9 Of The Best Date-Night Restaurants In London

9 Of The Best Date-Night Restaurants In London


Whether it’s a first date, anniversary meal or Valentine’s Day, there’s no shortage of romantic restaurants in London. From new openings to old classics, here are 9 of the best for a special night.
Photography THE NED

The Maine, Mayfair

This New England-inspired brasserie is housed in an 18th-century townhouse. There are five rooms over three floors, plus an impressive year-round terrace for leisurely aperitifs. For a romantic evening, book a table in the Drawing Room, which has a mid-century aesthetic and laid-back vibe. Menu highlights include grilled lobster rolls with aioli and butter fries, Dover sole meunière, and seafood platters from the bar. Desserts are classic and indulgent: crème brûlé, key lime pie, and sticky toffee pudding are among the crowd-pleasers.  

20 Hanover Square, Mayfair, W1S 1JY

Visit TheMaineMayfair.com

Frenchie, Covent Garden

The original Frenchie is in Paris, but the London outpost has steadily established itself as a destination restaurant for the discerning. Open from Wednesdays to Sundays, the main dining room feels cosy and intimate, while there are seats at the bar for more laid-back evenings. Whether you choose the set menu or a five-course tasting menu filled with seasonal highlights, expect to see the likes of hand-dived scallop en croûte with duck foie gras and black truffle; venison saddle with mushrooms and celeriac; and banoffee pie with nutmeg and caramelised pecans.

16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QH

Visit FrenchieCoventGarden.com

Brunswick House, Vauxhall

In an unexpected corner of Vauxhall, you can dine in the crumbling grandeur of an antiques-filled Georgian mansion. Brunswick House has a special-occasion feel and its à la carte menu has something for all tastes. Dishes change with the seasons, but the current offering includes pork and prawn stuffed chicken wings with hot sauce, Brixham squid with cabbage and shrimp butter, and venison saddle with white beans and black truffle. Book a table on Tuesday nights to enjoy live jazz with your meal.

30 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, SW8 2LG

Visit BrunswickHouse.London

The Sea The Sea, Chelsea

Seafood lovers, this one’s for you. The Sea The Sea has fish-focused delis in Hackney and Chelsea, the latter of which has a stylish seafood bar where you can sip cocktails and try small seasonal dishes. Order champagne and a few plates to share – cod with pickled potato noodles and coriander oil, seabream with honey truffle, mussels in a white wine sauce, or oysters with apple and cucumber vinaigrette.

174 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, SW1X 0AW

Visit TheSeaTheSea.net

Trattoria Brutto, Clerkenwell

One of this season’s most talked about launches, Trattoria Brutto is the latest venture from Russell Norman – the man behind the Polpo group, who also now looks after the bar at the newly reopened Joe Allen. This Tuscan trattoria is inspired by the rustic dining rooms of Florence – picture walls covered in family photos and tables adorned with red and white striped tablecloths. The kitchen’s philosophy is simple, quality ingredients with big flavours – think panzanella salad, penne con vodka and roasted squash with borlotti beans and salsa verde. Don’t miss what the menu describes as ‘ugly but good’ meringue and hazelnut cookies with ice-cream.

35-37 Greenhill Rents, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6BN

Visit Msha.ke/brutto



Mimi Mei Fair, Mayfair

Chinese hotspot Mimi Mei Fair oozes romance. Headed up by Samyukta Nair, the restaurateur behind Mayfair’s Jamavar and Bombay Bustle, this one opened its doors last September. It’s spread across seven rooms in an old townhouse, some filled with leather touches and art-deco glass wall lights, others with two-seater dining booths, separated by mirrored panels. Expect a selection of dishes from Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China, including crispy golden langoustine with truffle; smoked-applewood seabass with shaoxing wine; seared scallops with sesame; and an impressive dim sum menu. Larger dishes include traditional Peking duck with homemade pancakes, and lobster cooked three ways. Make sure to order a chestnut sour, the bar's take on an amaretto sour.

55 Curzon Street, Mayfair, W1J 8PG

Visit MimiMeiFair.com

Café Cecilia, Hackney

Café Cecilia in Hackney is all about sharing hearty food in its laid-back dining room with rustic wooden tables and mismatched glassware. Guests are encouraged to stay for as long as they like to enjoy carafes of wine and generous portions of seasonal dishes. Menu highlights include rabbit pasta, seabass carpaccio with lemon and dill, ricotta agnolotti with sage butter, and whole plaice with clams and pink fir potatoes. Stick around for the Guinness bread ice-cream and deep-fried bread and butter pudding with cold custard.  

Canal Place, 32 Andrews Road, Hackney, E8 4FX

Visit CafeCecilia.com

Maison Francois, St James’s

With mirror-filled arches, art-deco chandeliers and curved banquettes, Maison Francois pays homage to the grand brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace – while embracing wider influences across its menus. Throughout the day, guests can watch the chefs at work around the floating pass in the open kitchen, and order brasserie classics such as reblochon gougères and jambon noir, alongside handmade pasta dishes like ravioli dauphine with comté and black pepper. Whole fish and cuts of meat are cooked over a wood-fired grill and served with frites. Finish your meal with a decadent dessert from the trolley, filled with French classics such as layered gâteaux, praline Paris-Brest and a selection of seasonal fruit tarts. Before or after your meal, head downstairs to Frank’s, a Manhattan-style wine bar which offers a 250-bottle wine list and cocktails until late.
34 Duke Street, St James’s, SW1Y 6DF
Visit MaisonFrancois.London

The Parlour At The Ned, Bank

For live jazz, late-night cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere, book a table at The Parlour. This jazz café and cabaret bar is set in the Ned’s hotel basement, where you’ll find live performances on Tuesday to Saturday nights. There’s a small Japanese yakitori menu featuring grilled meat and fish with spicy sauces, as well as classic British and French dishes like halibut with a tarragon crust, whole lobster thermidor, and herb-crusted racks of lamb with baby onions and peas. An extensive whisky selection is best explored via a few house cocktails.

27 Poultry, Bank, EC2R 8AJ

Visit TheNed.com

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at [email protected].