London: The City Of (Unlikely) European Romance

London may not bring to mind the kind of reckless, unapologetic romance of a Paris or a Rome. With its stiff upper lips and its inhabitants' pathological apologizing, London can seem like a city of brusque encounters and muted chic. And with its love stories more Dickensian then Madame Bovary, it's easy to think that The Big Smoke could be skipped on your romantic European vacation. But think again: Scratch the surface and the city is, unexpectedly, eager to tuck you away into a cozy fireside seat or swaddle you and your loved one in stylish luxury. In addition to that imposing Charlie D., London is also the home of lovelorn Keats and Plath, and its food scene has absorbed its understated history of tumultuous passions. London's restaurants can wrangle an oyster and decant a Bordeaux as artfully as it can whack together a fish pie or boil a potato, and we're here to help you get your romance-bearings. As long as you do your research and find which areas make your heart sing, you can plan the perfect date for Valentine's day, an anniversary, or no occasion at all. Just bring your flowers, your smile, and – oh yes – your credit card.

The Crooked Well is the perfect hybrid of pub and fine dining. It's also a hybrid of traditional British and European fare, sneaking "tasty little numbers from further afield" onto its impressive menu. Dukkah lamb rump, chargrilled yellow...  Read More

Sometimes dining is all about...well...drinking. If you're looking for a chic date spot, or a chance to nibble on some French Nouvelle tidbits then look no further than Antidote. Tucked off of bustling Carnaby Street in the itty-bitty Newburgh...  Read More

We may have to get our terms straight re: "romance" when evaluating romantic London dining, but we'd like to go out on a limb and say that Meat Liquor is an ideal date spot. It shot to cult-status when it opened its doors in Fitzrovia in 2012,...  Read More

Regent Street

Momo is perfectly situated on Regent Street, the no-man's land between Soho and aristocratic Mayfair. It's North African luxury dining done with thoughtful flare an artistry. Restauranteur Mourad Mazouz is also the founder of tubro-surreal...  Read More

On the ground floor of Shoreditch's Tea Building, the seven-storey start-up hub right across from the Overground, is a different kind of innovation hub: Lyle, the creation of borderline "experimental" chef James Lowe. There's a clean,...  Read More

At Barrafina, you get what you earn. Maybe you have to wait in a line long enough that you run out of conversation topics with your date by the time you're seated, but we guarantee that that won't actually be a problem: Barrafina will leave you...  Read More

Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill feels like a world of its own at the best of times. It's a nook with understated wealth and overly abundant charm whose high street feels like it belongs in a fairy tale. L'Absinthe fits into this vibe perfectly. It's a...  Read More


Around the time you are presented a box filled with two cuts of beautifully marbeled kobe beef by an impeccably dressed member of wait staff, you will come to realize that Engawa is not your typical Japanese dining experience, nor is it one of...  Read More

The Scolt Head is a double-hitter: lively pub bringing together the fresh-faced inhabitants of both Islington and neighboring Dalston, and dreamy date-perfect restaurant. On offer is some of the most coveted of classic British fare, including...  Read More

Primrose Hill

As London's only "floating Chinese restaurant", Feng Shang Princess doesn't need to do much to win our adoration. It's a testament to the rich variety of life and luxury resting on the waters of the Regent's Canal, and it looks like something...  Read More


Meet Arianna Reiche

Arianna Reiche is a London-based writer and publisher. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied at the University of Edinburgh before working with Vice, New Scientist,...  More About Arianna