There are many romantic places and activities open to visitors in London. Avoiding the crowds can be key to creating a special moment but there are times when giving in to the crowds and enjoying a park, place or experience can be just as exhilarating.
Restaurants and other venues in the city are all too happy to capitalize on those looking to share an intimate moment with their significant other. For each place or experience that seems cliché, there are others a little more unusual that could surprise and impress.
The London Eye is renowned for its champagne flights and now even offers capsules for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies. Gliding over the South Bank is one way to show someone you love them, but there are a few other places in town that could also prove to be perfect for those on Cupid’s mission.
Fresh Air and Far Reaching Views from Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill
On a sunny day, there is almost nowhere better to be than at the top of Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. From here there are panoramic views of London, from St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Gherkin in the east, past the BT Tower and London Eye to the Trellick Tower at Ladbroke Grove. In the summer, friends and families congregate for picnics and an impromptu game of football but year round walkers with and without dogs make good use of the 790 acre park. Given the size, it is almost always possible find a spot away from the crowds. At the north of the Heath is the English Heritage run Kenwood House. To score extra points with a partner, book tickets to one of their outdoor concerts in the summer, although be sure to pray that the rain stays away.
To the south is Hampstead Heath’s little sister, Primrose Hill. Part of a quaint but exclusive neighbourhood, finding a quiet spot away from the crowds is less likely here. However its proximity to the Regent’s Canal and a smattering of cute cafes along Regent’s Park Road mean that Primrose Hill makes a good rest stop and is another place to enjoy uninterrupted views over London.
Visiting London’s Supper Clubs for Fine and Secret Dining
Fine dining has gone underground in London, at least at a few places. They are known as Secret Supper Clubs although with a fair amount of publicity recently they are not as secret as they used to be.
The idea is that individuals run supper club evenings at their own homes. Some do it on a monthly basis and some weekly but as they are all quickly gaining popularity, bookings need to be made in good time. The menu is set so those with allergy or dietary requirements need to notify the host ahead of time but the evening usually offers good value for money, with three or more courses costing around £20 upwards. The cooks tend to use seasonal ingredients, which are often sourced from local allotments.
These supper clubs may not view themselves as places for romantic dining, but the fact that the concept comes from a passion to cook and offers a fun and quirky dining experience may just appeal to couples looking for something a little extraordinary.
Drinks at the Station at St. Pancras Champagne Bar
Invite someone for drinks at St. Pancras and they should not only be impressed by the giant but elegant Victorian station arches, but also by the fact that they will soon be sitting at the longest champagne bar in Europe.
Originally opened in 1868, St. Pancras station underwent major renovations to accommodate the Eurostar, which began running there in 2007. Now next to platform five is the champagne platform, serving bubbly by the glass and by the bottle, the latter ranging from a manageable £42 up to an excessive £6,500.
The temptation to splurge for special occasions can overcome the best of us and people considering a romantic weekend in Paris or Brussels may also want to consider the Champagne Breakfast (or for the rich, the Krug Champagne Breakfast for Two). But for those staying closer to London, meeting after dark at the “Meeting Place” statue under the beautiful Dent clock and sipping on a flute of vintage champagne under the sparkling glass panels is an experience in itself.