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6 Can’t-Miss Valentine’s Day Destinations

And so the pressure is on: It’s Valentine’s Day and whether your relationship is in the early-romantic or the longterm stability stage, this day presents itself with a fair amount of pressure to up your game and pull out all the stops.

We’re here to take the pressure off.

Us right old romantics have sussed out the best spots in London to swoop your loved one off their feet this Valentine’s Day. And, because were that dedicated, we’ve tried them all out ourselves to rate them on the *drumroll* Romantic Scale.

From casual breakfast spots to champagne up the tallest building in London, we’ve got all lovebirds – or pals looking for a V-Day distraction – covered.

SMUK

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Preparation is key. If you’re a guy who takes pride in your appearance (this should be all of you, by the way), then make sure you’re scrubbed up right for the big day.

Granted, a salon might not be the most romantic destination, however, this one isn’t intended for couples. This is the pre-date, not-to-miss drop off where you can get shaped up for the big date in the serenity of SMUK at Eccleston Yards.

We get it, guys don’t usually feel totally comfortable walking into to a female-heavy salon, so we’ve found this perfect tucked away spot that hosts a luxury service list in one of the coolest salon’s we’ve ever seen. A short walk away from Victoria station, SMUK is a natural lifestyle and beauty studio that are now offering men their moment to shine with A-class care and without any of the awkwardness. Pick from your shape-up MANicure (because no guy should have dirty nails on a date) or even a fresh trim completed with some of the most budding products in the business. SMUK’s ethos is: ‘If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin’, so it’s safe to say you’re in good hands.

 

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Dominique Ansel Bakery

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This spot is ideal for any first-daters who are in the market for a casual Valentine’s get together without the pressures of a three-course dinner. Dominique Ansel is open all day, so whether it’s breakfast, brunch or lunch, you can fit it in.

No bakery has ever been better, and we’re not alone on that. Dominique Ansel was voted the World’s Best Pastry Chef by World’s 50 Best Award 2017. If that’s not reason enough, go along and judge it for yourself.

Imagine this: a shot glass made of soft cookie lined with chocolate is placed on your table. It’s then filled with cold-infused Tahitian vanilla milk which you can simultaneously drink and eat as you go. Still not convinced? How about one of their Cronuts? (Did we mention Ansel invented it?) We could wax lyrical on their menu for hours (of which we ate most of), but you’re better off trying it for yourself.

Designed to impress, grab your food to go, relax in a seat inside the bakery (the travel-themed decor makes it an Instagram delight) or take a table in their outside (covered and heated) patio. It’s romantic without trying too hard.

 

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The Eccleston Square Hotel

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Here’s one for the real romantics. If you’re out to impress this Valentine’s Day, there’s really only one option: An intimate night escaping to pure luxury in the heart of London.

We wanted to pick a hotel that exceeds expectations because, let’s face it, if you’re going to do it, it’s got to be done properly. Named as one of the Top 15 Best Boutique Hotels in London 2018 by Conde Naste Traveller, the Eccleston Square Hotel, stunningly sat near Belgravia (note, Dominique Ansel is a 4-minute walk away), is no short of spectacular. From the polished marble interior to the smart glass bathrooms (they turn see-through to opaque at the hover of a touch screen button), this boutique hotel is the one place that’s destined to blow any mind. In close proximity to just about everything you need in London (shops, restaurants, theatres etc.) the Eccleston Square Hotel boasts head-turning affordable prices at the epicentre of any London trip.

Known for being one of the most tech-inclined hotels, the Eccleston Square Hotel has started its completion of another major tech upgrade. Each of their rooms already has an electronically adjustable Hastens Swedish Massage Bed (yes, massage) as well as an 4G-unlimited smartphone packed with travel info that you can take out with you for the length of your stay. Use it to browse local things-to-do, order room service and even make phone calls to any country (yes, any) with absolutely no charge. Soon, each room will have the addition of a 4K TV screen spiced up with Chromecast so you can get your personal Netflix going as soon as you’re ready to chill.

Are they winning yet? Well, yes, they are really, as October 2018 saw the hotel win another award, this time the Readers’ Choice Award as a Top London Hotel. Did we mention that you can press a button next to your bed which closes or opens the curtains?

This way to book.

 

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Secret Theatre Project London

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Who said murder wasn’t romantic…? Take part in this crime of passion alongside your cherished one with the Secret Theatre Project London’s new immersive (and sell-out) thriller – just make sure you keep them close.

This all-action evening is a night at a secret location where you, as the audience, will sit as the jury which determines the fate of the most-wanted murderer of the century… will he be set free to walk or convicted as guilty? No pressure. Delve into the crime scene recreations, take notes and listen to the prosecution and defence argue their cases in front of the judge and yourselves. What happens next? You decide.

So, why Valentine’s, you ask? Well, in summary, there are sure to be no awkward silences (you won’t even get the chance) and you’ll always have something in common to refer to in the future… albeit murder.

Tickets are selling out fast, so get in there quick.

 

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The View From The Shard

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The View From the Shard has seen more proposals in the last year than we care to count on two hands, so it only seemed fitting that we ventured up there ourselves to see what it’s all about.

Blo*dy high isn’t it? The Viewing platform up The Shard – the tallest building in London – delivers it all. You’ve got the exciting (ear-popping) lifts to build suspension, you’ve got the panoramic views showcasing all of London’s skyline, you’ve got the – even higher – viewing platform with the wind in your hair and, best of all, the bar serving glorious cocktails and Champagne to polish the night off nicely.

The View Up The Shard is pretty romantic, we must say. Therefore, we’d suggest heading up there with someone you’ve been with for a while, simply because you’d be putting yourself at risk of giving too much, too soon – plus, it’s a long way up to be stuck with somebody you’re not compatible with. Otherwise, up you go, date in one hand and champagne in the other for what will be a night to remember.

 

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Jones Family Kitchen

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Dinner doesn’t say ‘I’m only here to mess about’ nor does it say ‘I’m about to propose to you’. Dinner says ‘Hey, I really like you, let’s go eat somewhere nice’. Make that somewhere nice The Jones Family Kitchen.

The perfect setting for a couple who don’t take themselves – or Valentine’s – too seriously, The Jones Family Kitchen is an attractive spot where you can appreciate wonderful food, wonderful cocktails and wonderful company.

Tucked away in the historic Eccleston Yards (opposite SMUK, as it goes) The Jones Family Kitchen serves up some the best steaks you can ask for. Side note: truffle mac and cheese is an available side. In fact, their steaks are so good, just last week they were listed as the top steakhouse in London by the Steak Society – not bad going, eh? If meat ain’t your thing, The Jones Family Kitchen also have veggie and vegan options on the menu. Another side note: their nut roast was featured in the best vegetarian guide by Condé Nast.

With a buzzing atmosphere to ensure you’re always comfortable, The Jones Family Kitchen presents itself as the ideal date-destination for not just Valentine’s but every other occasion, too.

 

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