hurrah we passed Valentines’s time and its lot of heart-shape Krispy creme and 50-stomething bearded men holding balloons (dear please please no), but fact is, London is rather romantic, ALL YEAR ROUND!! a couple of ideas for a long weekend
this article is a follow up on the summer version of this post
# 1 : Brunch, Afternoon High-Tea and GastroPub dinner – indulge with comfort food
When the weather goes chilly a cosy warm up is de rigueur, my favourite afternoon tea award goes to the Sketch : a very stylish, Michelin-star place, with a large collection of flavoured teas and lovely finger food….what else do you need?
Alternative options: recover from any hangover after a long and boozy night out with The breakfast club brunch, that now counts 5 locations, the Smith of Smithfield (and their Spitalfield sister that will reopen in March) , or the Hawksmoor full English breakfast where you can easily feed a young elephant .
There’s quite a few fabulous chimney warmed cosy gastro-pubs in London where you can watch the snowfall (or the rain poor but it sounds less glam), Time Out is always there to help.
#2: Culture, Music and other things to do
For guaranteed brownie points with a girl, you could check out what’s on at the Royal Albert hall or the the Royal Opera; with a little bit of organisation and advance-booking you could bag a top quality performance at relatively affordable prices. Tip: for best value, pick any of the amphitheatre seats, they all have quality views.
Alternative options: Jazz night & dinner at Rooney Scotts in Soho, ballet at the English National Opera, modern dance at the Sadler’s Well in Angel
Ice-skating in a magical location is slightly cliché but still, a rather cool date, you’ll fall, laugh, and warm up with a hot-chocolate after-wile. From November to January, pre-book at the styli Sommerset house (central) , the classic Tower of London (East) or the west-based Natural History Museum, and avoid the crowds of the Winter Wonderland fair.
London is simply beautiful by itself and in the winter, when sunset comes early you could take advantage of a dry day if any, to go walking around. From Sloane square to South Bank for example, watching the sunset on Embankment bridge.
#3 : No romantic weekend without some cuddling
My favourite cinema in the whole world goes to the Aubin, THE Shoreditch based maxi-hipster cuddly place. Faaaaaaaa-bulous Sundays.
Alternative options: The Electric cinema – get the front row double beds. Or for a different kind of cinema experience, pretty unique to London, you could check what’s on at the Future Cinema, even though I think they’re recently become way too steep.
#4: Do things together will bring you closer
Fine, Sauna and Spa are a little bit cheesy as a romantic time for two, but yet it’s a marvellous. Always check out what’s on offers before you book. I recently tried those 2 and it was fantastic. at the Chelsea Club, ask for a Japanese bath. The St Pancras hotel spa has luxurious”journeys to …”, I don’t know if I came out of there “firm, purified, enlivened, from the nape of the neck to the tips of my toes” but definitely came out of there with numb legs.
Why not learn something new? like how to make a cocktail, a.k.a. a socially acceptable way to have cocktails on a Saturday mid-afternoon. I have no problem with that. The London Cocktail club have a good beginner overview course, but that lacks a little bit of hand-on practise. Someone’s whispering to my ear that Harvey Nicholls’ bar actually has great master-classes.
#5: the WOW factor
how could would it be to go Start gazing at the Royal Observatory, on the meridian zero? get on their mailing list or keep checking the website for new event
For other good views of the city you can try the National Portrait gallery Restaurant with a view after, you could plan it following an exhibition, after the Thursdays / Fridays late opening.
and the 2nd part of the evening? I would favour a speakeasy type of place over a club. You two can chat over a delicious Manhattan (sorry! meant London dry gin!). The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar has basically invented London cocktails, with their signature over-the-top impeccable service; however my favourite remains the Calloh Callay at the heart of Shoreditch for their unbeatable friendly atmosphere (booking essential Thursday-Saturday).