If you’re hoping to ramp up the romance this year, why not treat your special someone to a night or two away from home? We’ve picked five UK cities that are perfect for a loved-up weekend break, plus some restaurants that are guaranteed to set sparks flying across the table.
The Scottish capital is one of those cities that oozes charm no matter where you look. Located between rolling hills and the sea, Edinburgh sets hearts racing with its stunning castle overlooking the city and tiny cobbled lanes leading through the Old Town.
Café St. Honoré – Café St. Honoré brings French flair to modern-day Edinburgh. Its décor transports you to 1920s Paris with plenty of soft candlelight – perfect for gazing into your date’s eyes. Owner and chef Neil Forbes makes a point of using fairly traded and locally sourced ingredients, so you and your date can tuck into culinary delights with a good conscience, too. Save room for dessert – we highly recommend the vanilla crème brulée to share.
The Stockbridge Restaurant – Stockbridge is one of Edinburgh’s most charming districts, with cobbled lanes and the Water of Leith running through it. Right in the heart of historic Stockbridge you’ll find this cosy, family-run restaurant and we promise you and your date will feel at ease immediately. Head chef Jason, his partner Jane, and their team proudly present fresh and creative cooking, hand-picked wines and a welcoming ambience.
The UK’s capital is always worth a visit and has one of the most vibrant restaurant scenes in the country, so it comes as no surprise that Londoners know how to wine and dine their dates in style.
Clos Maggiore – We recommend a visit to Clos Maggiore – it’s frequently voted London’s most romantic restaurant by and we could not agree more. It is an oasis of calm in the heart of Covent Garden, influenced by the warmth and intimacy of country inns you’d find in Provence and Tuscany. Head Chef Marcellin Marc cooks sublime Provençal-inspired cuisine with contemporary influences. His menus have consistently been awarded three AA-rosettes since 2008 and the restaurant has also been awarded “Best of Award of Excellence” consistently since 2003 by Wine Spectator.
Searcys at The Gherkin – Searcys is situated on the 39th and 40th floors of The Gherkin and its elegant cocktail bar and fine dining restaurant provide guests with outstanding panoramic views of London. Why not take a seat at one of the window tables and take in all London has to offer whilst enjoying a cocktail or two?
Nowhere in northern England says ‘medieval’ quite like York, where an impressive circuit of 13th-century walls encloses a spider’s web of narrow streets leading to York Minster, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world. If history and heritage tickles your fancy (not to mention that of your date), a visit to York is an absolute must.
The Whippet Inn – If you are into old school romance without any fuss, pay The Whippet Inn Steak and Alehouse a visit. It is a restored Victorian pub with a quirky modern twist, giving it an understated decadence. If you share a passion for wine and steak, this is a top choice for date night.
Oxo’s on the Mount – Set within the Mount Royale hotel in the historic City of York, Oxo’s on the Mount finds itself in the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. Head Chef Russell Johnson creates a tantalising menu combining the best British ingredients. For dessert, try the Yorkshire rhubarb cheesecake or sticky date pudding – sharing optional.
With its immaculate Georgian architecture, ancient cobbled alleys and historical sights such as the Roman Baths, Bath’s classical beauty makes visitors stop and stare at every corner. Of course, romantic dining spots are also a speciality of Somerset’s most stunning city.
The Ivy Bath Brasserie – For the perfect date night dinner, you need all the right ingredients. Outstanding service, a romantic vibe, and food that’s guaranteed to impress – The Ivy Bath Brasserie ticks all the boxes by offering a relaxed yet sophisticated dining experience. Try the roast hake with truffle and parmesan chips and a blackberry panna cotta to share.
CAU Bath – If you and your date are lusting after summery vibes and sunny atmosphere we recommend a visit to Argentinian restaurant CAU, whose hearty dinner offerings will set sparks flying. It offers a melting pot cuisine of delicious comfort foods inspired by Argentina, as well as Italy and Spain. One must-try dish is the Asado de Chorizo, a sirloin steak in a churrasco marinade of smoked paprika, aji molido, garlic and parsley. After a visit at CAU, you’ll be dancing salsa together in no time.
Nowadays Bristol is known for its offbeat, alternative character, and you’ll find an array of art collectives and music venues dotted around. Despite its cool reputation, the city also does traditional romance pretty well.
Browns – The Browns building in Bristol is modelled on the Doge’s Palace in Venice and was once part of the outstanding Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. If you and your date fancy a buzzing atmosphere, delicious food and the finest sparkling fizz, Browns is the place for you.
The River Grille – Located on the edge of the harbour on Narrow Quay, The River Grille features modern British cuisine and a sophisticated lounge bar. You and your date can enjoy prime views across the water in one of Bristol’s finest locations. We recommend trying out their fresh fish and seafood – with specials that include the catch of the day from the nearby fishing port of Brixham. Though of course, we know you already have the greatest catch of the day by your side…
This is a guest post from freelance journalist Beatrice Clark. She has written for Vogue, Glamour and Vanity Fair, among others, and has spent the past 15 years living in France, England and Scotland. She is currently based in Berlin and is always on the hunt for the perfect Eggs Benedict.