A Bite in the Square
For a daytime rendezvous, head to Ole & Steen for a tasty latte and indulgent little cake. They offer takeaway, we recommend taking it to a park bench in the picturesque St James’s.
Ole & Steen
No 2, St. James’s Market, SW1Y 4RP
Wine Tasting at Norte
The recently redesigned Bilbao Berria, now reborn as Norte, has installed a tasting lab on their lower level. Wines are sampled from black glasses, which, with psychedelic lights changing the colour of the walls, makes it impossible to see what colour wine is being tasted. If this is all a little too conceptual, they also do a fine dinner service. To win Valentine’s dinner at Norte, enter here.
Norte by grupo bilbao berria
2 Regent Street St James's SW1Y 4LR
A friendly reminder that the ICA has a cinema, it is charmingly small with plush red seating, and the films are of exceptional standard. Another friendly reminder, the ICA has a very pleasant, light-filled bar. Check cinema showtimes here.
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, SW1Y 5AH
When it first opened in 1927, Boulestin was the most expensive restaurant in England. Cecil Beaton referred to it as the "prettiest restaurant in London." Although the original only remained into the 1940s, a new Boulestin, inspired by the original, opened in St James's on 2014. The charming French interiors make a handsome romantic setting, and the Valentine's Day set menu sounds divine.
For a pleasant glass of wine, head down the Royal Opera Arcade to Pall Mall Fine Wine. A robust wine list awaits and can be enjoyed Parisian sidewalk-style, tucked away from the elements.
Pall Mall Fine Wine
6/7/8 Royal Opera Arcade, SW1Y 4UY
In St James’s Market, Aquavit gleams, enticing a well-heeled clientele with its artfully arranged Nordic fare. A special Valentine's Menu offers four courses and a cocktail for £85.
1 Carlton Street, SW1Y 4QQ
The way other restaurants might treat a wine list, the Japanese brasserie Anzu treats its sake list. After all, the maître d' once told us “Sake is made like beer and drank like wine.” Kampai!
1 Norris Street, SW1Y 4RJ