Top romantic restaurants
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to revive the romance. As the date falls on a Monday, there’s the choice of celebrating with dinner or making a weekend of it, check out our hotel reviews for ideas there.
Panoramic 34, Liverpool
Panoramic 34, is 300 feet above sea level on the 34th floor of the West Tower, and its breathtaking view of the whole city beneath it is heart-stopping. The room itself, with its under tabletop lighting, plush seating and panoramic windows is suitably romantic for a lovers’ dinner – and then there’s the food: which is perfectly balanced and showcases impressive techniques and flavour combinations: think halibut with warm tartare or a steak tartare made meatier by pickled mushroom and Marmite. Service is superb and cocktails are a touch of Liverpool dining at its finest.
Frenchie, Covent Garden, London
Frenchie is Gregory Marchand’s London location (the restaurant also has more than one Parisian branch), and its magical combination of informal service, warm lighting and inventive menu screams romance to us. With its bare bricks, marble tables, and and downstairs open kitchen, the restaurant has old-school class, but with a menu full of ideas you won’t have seen before. Their most famous dish, the bacon and maple syrup scones served with clotted cream are a knock-out way to start your romantic feast, and you can then make your way through head chef Ivan’s menu of seasonal greatness, think Cornish monkfish with yuzu and saffron, or Delia pumpkin gnocchi with chestnuts and wild mushrooms.
Combe House, Gittisham, Devon
The mile-long drive winds through a 3,500 acre estate – an impressive curtain raiser to this creeper-covered Elizabethan mansion. Inside it’s all cushioned comfort, lovely views, and an intimate dining room serving accomplished cooking.
The Three Chimneys, Skye, Scotland
Whatever the Hebridean weather is doing outside, cosy up at Skye’s The Three Chimneys. Low-ceilinged, art-filled dining rooms have views over Loch Dunvegan, and the menu may include super-fresh oysters, langoustines and Black Isle beef, making the most of Scotland’s sea and land produce. Take care to book well in advance, and consider staying over in the House-Over-By, to use this as a base for exploring the island.
The Cottage in the Wood, Braithwaite, Cumbria
With such a fabulous location, deep in England’s only mountain forest, this unassuming restaurant-with-rooms has high culinary ambitions and jaw-dropping vistas.
Restaurant Tristan, Horsham, West Sussex
Tucked away on the first floor of a sixteenth-century building, the pitched roof and beams of the dining room make for a strikingly intimate ambience, but smart table settings and contemporary touches pave the way for modern culinary delights.
Rhubarb at Prestonfield, Edinburgh, Scotland
It’s not exactly a castle, but this extravagantly modernised baroque pile certainly doesn’t lack splendour. Magnificenty fashioned interiors make their own design statement, but the cooking really turns heads.
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