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A London Restaurateur's Guide To Surviving Valentine's Day

By Fabien Babanini (14 Feb 14)
Tags: valentine's day,romantic ideas,valentine's day ideas,romantic dinner,valentine's day dinner,romantic meal,romantic restaurants london,london's most romantic restaurants,top tips for valentine's day,valentine london,love london,

Header image for A London Restaurateur's Guide To Surviving Valentine's Day
Fashionable restaurant, Les Trois Garcons (pictured above) in Shoreditch was recently voted one of the UK's Top 20 most romantic restaurants by the users of toptable. If you've visited the restaurant yourself, you'll understand why.

There is hardly anyone more qualified to offer romantic ideas on surviving Valentine's Day, therefore, than Fabien Babanini, General Manager of Les Trois Garcons. Fabien has gathered much valuable experience during his 25 year career; working front of house in Michelin-starred restaurants in France before moving to London 19 years ago.

Here is Fabien's list of humorous tips and advice for making it through a Valentine's Day romantic dinner in one piece.

Valentine's Day advice for restaurant maître d's

  • cross check the names of all bookings to ensure you do not have a man dining next to his ex-wife and her toy-boy
  • be discreet about the number of times a customer has dined with you with different partners
  • do not allow your handsome waiters or pretty waitresses to give the impression of flirting with the clients. Customers have been known to explode in a jealous rage. It is not something you want happening in your restaurant
  • be prepared for at least one proposal on the night. I have never seen a Valentine's Day come and go without one
  • In the event of a proposal, do not agree to hide the ring in one of the dishes. I have seen this go wrong too many times; I have seen a woman passing on the dessert while the man was trying to encourage her to eat it and getting upset about it. The old trick of placing the ring box in the napkin when she leaves the table during the meal (and they always do) is the best.

Valentine's Day advice for couples in restaurants

  • Avoid taking your chosen partner for a romantic dinner for two at the same restaurant you took another love interest to the week before or even the same day for lunch (true story)
  • Keep any displays of public affection above the table, it is not attractive for other guests to witness anything more
  • Be chivalrous - your loved one will still appreciate some good old fashioned manners; open the door for them, stand up when they go to the bathroom etc. It's the little things that make a big difference and I am seeing less and less attention to these important details from men
  • Prepare some exciting topics of conversation before your evening out. There is nothing worse than watching a couple silently work their way through a meal
  • Relax and enjoy a drink but pace yourself if you want to be able to perform at the end of the night
  • Make sure you pre-order a taxi, there is nothing like waiting around for your ride home to kill the romance
Do you have any further Valentine's Day advice? Use the comments box below to leave your suggestions.

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