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Top 10 imaginative London Valentine’s ideas.

by Rajul on February 9, 2011

Check out the ultimate guide to Valentine's experiences which combine originality with romance, courtesy of LondonTown.com (image credit below)

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and there are many ways of showing that special someone how much you care without resorting to time-honoured clichés or massive expense.

And nothing says ‘I love you’ like a well-planned day out or weekend break in London.  If you want to impress but you’re coming up short on ideas, the kind folks at LondonTown.com have come up with a comprehensive resource of things to do in the capital on Valentine’s Day.

What could be more romantic than watching the sunset from the South Bank of the Thames?

The list covers everything from romantic restaurants to hotels, florists and gift shops.  Here we present ten of the most interesting ideas:

1. The Gift – A Valentine’s Day present need not be expensive to be heartfelt.  Indeed, a unique and well thought out present can be far more meaningful.  Over on Columbia Road, Rob Ryan’s Ryantown shop features uniquely memorable romantic paper cut designs and screen prints, as well as T-shirts and other merchandise stamped with his artwork.  Do make sure you pop in at the weekend though, it’s closed on all other days!

2. The Flowers – While flowers may seem unimaginative, a thoughtfully-assembled bouquet can be very romantic.  So why not head for the New Covent Garden Flower Market on Nine Elms Lane?  This is where the florists get their flowers, and offers a unique opportunity for mixing and matching your own bouquet at trade prices.  Giving a bunch of flowers hand-picked to suit your partners’ tastes speaks volumes about how much you care.

3. Chocolates – Clichéd they may be, but everyone loves a good box of chocolates for Valentine’s and you may as well buy the best.  Montezuma’s in Brushfield Street specialise in chocolate decadence, and are offering a Sweetness and Light box of truffles especially for Valentine’s Day.

The area around London's waterways - like Little Venice - offer some of the city's most romantic and peaceful enclaves

4. Setting the Mood – London is full of romantic places that are perfect for whiling away a Valentine’s Day afternoon with your partner.  Maida Vale’s Little Venice is one such destination, offering peaceful waterways ebbing with canal boats and a cosmopolitan range of cafe’s, bars and restaurants.

5. The Date – If music is the food of love then Brixton Academy has a real treat for you and your partner on the 13th.  The Reggae Got Soul Valentine Showcase features a range of well known reggae, roots and rocksteady performers to get you into the mood for romancing.

6. Dining Out – London has an almost limitless supply of fine dining, potentially making the choice of restaurant for your Valentine’s Day meal a tricky one.  However, Italian restaurants are often the most romantic.  And Ciao Bella on Lamb’s Conduit Street offers a range of traditional dishes, with a live jazz piano providing a memorable soundtrack to your meal.

London's restaurants will come into their own over the long Valentine's weekend as they pull out all the stops to attract your custom

7. Dining Deals – With fierce competition among London restaurants, many are clambering over each other to offer lovers attractive Valentine’s menus.  Japanese restaurant Watatsumi – one of the newer additions to the capital’s fine dining circuit – is offering a special six-course Valentine’s menu featuring aphrodisiac ingredients as well as traditional Japanese delicacies.

8. Dining In – Of course,  a home cooked meal can be even more romantic than eating out.  If you fancy yourself as a budding chef, why not pick up some of the finest ingredients in town from one of the capital’s best foodie shops, like top-notch fresh oysters from Wright Brothers in Borough Market.

9. Romantic Hotels – Many will look for a romantic London hotel with a small and intimate feel.  If however you prefer something more grandiose, the imposing Langham Hotel – with its grand ballroom and indoor swimming pool – may tick all your boxes.  You can also bag some excellent last-minute Valentine Weekend Hotel Deals in the most intimate London hotels.

There's nothing more romantic than the award-winning decadent afternoon tea enjoyed "a deux" at The Langham (previously reviewed on this blog)

10. One for the Singles – For singletons still wondering what all the fuss is about on the 14th, there are also a variety of off-the-wall anti-Valentine’s events going on in London.  The “Down with Dating” Valentine’s Special at Islington’s O2 academy features the chance to indulge in a spot of ‘Speed Hating’, as well as that well-known dating game show, ‘Blind Hate’!

Photo credits: garryknight’s photostream.

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