Whether you’re nervously planning a first date, Valentine's Day meals or a special anniversary dinner; or even setting the scene for a proposal in London (we're certain they'll say "yes"), check out our picks of the most romantic restaurants in London.
Most romantic restaurants in London for proposing
1. Bateaux London Thames Dining
2. Clos Maggiore
3. The Ritz Restaurant
Proposals don’t get much better than those at one of the top restaurants in London, The Ritz Restaurant. With a magnificent dining room adorned with frescoes and chandeliers, and live string or piano music, it's a magical place to pop the question.
Where: 150 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9BR
4. 14 Hills
The visuals are as good both inside and out at 14 Hills, a chic restaurant within 120 Fenchurch: think palms, vines, trees and almost-too-pretty-to-eat food. The views from this City of London spot are pretty special too – but if you want even more, head up to the roof garden for free afterwards to find a romantic spot.
Where: 14th Floor, 120 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 5BA
5. Sky Garden restaurants
Dine among the ferns and palms of Sky Garden, London's highest public garden and one of the coolest places to eat in London. Perched at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street (nicknamed locally as the “Walkie Talkie”), the elegant Fenchurch Restaurant and more laid-back all-day Darwin Brasserie serve contemporary British fare.
Where: Fenchurch Restaurant (Level 37, Sky Garden Walk, 1, London EC3M 8AF) and Darwin Brasserie (Level 36, Sky Garden Walk, 1, London EC3M 8AF)
6. OXO Tower Restaurant
Make your way to the eighth floor of the unmistakable OXO Tower, where you’ll find the OXO Tower Restaurant. With its alluring views of the City and beyond that are sure to have your guest swooning, a menu of modern British classics, and an intimate atmosphere, it's the ideal Valentine's Day restaurant.
Where: Barge House St, London SE1 9PH
7. Hutong at The Shard
Travel up to the 33rd floor of London's tallest building for incredible views at Hutong at The Shard, one the best restaurants with a view in London. Devour its signature dumplings (make sure to practise with chopsticks ahead of time to avoid embarrassment), and enjoy the roast Peking duck, before finishing your evening off with cocktails in the airy atrium bar.
Where: Level 33 The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street London SE1 9RY
8. J Sheekey
A legendary seafood restaurant, J Sheekey is perfect for a first date with a seafood lover. Don't be shellfish and share a platter, or to really impress, ask for the off-menu dessert (frozen berries and white chocolate) at this popular spot for theatre-goers in the middle of the West End.
Where: Level 3, 122 Leadenhall St, London EC3V 4AB
9. Bob Bob Ricard City
If you’re looking for cool restaurants in London, book a cosy booth at the futuristic Bob Bob Ricard City, a traditional brasserie with a 21st-century feel. Order some bubbly with a single touch of a button at this City of London spot, and hey presto… If you can tear yourself away from the gaze of your date amid all the bubbles, select from modern takes on French classics.
Where: Level 3, 122 Leadenhall St, London EC3V 4AB
10. Berners Tavern
Take your date’s breath away as you enjoy Jason Atherton's innovative dishes and marvel at the stunning art-covered walls of Berners Tavern. Raise the bar and also order a creative cocktail, and you’ll surely be guaranteed a second date.
Where: 10 Berners St, London W1T 3NP
11. Gauthier Soho
Impress your date with creative plant-based dishes at Gauthier Soho, one of London's most luxurious vegan restaurants. Tucked away in an intimate Soho townhouse, a set menu at this stylish hangout is a sure-fire way to woo your way into their heart.
Where: 21 Romilly St, London W1D 5AF
12. Circolo Popolare
Break the ice with a classy cocktail at Circolo Popolare, one of London's most Insta-worthy restaurants. Gaze at walls lined with wine bottles, look up at foliage hanging from the ceilings and pick from the all-day Sicilian menu featuring house-made pasta, pizzas and grilled dishes.
Where: 40-41 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1HX
14. La Poule au Pot
Add some je ne sais quoi to your date night at La Poule au Pot, a long-running restaurant that brings Gallic flavours to Belgravia. The rustic decor and vintage tableware are good talking points, even before you discuss the merits (or not) of ordering snails.
Where: 231 Ebury St, London SW1W 8UT
15. The Dining Room at The Goring
Make your other half feel like a king or queen at The Dining Room at The Goring. Housed within The Goring hotel – where Kate Middleton stayed before her wedding day – this elegant eatery lives up to British tradition, with silver service and elegant interiors. Share a beef Wellington or treat each other to Dover sole or caviar for a little extra.
Where: 15 Beeston Pl, London SW1W 0JW
Surprise your partner with an anniversary meal at one of the most Instagrammable and quirky restaurants in London, Sketch. Choose from the collection of unusual restaurants and bars housed within one building: enjoy a cocktail in the fairytale setting of The Glade or the cosy Parlour, before trying modern dishes at art-inspired The Gallery or three Michelin-starred Lecture Room & Library.
Where: 9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG
17. Hawksmoor Air Street
18. The Colony Grill Room
Be transported back to the 1920s at Mayfair's The Colony Grill Room. Enjoy a drink in the cosy cocktail bar adorned with vintage snaps, before settling down to an intimate meal at this classy hangout modeled on traditional American grills. Top off the special occasion with bananas Foster, flambéd at your table.
Where: 8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, London W1K 6TF
There's nothing like a seafood platter to get romance flowing, and Scott's in Mayfair certainly delivers with its gargantuan plate of crustaceans – you can even add lobster for a little extra. Other delicacies at this fish-focused restaurant include skate wing, monkfish and halibut.
Where: 20 Mount St, London W1K 2HE
20. The Wolseley
Pop into The Wolseley for its famous brunch – or enjoy lunch, dinner and a great value afternoon tea – on your anniversary at this lively eatery on Piccadilly. Once a car showroom, the light-filled restaurant is influenced by the historic European "grand cafes", with a relaxed feel that's perfect for a low-key celebration.
Where: 160 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9EB
21. Andrew Edmunds
Step into candlelit Andrew Edmunds for an intimate anniversary meal in London. A Soho institution since 1985, this dark and seductive hangout serves up French classics matched with a wide-ranging wine list. With few tables and a loyal following, make sure to book well ahead, especially for Valentine's Day.
Where: 46 Lexington St, London W1F 0LP
22. Petersham Nurseries Cafe
Declare your love for each other among the greenery of Petersham Nurseries Cafe in Richmond. The older, suburban sibling to the equally romantic Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden, this tucked-away south-west London gem delivers seasonal Italian-inspired dishes in its glasshouse.
Where: Richmond (Off Church Ln, Petersham Rd, Richmond TW10 7AB) and Covent Garden (31 King St, London WC2E 9DS)
Best Michelin-star restaurants in London
Show the love of your life how important they are with a special visit to a Michelin-starred restaurant in London.
23. Three-star restaurants
24. Worldwide cuisine
25. Michelin stars with panoramic views
More ways to ramp up the romance
Start your evening with a drink at one of London's top champagne bars, sip a creation from a star mixologist at a luxurious cocktail bar, or chat over a fine vintage at a one of the city's specialist wine bars. If you're looking for something a little more unusual, book into one of London's quirky restaurants.