A perennial favorite for couples looking for romance, Andrew Edmunds (no website; 46 Lexington St., London; 011-44-20-7437-5708) in London's Soho neighborhood often times goes unnoticed thanks to its plain, easily missed storefront. Inside, however, the restaurant offers a classic romantic look. Things often times get cramped within the townhouse restaurant, as people often come to enjoy a cozy dinner. The menu features mainstay items as well as seasonal choices and a rotating wine list, all hand-written on sheets of paper. Dishes include modern European dishes such as king scallop carpaccio with capers and seafood salad with squid, octopus, shrimp and mussels.
The Belvedere (belvedererestaurant.co.uk) exists in what was the summer ballroom of the Jacobean mansion Holland House in Holland Park. The romantic ambiance of the mansion's 17th century design is enhanced by the surrounding flower gardens and a fountain on the lawn. Many couples opt to have their wedding receptions at The Belvedere, while others make use of the private dining facilities offered. Head chef Gary O'Sullivan creates a menu of a modern take on traditional British foods. Menu items include grilled sea bass, suckling pig and grilled calf's liver.
Clos Maggiore (closmaggiore.com) prides itself on being voted in numerous surveys as being one of the most romantic restaurants in the UK. Located in the Covent Garden area of London, this restaurant serves classic French foods in an intimate setting. The walls are adorned with European artwork and several fireplaces offer additional coziness. The a la care menu features entrees such as caramelized honey glazed Gressingham duck breast, pan roasted venison fillet and organic Irish trout confit. Vegetarian dishes are also available. The restaurant also offers private dining on the first floor for more intimate meals.
Chines restaurant Hakkasan (hakkasan.com) has two London locations. The original location opened in 2001 in Hanway Place, while a second location opened in Mayfair not long after. Designer Christian Liaigre dreamed up the dark design of the restaurant, making use of traditional Chinese black and gold decorations. The menu features items such as Peking duck with Royal Beluga caviar, grilled Wagyu beef and stir-fry Australian lobster. Hakkasan offers both private and group dining areas to enhance the romantic mood.
Les Trois Garcons
Entrepreneurs Hassan Abdullah, Michel Lassere and Stefan Karlson turned a Victorian pub from 1880 and turned the ground-floor into a restaurant in 2000, Shoreditch's Le Trois Garcons (loungelover.co.uk). The restaurant features an eclectic yet cozy style that works well for more offbeat couples. The walls feature a mixture of Victorian artwork and fixtures such as a giraffe's head. Chandeliers hang down from the ceiling. In addition to regular tables, the restaurant offers a chef's table, a more intimate view of the kitchen that supports up to 10 people. The menu features French cuisine such as home-cured foie gras and roasted pork belly.
Created by chef Jun Tanaka, Pearl (pearl-restaurant.com) offers a luxurious romantic experience for couples. The restaurant is adorned with thousands of hand-strung pearls within its décor, including pearl chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The menu features modern French dishes and a wine list with more than 200 choices. The seasonal menu of Pearl includes dishes like braised beef cheek and watercress tortellini, poached monkfish with seaweed and vegetarian items like ricotta agnolotti. Pearl also features a private dining room called Silhouette for more intimate affairs.