If you’re hankering after sublime cuisine and exquisite surroundings in which to begin your happy-ever-after or relight a smoldering fire between you and a long-term love, these are some of the most romantic restaurants in Britain.
Seafood, especially oysters, has been associated with amour since time immemorial so to exclude an oyster bar from the list would be an affront to the countless crustaceans consumed in the name of love. There’s J Sheeky, of course, but Bentley’s is a handsome joint, a one-time institution saved from obscurity by Richard Corrigan. The ground floor bar serves high quality seafood whilst the upstairs grill is a more formal affair. It’s conviviality personified and great for a date.
More… La Poule Au Pot, SW1; Andrew Edmunds, W1; Bleeding Heart, EC1; Petersham Nurseries, Richmond.
Nestled in a picturesque village in the wilds of the Lake District the former smithy is rustic and understated, but visitors to this Michelin starred restaurant with rooms are not there to be stirred by opulence but by chef Simon Rogan’s awe-inspiring, joyful cooking.
A visit to an isolated village a stone’s throw from the River Humber may not seem like a customary choice for a lovers’ tryst but a stay at Winteringham Fields is one that marries luxurious 5 star rooms with gourmet food. The focus is on local, seasonal ingredients served in a comfortable and elegant dining room. Service is discreet.
Regarded as the crème de la crème of restaurants, there’s an intimate atmosphere to Le Manoir. Visitors to this refined country house live the dream – sleeping in deluxe rooms and eating two Michelin starred French cuisine in an elegant conservatory that looks on to beautifully manicured gardens. Nothing short of stunning, it would take a heart of stone not to be moved by this English idyll.
The Restaurant at Drakes, Brighton, East Sussex
Contemporary and cool, yet intimate and comfortable, the sumptuous, low-lit restaurant of this seafront Georgian hotel seems to have been designed with amorous assignations in mind. The unpretentious menu showcases British produce – quality game, meat and seafood – cooked and presented with consideration.
At this Victoria villa, positioned between a grassy common and the meandering River Cam, Daniel Clifford serves two Michelin starred food that is refined, creative and sensual. The dining room, with its calming muted colour scheme and serene ambience, lends itself to low-key declarations of love.
A popular destination for couples and rightly so – this charming old watermill is stylish and sexy. It maintains many original features whilst offering 21st century comfort in chic rooms. The welcoming, deep hued restaurant is adorned with beams and offers views over peaceful waters. Paul Foster’s lively menu embraces modernity yet the presence of foraged herbs and local produce keeps dishes true to the mill’s environs.
Stately and gorgeous, this 18th century Palladian mansion is lavishly decorated with plush interiors and a rather grand Michelin starred restaurant. Hywel Jones’ food is classical, precise and unashamedly indulgent. The extensive grounds and outstanding spa make Lucknam a holistic extravagance for couples.
Chic and informal, this boutique hotel is a seaside nirvana, set within seven acres of gardens that slope towards a beach. The restful, whitewashed Michelin starred restaurant and terrace overlook the coastline to the sea beyond and the aspirational menu celebrates seasonal, locally sourced produce. It’s also family friendly, making it the ideal getaway for partners with kids in tow.
More… The Dining Room at Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes, Cornwall; Babington House, Nr Frome, Somerset; La Becasse, Ludlow, Shropshire; The Cary Arms, Babbacombe, Devon.
Queen Victoria claimed never to have seen a “more romantic spot” – set between mountains, lochs and glens, Inverlochy’s unique position is breathtaking and rejuvenating. As you’d expect of a grand castle the décor at this luxury hotel is elaborate and the dining rooms – with plush seating and heavy drapes – are formal, yet the place exudes a warm and amiable atmosphere. Phil Carnegie runs the Michelin starred restaurant and his menu is, in turn, rich, bold and faithful to the fine Scottish fare that surrounds him.
This restaurant remains one of Scotland’s finest; Wishart consistently produces high calibre dishes that demonstrate technique, imagination and attention to detail. The contemporary-styled restaurant is softly lit, sumptuous and elegant, making it suitable for an intimate tête-à-tête. Wishart clearly has a feel for romance – his other venture is on the banks of spectacular Loch Lomond.
With its pretty sitting and dining rooms and tranquil gardens, Tyddyn Llan is known for its homely vibe. The food, liberally portioned, is generous of spirit. Chef Bryan Webb presents no-nonsense fare and takes full advantage of the Welsh produce on his doorstep. Tyddyn Llan shows no signs of losing its status as a respected restaurant and cosy hideaway.
More… The Hardwick, Abergavenny.
This Michelin starred coastal restaurant is so light, bright and airy that eating here is an uplifting experience that would bring even the most belligerent of couples back together in a tight embrace. The produce on Mark Jordan’s superbly contrasting menu is Jersey-centric; he utilises the wonderful local bounty and his passion is palpable on the plate.
More… Le Petite Bistro, St Peter Port, Guernsey; L’Auberge, St Martins, Guernsey.