Whether you’re in the city with your partner for Valentine’s Day or just have something big to celebrate with them at any point of the year, here’s a list of fun, unique ideas of romantic things to do in London.
Find a new scent together
Scent can be a pretty sensual thing, so you do some perfume and/or cologne shopping together while you’re in London. Jo Malone has complimentary perfume consulting and combining in their London shops, or you could pop over to Harrods’ many boutiques for a luxe smelling test that will result in a bespoke scent for you and your partner.
Finally, you could go to super-Englishly Penhaligon’s, which has TWO Royal Warrants, to get a personalised fragrance profile, all while enjoying tea, biscuits and champagne. How romantic. One of their fragrances is shown above.
Go for a romantic meal in London
It might be cliche, but you can turn a regular dinner into a romantic experience by going to the right place. Some romantic restaurants in London I recommend include…
Duck and Waffle (Bishopsgate) – incredible views from the 43rd floor, which is very dark and romantic in the evenings. It’s incredibly hard to get reservations here so exactly two months before the date you want to book, go on their site and get your spot. Yes, they go that fast!
Campania and Jones (Columbia Road) – this teeny Italian restaurant has Tuscan farmhouse-inspired interiors made even more beautiful when it’s lit by table top candles. The food here is some of the best Italian I’ve had in London.
The Petersham (Covent Garden) – from the people who run Petersham Nurseries in Richmond (another very romantic spot but further out from central London) is The Petersham. They do creative Mediterranean cuisine with stunning leafy interiors and a romantic terrace for when the weather is agreeable..
If you’ve got my 3-Day London Itinerary you already have LOTS of other Jess-approved London restaurants to choose from.
Go to Ronnie Scott’s for some live jazz
If you like live jazz, go to London’s most famous jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s (pictured above), for a romantic night of live music and nice cocktails. It’s been around since 1959, so there’s a ton of history in this place…
For something more off the beaten path and relaxed, head to Dalston Jazz Bar. It’s one of the best spots to see live jazz in east London and interestingly, they do not price their meals, you just pay what you think it’s worth!
Finally if you’re looking for more romantic things to do in London, book a table at the swanky The Wellesley’s Jazz Lounge where they host live jazz musicians on Friday and Saturday nights. The venue and vibe pays tribute to its history as the former home to the famous Pizza on the Park at Hyde Park Corner, where famous names like Amy Winehouse, Jamie Cullum and Barbara Cook used to be regular performers.
Book a spa day
A spa treatment is a romantic way to spend time together in London, and if you’re visiting in the wintertime, it’s a great treat after spending lots of time outdoors sightseeing.
Some of London best spas in London include The Bulgari Spa in Knightsbridge, Agua Spa at Sea Containers hotel (pictured above), and The Ned’s Barber and Parlour. The Ned is on the list of the best hotels with rooftop bars in London, btw.
You can sometimes get spa deals on Last-minute.com, just be sure to do your research to make sure it’s actually a good one— Tripadvisor should help.
Even if a spa treatment is out of the budget, just booking yourself into a hotel that has an indoor pool and some basic spa facilities that are free for guests to use will feel like a treat. Try the Montcalm East hotel.
Do a personal shopping experience
If you’re up to spending some money together on your romantic day in London, why not do a day of personal shopping? Imagine it– you both could be enjoying a glass of bubbles in a plush, private dressing room as you wait for your personal stylists to bring you clothes that should fit you like a glove. Why not wear your new threads out of the store for a night out on the town?
Upgrade your cinema and dinner experience
Don’t do the usual gross cinema + crappy restaurant after combo. A sexy alternative is the Soho Hotel’s Sunday film club— for £45 per person you get a three-course meal or afternoon tea at their Refuel restaurant, and then get to watch the film of the week in their romantic, luxe movie theatre (shown above). I’ve done this and loved it. The Courthouse Hotel also offers this, but without the food and with some bubbles.
Go for an alternative theatre show
If you want to do something a bit more culturally enriching (but also quirky) and far away from the chilly temps, then try these alternative theatre shows while you sip on a luscious cocktail. You’ll find all types of performances, from comedies and unusual storytelling to great musicals to cabaret performances, and countless other options.
Stimulate your senses with an immersive experience
London never disappoints, it doesn’t matter what crazy concept you come up with -London has it. Immersive experiences fall a bit into that crazy category, I mean, how many times have you thought of having a drink in prison? Or a cocktail infused escape room? Even being a part of famous shows like The Great Gatsby (pictured above), Sherlock, a western movie or a dinner at The Murder Express? Check this list with over 35 different ideas to try out. What better way to know how crazy your other half is?
Curl up at a cosy pub
For something relaxing and not terribly wallet-breaking, just finding a cosy pub nearby where your staying in London could be perfect. Curl up next to the fireplace on a comfy sofa with a pint of beer or glass of wine, and you’re sorted for your romantic evening together.
A small selection of my favourite cosy pubs around London include:
- The Ten Bells (Spitalfields) – a great, sexy pub on the ground floor, but head upstairs to the “secret” cocktail bar for a more intimate setting (pictured above).
- The Draper’s Arms (Angel) – relaxed neighbourhood pub with cosy decor and a chill vibe.
- Windsor Castle (Notting Hill) – situated in a super old building, it’s got lots of small rooms and low ceilings, making it not only historic but also quite intimate.
No need to travel too far to get to a pub, however, find one near where you’re staying so you don’t have to travel far to get to it, that’s what the locals do.
Dine while you cruise down the Thames
Bateaux London (pictured above) offers a beautiful British dinner along with live music and delicious drinks while you take in the stunning views of London. Or if you are looking for something a little more affordable then check Thames Dinner Cruise or City Cruises, offering different experiences like Jazz night, an Elvis tribute or even a Murder Mistery dinner, where you get to unfold the clues to find the killer.
Have a romantic picnic
If the weather’s decent while you’re in London, have yourself a luxurious, romantic picnic in one London’s many parks. You can pick up a ready-made hamper, which is essentially a really nice picnic basket, from places like Carluccio’s, or go for one from Fortnum and Mason if you really want to impress your date– they’re so gorgeous!
You can also order a picnic hamper from some London restaurants, check out this list. Or just make your own picnic by picking up some bits and bobs from a nearby shop. The great news is that you can break out the bubbles because London’s fairly lenient on their drinking in public laws…
Have a romantic drinking experience
There are loads of upscale drinks spots in London that are very sexy and romantic.
Have some really nice vino in the “caves” at Gordon’s Wine Bar.
Have a drink at Gong in The Shard for gorgeous views of central London.
Or go all out at speakeasy Blind Spot, which has delicious bespoke and signature cocktails.
Enjoy champagne and chocolate on the London Eye
Did you know you can actually book your own “pod” on the London Eye and have a private champagne and chocolate experience? Yeah, ya can. That would be pretty romantic, with bubbles in hand, looking over all of London…
If you’re not up for the price tag of the private capsule, there are other options, not-so-private options that are actually pretty affordable.
Spend the day in Hyde Park
There are quite a few romantic things you can do in Hyde Park, even beyond having a lovely little picnic. A fun and cheap option is to hire Boris bikes and ride through the park together, or go a little further (and cheesier?) and rent a row boat to row along the Serpentine. Oh, and a visit to the Rose Garden is a must for a romantic day…
Go for a walk in nature
If you or your partner are nature lovers then check the London Wetland Centre, this reservoir covers over 40 hectares where you’ll be able to see otters, numerous species of ducks and geese, and discover many species of birds that don’t exist anywhere else in London. The centre is fully wheelchair accessible.
Get some non-selfie photos together
There’s no better time to get some photos showing how much you love each other than when you’re in one of the most incredible cities in the world. Check our London Photo sessions services in partnership with our lovely photographer Ewa Horaczko. Plus, we got you 10% extra photos from your session, just insert Love and London in the “referred by” box when booking your session on Ewa’s site.
Let me know what you’ll do for your romantic day in London in the comments.
More tips for a romantic visit to London:
- Gift Ideas for People Visiting London
- 5 Great Photo-Taking Spots in London
- 8 Stylish Hotels that Cost Less than £150/night
Pin this to your London board…