Tuesday

My top London Valentine's restaurants

So I have been asked on numerous occasions to give a list of restaurants I would go to with my Valentine...

Sadly, as one friends other half found out many, if not all, are fully booked but, here's food for thought for if you want to take your other half for a slap up evening out on the tiles. These are places where most are serving 'sharing plates' which is one of my favourite ways to eat as a twosome - no food envy and you can pick away to your hearts content.

Barrafina - Soho and Covent Garden



I wasn't going to put any restaurants in which you can't book but, seemingly it's near impossible to miss a few out because of this 'craze'. You can, however, stand and have a glass of sherry and some iberico whilst you wait and the wait is hardly ever longer than 40/60mins or so, more than enough time for some flirtatious catching up.

Bocca di Lupo - Soho


A fairly recent addition to my blog and one that had been on my 'go to' list for as long as I can remember. Here, it is bookable however a good few weeks notice is needed. For romancing, book the bar stools and enjoy an award winning wine list with yummy food and an electric atmosphere.

Polpo/Polpetto - Soho, Notting Hill and Covent Garden



A firm favourite of mine for both lunch and dinner. This place has served me some fond memories over many small plates of delicious Venetian food and carafes of vino. At night the lights are dimmed and music is turned up making it all rather cosy and romantic. Again, no bookings here for evenings but you can enjoy a glass of wine whilst you wait. Bar seating is bar far the best way to soak up the atmosphere here. 

Claudes Kitchen 1, 234 and 5 (the first ever visit)!- Parsons Green

Avid readers will know how much I adore this place (and also probably from the link numbers above!). This is a cosy, cute restaurant serving sensational in season food, the menu changes weekly which shows off Claude's excellent chef-ing skills - I am yet to have a 'new' flavour combination I haven't liked. Relaxed it may be but Claude knows his flavours and out of this tiny kitchen comes some lip smackingly good flavours and punchy wines to match. Head downstairs afterwards whereby they have a champagne bar which is open well into the night. 

Berners Tavern - Off Oxford Street




Still almost a year on this is one of our most enjoyable nights... one of those where spontaneity gets the better of you (read I get overexcited!) and you roll in home at 4am. Berners Tavern has 'attitude' at night and a cocktail menu to match. Head there early, prop up the bar, enjoy Atherton's amazing food then head on down to the 'secret basement' club attached. Warning it is eye-wateringly expensive when one gets sloshed but trust me, it's worth every penny. 

Hunan - Pimlico



Hunan has been around since 1982 (it's older than me!) and its 'no menu' tasting feast has attracted foodies, celebs and locals thick and fast since opening. Always a fun evening out with friends as you never know what the chef is going to throw at you and it has a wonderfully competitively priced wine list. It's regarded as one of London's 'best Chinese restaurants' and once visited it's easy to know why. Go with a long-timer (not a first date) as you leave full to bursting which won't set you up if you're planning on staying up until the early hours... 

Dabbous - Goodge Street



Innovative modern food served in an industrial style restaurant with a bar to boast about serving banging cocktails and fabulous bar snacks. Tasting menu's are the only way forward here which gives you an incredible insight into his skills as one of Britain's gifted chefs at this time.   

Places I return to often but haven't blogged about:

Julie's - Notting Hill. A bit of a NH institution for the past 30+ years. A really pretty restaurant with 'themed' rooms and serving excellent refined British grub.

Tinello - Pimlico. Fantastic family run smart Italian restaurant serving pretty incredible pastas and fantastically flavoured 'secondi Piatti'. When I go here I tend to fill the table with loads of the small eats and antipasti and fight over whom gets the last Gamberi Fritti, then move onto their home made pastas - delicious.

Ember Yard - Soho. Incredible 'refined' BBQ food, Just go, I can assure you, you won't be disappointed. 

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