Where to dine this Valentine’s

Simon Blish

Picking the perfect restaurant for your Valentine’s Day date can be a tricky affair. But we hope to take some of the drama out of the decision with our handy list of places to check out this February.

Also, read on to learn how you can enter to win dinner for two complete with cocktails at The Corn Exchange, Manchester.

Valentine’s Afternoon Tea, plus window packages and cocktails @ Hilton Manchester Deansgate (Manchester)
Float off into the clouds with your loved one for a Valentine’s Day afternoon tea, exclusive window packages or a bespoke cocktail at Hilton Manchester Deansgate. In Cloud 23 you can enjoy the deluxe Valentine’s themed afternoon tea with rose scented dry ice and scattered rose petals. Start with red pepper and hummus on tomato and olive bread, crayfish salad wrap, and creamed leek and Lancashire cheese tart. Then share a rich chocolate fondue with fruit skewers and marshmallows, or classic dipped strawberries and an exclusive, Valentine’s cocktail. You can also enjoy a window package for just £20 per person. Head to the clouds before dinner and sample a selection of savoury canapés, or indulge in a post-dinner treat with a selection of sweet treats. Both packages include a glass of Perrier Jouet Rose each.

Pretty in pink @ German Gymnasium (London)
Treat you and your loved one to a pink-themed Valentine’s Day to remember at German Gymnasium. Whether indulging on their three-course set menu with Rosé Champagne, or feasting on their Pink Champagne Cheesecake for two. GG is also offering a pair of cocktails to buy as one for just £20, which come in a rustic looking treasure chest called ‘Like a Pearl’. The first of the two cocktails combines Banana infused rum, Homemade Chocolate port, and Orange bitters. The second consists of a delightful mix of Rum, Orange and Cinnamon foam and Lime juice. So treat your treasure to a treasure (chest) with a twist, especially when it contains edible coral and pearls.

Bubbles, cocktails and conversation @ Bluebird (London)
Add a touch of fizz to your romantic plans this Valentine’s Day at Bluebird. They’ve got a sensational three-course dinner with champagne from Head Chef, Liam Smith-Laing, including heavenly Seared Salmon and Roasted Fillet of Beef dishes. If that doesn’t take your fancy, they are also hosting a romantic pink champagne tasting including a range of rosé from Veuve Cliquot, Moët & Chandon and Ruinart on Monday 13th February. This Valentine’s day, Bluebird are getting creative with three romantic cocktails. Their zesty ‘PS. I Love You’ creation incorporates Ketel One Lemon Vodka, Sloe Elderberry Liqueur, Passion Fruit, Strawberry Foam and edible flowers served in a gold pineapple. Alternatively, you can sip on ‘Punch Drunk Love’, a Whisky, Amaretto, Lemon and Cranberry concoction served in a large milk bottle. If that doesn’t take your fancy, try their ‘When Harry Met Sally’ sharing cocktail, a fruity combo of N1 Gin, St Germain Elderflower liqueur, Belsazar Rose vermouth, Raspberry, Lemon juice and Moët rose champagne.

Fall in love again @ Avenue (London)
The Beatles once claimed that all you need is love, but according to Avenue in St James, you also need an excellent meal every now and then. This Valentine’s Day they’re cooking up a five-course tasting menu to sink your teeth into, featuring dishes such as like Tuna Tartare, Green Chili, and Avruga Caviar. What’s more, they’ve even got a Fiery Passion cocktail to really start the night as you mean to go on.

Aphrodisiac surprises @ Kensington Place (London)
Kensington Place have crafted a very special three-course Valentine’s Day menu this February, with an emphasis on aphrodisiacs. Yes, that means oysters. Expect Colchester Rock Oysters, King Prawns & yuzu mayonnaise, Potted Cornish Crab and Yellowfin Tuna Tartare. Stuck for what to drink? They are also serving their Red Passion cocktail, so it’s sure to be a fiery evening.

Seven deadly (delicious) courses @ Launceston Place (London)
That’s right, Launceston Place are going fully indulgent this Valentine’s Day with seven bold courses from new Head Chef Ben Murphy. Although the bespoke menu may look sparse, it is guaranteed to be seven servings of seriously good food in one of London’s top restaurants.

Coupling up @ Orrery (London)
This February 14th, enjoy a bespoke five-course tasting menu created by Chef Patron, Igor Tymchyshyn, at Orrery in Marylebone. Delight your taste buds with the likes of Dorset Crab with Wasabi Avocado, or perhaps Roasted Fillet of Turbot with Mussel Velouté. But don’t fret if you already have plans for the big day, Orrery are making a weekend of it, with their menu available from 10th to 14th February. Oh, and they also have couples macaroons!

First dates @ Paternoster Chop House (London)
Paternoster Chop House is the perfect place to spend your Valentine’s Day, because after all, it is the location for the television show, First Dates. Whether it’s your first date, or your thirtieth, they’ve got you sorted with their three-course dinner menu with a glass of Chapel Down rosé – exclusively available on 14th February. There’s nothing more romantic and heart-warming than a Dark Chocolate Fondant!

Valentine’s, the Italian way @ Sartoria (London)
Join Sartoria this Valentine’s Day for a mouth-watering Italian feast created by Chef Patron, Francesco Mazzei. The special three-course menu features some seasonal show-stoppers including, Wild Duck Tortellini, Lightly Poached Seafood with Bergamot, and Homemade Pasticcini. Fancy some wine? Wine expert and Head Sommelier, Michael Sims will provide perfectly paired wines for an additional £35 per person. Now that’s a celebratory evening.

Three’s a crowd @ Skylon (London)
This V-Day, Skylon have got not one, not two, but three fantastic Valentine’s menus on offer. Whether you are happily single or loved up this winter, get down to Skylon’s Restaurant for a taste of Crab, Lamb or Monkfish. Vegetarian? They’ve got you covered with their vegetarian Valentine’s menu, including an aptly named, Sexy Salad. For something a little simpler, try their Grill menu with Roasted Yorkshire Duck Breast and Crème Catalan. Delicious!

Live at the opera @ Cantina del Ponte (London)
Do something different this Valentine’s Day, and head to Cantina del Ponte where you can enjoy an evening of live classical opera, featuring a number of traditional songs. What’s more, feast on a refined Italian style four-course set menu, including Lobster Tagliolini, Wild Sea Bass Carpaccio and Roast Angus Beef Sirloin. On top of that, you receive a delicious Rossini cocktail on arrival. What’s not to love?

Valentine’s Day @ Corn Exchange (Manchester)
If you’re planning the perfect Valentine’s day, look no further than Corn Exchange. It’s home to a vibrant mix of some of the very best restaurants in Manchester city centre; from Gino D’Campo’s My Restaurant and Byron Burgers to Banyan Bar & Kitchen and Salvi’s, there’s a cuisine to suit all love birds out there.

#WIN dinner for two with cocktails

From 10th – 19th February, you’ll find love birds setting hearts-a-flutter whilst nesting in the Corn Exchange garden.

To be in with a chance of winning dinner for two with cocktails, all you need to do is TWEET a picture of yourself in Corn Exchange’s love bird themed garden pod to @cornexchangeMAN using the hashtag #LoveBirdsMCR. The best image will be shared on Twitter and the lucky entrant will be dining with their love bird at one of Corn Exchange’s exclusive restaurants.

Why not also take full advantage of Corn Exchange’s Valentine snapchat filter to take romantic pictures with your special love bird.

The Valentine’s celebrations don’t end there… there will be acoustic music in the garden on Valentine’s eve to help you serenade your loved one, and be sure to spot the go-pro camera in action in the Love Bird pod through Valentine’s week. If you’re featured in our ultimate Love Bird footage, you could win cocktail vouchers to enjoy at Corn Exchange!

About Simon Blish

Writing, drawing, editing - Simon loves it all.