Valentine’s Day is just as much an excuse to treat yourself as it is your partner. Especially as more traditional gift-giving is being superseded by the desire for couples to instead go out for a really special meal together.
Order Champagne (not Prosecco), get some cocktails and order all the most expensive things on the menu. There is no holding back when you are being this indulgent. But, when you’re ready to spend some pretty pennies, you best not waste them at overpriced spots which are no better than your local pub.
That’s why we’ve rounded up our very favourite fine dining locations within the Square Mile – each of which are perfect for one ‘break the budget’ night out.
La Dame de Pic
The master of the Michelin Guide, Anne-Sophie Pic, run this epic City of London eatery which should be at the top of your must-try list. She doesn’t go all over the top with over-the-top distractions. Instead, she goes for the understated spectacles. When visiting, prepare to be challenged in curiously familiar ways and explore all the complex facets of French cooking. There’s no wonder why La Dame de Pic got its second Michelin star this year – everything offered is top of the line. And it’s all executed to perfection. Clearly, we are fans – of both the woman and the restaurant. You can even add a night’s stay at the Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square for extra luxury.
Four Season Hotel, 10 Trinity Square EC3N 4AJ
City Social manages to be both modern and cutting edge as well as classic and traditional all at the same time. This is thanks to Jason Atherton who keeps a firm grasp over proceedings. He shows just how good British food can be and how it has evolved over the past few decades. Go right in for the tasting menu and try as many dishes as you can stomach. Take in the view (one of the best you’ll get in London), sip on some world-class wine and let these pros really spoil you. Just note that these guys are basically perpetually busy so you might need to book far in advance. Valentine’s Day in April anyone?
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street EC2N 1HQ
These guys manage to blend Peruvian, Brazilian and Japanese cuisines with incredible ease. Jump from sushi to taquitos and then from ceviche to the all too crazy expensive Kobe beef steak throughout an evening of opulence. The steak will even come with its own gold medal of authentication – because, when you’re spending £1,000 per kilo, you want to know it is legit. But you don’t need to go to these lengths for a special night out. Without the Kobe steak, it is still a decently priced menu full of an incredibly diverse range of options. If these are all too overwhelming, then either let the waiter choose a selection or go for their ‘Taste of Samba’ assortment. Either way, you won’t be disappointed here.
Floors 38 & 39 of Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY
We usually prefer our Indian food to be a bit messier and rougher around the edges but Brigadiers at the Bloomberg Arcade shows us that it doesn’t always have to be that way. They make high end Indian cuisine that doesn’t compromise on flavour. This can be a hard thing to find these days with so many fine dining Indian restaurants losing the punchy and classic flavours we all know and love. Find your own intimate booth or nook within this red leader and wood clad space for a super romantic night of dining. Although, after eating all manners of hot and spicy food, you not be up for much romancing – perhaps, bring a few mints for afterwards.
Bloomberg Arcade EC4N 8AR
Galvin La Chapelle
With large arched windows, high stone ceilings and elegant interiors, this old school Michelin star restaurant is clearly one of the most romantic places to eat out in the Square Mile, let alone London as a whole. And, in light of this, the team at Galvin La Chapelle have designed a series of lovable menus just for Valentine’s Day – running on both 14 and 15 February. The three-course menu is priced at £125 per person and includes Champagne and canapés to start and after-dinner coffee with handmade chocolates and macaroons. This one will undoubtedly impress.
35 Spital Square E1 6DY