Wine glasses and candles for a romantic date night
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UK’s Best Restaurants to Impress on Date Night

Be it Valentine’s Day, a special anniversary or simply a romantic rendezvous with that special someone, the UK is chock-a-block with lavish restaurants that will be sure to blow their socks off.

Naomi Chadderton
Naomi Chadderton
An experienced editor and journalist specialising in news and lifestyle.

In the enchanting realm of romance, few things rival the magic of a perfect date night. But whether you’re feeling a little too old for a jam-packed bar, or are looking for something a little fancier than your local to impress your better half, don't worry. The UK's gastronomic scene boasts an array of restaurants that promise not only exquisite flavours, but also an ambiance that sets the stage for a truly memorable evening.

Here is our most romantic pick of the bunch.

Scott’s, Mayfair, London

A London institution known nationwide for its epic seafood and celebrity clientele, Scott’s is proof that a restaurant can stand the test of time. Defined by polished wood and a buzzy atmosphere, its central marble oyster and Champagne bar appears like a curving stone altar for the display of seafood on ice. Dig into the likes of potted shrimps, whole grilled lobster, seared seabass and a delightful Mangalorean monkfish and tiger prawn curry. A meal here may set you back a pretty penny, but it will be more than worth it. Round off the evening at one of London's best bars, while you're in town.

Circolo Popolare, London

There’s never a dull moment at Circolo Popolare, an aesthetically-pleasing spot, home to some of the most authentic tasting Italian food in the capital. Definitely not known for its subtlety ― more than 20,000 bottles of booze line the walls ― it’s a great shout for those who still feel young at heart (no stuffy service or white tablecloths here). The menu comprises the likes of gigantic pizzas, outlandish pasta dishes, and a fabulously OTT lemon meringue pie.

A diner stands outside Scott's in Mayfair, London.

SCOTT'S, MAYFAIR, LONDON

Chefs at work at Circolo Popolare restaurant, London

CIRCOLA POPOLARE, LONDON

Inver, Argyll

Fine dining restaurant Inver has won too many awards to count, and it’s not hard to see why. Sitting pretty in a beautiful part of the west coast of Scotland, a couple of hours’ drive from Glasgow, focus here is on the food rather than the theatrics, with chefs serving up mainly shellfish sourced from nearby lochs, with an unsurprisingly seafood-heavy menu. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, making the trek comes highly recommended, and if you’ve come from afar you can spend the night too. Or why not make a weekend of it? Scotland's Top Seven Luxury Lodges Redefining the Hunting Getaway

Hide and Fox, Kent

Dubbed Kent’s best fine dining restaurant with a Michelin star to boot, Hide and Fox in Saltwood has garnered glowing reviews since opening back in 2019. Headed up by chef Allister Barsby, kick off the night with an expertly-curated cocktail, before making your selection from a choice of set menus with dishes crafted from Kent’s finest ingredients. Think pheasant with pumpkin, duck liver with clementine and venison with caramelised pomme puree, then opt for a wine tasting to seal the deal.

The interior of the restaurant at Inver, Argyll.

INVER, ARGYLL

Bottles of champagne and port on show at the Hide and Fox in Kent.

HIDE AND FOX, KENT

Adam Reid at The French, Manchester

One of the most highly lauded restaurants in the north, Adam Reid at The French is a Belle Époque beauty, designed to evoke the luxury of the good old days. Chef Adam Reid's multi-course menu of modern British food is a homage to his Manchester upbringing, with dishes ― which have names such as ‘A Warm Northern Welcome’, 'Yesterday's Dinner' and ‘Today's Tea' ― including scallops from Scotland, turnips from Cheshire and Cumbrian shorthorn loin to name a few. While you're in the city, there's a veritable feast of hotspots to enjoy a few pre or post dinner drinks to continue to ambience.

Lilac, Dorset

Named among the top 100 restaurants in the UK for 2024, Lilac in West Dorset is renowned for its seasonal sharing plates, low-intervention wines, local beers, and range of cocktails, making it a great shout for a more relaxed evening in a still-superb setting. Located in a 400-year-old cellar, chef Harriet Mansell runs the show, treating diners to nibbles and starters (coppa, split-pea hummus) through to heftier servings, like hake with sorrel cream, with British cheese and pudding for afters.

Read more: Cornwall's eight most scenic restaurants

The sumptuous surroundings at Adam Reid at The French at the Midland Hotel, Manchester.

ADAM REID AT THE FRENCH, MANCHESTER

A sprig of lilac displayed on a plate at the Lilac Restaurant and Wine Bar in West Dorset

LILAC RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR, DORSET

Isabel, Mayfair, London

Isabel has been one of our favourite spots for date night ever since it opened its doors back in 2017, marrying both style and substance with its distinctive Beaux-Arts-inspired architecture. Aside from the jaw-dropping interiors, go here for refined, fresh dishes that blend South American and Mediterranean cuisine, including wild sea bass ceviche, crab tagliolini, truffle risotto and a juicy Wagyu steak. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you spot any royals or A-listers on your neighbouring table.

L’Enclume, the Lake District

Housed amid rolling hills in Cartmel’s old smithy, L’Enclume in the Lakes is known worldwide for its impressive farm-to-table philosophy, with a focus on the ingredients grown at chef Simon Rogan’s very own farm. Claiming three Michelin stars, guests dine on a seasonal 20-course tasting menu, with a nod to British classics, like truffle dumpling and aged veal in coal oil, shallot and oxalis, and dry aged Herdwick lamb loin with fermented yellow beans. Save this gem with its rugged white walls for a truly special occasion. If romance is on the agenda, you could also book a romantic Lake District hideaway.

The dining room at Isabel, W1

ISABEL, W1

A delicately decorated dish at L'Enclume

L'ENCLUME, CUMBRIA