Love is in the air
Valentine’s Day is upon us and we can think of no better way to celebrate love than with a fabulous fine dining experience for two.
Here’s our pick of the UK’s most romantic restaurants, all with at least one AA Rosette for culinary excellence – expect candlelit charm, world-class wine and food that’s just as special as the company you’re sharing it with.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton
Le Manoir is one of the Britain’s most famous restaurants for good reason. With Raymond Blanc’s menu showcasing both world-class gastronomic flair and outstanding organic produce, the experience here is exquisite from the moment you step foot on the lavender-scented path.
Outlaw’s New Road, Port Isaac
Sitting proudly at the top of Port Isaac overlooking the ocean, Nathan Outlaw’s seafood restaurant showcases his affinity with the Cornish coast to delicious effect. The set seafood menu is your only option – with only a handful of tables, this is a wonderfully intimate dining experience.
The Olive Tree at the Queensberry Hotel, Bath
Occupying the basement of a uniquely stylish Georgian townhouse, The Olive Tree restaurant revels in sophisticated minimalism. Expect fresh flowers, unclothed tables and a welcoming atmosphere as you sample the beautifully fresh dishes from your choice of the SIX or NINE menus.
The Three Chimneys and the House Over-By, Colbost
This remote whitewashed cottage on the Isle of Skye easily boasts one of the UK’s wildest and most romantic restaurant locations. It’s this abundant setting that inspires the Three Chimneys’ ethos, where stunning local produce takes centre stage on head chef Scott Davies’ lovingly curated menu.
Les 110 de Taillevent, London W1
Translated as ‘110 wines by the glass’, this French fine-wine restaurant pairs an exceptional selection of wines with the finest of both classic and modern French dishes. When combined with the high ceilings, showpiece bar and low lighting, the result is a truly high-end romantic affair.
Clos Maggiore, London WC2
Settings don’t get much more romantic than Covent Garden’s Clos Maggiore. Inspired by the stylish inns of Provence and Tuscany, the outside has been brought in to beautiful effect – the cherry blossom adorned conservatory, transformed by candles, starlight and a log fire, is particularly special.
The Dining Room at Mallory Court Hotel, Royal Leamington Spa
Nestled in 10 acres of grounds which include a kitchen garden, the authentic country-house feel of Mallory Court’s oak panelled Dining Room makes a relaxed-yet-classy setting for a Valentine’s dinner – opt for the Tastes of the Season menu, which changes daily.
Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter
Don’t be fooled – although ‘Upper Slaughter’ may not sound so charming, this honey-coloured Cotswold town is incredibly picturesque. Its 17th-century former rectory, Lords of the Manor, is equally striking. Book ahead for The Atrium (just 14 covers), which delivers a seven-course menu in an exclusive dining atmosphere.
Peace and Loaf, Newcastle
As its name and branding suggests, Peace and Loaf serves up lovingly prepared food, cooked by head chef and MasterChef finalist, Dave Coulson. Proudly offering fine dining without the fuss, much of the menu uses locally sourced ingredients grown and foraged for by Dave himself.
Sleepy Hollow, County Antrim
The soft lighting and vaulted ceilings create a wonderful ambience in this popular Newtownabbey restaurant. Feast on modern Irish cuisine created with locally sourced artisan produce, and make sure you save room for dessert – they’re all served as miniatures, so perfect for ordering a couple and sharing.