In London, there’s no shortage of activities for lovebirds. From timely art exhibitions to bubbles aplenty, a wealth of choices await that are sure to make this year’s holiday a special one. Before you head off to your romantic dinner, then, make sure you set aside some time to explore some of the highlights of Valentine’s Day in the city.
The Egerton House Hotel makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day base for those who are treating themselves to a sentimental London stay. Luxuriously outfitted, its special suites – the V&A suite, which opens to a private Garden Terrace, and the Studio Suite, which is perfectly plush – and rooms provide a romantic backdrop. Its accessible location in Knightsbridge also means that even while jetting around the city on your bespoke Valentine’s Day itinerary, you’ll never be far from your home away from home.
Read on for our six top suggestions for the perfect ways to welcome in the holiday.
Champagne might as well be a requirement for any Valentine’s celebration worth its salt, and it’d be hard to factor in a more impressive coupe than at Vertigo42. The name is no misnomer: the bar practically teeters from its location on the top of Tower 42, one of the highest vantage points in the City. If the bubbles don’t win your date’s heart, the sweeping vistas certainly will.
Orchids at Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens, the world’s largest collection of living plants, is lovely to walk around all year. But what makes it particularly alluring right now is the newly unveiled Orchids 2014 exhibition. Located as it is within the Princess of Wales Conservatory, it makes for an inviting stroll, even in mid-February.
Travelling to the Wonderland at the V&A
In the heart of South Kensington, the V&A is always a compelling place to take a turn around. Couples will especially want to save time for a stroll around the museum’s new garden exhibition, Travelling to the Wonderland. Crafted by Chinese artist Xu Bing, the installation transforms the John Madejski Garden into a glittering vision of utopia. The dreamy show modulates slightly from day to night, so any time is good to visit.
While the romantic dinner is often considered to be the main Valentine’s Day event, why not start your celebrations a little earlier on? Going for a traditional afternoon tea is the perfect prelude to an evening out. For those after something classic, Fortnum and Mason’s afternoon tea is the stuff of legends. Those who like their afternoon tea with a French twist, meanwhile, can indulge at Ladurée in Harrods: what goes better with English breakfast tea than a plate of macarons, after all?
Bateaux River Cruise
Many of London’s most coveted Valentine’s tables look out onto the Thames, but why not drink in the view from up close? The Bateaux London Cruise is perfectly romantic, as it glides along the river’s crepuscular waters. Alongside the views, the Valentine’s cruise includes a multi-course meal prepared on board and live entertainment.
Paul Klee at the Tate Modern
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to take in some culture, and strolling around the Tate Modern’s expansive halls makes for an afternoon date that’s sure to impress. While there, catch the well-reviewed Paul Klee exhibition and take in his playful, colourful paintings. Those without dinner reservations can finish the evening at the sixth-floor restaurant, which offers spellbinding sights and elegant dishes and drinks.