s “beautiful, plush and quiet” Georgian townhouse, in the heart of Soho. But while it “oozes romance and decadence”, it’s first-and-foremost a gastronomic experience, with “unbelievably slick” service and some of London’s best French cooking – “seasonal, classically based, and superb in taste and presentation”. Top Menu Tip – leave space for the “always wonderful” signature Louis IV chocolate praline dessert.

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