Get booked in early for a Valentine’s to remember

Timothy Barber
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Sauterelle The cosy bolthole overlooking the inner courtyard of the Royal Exchange (right) is serving up a special Valentine’s menu on the day. Diners will be given a rose cocktail on arrival, followed by a five course meal showcasing head chef Robin Gill’s sophisticated seasonal style. And of course, while you’re there, you can always pop into one of the Royal Exchange’s luxury boutiques to find an extra special Valentine’s gift. Even a ring, perhaps? Five course meal is £50 per person.

Corrigan’s Mayfair Renowned Irish chef Richard Corrigan’s flagship restaurant is a place that oozes class and sultry charm – as does the three course Valentine’s menu he’s put together. Seared scallops with Indian spices and red wine poached turbot with razor clams are luxurious enough, but the pick could be the beef Wellington, designed for two to share – if anyone can create something magnificent out of this old British favourite, Corrigan can. Ladies get a box of choccies on departure. £75 per person.

Babbo Intimate but welcoming and full of old-fashioned Italian charm, Babbo – the name means “daddy” in Italian – is offering diners a complimentary champagne cocktail on Valentine’s night, called the “Puccini”. That’s followed by a three course menu of romantic delicacies, such as sea bass with an artichoke risotto, and nougat with hot chocolate sauce. £50 per head. 39 Albermarle St, W1S 4JQ.

The Square The Bruton Street favourite (above right) this week retained its two Michelin stars, and the modern French cooking on offer from chef-patron Philip Howard is some of the finest in London. Those lucky enough to eat there on 14 February will enjoy one of the most extravagant Valentine’s meals in town – a special, eight course tasting menu with sensuous courses like veloute of oysters with a tortellini of crab, cucumber and chives, and sautee of langoustine tails with pumpkin gnocchi and an emulsion of potato and truffle. Tasting menu £105 per peson, or £175 per person with matched wines.

Rotunda Ladle on the romantic charm, complete with some cultural sophistication, at Rotunda, the rather fine restaurant at the King’s Cross arts venue King’s Place, which is hosting a “poetry dinner”, complete with live poet. He’ll be writing bespoke poems for loved up couples on request and giving tableside renditions of poetic favourites. The four course meal includes beef and lamb from the restaurant’s own Northumberland farm. £37.50 per person for four courses.

51 Buckingham Gate Smart St James hotel 51 Buckingham Gate – also home to Michelin starred Indian restaurant Quilon – is offering a Valentine’s experience which comes complete with a personal in-suite butler to take care of you. There’s also afternoon tea (with rose pettle-infused scones) and dinner in Quilon, plus a bottle of Taittinger ready for your arrival in your luxury suite. £420 for two.

The Landmark The ultra-grand Marylebone hotel (far right) will provide a “bath butler” – someone to run a special bath for two full of ESPA oils and salts – as part of its True Romance package. There’s also a champagne to enjoy in the bath, and a three course dinner in the Winter Garden restaurant. For those who feel they’ve got the bath thing covered sans butler, the Champagne & Strawberry package will make sure these are in your room to set the mood. True Romance package £295 plus VAT; Champagne and Strawberry package £265 plus VAT.

The Goring A Belgravia institution and one of London’s most elegant and exceptional hotels (left), the Goring celebrated its centenary last year. The “A Goring Affair to Remember” package starts with tea, cakes and champagne served in your room. Then settle down to watch Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember, one of the most romantic movies ever made, with popcorn and sweets to tuck into (and you can keep the DVD). There’s also champagne breakfast the next morning. Available from 12-15 Feb, £465 for two.

Malmaison London Squirreled away in the corner of Charterhouse Square in Clerkenwell, the Malmaison London is something of a hidden gem. Its highly luxurious Square Suite – all velvets and sultry opulence of a kind ideal for amorous debauchery – can be snapped up from £615. Champagne on ice, strawberries, oils and candles will be provided, as well as a champagne breakfast the next morning.

Runnymede-on-Thames If you fancy escaping central London for somewhere quiet and relaxed, head to the Runnymede-on-Thames, on the banks of the river near Windsor. As well as beautiful surroundings, riverside restaurants and a deeply indulgent spa, there’s the advantage that, since St Valentine’s falls on a Monday, if you book the two nights “Romance-on-Thames” package for Friday and Saturday night you can get Sunday night thrown in for free. £199 per room, including champagne, dinner and breakfast, available Feb 11-13.