Valentine’s Day this year, of course, will be different — but there are, perhaps a few silver linings. With London’s best restaurants delivering widely (often nationwide, if not within the M25), all you need to do is set the table, arrange the flowers, follow a few instructions, and get ready for a big night in. And with the holiday traditionally one of the busiest days of the year for London’s restaurant industry, now’s a good time to support your favourite places and celebrate the little things — even if it’s in your finest tracksuit bottoms.
Go All Out
Sweep them off their feet with a decadent feast (over £75).
The Laughing Heart
Now available nationwide, Charlie Mellor’s cult wine cave and restaurant is offering an effortlessly sophisticated menu for two for the day, revolving around a centrepiece of pithivier of Yorkshire guinea fowl with wild garlic, with imaginative sides and chocolate fondant with kumquat for afters. There’s the option to upgrade with oysters, caviar, or a bottle from the restaurant’s famous wine cellar. Order here.
£90 for two, nationwide delivery. Delivery 12th February, order cut off 10th February at 10am.
Perhaps London’s quintessential restaurant for lovers, this intimate Mayfair restaurant is delivering a five-course dinner for two, with its infamous Bad Kitty cocktails and a bottle of Esterlin Brut champagne to boot. Dinner is as svelte as you’d expect – cured chalk stream trout, beef Wellington, and chocolate fondant are the headlines, with petit fours, snacks, and swish vegetarian options, too. Order here.
From £130 for two, M25 delivery. Delivery 12th February 8am-6pm, order cut off 10th February.
Nothing quite says ti amo quite like a plate of Ombra’s handmade truffle agnolotti with taleggio and plenty of butter. This Hackney gem’s pescatarian set meal features house cured salmon with fennel, burrata, and poached octopus, bookended either side with Mitshel Ibrahim’s legendary focaccia and award-winning tiramisu. Best enjoyed with negronis and Moonstruck playing in the background. Order here.
£100 for two, nationwide delivery. Delivery 12th February, order cut off 10th February at 6.30pm.
Want to show someone you really care? Or just want enough sushi and sashimi for a small family while bingeing Midnight Diner? This Bethnal Green restaurant’s Valentine’s menu is at the spendy end of this list, but is absolutely stacked – fatty tuna tartare, butterfish tataki, a whole 12-piece nigiri set, plus a whole grilled truffle butter lobster, wagyu beef fried rice, and dessert. Oh, and they’ve thrown in cocktails and a bottle of sake too. Order here.
£149 for two, delivery within 8 miles of E2 6AB. Delivery on 13th and 14th February. Cutoff same-day before 5pm.
Break out the Champagne, not the bank (£75 and under).
This outstanding neighbourhood Italian has returned, with a reassuringly tasteful menu to place one’s confidence in. A fleet of starters – Sicilian-style pizza, creamy buffalo mozzarella, and more – are followed by chef Matt Beard’s outstanding hand-rolled pastas (the restaurant is known for lesser-seen varieties, like cappellacci), a salad strewn with crunchy breadcrumbs and gorgonzola, and a dreamy almond tart to finish. Pair with a favourite bottle, or three. Order here.
£60 for two, local pickup or nationwide delivery. Delivery 12th February.
Following in the tradition of restrained, produce-led British cooking, Townsend’s Valentine’s Day box is definitely worth setting the table for. Chef Joe Fox (ex-Petersham Nurseries) has chosen a four-course menu of outstanding vegetable-led starters and sides, flanking a slow-cooked beef rib that melts in the mouth. For dessert, there’s an modish white chocolate Basque (baked) cheesecake, with seasonal rhubarb and blood orange. Order one of their superb, well-priced wines to enjoy with dinner, too. Details here.
£60 for two, local and nationwide delivery. Deliveries 12th February.
As you’d expect from one of London’s finest purveyors of Southern-style BBQ, Smokestak’s Valentines menus are equal parts heft and finesse. Generous portions of their signature beef brisket and pulled pork feature, with rhubarb spritzes, sticky toffee pud, and plenty of sides. An upgraded menu throws in extra starters (hello, smoked cod’s roe and PSB), sides, plus a bottle of excellent rioja to pair with all that meat. Order here.
From £75, nationwide delivery. Deliveries 11th February.
Queen’s Road locals may be cheered that one of the road’s standout restaurants has returned to offer a little cheer for the 14th. Kudu’s Valentine’s menu is a no-nonsense highlight reel of crowd pleasers, executed with chef Patrick Williams’ panache; burrata, peri-peri chicken and roast potatoes, a bright green salad, and chocolate tart are both no-nonsense and elegant, while the restaurant’s rabidly adored Kudu bread is available, too. Get it here.
£65 for two, collection only. Order cutoff, 12pm 11th February.
Candles? Check. Playlist? Check. Worth celebrating in every way (even if you’re sharing with your flatmate), this iconic Highbury local’s menu is one of the best. Two separate menus of Belted Galloway beef with polenta chips and gorgonzola fonduta, or a beautiful Dover sole with baked potatoes and Treviso offer comfort and elegance. Order a wine to complement the meal, and some dessert for a memorable meal. Order here.
From £50 for two, plus additional courses, M25 delivery. Order cutoff, 3pm February 9th, for delivery 13th Feb.
Lady of the Grapes
Lady of the Grapes are known for their organic wine list that champions female producers – but their food has always hit the mark, too. Designed to be enjoyed with a delicious bottle or two, their Valentine’s set menus (veg and non-veg) emphasises their Franco-Italian leanings, with rustic dishes flanked by petit fours and snacks. Oh, and don’t forget to pick a bottle from their suggested pairings, too. Order here.
From £37 per person, London delivery only. Order cutoff, 8th February 2pm, for delivery 13th or 14th Feb.
Wine and Cocktails
Drinks packages to make the evening memorable (and the next morning one to forget).
This Hackney orange wine bar has opened its excellent cellar for delivery during lockdown, and its drinks bundles epitomise the best of lockdown drinking. Choose between skin-contact or pet-nat rose, with a brace of sloe gin negronis, gourmet chocolate, and wax candles (plus holders) to set the mood. All you need now is to tidy the flat – job done. Order here.
£60 per pack, local or nationwide delivery. Pre-order, delivery within 1-2 working days.
Tayer + Elementary
Award-winning bartenders Monica Berg and Alex Kratena always have the most playful takes on seasonal holidays (not to mention the best drinks), and V-day is no exception. Packed with three bespoke cocktails for the day, each Tayer gift box (labelled either “Single and Ready to Mingle”, or “F*** I Miss You”) makes for sophisticated and fun cocktail hour. Enjoy before dinner, or buy two and go all out. Order here.
£30 per pack, local or nationwide delivery. Delivering from 1 Feb until Valentine’s — cutoff for nationwide delivery February 9th.