The January blues are firmly behind us and love is steadily filling the City air.
For those not currently members of the Lonely Hearts Club, Valentine’s Day is a chance to spoil better halves rotten, indulge in extravagance, and spark envy among friends and family by publishing the entire spectacle on social media.
Indeed, for the more independent among us, 14 February – and much of the following day and night – could be considered the perfect time to complete a full technology detox or eat an entire cake in bed while watching the Bridget Jones’s Diary trilogy.
However, in the spirit of Valentine’s and love everywhere, we’ve picked out some of the City’s most romantic spots and gifts that will no doubt leave hearts aflutter.
The famous saying goes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but why can’t the same apply for all the love-hungry women out there?
A classic choice would be the Aviary’s annual Valentine’s Day dining experience. Snuggle up to your special someone in one of their rooftop igloos fitted with blankets, fireplaces and lanterns.
Or try something a little more casual – for the young couples out there – by hitting one of the cosy pubs dotted about the Square Mile.
Swap the cocktails for a pint of Guinness or a bottle of red and go to town on a proper roast dinner. It doesn’t have to be all Champagne and caviar on Valentine’s Day.
Whether it’s a first date or a 50th Valentine’s Day celebration as a couple, drinks – both alcoholic and non – can provide just the right amount of lubricant to get conversation flowing.
Unsurprisingly, this portion of any date is well catered for in the Square Mile, but picking the perfect destination can be critical to setting the right mood and elevating heart rates.
Bring your loved one’s favourite tipple to BYOC City, where the bartenders will turn any spirit into the perfect bespoke cocktail. It’s decadent drinking that’s tailored to your own personal tastes.
Or make things a little more upbeat by heading to the Night Jar in Shoreditch for live music and drinks until the early hours. Hide away in the corner or dance along to some brilliant blues, jazz and soul tunes.
Alternatively, go full opulence and make your way around some of the Ned’s many bars and restaurants. We recommend setting yourselves up in the Nickel Bar, listening to their bands and performers while enjoying the incredible marble-clad surroundings. Couples can even book a suite upstairs to make a proper night of it.
We know that money can’t buy love, but it does allow you to purchase some pretty lavish gifts. We’d always advocate expressing love in your own unique way, but in the interest of thorough reporting, here are some of the top gifts we’d love to tear a ribbon off this Valentine’s Day.
Gift cards to luxurious spa treatments are a sure fire win when it comes to V-Day gifts. Book your partner in for a massage and body scrub at the Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch, or go in for a couple’s spa experience at a central location like Thai Square Spa, Ajala Spa or the Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square.
We’re also big fans of spending big on jewellery and accessories. Leadenhall Market is home to several stores made for such occasions, including Beau Gems for vintage watches and the Pen Shop for something your loved one will likely use daily.
But it’s the thought that counts at the end of the day, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Flowers are always a win, and they don’t need to be pricy. Windsor Flowers, Rebel Rebel, Grace & Thorn, Bloom & Wild, and Floom are all stellar options for modern-looking bouquets that can range from super affordable to outlandishly expensive.
But, if you’re really wanting to treat each other, then nothing beats a romantic getaway. Head to the British seaside for romantic walks on the beach. Yes, it’s still romantic in winter – it just means more cuddling. We’d opt for Cornwall, the Welsh coast, or Fife in Scotland; destinations that aren’t hard to reach but are full of charm and character.
Hire a little cottage by the water or splash out on a high end hotel equipped with all the romantic trimmings.