London has some extremely romantic restaurants that can make that first date / Valentine's Day / birthday really special. These restaurants have been chosen as they all have something that makes them stand out. (Listed in alphabetical order.)
Serge Krouglikoff/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Amaya restaurant is the India Bar & Grill created by the owners of the renowned Chutney Mary and Veeraswamy. Head Chef Karunesh Khanna is one of a tiny number of Indian chefs to have won a Michelin star. He has been working as head chef of Amaya since it opened in 2004. The service is superb and the Indian food is non-traditional as they specialize in Indian grilling and kebabs. The food is designed to be shared and comes in tasting portions; 6-8 of these plates is equivalent to a two course meal.
Andrew Edmunds is located in a townhouse in Soho. The dining rooms are quite small and the cosy, rustic tables are quite close but that adds the intimate atmosphere in this candle-lit restaurant. It's the kind of place you would expect to find in a European village with it's charming hand-written bistro-style menu which changes daily. Expect music later in the evening and expect to book for this very reasonably-priced, charming Modern European eatery. Great for a romantic evening.
One of London's most romantic dining rooms, Blake's decor is dark and opulent (designed by owner Lady Weinberg Anouska Hempel) with black walls, lots of distressed leather, bamboo, luxurious cushions, and Thai artifacts. The cuisine is a fusion of East meets West and presentation is important. Expect to find a variety of International dishes, mixing Italian, Thai, and Japanese cuisines. The is a place to be seen so prices reflect its exclusivity.
Opened in 1986, the Blue Elephant is a unique setting. You enter a lush tropical jungle and cross wooden footbridges over a pond with real fish to reach your table. The waiting staff are Thai and wear traditional clothing. The cuisine is considered authentic Thai and the restaurant is popular with families for the Sunday buffet. Evenings are for romantic couples. Blue Elephant London is part of a worldwide chain.
© Laura Porter
Criterion Restaurant in London's Piccadilly has a sumptuous neo-Byzantine decor which never fails to impress. The Criterion first opened in 1874 and is still a popular romantic venue with Modern European cuisine.
First opened in 1998, Restaurant Gorden Ramsey in Chelsea now has three Michelin Stars – an honor held by only two other UK restaurants. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road was named amongst the five best restaurants in the world by a poll run by Restaurant Magazine. There are only 14 tables seating 44 guests for lunch and dinner, making this an exclusive venue and a must for connoisseurs of fine contemporary cuisine. Book, by telephone only, two months in advance.
La Bouchee offers French bistro cuisine and is always popular so do book ahead. They serve French classics such as escargots, onion soup, and steak bearnaise. You'll find this candle-lit restaurant packed in the evening with romantic couples sharing dishes. Great for special occasions.
Le Pont De La Tour is a Conran restaurant offering Anglo-French cuisine. Its location is superb as it is close to Tower Bridge and has a terrace overlooking the River Thames for outdoor dining. Perfect for a summer lunch or dinner as Tower Bridge gets lit up at night. If you can't get a table outside then inside the restaurant is more formal and very romantic.
Le Gavroche opened in 1967 in Chelsea and moved to Mayfair in 1981. It has never been cheap but it has always offered authentic French cuisine. It was the first restaurant in Britain to receive a Michelin star in 1974, then the first to receive two Michelin stars in 1977, and then the first to obtain the maximum three Michelin stars back in 1981. Le Gavroche celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007 and continues to regulary receive awards. Check out the artwork on the walls including Picasso and Miro and the individual sculptures on each table. The restaurant's signature is Souffle Suissesse - cheese souffle baked in double cream. Bon Appetit!
Proprietor Patrick Gwynn-Jones has run Pomegranates since 1974 and I don't think he's decorated since then. Don't be put off as this adds to the charm of this basement restaurant. The menu is somewhat eclectic so expect to find West Indian curried goat, Cantonese roast duck, as well as their 'famous' Aberdeen Angus beef. Lunchtime is popular with politicians and dinner is most popular with loyal returning clientele and romantic couples.
11. More Romantic London Restaurants