Paris has long held the reputation as the city of love. But in our minds, London also majorly flaunts romance with its unbelievable history, royal landmarks, spectacular architecture, gorgeous parks, cozy pubs, and amazing restaurants and nightlife. If you’re heading to Blighty à deux, here is our curated list of the best things in London as a couple.
The London Eye, raise a toast to the heavens
Book a private pod on The London Eye, perfectly named ‘The Cupids Capsule’ to snuggle up sky high and enjoy charming picturesque views over the city. The famed champagne and chocolate experience in your private pod is a fun and romantic experience, as you toast to your love, 135 meters in the air.
Romantic Picnic for two
Exploring all the amazing parks, gardens, and green spaces in London is a highlight of the city. Elevate the experience by curating your own gorgeous luxury picnic basket to indulge in hamper-ready goodies from the likes of Pique, Fortnum & Mason, and Dukes of London. Throw in some bubby or delicious wine – London has pretty relaxed drinking-in-public laws – then head to St James Park to cozy up on a blanket and enjoy the exquisite food and view of Buckingham Palace. Hyde Park Rose Garden is also a perfect scene for lovers.
Columbia Road, stop to smell the roses
Speaking of roses, also on the not-to-miss list is a visit to the Columbia Road Flower Market. Every Sunday this charming, narrow, cobblestoned street with its cute little brick buildings and storefronts comes alive with fresh blooms and vibrant colors, and cockney vendors as a fragrant flower market. You can wander for hours smelling the flowers, peering into all the vintage and antique shops, and nibbling on assorted treats. Brawn has incredible pre-prepared braised beef pie, Nashville has a fiery delicious hot chicken sandwich and you can pick up some oysters from Oyster Boy. And don’t forget a bouquet for your love.
Romantic floating dinner
The charming canal boat restaurant, London Shell Co, offers a meal that will transport you through London’s famed canals from Paddington to Camden and back again in 2.5 hours. This bright blue quirky adorable fairy-lit barge is incredibly charming and the food is outstanding. Enjoy the five-course feast which focuses on British seafood, so expect high-quality grub. We can’t think of anything more special and romantic as you slowly sail along the Regents Canal amidst indulging in great food – especially their exceptional Frutti di mar – washed down with lovely wine.
Get active together in Hyde Park
London’s most famous park is bursting with romance and there are plenty of loved-up things to do beyond picnics and strolling arm and arm. A fun and inexpensive option is to hire Boris bikes and ride through the park together. Or hire a boat and glide among all the rowers and pedaling swans on the beautiful Serpentine lake. Be sure to stop to gaze at the Italian Gardens while you are rowing. There is also horseback riding available in Hyde Park and don’t forget to visit the spectacular aforementioned Rose Garden.
Stargazing to infinity and beyond
Seeing stars? To feel celestial with your other half, pay a visit to the Planetarium in Greenwich to experience the magic of the night sky together during one of their The Sky Tonight Live sessions where you can get a front-row stargazing view. Endless sky, Endless love.
Movie night at The Electric Cinema, Portobello
Unspeakably beautiful and luxurious, the Electric Cinema Portobello is super cool with its warm cozy decor with a hint of old Hollywood glamour. There’s a full bar so grab a drink and some yummy snacks, the nachos are delicious and perfect for sharing or try one of their great burgers with a beer or bottle of wine. Then it’s time to relax back and watch the show, and you’ll be spoiled by the choice of king-sized sofas, red velvet beds for spooning, luxurious wingback chairs with cashmere blankets, and a footstool or a private table to enjoy your cocktails and nibbles.
Whisper sweet nothings at St Paul’s Cathedral
Ditch the texting and the iPhone and take in some of the beautiful architecture in London at St Paul’s Cathedral where you can literally hear the love. While standing over 30 meters apart, you can whisper sweet things to your love at St Paul’s Cathedral’s whispering gallery. The gallery is beneath a dome and sound travels along the circular wall, so you can hear each other no matter where in the room you are whispering from. Be sure to take a moment and whisper something memorable to your special one.
Visit a secret garden at Petersham Nurseries
Petersham Nurseries in Richmond is a dreamy delight, there is so much beauty everywhere. Part secret garden, part amazing foodie haven, if you can tear your eyes away from the fabulous hydrangeas, greenery, and bespoke gardening equipment, you can have tea and scones under the picturesque pergola at The Teahouse. And stay for a scrumptious and lazy meal at The Cafe in a greenhouse room to smell the fragrant scent of jasmine and be transported out of London into a secret bougainvillea garden someplace special. This truly is a vision, not to mention a romantic and nature lovers utopia.
Eat your [loved up] heart out
Duck and Waffle, if the name isn’t enough to impress your date, a romantic dinner accompanied by breathtaking views of London from the 43rd floor of Heron Tower will take your relationship to a whole new level. You can start your night here or better yet end it here because the restaurant is open 24 hours, which feels fun and a little risque. Grab some spiced duck doughnuts or the signature duck and waffle dish at 2 am, after a night in one of London’s famous pubs. Speaking of, when in London, lovers can spice it up by staying out late drinking, dancing, walking, getting lost, and then end up here nibbling on BBQ-spiced crispy pig ears and duck egg en Cocotte. Also on our radar of gastronomy delights are Bob Bob Ricard Soho, Coya, La Poule au Pot, 14 Hills, Balthazar, Gloria, Amazonico, Social Eating House, Clos Maggiore, Kitty Fisher, Andrew Edmunds, and well the list goes, on and on.
Hotel Bar Hopping is date night perfection
The Fumoir Bar at Claridges is a glamorous gem of a bar and the ultimate old-world fabulous cocktailing experience. Tucked away in London’s famed Claridges Hotel, the thirties art deco-inspired interior is divine, all dark, sultry, and with aubergine accents (the color of love). It has the feeling of being inside an exquisite jewelry box of a room. The drinks are delectable, the scenery is incredibly sexy, intimate, and elegant. So dress up and live out your Great Gatsby fantasy over a handcrafted. Try a Bellini. Also on our hotel cocktail bar, love list is Blakes Below, Blakes Hotel, Cocktail lounge, Zetter Townhouse, Coral room, The Bloomsbury Hotel, The Library Bar, The Ned, and Bloomsbury Club Bar, Bloomsbury London.
Couples Spa Day at Bulgari Hotel London
The luxurious spa by the coveted Italian jewelry brand is the biggest and blingest in London. Steps from Knightbridge, home of Harrods, Selfridges, and endless rows of high-end boutique, the spa, five levels below the super stylish lobby is a labyrinth of dark-wood treatment rooms, saunas, onyx-marble steam rooms, ice fountains a vitality pool that glistens with a gold-leaf mosaic and a greeny-gold colonnaded pool, where you can lay back with your beloved in a muslin-draped cabana. As for the pampering experience, Ayurvedic healing meets the latest high-tech LED light treatments. Couples wanting to unplug from the energy of the thriving city should try the JAX Coco Body Experience, featuring a head-to-toe scrub and polish followed by a hot-stone deeply hydrating coconut oil massage. Sublime.
Immerse yourself in history and royalty
No trip to London is complete without immersing yourself in its rich, often sordid past. Cue: A visit to the Tower of London, to see the notorious prison up close and personal. The guarded home of the Crown Jewels and execution site of three English queens, take a tour to see where Anne Boleyn carved her name in her cell before her husband King Henry VIII had her beheaded. Not exactly modern couple goals, but it promises to be a fascinating experience that will make for good dinner conversation. Later walk hand in hand across the iconic Tower Bridge, built in 1894, it’s one of London’s most defining and beautiful landmarks.
High Tea at The Ritz
A quintessential British and bourgie experience, you can’t leave without having high tea at The Ritz. The only London hotel to have its own certified Tea Sommelier, who scours tea plantations around the globe to unearth the finest blends, tea here is a charming and totally unforgettable experience. Actually, it’s not just tea that you can enjoy – though there are 18 loose-leaf varieties on offer – but finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones with cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, exquisitely presented pastries and teacakes, and of course champagne and the romance of a pianist and harpist to add that extra sparkle.
Stay in 5 Star Romance and Luxury
When in London it’s only befitting that you stay at a historical landmark complete with an ornate terracotta facade marked by four British queens. A palatial 19-century landmark the refurbished luxury Kimpton Fitzroy London honors past and present (if only the walls could talk). Occupying a full block in Bloomsbury (one of London’s most salubrious neighborhoods), there’s marble as far as the eye can see, original Zodiac mosaics at your feet, and art-filled suites with views over Russell Square. If you can drag yourself from said suite, this grand old dame has a glamorous cocktail bar ‘The Fitz’, an atrium-style all-day eatery Palm Court awash with greenery, and The Dining Room which is an exercise in contemporary British cuisine and design.