Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the romance of a candlelit champagne dinner or watching a film snuggled under a pile of blankets. We’ve rounded up the most romantic things to do and places to be to help you to make this a Valentine’s Day to remember and even included a Luxuriate ode to love for a happy ending.
UNISEX GIFTS FOR HIM OR HER
Say it with flowers: The Dorchester Rose signature bouquet
What? Seven years in the making, this official new rose variety was created especially for The Dorchester by Meijer Roses, a family company with a long tradition of breeding exceptional roses. Each beautiful bloom is blousy and pale blush in colour with pink tones that become pinker as the rose opens. The open shape of each flower also makes this new rose rather unique. Talented in-house florist Philip Hammond has created a stunning bouquet which you can buy and also enjoy at The Dorchester all year. Take in the Dorchester Rose over a Valentines afternoon tea (1-16 February) with champagne, heart shaped macarons and of course, a Dorchester Rose to take home as a romantic reminder.
How much? £65 per bouquet (only available for delivery within London). Afternoon tea £65 adults, £35 kids.
Couples Therapy at Nimaya Mindstation
What? This is the good kind of couples therapy! Nimaya Mindstation is London’s first dedicated wellbeing and therapy centre. This Valentine’s Day special for couples combines Red Light Sauna Therapy followed by Cryotherapy and refreshments. Red light sauna therapy gives you rays that safely penetrate deep under your skin to dissolve harmful substances accumulated in the body to boost metabolism and release endorphins. After this, Cryotherapy will immerse you both in a full body chamber at -85°C for three minutes. This is dry, non-invasive and has numerous health benefits including pain relief.
How much? £125 per couple.
Get mystical: ILLUMINE luxury horoscope candles
What? A range of 12 gorgeous candles – each one cleverly personalised to your zodiac sign to nurture, balance and instil well-being. Each sign has a different highly fragranced signature scent infused into a soy wax blend with coconut. Each candle is presented in a solid matt-black glass and luxurious black box. The Aquarius candle we tried is infused with a hypnotic blend neroli with lavender and rose fragrance oils.
How much? £42 per candle.
Get wet: A home hot tub with Arctic Spas
What? Arctic Spas are designed for the extreme climates of Canada which means they can last longer, cost less to operate and are easier to maintain. They also install your tub on the same day as delivery to have you luxuriating in time for Valentine’s Day. Tubs also have a ‘forever floor’, a hassle free built-in floor pad which can go onto any flat surface so no need for drilling or decking.
How much? From £4,750.
What? Give one of the greatest gifts on earth – champagne. The exclusive Safari robe adds an extra touch of sparkle making it a striking centrepiece. The wild stripes which interlace around the bottle are much like the fresh red fruit aromas in the champagne with notes of raspberry, cherry and redcurrant. The champagne pairs well with romantic food like oysters, berry sorbets, dark chocolate and soft, creamy cheeses.
How much? Available at Selfridges for £79.99 (75cl) and online.
Tea for two: Flowering green tea
What? This flowering green tea from Whittards is anything but ordinary. Simply pour boiling water over one of their balls and watch as it gently unfolds into a beautiful green and pink flower. For an added air of theatre, try it in one of their glass teapots – it’s magic.
How much? £10.
Plan a perfect trip: Iberian Escapes
Why? For a romantic, hassle-free getaway to Portugal.
What? Bespoke luxury travel holidays to discover Portugal and its hidden gems. Iberian Escapes will do all the work for you from hotels, experiences and even plan your wedding. A relaxing (and unusual) Porto spa and wine weekend getaway includes two nights at the stunning Yeatman Hotel with wine tasting, red wine bath and massage as well as spectacular views over the UNESCO World Heritage city and the Douro River.
How much? € 544 per person.
Why? To dance the night away with an all-singing, all-dancing three-course dinner.
What? Embracing all the glamour and unbridled mischief of the flapper era, the Valentine’s Day spectacular at the London Cabaret Club promises to be nothing short of extraordinary. The musical rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s turbulent love story is interspersed with a five-course dinner and of course, you can order champagne and roses to your table to keep the romance flowing. Just don’t forget your dancing shoes: the after-party carries on till late.
How much? From £105.
Why? To treat your sweetheart to some sweet treats.
What? On this indulgent, confectionery-filled tour, you’ll be whisked around all of Belgravia’s sweet spots from the comfort of a Rolls Royce! Highlights include a personalised macaron/tea pairing and a private session with the Head Chef of Ametza to learn how to make one of his signature desserts. Later, you can sleep off the sugar crash in one of the sophisticated Halkin rooms.
How much? £1,280 per couple.
A spa weekend at Bedford Lodge & Spa
Why? To relax amongst the roses.
What? The Valentine’s packages include classic romantic add-ons like chocolate dipped strawberries and bouquets of red roses, but the real clincher is the hotel’s setting: it’s located in three acres of rose gardens. Book yourselves in for one of their signature hot stone massages and relax.
How much? From £310 per couple.
Afternoon tea at Dominique Ansel Bakery
Why? To tuck into heart-shaped goodies from an award-winning bakery.
What? Providing a sugar-filled twist on Britain’s usual love affair with tea, the Valentine’s Day offering at Dominique Ansel is stacked with goodies that Cupid wouldn’t be shy of – like a milk chocolate mousse topped with a cupid’s arrow and a love heart shaped lavender meringue with coconut ganache and passionfruit curd. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also take some of the sugary love home with you, as the Belgravia bakery will also be colouring all of their pastry cases pink to celebrate from 8-14 February.
How much? From £42.
Why? To watch the classic story of Romeo and Juliet with a twist.
What? & Juliet brings the pop music era roaring back to life played by a 10 strong band as the hits keep coming throughout the show. Max Martin’s songs include pop anthems like I Want It That Way, Everybody, Stronger, Roar, Can’t Stop The Feeling and many more. To go with these iconic songs, Shakespeare is brought into 2019 with a sassy script that appeals to Shakespeare newbies and aficionados.
How much? Tickets from £22.50
Why? To watch a romantic film under the stars.
What? If you head to the rooftop of The Berkeley hotel, you’ll find their swanky rooftop cinema, complete with chalet-style cabins, champagne and canapes. The heated terrace has been open throughout winter, but this Valentine’s Day they’re offering just four couples the opportunity to catch an exclusive screening of when Harry met Sally while cosying up under an abundance of blankets with dinner and champagne.
How much? £300 per couple.
WHAT TO BUY FOR HER
Nourish her skin: Beautifully Nourished skincare
What? Is there anything this skincare range can’t do? As well as being a powerful moisturiser, the Beautifully Nourished collection is packed full of vitamins and anti-oxidants that reduce signs of ageing, brighten your complexion and fade pesky blemishes. Factor in the pretty-in-pink packaging and you’ve got the perfect gift for a beauty lover.
How much? From £18.
Treat her feet: On Cloud trainers
What? The funky soles of these trainers aren’t just for show. The bumps and grooves are part of On’s patented CloudTech, which is designed to absorb impact forces and make your run much smoother. The waterproof edition comes in a gorgeous rose colour, this is the gift for the runner in your life.
How much? £130.
Give her your heart: luxury crystal from Moser
What? Luxury crystal brand Moser have created a special heart-shaped crystal that’s great for those looking to truly spoil their loved one. The 20.5cm heart has been hand blown and cut using only the finest crystal, and Moser works hard to ensure that their crystals are ecologically friendly too.
How much? £1,375.
For the tech lover: travel tech handbag
What? You’d be hard pressed to find a bag that contains as many functions as this one from Fifth & Blue. The bag is unlocked using biometric fingerprinting, can charge your electronics wirelessly and will send proximity alerts to your phone via bluetooth, meaning that it’s almost impossible to misplace. Plus, its smart and sleek design means it will match practically any outfit.
How much? £345.
WHAT TO BUY FOR HIM
Something to slip into: Mangata London eco luxury men’s swimwear
What? Stylish swimming shorts with exquisite detail and finishing. Fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles re-purposed from the ocean so your man will look cool and save our planet at the same time. The material is soft, super quick to dry and durable. They are also rather comfortable. Our current favourites are the Merakis, a bright turquoise and dark green print inspired by Moroccan architecture.
How much? £70.
Style and sophistication: Adam Grooming experience
What? Adam Grooming Ateliers provide an oasis for the modern man and a cool space under the artful hands of highly-skilled barbers. The Director’s Cut includes a consultation, wash, cut, dry, second wash, hot towel, scalp massage, styling and even some ear flaming! Also included are drinks from an in-house bar – the Japanese whisky will go down well. They also have lovely products like beard balm & oil as well as a hair paste available to buy in one of their 7 stores so your man will look and feel the part.
How much? Haircuts from £25.
Time for a statement: a watch from Mr Jones
What? Every watch made by Mr Jones is guaranteed to make a statement. Their range of hand-crafted watches come in a variety of unusual designs, but our favourite has to be The King as it’s part of a matching king and queen pair of watches that are cute for couples (queen pictured above). However, if you’re looking to get him something truly unique, buy the Everyday Classic and get an important date from your relationship engraved on the watch hands.
How much? From £175.
For the whiskey lover: Tomatin 14
What? Buying for a whiskey connoisseur can be a challenge for those of us not well versed in our malts and casks, but the 14-year single malt from Scottish distillery Tomatin is sure to please even the most refined of palates. It’s been matured in a port cask which gives the a balanced, fruity flavour that goes down easily. It’s no wonder that it’s won a whole host of awards – including a gold status from the World Whiskies Awards.
How much? £54.
For the film lover: KODAK Luma 350
What? The newest addition to the KODAK family, this pocket-sized portable projector allows you to stream 4K quality videos onto practically any surface. It’s a gift for the guy in your life who loves films – or alternatively, for someone who is always travelling so that they can create a personal cinema in their hotel room. The only thing left is to decide which romantic film to watch.
How much? £329.99
WHERE TO EAT IN LONDON
Why? For unbeatable interiors and wall to wall romance. If you can’t pull in here then we have a problem!
What? Known as one of the most romantic restaurants in London, there’s a lot to love about this upscale French eatery, from its explosion of floral decorations to a glass roof showing off the stars and an endless wine list. The food, too, is a masterclass in romance – a bells and whistles Valentine’s Day menu worthy of Cupid’s arrow. We want to skip straight to the cheese course for their crisp Machecoulais cheese stuffed with truffle.
How much? £145 per person.
Why? For their Mexican Seduction Valentines menu.
What? Ok, Valentines is taken seriously in Mexico. Towns are painted red all month with balloons, roses and hearts on the street. This special menu at Ella Canta is available from 10-22 February and the colourful six-course feast starts with oysters with pickled red onion and lime. You can also enjoy beef fillet, red snapper and a sweet chocolate tamal. To drink, the Flower Prince (named after Xochipilli who is the rather busy god of love, beauty, dance, pleasure and flowers) is a smart twist on a sour – a sexy mix of pink peppercorn infused tequila, lemon and cantaloupe melon.
How much? £70 per person.
Why? To keep things pink and spicy.
What? Available on 14 February only for lunch and dinner, BaoziInn Romilly Street and London Bridge will be offering a selection of pretty pink dim sum and dumplings. To keep things spicy, there is a colourful new range of hard to find Sichuanese dishes available every day at their Chinatown branch on 8 Little Newport Street. A must try is the Yipin Ran Mien noodles (translated as burning noodles) which gets its name from the number of different chilli oils used to make it. Save space for a legendary Sichuanese staple, the Mala Hot Pot, available five ways with a myriad of ingredients.
How much? Dishes from £5.50
Why? Awaken erotic senses with ingredients carefully selected for their aphrodisiac properties and stay overnight in a suite.
What? In sight, scent, touch and flavour, each dish in the four course menu is fashioned to awaken sensual and erotic senses. Start with a globe artichoke, a thistle long believed to be a potent aphrodisiac followed by a trio of natural and tempura oysters. Save space for chocolate hedonism, a sphere melting under a chocolate sauce to reveal a triple mousse. After dinner, check into a suite in partnership with lingerie brand Kiki de Montparnasse which includes a Jeroboam of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé champagne, gold handcuffs, leather whip, massage candle, unlimited room service AND a late check out. Don’t forget to put the do not disturb sign up!
How much? Dinner £65 per person. Overnight adventure from £5,000.
Why? Luxury home away from home overlooking South Kensington’s tree lined avenues.
What? Starting with a glass of Perrier-Jouet grand champagne from their trolley, choose from native oysters with coconut cream or a golden beetroot & pumpkin velouté. For starters, we fancy the sound of scallops with crispy celeriac and pink grapefruit and a venison tartare with quail eggs and caviar. What we love about Town House is that it is spread across three classically designed drawing rooms complete with stylish décor and open fireplaces to turn up the heat.
How much? £85 per person.
Why? If you are a staying in kind of person for Valentine’s Day then this one off chocolate extravaganza is ideal so make a date for 22 February to visit Galvin at The Athenaeum.
What? The Galvins have done it again and created a savoury and sweet 6 course menu set to change the way we think about chocolate. Using chocolate produced by the finest British artisans, the immersive guided menu will show off the different flavour profiles of chocolate. After a chocolate-based cocktail and canapés on arrival, the feast will take you on a journey of chocolate excellence incorporating limoncello, blackberry, hazelnut, raspberry and more.
How much? £45 per person.
Why? For matters of the heart and beautiful foliage.
What? Providing a twist on the candlelit dinner, ‘The Heart’ tasting menu at Petersham Nurseries Richmond features 10 courses that are cooked over an open fire and designed to optimise your heart’s health. The setting, too, is ultra-romantic: it takes place in a foliage-filled glasshouse lit by fairy lights and candles, and the entire space is perfumed by the fragrance of budding magnolias. You will all dine on one long table, but sneak off to one of the candle-lit alcoves littered amongst the greenery to grab a little more privacy.
How much? £70 per person.
Why? For sharing pasta and original cocktails.
What? Bancone Covent Garden is great for dates thanks to the counter dining set up so you can sit next to each other. If the date’s going badly, you’ve got the chefs to stare at! Try the squid ink tagliolini with tomato, garlic & chilli and recreate that famous scene from The Lady and the Tramp. Over at Bancone Golden Square, there is an new all original cocktail list full of twists on classics like the orange blossom Negroni with gin, campari, martini ambrato and orange blossom.
How much? Pasta dishes from £9.
Why? For champagne and caviar in the clouds.
What? Shangri-La at The Shard certainly knows a TING or two about luxurious dining, and this Valentine’s Day the entire tasting menu is themed around caviar. The five-course dinner begins with Maldon oysters and caviar and ends with a coffee tart with caviar, and for an extra touch of glamour you can opt for a wine pairing. Add in unbeatable views of London’s skyline and you’ve got a dinner you won’t forget.
How much? £90 per person; with wine pairing £155 per person.
Why? For sophisticated seafood on board a luxurious barge.
What? London may be landlocked, but the river cruise and dinner on The Grand Duchess captures the romance of a voyage at sea. The six-course feast takes place on the restaurant barge as it moves through London’s canals to Camden Lock and its menu showcases the best of ultra-fresh seafood: from a rich shellfish chowder to Norwegian cod with ham and parsley sauce. The combination of candlelit tables and gentle bobbing of the boat is a recipe for a relaxed yet romantic evening.
How much? £75 per person.
By Georgie Young and Sam Chapman
From all of us at Luxuriate, we wish you a happy Valentines. We will leave you with a poem penned for us especially by our romantic editor, who doesn’t have a leg fetish:
Dorchester Roses are pretty,
This Valentines guide has style,
Your beauty is enchanting,
And so is your smile.
With buds like eggs,
Ours are long,
And so are your legs.
Up to the skies,
Water is deep,
Just like your thighs.
For Valentine’s Day and every day,
We won’t let anything infuriate,
I will adore you forever,
And our love will always Luxuriate.
A Luxuriate Life is beautiful,
Just like you.