London, lend us your ear so we might utter husky sweet nothings to you all year long. Why save the romance until Valentine’s Day, we ask? It seems churlish to keep our hearts from sharing, only bursting forth on the Hallmark-approved ‘most romantic day of the year’. We’ve got a lot love to give, London, so let’s get out there and pucker up, all year round! London has plenty of hidden, secret, clandestine underground and basement bars, where lovers can share a bottle of Champagne, or give each other the eye over a well-made cocktail; but nothing gets the heartbeat going like a beautiful view of London. Here, then, are our top 10 most romantic bars with stunning views of London.
City of London / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Meat
Nothing says "I love you" more than spectacular views of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, St Paul's Cathedral, the River Thames, the Gherkin, and City Hall; except maybe an engagement ring, of course. Couple this with two large, sun-worshipping roof garden terraces and a cocktail list that takes the most imaginative ingredients from across the globe, and you have a recipe for lusty romance. Looking for the ideal cocktail bar in London to pop that big question? Well here it is. We want an invite to the wedding though!
The Bingham Bar
Richmond & Kew / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Modern British
The are several reasons why this seemingly ordinary, one-room bar makes it into our most romantic bars in London guide: firstly, THAT balcony. It has three sets of two seats, facing each other, and no other space to squeeze by; meaning, your gaze into each other's eye will only be interrupted by the alarmingly romantic view, which is reason number two. And wow, what a view! The impeccably manicured garden, the shiny shimmering water of the Thames, the glowing sunset in the East. It's all there. As are the cocktails, the lounge atmosphere, and the availability of 15 boutique hotel rooms at The Bingham for when romance just cant wait any longer. Woof!
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
You could cough up the £50 to ascend to the top of The Shard, Europe's second tallest building, at London Bridge. Or, if you're sensible, you could spend that £50 on romantic cocktails at the Aqua Shard cocktail bar on the 31st Level. There's no cost to take the lift and the view is practically the same. You can see everything in London from up here, including the dilated pupils of your loved one. It's hardly surprising that this is fast becoming one of London's most popular places for wedding proposals. Tip: couples will want to bag one of the discreet corner tables where mirrored pillars conceal their canoodling.
West End / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Bar
This swanky rooftop bar (pictured above) is 10 floors up in the ME London Hotel, above the West End, with views across to Tower Bridge, The Shard, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tate Modern, Somerset House, The South Bank, The London Eye, The Houses of Parliament, and Covent Garden's Theatreland. Radio provides a wide range of angles to enjoy as well as plush outdoor seating. The bar staff have a range of cocktails and wines to make even the hardiest of lushes blush. Book your seating ahead of time (it's a popular venue) and if you're feeling lucky, a room downstairs in the hotel as well.
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Bar
Dress the part for this swanky reservations-only venue if you really want to impress your date because it's located at the top of one of London's tallest buildings. The bar itself is actually quite compact, running around the edges of the building with floor to ceiling glass-front views. Conveniently, the bar only serves champagne and cocktails. South-facing tables that look out onto the Thames, St Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge are more popular but views this high are good wherever you sit.
Galvin at Windows Bar
Mayfair / Bar / Cuisine: French
This cocktail bar is a more refined and subdued outlet for enjoying views of London with a loved one. Connected to the rather excellent restaurant (for those with a hunger as rampant as their thirst), Galvin's bar on the 28th floor of the London Hilton hotel has 360-degree panoramic views, most notably across Hyde Park. Don't forget your credit card.
Tate Modern Restaurant
South Bank & Bankside / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
Don't be fooled by the name, this is not just a restaurant. It's also a bar that enjoys sunsets over St Paul's and the Gherkin. Grab a glass of something warming, settle into the window stools provided, and get involved in a deep discussion about the artistic merits contained in the gallery below, juxtaposed against the artistic merits resplendently and fortuitously positioned right there outside the window. Top drawer romance.
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
As night falls, Madison's low-lit skyline views overlooking the iconic dome of St Paul's Cathedral provide a fitting backdrop for kissing couples to enjoy cocktails and champagne after a hard day's work in the City of London. Hey, is it hot in here? Let's go outside and enjoy the view from one of Europe's largest open air roof terraces. Right, now we're out here, give us a kiss!
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