Five of London’s most romantic restaurants

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so we’ve rounded up a few of London’s sexiest restaurants in which to get hot under the collar. And what’s more, they’re all within walking distance of the Strand Palace Hotel.

J Sheekey

Follow in the footsteps of Keira Knightley and the Beckhams by enjoying a cosy meal at this celebrity haunt in London’s Theatreland. Loved-up couples in search of privacy will appreciate the restaurant’s ambient lighting and discreet booths.

Fancy an aphrodisiac? Plump for the oysters at this fish and seafood restaurant. Ideal for a pre- or post-theatre meal, photos of West End stars adorn the walls, while the art deco interior blends marble, mosaic and wood panelling. Feast on Sheekey’s famous fish pie, before finishing up with a tempting pudding, such as the rhubarb crumble pie or the iced Bolivian chocolate and pistachio bar.

Sketch 

If it’s wow factor you’re after, head to this arty dining destination in London’s Mayfair. Set within a grade II listed townhouse, the design of this cavernous venue is outrageously over-the-top. Choose whether to dine at the two Michelin-starred Lecture Room & Library, or gorge on afternoon tea at The Gallery brasserie, which was given a facelift by Turner Prize-winning artist David Shringley. Walls are splashed with 239 of Shringley’s comical drawings and comfy chairs are a frothy pink.

Fancy cakes and cocktails? Lounge about on Louis XV seating at the Parlour patisserie, restaurant and bar. The brainchild of French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restauranteur Mazouz, the delicious food and quirky décor will guarantee that this is a night to remember. Don’t leave without spending a penny in the egg-shaped, space age-style toilet cubicles!

Clos Maggiore

Hyped as London’s most romantic restaurant, this Covent Garden venue has attracted a slew of celebrity couples over the years, including Prince Harry and his former beau Chelsea. Serving up traditional French fare, book a table in the blossom-covered conservatory where twinkling fairy lights and flickering candles set the seductive mood. Foodie highlights include the Scottish scallop and crispy pig’s trotters for starters and the roasted lobster for main. Book well in advance to secure a table at this popular restaurant. You may have better chance of nabbing a table if you opt for the pre- or post-theatre seating between 5-6pm or 10-11pm.

OXO Tower Restaurant

Ramp up the romance with a meal at the top of this cool London landmark, which boasts fabulous views across the Thames to Charing Cross and the City of London. Expect modern British fare with a twist, an extensive menu for vegetarians and vegans, and a lengthy wine menu. For pudding, share the to-die-for signature chocolate plate.

Bob Bob Ricard

Like something out of a David Lynch movie with its velvet drapes and period decor, this opulent 1930s-style all-booth dining room serves up English and Russian fare, with plenty of rich treats on the menu, including oysters, foie gras, steak and caviar. Booth seating makes it the ideal venue for romantic trysts, but the restaurant’s major selling point has to be its “call for Champagne” buzzer, fitted at every table. Bottoms up!

Strand Palace Concierge

Looking to impress a loved one this Valentine’s Day? The Strand Palace concierge team are here to help! If you need any assistance with bookings or any advice on where to go, we have all the info you need. Enquire with us today and make this Valentine’s day special.

Pancake Day: Where to eat a pancake in London

With Shrove Tuesday fast-approaching, now is the perfect time to gorge on pancakes. Luckily, London is bursting with tempting pancake restaurants. We’ve rounded-up a few that are within walking distance of the Strand Palace Hotel.

My Old Dutch 

Based in Holborn, this family-friendly pancake restaurant boasts a bevy of sweet and savoury options, with classics like sugar and lemon, competing with crepes stuffed with Moroccan lamb stew, garden peas and carrots. Chocoholics should plump for the Chocolate Sprinkles pancake, served with chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles.

The Breakfast Club 

Expect to queue around the corner for this hip Soho cafe, which pulls in the crowds throughout the day for its famous brunches. Named after the popular 80s movie starring Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez, the venue’s exposed brick walls are covered in fairy lights, polaroid photos from staff night’s out, notes scrawled on napkins and record sleeves for 80s film soundtracks, including St Elmo’s Fire and Back To The Future. Loosen your belt for the pancakes, which vary from the gluttonous All American (pancakes, eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, bacon and maple syrup) to the brilliantly-named Ham So Eggsited (pancakes with ham hock, egg, cheese and maple syrup).

Crêpeaffaire

With six branches across London, this fast food crêpe chain offers great value sweet and savoury pancakes, flavoured with everything from Grand Marnier to caramelised Belgian biscuits. Wash it all down with a smoothie or frappé, or something stronger, such as beer, wine or Prosecco.

Riding House Cafe 

Feast on buttermilk pancakes with berries, vanilla clotted cream and maple syrup at this New York-style all-day brasserie in Fitzrovia. Just off Oxford Street, the central location of this buzzing restaurant makes it an ideal pitstop for shoppers in need of some respite and a decent feed. Treat yourself to a bicycle-themed smoothie, such as the Racer (chocolate, espresso, banana, milk) or the Boris Bike (blueberries, banana, almond milk, apple juice).

Balans Soho Society 

This see-and-be-seen Soho brasserie is adding pancakes to its menu on Shrove Tuesday, with tempting offerings including banana and rum, and Crepes Suzette. Kick-start your day by enjoying your pancakes with a Bloody Mary, Bucks Fizz or Prosecco, all of which are on the brunch menu.

Sacred Cafe – Strand Palace Hotel

Don’t fancy pancakes? Why not try our newly opened Sacred Cafe at Strand Palace Hotel, serving authentic and unique tea and coffee from all over the world.

Valentine’s Day Events in London

Ramp up the romance on Valentine’s Day with these lovey-dovey experiences, all of which are within easy reach of the Strand Palace Hotel:

The View from The Shard

Sip champagne with your loved-one while watching the sun set over London from 244m above ground at the top of the European Union’s tallest building. Affording 360-degree views of never-ending cityscape, The View from the Shard was hailed the most romantic view in the capital by Mills & Boon last year. All this hype has made the sky-high venue a popular spot for marriage proposals. On Valentine’s Day last year, someone popped the question every 30 minutes on the viewing platforms. If you want to watch the sun setting over the capital’s sexy skyline, plump for a sunset time slot (5pm and 5.30pm). The attraction is extending its opening hours until midnight on Saturday 13 and on 14 February.

A spin on the London Eye

Woo your beloved aboard the London Eye, which will be offering a range of romantic experiences from 12-14 February. The Valentine’s Champagne Experience (£37.50 per person) includes a glass of champagne, a box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates and a 30-minute spin on the London Eye with priority boarding. Couples with cash to splash can enjoy a rotation in a Cupid’s Capsule for a cool £380, including a private capsule for two, a bottle of champagne, a box of champagne truffles and a long-stemmed red rose.

Valentine’s Late at Kew Gardens

Wander hand-in-hand with your loved-one at London’s famous botanical gardens, which are hosting a Brazil-themed Valentine’s evening where you can surround yourself with tropical orchids while quaffing cocktails in the steamy Princess of Wales Conservatory. Get up close and personal during a Latin American dance class, build your dream cocktail and gaze in wonder at the beauty of nature.

Brunch at The Deck

Starry-eyed lovers can gorge on a delicious four-course brunch with unlimited Prosecco or Bloody Marys at stunning pop-up restaurant The Deck, perched atop the iconic National Theatre on London’s South Bank.

Boasting sweeping views of London’s skyline and the River Thames, the restaurant’s cool glass walls and modern cube structure give the impression that you are out on deck while still soaking up the warmth of a swish restaurant. Couples will be treated to a four-course menu, that puts a twist on the breakfast classic with dishes including champagne sorbet, salmon and poached egg, and a shared dessert of warm chocolate brownie, raspberry ripple parfait and hazelnut macaroon.

Guests will have the choice of two sittings, at either 11am and 2pm. Brunch is £55 per person. Book quickly as this is expected to sell-out.

Romance at Strand Palace Hotel

Don’t forget our very own Gin Palace – it’s the perfect place to grab a quick cocktail before you head out to your romantic dining experience. Please book a table on our Gin Palace webpage to avoid disappointment.

 

Celebrities in West End Theatre Shows

See A-listers in the flesh at one of London’s top West End shows. In our month-by-month guide, we’ve rounded up some fabulous plays and musicals that star some of the world’s most famous movie and TV stars. Most of the shows listed are within striking distance of the Strand Palace Hotel.

January

Ralph Fiennes is currently appearing in the title role in the Henrik Ibsen tragedy The Master Builder (until 19 Mar), which charts the rise and fall of a successful architect.

February

Orange Is The New Black actress Uzo Aduba is making her stage debut in The Maids (20 Feb-21 May), alongside Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey) and Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat). The intense psychological thriller sees two maids fantasising about killing their employer.

Also out next month is comedy Nell Gwynn (4 Feb-30 Apr), starring Gemma Arterton. The Made in Dagenham star will appear in the title role as an orange seller turned celebrated actress in the play, which is set in London in 1660.

Corrie fans will be able to see Tracie Bennett, aka Sharon Gaskell, in glitzy musical Mrs Henderson Presents (9 Feb-18 Jun), which is based on the true story of the scandalous Windmill Theatre.

Friends actor Matthew Perry is leading the cast in his playwriting debut The End of Longing (2 Feb-14 May), in which a group of four forty-somethings spend a troubled night together in an LA bar.

March

Big-name stars Rob Brydon and Kenneth Branagh are reprising the roles they played to great acclaim at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre in The Painkiller (5 Mar-30 Apr) at the Garrick Theatre.

Popular character actor Timothy Spall is taking on the role of the tramp in Harold Pinter’s ground-breaking classic The Caretaker (26 Mar-14 May) at The Old Vic.

April

Multi award-winning actress Glenn Close is making her West End debut at the London Coliseum in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Sunset Boulevard (1 Apr-7 May), a compelling story of romance and obsession.

May

Former Sugababes singer Jade Ewen is appearing as Princess Jasmine in the Disney musical Aladdin when it comes to the West End in May (27 May-1 Oct).

Richard Madden and Lily James will be reunited in Romeo & Juliet (12 May-13 Aug) after playing opposite each other in the movie Cinderella. The tragic tale of forbidden love is being directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Strand Palace Concierge

If you have any queries about the above shows or want more information on other events, the Strand Palace Hotel concierge team are always willing to help. Please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

12 brilliant things to do in London in February

London is bursting with exciting happenings this February, all of which are within walking distance of the Strand Palace Hotel. Here are a few of our favourites:

1. Join in the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia in London’s Trafalgar Square and Chinatown (14 Feb).

2. Expect lashings of glitz, glamour and sequins at musical Mrs Henderson Presents at the Noel Coward Theatre, based on the true story of the scandalous Windmill Theatre (9 Feb-18 June).

3. Go behind the scenes of BBC drama series Dickensian at the Charles Dickens Museum. On display are stunning costumes and props created for the show (19 Jan-17 Apr).

4. Be wowed by Lady Gaga’s outrageous costumes and Paul McCartney’s suit at Hard Rock Couture at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! London (3 Feb-10 Apr).

5. Celebrate the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birthday at the Imagine Children’s Festival at Southbank Centre, a jamboree featuring talks by best-selling children’s authors, theatre, dance and art (10-21 Feb).

6. Immerse yourself in the world of a classic movie with underground film club Secret Cinema. The venue’s location remains a secret until a few weeks before the screening, but it will be in an indoor location in zone two (17 Feb-13 Mar).

7. Admire dresses worn by British queens and princesses over the past 40 years at Fashion Rules: Restyled at Kensington Palace (Feb 2016-Feb 2017).

8. Hear the stories behind lost and stolen public art at Out There: Our Post-War Public Art at Somerset House (3 Feb-10Apr).

9. See Jeff Wayne’s best-selling War of the Worlds brought to theatrical life at the Dominion Theatre (8 Feb-9 Apr).

10. Watch ‘Friends’ actor Matthew Perry star in his own play The End of Longing at the Playhouse Theatre, which sees four forty-something friends spending a raucous night in a downtown Los Angeles bar together (2 Feb-14 May).

11. Sing along to classic tunes, such as I Heard It Through the Grapevine and My Girl, at Broadway hit show Motown the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre (11 Feb-22 Oct).

12. Discover the role gardens played in the evolution of art in Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse at the Royal Academy of Arts (30 Jan-20 Apr).

With all these great events taking place in Central London this February, there’s no better place to stay than the Strand Palace Hotel. Please visit our concierge for more information on latest offers and spend this February in Style!

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