Discover the most romantic places in London, whether you’re visiting the capital or a London local looking for inspiration. Read here.
The Most Romantic Places In London
Once the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations fade away, winter really arrives. Come February, however, and the chilly air gives way to one of the most romantic times of the year – Valentine’s Day. London may not have the historical reputation of Paris or Venice when it comes to romance, but even an afternoon in the city will show you that it deserves to be known as such. Old winding streets, glamour from a bygone era, manicured parks, museums, and some of the best food in the world await couples looking to celebrate their love. Notting Hill, Little Venice, and Kew Gardens are just some of the places that will change your mind on London’s romance credentials. Join us today as we explore the romantic places in London that are sure to delight and surprise you and your other half this Valentine’s Day.
The Charm of Mayfair
If your ideal couple getaway in London involves walking around historical streets, seeing art, shopping in exclusive stores, and tasting world-class cuisine then you can do all that – and so much more – by visiting the Mayfair area.
You can simply walk around Mayfair, getting to know the area, and letting your desires guide how you will spend the day. You will almost definitely have a wonderful time. Otherwise, why not start the day with a spot of art? Mayfair isn’t short on galleries ranging from classic art at the Royal Academy of Arts through to contemporary exhibitions at the likes of the Gagosian and Halcyon galleries. Lovers of all things antique should head to the Mayfair Gallery on South Audley Street which houses an impressive array of 19th century furnishings and art. You can admire the displays and even make a purchase should something special capture your eye as the gallery operates at the heart of the international antiques trade.
While a variety of stores and designers all have a presence in Mayfair, anyone looking for jewellery will be delighted to know that several of the most exclusive jewellers call the area their home. Head to Bond Street to discover an array of the finest creations. Tiffany & Co, Boodles, Graff London, Van Cleef & Arpel, Boucheron, Chopard, and Harry Winston are all nestled in proximity to each other, offering designer jewellery pieces to suit exquisite tastes.
Should you wish to look for your ‘something old’ in a jewellery store, head to Hancocks, inside the beautiful Burlington Arcade. The family-run jeweller, in operation since 1849, was once entrusted by Queen Victoria to make the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the British armed forces, a tradition that’s continued to this day. Hancocks is a specialist in bespoke pieces crafted using old cut diamonds and gemstones by some of the UK’s most experienced jewellers.
Besides jewellery, Mayfair is a premiere shopping destination for just about everything else. From fashion and accessories to beauty and books, Mayfair is the place you can find it. Inside the aforementioned Burlington Arcade are a selection of unique boutiques and international brands, including the exclusive Manolo Blahnik for Men. Only a short stroll away is Bond Street where many flagship designer stores reside. Chanel, Dior, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Miu Miu, Hermes, Prada and many more stores await should you want to spend an afternoon shopping to your heart’s content and finding that special gift for your loved one for Valentine’s day.
When it comes to romance, scent matters. Olfactory memory is incredibly evocative – it’s the reason why some couples choose a specific fragrance for their wedding day, creating an association between the chosen scent and the memory of the day for years to come. Perfume and Valentine’s Day, then, are a perfect pairing. The Jovoy store on Conduit Street is an emporium of unique and rare scents from over 70 brands; the majority are niche and cannot be found elsewhere, so you can select and capture the memory of your romantic London weekend with a truly unique scent.
Once you’re ready to move on from shopping, you must pay a visit to one of Mayfair’s charming pubs. Pubs are essential not only to London’s but Britain’s culture and the ones in Mayfair contain the essence of the quintessential pub: they’re historical, cosy, and casually romantic. The Audley Public House is sure to surprise and delight. The classically dark wood-panelled space features a sight-specific ceiling installation by the late British artist Phyllida Barlow while the pub itself is owned by Artfarm, also known as the gallerists Hauser & Wirth. It’s the perfect spot for art lovers who also want a taste of the traditional pub setting. Get a seat at one of the charming tables and enjoy a drink or two, whittling the afternoon away. If history, not art, is what appeals most then you need to stop for a tipple at The Guinea. Outside you’ll spot a sign reading ‘Established in 1675’, though it’s claimed that a pub stood on that site as early as 1423, and inside you’ll discover its old-school charm of polished wood and tartan. It’s likewise tucked away among Mayfair Mews and you can find it on Bruton Street.
How To Spend A Romantic Weekend In London
While an afternoon will certainly show you a lot of the romance of Mayfair, you need a whole weekend to discover and enjoy all the romantic spots of London. The beauty of the city is that there’s always something to do and see, whether you’re arriving from abroad, another part of the country, or simply enjoying a staycation as a local.
Whatever your plan for a romantic weekend getaway in London, start your day in style in your very own Suite at The Ritz to set the mood for the day. While you’re always welcome to have breakfast at our gorgeous restaurant, you can also make your morning slow, leisurely, and delicious in the privacy of your Suite. On offer are classic dishes like Scottish Smoked Salmon, American Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, and Crushed Avocado on Sourdough Toast. Should you wish to make breakfast even more special, our Prestige Breakfast selection offers a variety of the finest caviar and truffles.
After breakfast, your options for romance are multiple. Start with a stroll. Green Park is nearest to The Ritz though a slightly longer walk will take you to Regent’s Park where you can marvel at rose-filled Queen Mary’s Gardens. In fact, London is full of beautiful green spaces that are well worth a visit all year round.
If you would like to spend the whole day exploring fascinating fauna, then plan on taking a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. There, you will find over 50,000 living plants from across the globe on this UNESCO World Heritage site, including rare plant specimens in areas and buildings dedicated to different growing conditions. There’s arguably nothing more romantic than flowers – the red rose is an enduring symbol of love – and at Kew, you’ll see examples not only of roses but also Bleeding Hearts, Hot Lips, and Dancing Lady and Dove orchids, all considered to be some of the most ‘romantic’ plants.
Why not visit Venice without leaving London – almost. Little Venice is an area of London built around the Regent’s canal, reminiscent of the Italian city’s infrastructure. You can walk along the canal until you reach the junction where three canals meet, forming a large basin that’s flanked by weeping willows. You can also take a trip on a canal boat which is sure to add a cinematic flair to an already picturesque setting.
For a hidden and romantic spot, visit The Wallace Collection. It’s national museum housing masterpieces from the 15th to the 19th centuries across sculpture, furniture, paintings, porcelain, and much more, tucked away in London’s Marylebone. Set in a former private residence, the museum retains an intimate feeling, so you’ll feel like you’re exploring a truly personal collection of art. Make a stop to see Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s playfully charming ‘The Swing’ painting, landscapes by Peter Paul Rubens, and ornate furniture by one of the 18th-century’s premier furniture-makers, Jean-Henry Riesener.
For more hidden culture, visit the newly reopened Sir John Soane’s Museum. Soane was one of England’s greatest architects who built the house that’s now the museum. During his life, Soane amassed an impressive collection of art and artefacts, and the space has been kept unchanged since 1837. Inside the charming space, you will discover works by Turner, Hogarth, and Canaletto, as well as furniture, sculptures, and drawings. It’s a small yet perfectly formed collection that preserves the history and legacy of Sir John Soane’s work, plus it remains somewhat of a hidden gem on London’s cultural radar.
Have you ever wanted to sip a cocktail inside a jewellery box? It may sound like an impossible dream and yet The Rivoli Bar can make it a reality. Step inside to feel as though you’ve entered an intricate golden jewellery box which happens to house an intimate cocktail bar and lounge. Alongside classic drinks, our expert bartenders have designed a number of signature cocktails that cannot be found elsewhere. The menu has a seasonal focus while every month you will also find a themed drink to reflect the month’s mood. Alongside the impressive cocktail menu, there’s likewise an extensive list of fine spirits, wine, and champagne. To accompany the drinks of your choice are a selection of chic bites like Oysters and Lobster rolls. For the ultimate taste of luxury, opt for the Epicurean Journey which includes dishes like Steak Tartare with Imperial Caviar, Oyster with Champagne and Platinum Caviar, and a tasting selection of other caviars to savour.
Romance at The Ritz London
The Ritz takes romance seriously all year round but on and around Valentine’s Day, this is heightened even further as we endeavour to help our guests craft unforgettable moments. Whether you’re staying with us or visiting for a meal or a drink, you’ll be delighted with our sumptuous surroundings which showcase our dedication to preserving the feelings of wonder and enchantment at every opportunity.
This year, we designed two special Valentine’s Day experiences. Our iconic Afternoon Tea service is getting a romantic makeover in February. The Rosé Champagne St. Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea is an elegant way to spend your afternoon and delight the gustatory senses. For your choice of tea, there are 18 loose-leaf varieties which our experts can help match exactly to your tastes. The selection of sandwiches and patisserie are expertly crafted to ensure that each bite takes you on a journey of delight. Taste and savour finger sandwiches, freshly baked and still warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and intricate cakes and pastries to end your experience on the sweetest of notes. Live entertainment will play while you enjoy the Afternoon Tea, which will be accompanied by a glass of Rosé Champagne, and each guest will also receive a red Ritz rose to mark this romantic occasion.
To further mark the date, our St. Valentine’s dining experience is sure to be unforgettable. The Ritz Restaurant is always a setting of elegance, beauty, and romance. The dining room is filled with rose-coloured chairs, ornate fabrics, and gilded details that reflect magical light around the room, setting it aglow. Executive Chef, John William MBE, and his talented team, have designed a special four-course set menu for the occasion using only the best seasonal British ingredients and executed to the exacting Michelin star standard. The dinner will come perfectly paired with a glass of Barons de Rothschild ‘Ritz Reserve’ Rosé NV Champagne to add even more indulgence to every moment as you dine with us. To complement the atmosphere, live entertainment will be gracing the stage to delight you and your loved ones throughout the evening.
At The Ritz, every day we take the opportunity to delight our guests and create unforgettable memories. During St Valentine’s celebration, we endeavour to add even more romantic charm to everything that we do. Make one of our palatial suites a base for your stay and get lost in the charm and allure of all the hidden spots that London has to offer. Take your time as you explore the once-mediaeval streets, wonder at art you won’t find anywhere else in the world, and find the perfect Valentine’s gift before slowing down for the evening and dining within our lavish surroundings. At The Ritz, we know that nothing is more precious than unforgettable memories and we’re here to help you craft yours this Valentine’s Day.