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If you thought asking someone out was the hard bit, think again. Picking the perfect dinner date venue can be a minefield so we've asked Europe's No. 1 online.
List of the best restaurant chains to take a first date, as ranked by food experts. The restaurants on this list range from informal get-together locations to.
Getting the food right On those nervy first, second and third dates, the dish of the day is anything that gets you talking. Sharing is a great way to break the ice so try dim sum, tapas, mezze or charcuterie platters that you can pick at whilst chatting.
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Avoid anywhere that specialises in messy food like ribs, noodles and unshelled seafood, plus anything you have to eat with chopsticks or off the bone. Bars are great for pre-dinner drinks but stay away from packed pubs, overly pricey hotel bars and anywhere with a student-style Happy Hour. Going for a Michelin blow-out might seem like a great way to impress your date, but the combination of sky-high prices and stiff service is hardly conducive to a relaxed evening.
You can still get a good deal, without the embarrassment, just book online at toptable. With a great meal sorted in seconds, all you have to do is show up and be charming company. Good for: A high-end, low-maintenance night out.
Standout romantic feature: The view all the way down to Waterloo Bridge. Le Pont de la Tour If you keep an eye on the post-millennial London restaurant scene, you might think that to impress a date you had to head for the nearest pop-up supper club serving gourmet pickles, artisanal mocktails and vegan sliders.
London still does old-school, tablecloth dining like few other cities on Earth — which is to say extraordinarily well. Exhibit A: Le Pont de la Tour, which is a romantic restaurant in the archetypal sense. Occupying the ground floor of a warehouse in Shad Thames, it overlooks Tower Bridge and the river. At night, the whole scene twinkles away delightfully. Over the past 28 years the restaurant has also evolved.
The main dining room, which you may remember from the famous photo of the Blairs and the Clintons dining at Le Pont de la Tour in , was refurbished entirely in , giving it a new lease of life. Interior designers Russell Sage Studio has divided it into a modish bar area, where food is also available, and a main restaurant space.
The inspiration was the SS Normandie ocean liner, which entered service in , and this has translated into a smart room with art deco mirrors, cherry banquettes and flashes of gilding. Hence the scope of the menu, which ranges from the wonderfully simple to the highly sophisticated.
It need never be more complicated than that. Some dishes, however, are dressed up to the nines. And how. Charlie Burton Table choice: The back room has the best atmosphere; request a table for two by the window and allow your date to take the right-hand seat for the best view of Tower Bridge.
Good for: Expert wine pairings. Price: Occasion-level but not eye watering approx. How can anything be hidden in Piccadilly, you scream? Mind blowing in London. We recommend the smoked salmon to start, a generous portion garnished with capers, lemon and horseradish. Table choice: A booth at the back of the restaurant is more secluded. Good for: Beautifully cooked French food. Standout romantic feature: The Wolseley style decor.
Now, The Petersham, its sister restaurant in Covent Garden , has expanded the offering. The result is a beautiful restaurant. Like MoMA levels of beauty. Grand art and draped in plants and flowers from the nursery next door. It screams romance. The food is seasonal, classic Italian offerings. The risotto starter, with Tema artichokes and Parmigiano Reggiano, is exceptionally hearty. Then continue the citrus theme with the Petersham Amalfi lemon tart with creme fraiche.
Table choice: The back of the restaurant is the best spot to see all the beautiful artwork and greenery. Good for: MoMA levels of design. Standout romantic feature: All the flowers give it a classy wedding venue vibe. Nuno brings a deft touch to what has traditionally been a brassiere grill menu, and added a real edge of elegance and finesse.
Start with the recommended Hertitage Beetroot salad, a visually stunning but delicate dish, before moving to the sumblime confit duck leg. Let their sommelier pair your food with their wines.
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Table Choice: Grab a table for 2 seater up the front by the stage. Standout romantic feature: Nothing beats the live acoustic music. Baptist Grill at L'oscar Tale as old as time: a table for two somewhere fancy but familiar.
Of course, a charcoal grill caters to those of a T-bone-headed persuasion, but the hidden delights here are reserved for a dedicated vegetarian menu. Since chocolate is truly the food of love, an indulgent Baked Manjari mousse ensures your meal is rounded out in sultry fashion. Table choice: A table in the centre of the chapel for the best view of its domed splendour. Good for: Traditional British dining in an elegant setting. Standout romantic feature: Impeccable service; a surefire way to make your date feel special.
One the headquarters of Cartier, the 5 floor building now houses the newly opened, dimly lit restaurant which is the home to a Mykonion-inspired menu, which has the unique addition of Asian influences.
For starters, the idea is to share a selection of small plates, with highlights being Josper grilled octopus and beef tartare with orange ponzu sauce. A taste explosion, especially when washed down with one of the cocktails on offer - our pick? To finish off, there really is no dessert as romantic as a tiramisu and luckily for you, this one comes with a coffee mousse and caffe latte ice cream. Quite literally perfection.