Dating is a tricky concept. Men have to deal with that age-old preconception that they have to be the initiators, the providers, the ones to do the proposing and all that jazz. Even more taxing, women have to deal with the men. A beautiful, romantic view is a saving grace, particularly in London. So whether you're planning a proposal or the all-important Valentine's Day, Fluid London is here. The best restaurants in London for romantic views are here for your benefit - because once the night sky is awash with city lights she'll be weak at the knees, he'll finally drop the front and maybe, just maybe, you'll find that spark. If not, no problem. It's a long list and a big city.
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
Within just a few days of its opening in 2013, aqua shard (pictured above) had already rung up ten marriage proposals, and continues to be a very popular spot for popping the question. The low, louche lighting, energetic yet elegant atmosphere, potent cocktails and breathtaking views from Level 31 of The Shard make for an intoxicating combination whether for a first date or 40th anniversary. Love struck diners covet the hard-to-come-by window tables; in the bar meanwhile couples will want to bag one of the discreet corner tables where mirrored pillars conceal their canoodling?
Babylon at The Roof Gardens
Kensington / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
A Mediterranean paradise set high above the exclusive, expensive and exciting hub that is Kensington High Street. The romance here isn't the same as the glamour of Central London; rather at Babylon you can have your own little world complete with palm trees and flamingos. In the daytime it's an oasis and at night it's a hideaway. Great food, great service, a garden to peruse with flamingos and the opportunity to look up at the stars... Babylon is the perfect canvas on which to paint your budding romance.
Galvin at Windows
Mayfair / Bar / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: French
Park Lane - An elegant restaurant with a view over London that showcases our city from one of its most beautiful angles. From the towering City and its smattered reflection of the starry sky above, to the leafy canopies of Hyde Park there is something for every observer here. And it is worthwhile to bear in mind that, should the romantic dinner go particularly well, the same building contains 250 rooms provided by the Hilton Hotel for your convenience.
The Restaurant at Sanderson
Fitzrovia / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: British
A tranquil oasis from the buzz of Oxford Street, Restaurant at Sanderson, situated at 5-star Sanderson hotel, is a sophisticated hidden gem in trendy Fitzrovia. The famous glowing-onyx Long Bar provides the best alcoholic prelude to the dinner, served a little further down, in the hip dining room. An intimate and cool atmosphere sets the scene for inviting international dishes and luxuriously romantic desserts. Finish off your date night with fresh botanical champagne cocktails in the lush courtyard garden.
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
The French are famous for two things: their ability to cook and their ability to love, making French the most romantic of national cuisines. Clos Maggiore, a Covent Garden restaurant, will help you woo your beloved with an open fire, candles and delicious French dishes. Oh, and did we mention that it's in a conservatory so that you can take a momentary break from staring at each other's eyes, to stare upwards to the stars, whatever the weather.
The Bingham Restaurant
Richmond & Kew / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: British
Love knows no barriers. It will make you go to the ends of the earth to succeed. Or, more conveniently, Richmond. So hop aboard on of those romantic river boat ferry things and head along the Thames. Once docked at Richmond, take the stroll along the bank to The Bingham where the balcony table you cleverly booked ahead of time is waiting for you, along with a splendid view across the perfect garden, the river, and into the beautiful sunset. Then ask for the 'mystery menu' to bring a bit of sensual intrigue to the table. Once dinner has been consumed, stay in one of the hotel's 15 boutique rooms and finish the job off. Romance knows no end!
City of London / Restaurant / Cuisine: International
Liverpool Street restaurant Sushi Samba ticks all the right boxes for a romantic evening with your partner. Ascending to level 38 is breathtaking in itself in the glass elevator, matched only by the view from the restaurant, which is made entirely of ceiling to floor glass. Low level lighting creates intimate atmospheres whilst the beautiful orange tree on the terrace is beautifully artistic. To top it off, the menu which is a mix of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian, is fantastically eclectic, allowing you to experience different cuisines. Whether outside on the balcony or inside sipping cocktails, Sushi Samba breathes elegant intimacy.
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Brasserie
Art Deco is all the rage thanks to Hollywood. Whilst flapper dresses and gold décor as far as the eye can see, may not suggest romance, the devil is in the details. At Brasserie Zedel, French Art Deco combined with an entirely French menu is your reward for surprising your loved one for the night. Located in Piccadilly, impress your Mrs/Mr with dinner after the show; and beautiful music to make her/him swoon; and sigh as you make her/him laugh with flirtatious jokes and chat up lines. Embrace your inner Parisian and enjoy the sumptuous beef bourguignon with your loved one(s).
Chelsea / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
It is a well known fact that an open fire increases the chance of romantic instances by about 1000%. The heat, the flickering light, the earth woody smell reminding us that we are part of nature, its unavoidable. Daphne's restaurant in South Kensington is set to make winter a loving season, with winter log fires to make people snuggle together in the warmth and a traditional Italian menu, to feed their stomachs and souls. Fifty years since opening it had recently been refurbished, so you can be romantic and stylish at the same time.
Meson Don Felipe
Waterloo / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Now, as far as we're concerned, nothing says ROMANCE, like sharing. One of the main reasons that people decide to find a boyfriend/girlfriend/life partner/spouse is so that when someone else's dinner looks better, you can just casually lean over and eat it. Enter tapas the most romantic of food, food to be shared, lovingly. At Meson Don Felipe restaurant on the Cut in Waterloo, you can sit crammed in, elbow to elbow, eating delicious tapas, while being serenaded by a Spanish guitar playing man, tucked into a corner of the restaurant. Let the love flourish.
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