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valentine's day in London


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Do restaurants in London escalate their prices for Valentine's Day dinners? We're looking for a restaurant that won't bust the budget for a young couple seeking excellent food in a pleasant restaurant in central London. Any suggestions to this eternal question? Thanks!

Roz

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Do restaurants in London escalate their prices for Valentine's Day dinners?

!!! Do bears shit in the Vatican?

First up, are you sure you want to spend an evening in the company of people who believe restaurant dining and romantic gestures are only required annually? Can't you call an amnesty and go out on the 13th or the 15th? I know it kind of misses the point of St Valentine (if there is one), but the benefits are immeasurable. For example:

1) The atmosphere won't be so oppressively forced; 2) the good tables don't require a cash bribe to snag; 3) you'll avoid being railroaded into a "three-courses-and-glass-of-champagne" menu that's as cynical as any Hallmark card; 4) there's a much slimmer chance of having your conversational flow broken by roving violin players and red rose pushers; 5) the presence of something other than two-tops injects life in the room that's sadly not present when couples are forcing smalltalk to pass the time until they're drunk enough to embark on the nasty.

If, despite all that, you must dine on the day itself, Square Meal has a long (but in no way comprehensive) list of places doing a gouge menu. You may want to view that as a list of venues to avoid.

There's no indication of a Valentines theme on the website of Magdalen, which has good food and a nicely cosy vibe, so you may be lucky. Otherwise: have you considered sushi? Nothing says romance like brusque Japanese waiters, big knives and cold fish.

Edited by naebody (log)
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are you sure you want to spend an evening in the company of people who believe restaurant dining and romantic gestures are only required annually?

quite right. feb 14th has got to be the one day to wipe the annual grime off the pasta maker on top of the cupboards and spend restaurant money on some ingredients and wine that for once really will be amazing for the price...

can anyone tell me if (top end) restaurants get busier on the 13th as well, or if they experience a lull?

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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are you sure you want to spend an evening in the company of people who believe restaurant dining and romantic gestures are only required annually?

quite right. feb 14th has got to be the one day to wipe the annual grime off the pasta maker on top of the cupboards and spend restaurant money on some ingredients and wine that for once really will be amazing for the price...

can anyone tell me if (top end) restaurants get busier on the 13th as well, or if they experience a lull?

In my experience, depending on the day of the week this lovely day falls on restaurants especially in the suburbs will tend to probably offer a valentines menu on 2 if not 3 days so including the 13th and 15th

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avoid the 14th like the plague. also atmospehere tends to be shit because they are all twos staring into eachother's eyes. the restaurants escalate their prices and push covers because the only table of 6 you will get is a table of swingers!

in the good places 13th and 15th will be very busy and so will the following weekend.

get some nice lamb chops, new potatoes and some purple sprouting broccoli, spend the money you would save on some vintage champagne and get a pot of haagen daaz for dessert, bob's your uncle. if you can't cook then i am sure vintage champagne would hold up to a take away pizza!

Matt Christmas.

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avoid the 14th like the plague. also atmospehere tends to be shit because they are all twos staring into eachother's eyes. the restaurants escalate their prices and push covers because the only table of 6 you will get is a table of swingers!

in the good places 13th and 15th will be very busy and so will the following weekend.

get some nice lamb chops, new potatoes and some purple sprouting broccoli, spend the money you would save on some vintage champagne and some nice burgundy. Get a pot of haagen daaz (crumble some dime bars or amaretti over the top) for dessert and bob's your uncle. if you can't cook then i am sure vintage champagne would hold up to a take away pizza!

Matt Christmas.

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If I might humbly point you in this direction.

Agree with all the above. This year, for another article, I spent some time researching availability. Half a dozen restaurants are now, without a hint of irony, offering 'special deals' (read, set menu and double price) 'throughout Valentines week'.

Honestly... in London, fuhgeddaboutit.

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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we are not all that bad lol some of us have regulars who fill these days and in my own humble opinion i dont wish to hike the prices up just for a commercial quick sell, on the subject though a brasserie down the road from me is charging £95.00! oh but you do get a glass of champagne or was it cava :wink:

my ive just found another local bistro £65.00 for 3 courses its good job im working that night

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Just been browsing. Worst offer I've found so far is, incredibly, from Foilage (pdf). Menu at £125 (vs. £60 usually), and includes one glass of pink fizz, a red rose, some chocolates and "a personalised menu signed by the head chef."

"Happy Valentines, love. Here, Chris Staines has written on a menu for us."

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To echo what was said above, and to repeat what i always seem to at this time of year, we also do not do a Valentine Menu, have nothing heart shaped or any of that nonsense.I do buy some roses for the ladies, but it's a gift from me, not charged for, or costed into the menu.

A midweek VD night is ideal, nothing worse than it on a Friday or Saturday.

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i don't wish to state the obvious, and very admirable but neither basildog or marc are in london. i am sure the anchor and hope are doing their usual free for all or maybe try somewhere un-romantic like st john or bar shu. ledbury or glasshouse might be worth a punt at this late stage. i think out of the centre is probably your best bet, chapter one maybe?

Matt Christmas.

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To echo what was said above, and to repeat what  i always seem to at this time of year, we also do not do a Valentine Menu, have nothing heart shaped or any of that nonsense.I do buy some roses for the ladies, but it's a gift from me, not charged for, or costed into the menu.

A midweek VD night is ideal, nothing worse than it on a Friday or Saturday.

I should have made clear in my previous post that Bas is above reproach.

Several of us are, in fact, considering chartering a plane to flee the metropolis and to head for Padders - it's always worth a 600 mile round trip to eat at Margots but V Day makes it a must :)

The fact is that Margots is the sworn secret of discerning diners seeking a fine meal on the 14th - and of course, now Bas has blown the gaff we're all screwed.

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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A midweek VD night is ideal, nothing worse than it on a Friday or Saturday.

Er- those initials do have have another usage and not one conducive to Valentine's night shenanigans.

I should have made clear in my previous post that Bas is above reproach.

Several of us are, in fact, considering chartering a plane to flee the metropolis and to head for Padders - it's always worth a 600 mile round trip to eat at Margots but V Day makes it a must :)

Oh and f$$k right off Tim- you and and your bleeding metrocentric ways. I'd be astonished if you have ventured further than bloody Chiswick this year. :laugh:

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i would most likely avoid the 14th at any cost - unbeknownst to me i booked a table a few weeks ago for this cominc thursday...only then was i told that it was Valentine's! Had already coodrinatd with three other people so we're going anyways.

i'll report back as it's the river cafe and am very curious to see what it will be like the 14th...

-che

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Oh and  f$$k right off Tim- you and and your bleeding metrocentric ways. I'd be astonished if you have  ventured further than bloody Chiswick this year. :laugh:

Chiswick? Have you run mad? That's the bloody burbs. You'll be seriously suggesting I venture south of the river next.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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made it to the river cafe last thursday - prime valentine day - however my purpose was part business part pleasure, no romantic undertones. i had to do a little client PR and took the opportunity to introduce a friend as i'm hopiong he can start supplying them as well.

our table was at 8:30 and by then it was packed - fortunately there were a number of tables larger than two; certainly the noise and buzz did not give the impression of a valentine's night. no sight of valentine's was present on the menu either.

as we sat down it was immediatelyi evident what the highlight of the evening was, ron wood was at the table next to us...my friend is an absolute maniac when it comes to the stones.

i had crab to start, lobster and the chocoalte cake. all three were excellent. possibly a little too much thyme on the lobster, but nonetheless it was amply enjoyed. all four of us thoroughly enjoyed the combination of food, environment, company and service. overall a great night.

-che

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