Views To Schmooze From

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South Bank

 

London may not be known as the city of love, but maybe it should be. Beautiful architecture, stunning views, wonderful winter gardens and romance on the river - it's enough to even make the French go oh la la!

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Primrose Hill

Take a picnic and admire the views over the city.

Primrose Hill Road, Primrose Hill, London, NW3 3NA

Tube: Chalk Farm Station

 
 

Considered by many as one of the most romantic green spots in London, this small, grassy, hilly park, boasting fantastic views over London, has become increasingly popular with the young, the trendy and the famous - particularly from the media world, but don't let this put you off. It's a great place to stroll through and take in the scenery. Having climbed the steep slopes and admired the panorama you can regain your strength in one of the many cosy cafes, restaurants or pubs nearby. One of the most pleasant ways to approach the park is to get off at Camden Town and walk along the canal. If it's bright and breezy take a kite, some mittens and a hat, a thermos of vin chaud and two glasses and admire the sunset over the city.

 
 
 

Little Venice

An idyllic romantic destination with pretty waterways, canal boats, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Maida Vale, Little Venice, London, W2 1TH

Tube: Warwick Avenue Station

 
 

If you can't afford the real thing this Valentine's Day, don't fret. You may not be able to glide along on a gondola whilst being serenaded by a swarthy, pole-wielding Italian (no bad thing you might think), but London's Little Venice is appropriately interspersed with pretty waterways, canal boats, restaurants, bars and cafes, lending the whole area a cosmopolitan, laid-back, continental vibe. When Robert Browning coined the term Little Venice he was describing the point where the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal meets the Regent's Canal, however it now refers to the whole area to the south of Maida Vale. The small island at this junction is now called Browning's Island, and it was in this area that Robert and fellow poet Elizabeth Barrett conducted a secret love affair that ended in marriage and produced some wonderful love sonnets. In their honour, have a wander around this dinky enclave and then pop into the Canal Cafe Theatre at the Bridge House pub. Enjoy a glass of wine before heading up into the theatre for their regular NewsRevue comedy slot - every Thursday to Saturday at 9.30pm and Sundays 9pm. Sitting around a candlelit table in the company of some truly talented comedians can't be a bad way to end your Valentine's Day. Alternatively, for a scenic water-side walk, follow the canal route north-east for 2.5 miles and you'll end up in Camden where you can browse the markets, or stroll across to Regent's Park and London Zoo.

 
 
 

Sky Garden

If you can get in, Sky Garden boasts one of the most romantic views London has to offer.

20 Fenchurch Street, City, London, EC3M 3BY

Tube: Monument Station , Bank Station, Cannon Street Station

 
 

The free-to-access Sky Garden, occupying the top three floors of Rafael Vinoly's 37 storey, 525ft 20 Fenchurch Street (aka the Walkie Talkie), boasts one of the most spectacular, and romantic, views in London. Despite the option of booking the free to access space, the queues can be a pain - we've given up on at least one occasion when it was around the block -  so to guaranteed entry we recommend booking one of the several dining spaces. Upon arrival, guests to the Sky Garden will arrive by an express lift at a beautiful landscaped garden at level 35 designed by award-winning landscape architects Gillespies. A bar serving champagne and canapés, a chic brasserie and viewing area can be found at level 36, and a public terrace, seafood bar and grill restaurant and cafe at level 37. The food is by "rhubarb" who also run Gallery Mess at Saatchi Gallery, "rhubarb" at the Royal Albert Hall, and Bond & Brook by "rhubarb" at Fenwick. The company also works with Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal and will be offering events at 20 Fenchurch Street. Visitors have the option to visit the Sky Garden without dining but booking must be made online at least three days in advance. Be sure to read the terms and conditions too - security restrictions include only liquids of less than 100ml and no bags larger than 8 x 17 x 19 inches. 

 
 

Events at Sky Garden

Halloween at Sky Garden Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

Friday 27th October 2017 | From £25

 
Halloween at Sky Garden Sky Garden 2017-10-272017-10-27 Where:
Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street London, EC3M 3BY
Category: British Cuisine

Adding another fear factor to Halloween, Sky Garden is taking the occasion to horrifying new heights with a party 35 storeys high. Promising to be bigger than ever, the party will see the venue ...more

All events at Sky Garden
 
 
 

One New Change

Enjoy striking views across St Paul's from the rooftop public viewing platform.

New Change, Cheapside, City, London, EC4M 9AB

Tube: St. Paul's Station , Mansion House Station, Bank Station, Cannon Street Station

 
 

Get the lift straight to the rooftop of the One New Change shopping centre to enjoy striking views across St Paul's. Part of the Jean Nouvel-designed building, the rooftop has a huge free public viewing platform with numerous benches that are ideal to take a moment with your loved one. With St Paul's at its most romantic at night, you can combine the experience with a visit to Madison bar and restaurant, which is also located on the rooftop and has heated outdoor seats. The restaurant serves modern and classic European cuisine alongside high-end comfort food. Based largely on 'full-on flavour' meat dishes but also entertaining seafood, pasta and sandwich meals, it helpfully caters for all-day brasserie dining in highly stylish surroundings.

 
 
 

Greenwich

The perfect day trip for couples wishing to escape the stresses of central London.

, London, SE10 9HF

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 
 

Located on the outskirts of the city, Greenwich is the perfect day trip for couples wishing to escape the stresses of central London. The boat trip past the intricate wharfs of East London (hop on a Thames Clipper at Westminster Pier, Embankment or Tate Modern) means just getting there is a treat in itself. On arrival, stroll past the impressive Royal Naval College and the site of the now-burnt out Cutty Sark and make your way to Greenwich Market just off Greenwich High Street. Here, under an imposing glass roof, you can browse the many stalls selling antiquities, clothes, trinkets and delicious food. Weather permitting you can then stroll on to the beautiful Greenwich Park, climb its gradual slopes to the Old Royal Observatory and preside over one of the most impressive views in London as Greenwich, the Thames and Canary Wharf and the City stretch out before you into the distance. If you fancy a spot of light refreshment pop into the delightful Greenwich Union pub on Royal Hill, described by The Telegraph as "a real treasure... [where] old-style pub values are successfully married to a distinctly contemporary attitude to food and drink".

 
 
 
 

Tate to Tate

The Damien Hurst-designed vessel takes you on a journey from modern to contemporary art.

Between Millbank & Bankside Power Station, Westminster, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station

 
 

This slick river service transports art lovers from one of the city's best galleries to another. Connecting Tate Britain with Tate Modern, the catamaran boat also stops at the London Eye. A cool way to spend Valentine's Day, you can take in some art while also indulging in a spot of cosy, riverside sightseeing. Designed by Damien Hirst, the vessel, which seats 220 passengers, is a modern work of art in itself. The Millbank Pier outside Tate Britain has similar artistic merit; a specially commissioned light installation illuminating the pier was designed by artist Angela Bulloch, who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1997. A major exhibition on Paul Klee is currently running at Tate Modern while a highlight at Tate Britain is an examination into Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists, featuring the work of Tommy Abts, Gillian Carnegie, Simon Ling, Lucy McKenzie and Catherine Story. 

 
 
 

The View From The Shard

The clue is in the name - this is one of the best views in London.

The Shard, 96 Tooley Street, Bankside, London, SE1 9SG

Tube: London Bridge Station

 

Dates: From 01st February 2013

 

London looks like a city in miniature from The View From The Shard which at 244 metres tall is the highest public viewing platform in Western Europe. Lifts transport members of the public from the ground to levels 68 to 72 where visitors are greeted at the entrance by pictures of over 140 famous Londoners - including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as Pearly King and Queen, Kate Moss marrying King Henry VIII and Boris Johnson shining Ken Livingstone's shoes. Around the gallery there are animated maps, interactive displays, video screens and short films giving visitors an insight into London and the surrounding London Bridge area which houses the oldest crossing point over the Thames. But nothing can distract from the stunning views over the city and 40 miles beyond. That means - on a really good day - you can see the sea at Southend in Essex to the east and as far as Reading in Berkshire to the west.

 
 
 

South Bank

The artery to some of London's best cultural spots, great restaurants and cafes.

Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 
 

One of London's most popular destinations for weekend walkers, the South Bank remains so appealing because of its central setting, its proximity to the Thames and its impressive roll call of activities and places to visit. For a full appreciation, you should approach from St Paul's Cathedral across the Millennium Bridge, or from London Bridge after an excursion to Borough Market. Amble down to the Tate Modern for a spot of culture (the permanent exhibitions are free, while the cafe offers excellent views back across the Thames towards the City) and then continue alongside the river towards Waterloo. On your way you will pass the famous Oxo Tower (why not head up to the top for a drink in the bar? The views are breathtaking) and the rather cute Gabriel's Wharf. When the tide is out, sand sculptors entertain the crowds by making impressive figures and objects in the one bank of the Thames that resembles a beach more than a muddy rockery. Continue up towards Waterloo Bridge, underneath which the famous book market is held. Have a drink or catch a film at the BFI or see a concert at the Southbank Centre. Further down the bank will take you to the London Eye and then Westminster, but if you cross Embankment Bridge you'll find yourself soon in the thick of the West End ready for your evening show or a glass of red wine in the cavernous Gordon's Wine Bar on Villiers Street.

 
 

Events at Southbank Centre

Simon Johnson

Monday 25th September 2017 - 7.30pm | £15

 
Simon Johnson Southbank Centre 2017-09-252017-09-25 Where:
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London, SE1 8XX
Category: Arts Centres

The organist performs Bach's Prelude And Fugue In A Minor, Chorale-Prelude, Liebster Jesu, Wir Sind Hier, Simon Johnson's Wohl Dem, Der In Gottes Furcht Steht, No 87 from The Orgelbuchlein Project, Franck's Choral No 1 ...

Inside
Now OnFree Event

21st September to 15th November 2017 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
Inside Southbank Centre 2017-09-212017-11-15 Where:
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London, SE1 8XX
Category: Arts Centres

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Koestler Trust annual exhibition, renowned artist Antony Gormley curates the 2017 edition which contains works in various media that have been created by detainees in the UK's prisons.

Belief and Beyond Belief Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

16th January to 17th December 2017 | Various, Free to £45 | Day pass £15, Weekend pass £25

 
Belief and Beyond Belief Southbank Centre 2017-01-162017-12-17 Where:
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London, SE1 8XX
Category: Arts Centres
Outi Pieski: Falling Shawls
OngoingFree Event

13th January to 31st December 2017 - 10am-11pm | Free

 
Outi Pieski: Falling Shawls Southbank Centre 2017-01-132017-12-31 Where:
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London, SE1 8XX
Category: Arts Centres
Waterloo Billboard Commission: Superflex, Euro (2012)
OngoingFree Event

12th January 2017 to 31st March 2018 - 10am | Free

 
Waterloo Billboard Commission: Superflex, Euro (2012) Southbank Centre 2017-01-122018-03-31 Where:
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London, SE1 8XX
Category: Arts Centres
Waterloo Billboard Commission: Superflex, Euro (2012)
OngoingFree Event

12th January 2017 to 31st March 2018 - 10am | Free

 
Waterloo Billboard Commission: Superflex, Euro (2012) Southbank Centre 2017-01-122018-03-31 Where:
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London, SE1 8XX
Category: Arts Centres
Waterloo Billboard Commission: Superflex, Euro (2012)
OngoingFree Event

12th January 2017 to 31st March 2018 - 10am | Free

 
Waterloo Billboard Commission: Superflex, Euro (2012) Southbank Centre 2017-01-122018-03-31 Where:
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London, SE1 8XX
Category: Arts Centres
All events at South Bank
 
 
 

Valentines Mansion & Gardens

The name says it all for this beautifully restored country house and gardens.

Emerson Road, Ilford, London, IG1 4XA

Tube: Gants Hill Station

 
 

Built in the late 17th century and set in acres of wonderful countryside in the heart of Ilford, the aptly named Valentines Mansion and Gardens are a great day trip for Londoners. The beautiful brick country house was restored recently with Redbridge council and Heritage Lottery funds and this historic yet contemporary venue boasts a splendid Victorian kitchen and Georgian rooms, with gorgeous views over surrounding parkland. The stunning grounds include an old English walled garden, a Victorian rose garden, a canal, some rococo grottos and a dovecote. The gardens host a range of events, from open-air theatre to Sunday farmers' markets, while the interior of Valentines Mansion often exhibits contemporary art collections and installations. It also played host to the recent BBC2 'Great Comic Relief Bake Off'. 

 
 
 

Sir John Soane's Museum

A higgledy-piggledy treasure trove of artefacts.

13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn, London, WC2A 3BP

Tube: Holborn Station , Chancery Lane Station

 
 

An appealingly higgledy-piggledy treasure trove of artefacts, this extraordinary house elegantly located on Lincoln's Inn Fields is well worth an exploratory rummage à deux. Lurking in nooks and crannies within the sprawling rooms and halls of neo-classical architect Sir John Soane's former residence are over 30,000 architectural drawings and antiquities. Works by Turner, Canaletto and Piranesi feature in the painting collection, with William Hogarth's eight canvasses of 'The Rake's Progress' forming the centre-piece. One look at this symbol of masculine waywardness and depravity will remind most ladies what a decent catch they have on their arm. Museum tours take place every Saturday at 11am and there are so many nooks and crannies, you'll be able to elope for the odd covert passionate embrace amidst the Romantic art adorning the walls... The first Tuesday night of the month candlelit visits are truly romantic and attract large queues.

 
 
 
 

Borough Market

Mecca for food lovers.

Southwark Street, Bankside, London, SE1 1TJ

Tube: London Bridge Station , Borough Station

 
 

Get your Valentine's weekend off to a sumptious start with a trip to Borough Market. The market has been attracting crowds of food fans every Thursday, Friday and Saturday for years now, so tantalise the tastebuds and get your romantic juices flowing with a trip to one of the capital's most atmospheric locations. This gourmand's delight is London's oldest of its type and boasts a resplendent range of fresh food stalls under its Dickensian wrought-iron roof. Italian cheeses, Morecambe Bay shrimps, Spanish delights and much more make their home here. You're encouraged to "try before you buy" so you and your partner can get hands-on indulging in a series of tasters before taking the plunge and picking up a range of 'high in quality, high in flavour' food-stuffs for a romantic meal back home. While you're there, why not visit the Wright Bros stall for a few of those fabled aphrodisiacs, the oyster? Atmospheric, lively and mouth-watering this foodie's paradise is a definite must for any cuisine-loving, canoodling couple. If you've got time, end your outing by walking back along the river towards Waterloo and the South Bank, passing Southwark Cathedral, the Golden Hinde, the Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. Cuddle up as you walk through the dark, cobbled streets which wind behind the wharfs then have a good old smooch under the fairy lights that illuminate the trees all the way along the river. 

 
 

Events at Borough Market

October Plenty On SoonFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

Sunday 22nd October 2017 | Free

 
October Plenty Borough Market 2017-10-222017-10-22 Where:
Borough Market, Southwark Street London, SE1 1TJ
Category: Markets

October Plenty is a glorious autumn harvest celebration, mixing ancient seasonal customs and theatre with contemporary festivity. Linking two of London's most olde worlde features, this event begins on Bankside, in the shadow of Shakespeare's ...more

All events at Borough Market
 
 
 

Petersham Nurseries Cafe and Teahouse

The cafe looks like a garden shed, but has been awarded a Michelin star.

Off Petersham Road, Petersham, London, TW10 7AG

Tube: Richmond Station

 
 

Weather pending, this has all the makings for an ideal Valentine's treat and a memorable day out. To get to these delightful, rustic meadows and gardens at the foot of Richmond Park you can take the train to Richmond and then walk up the river bank. Or - and this is our favourite - you can hop on the river boat at Westminster Pier and weave your way up the Thames, along the route of the Varsity Boat Race, past Barnes, Kew and Chiswick, through a lock, and eventually on to Petersham. Once you're there you'll be transported as far away from the hustle-bustle of central London to Petersham village, a designated conservation area. The nurseries are well worth a stroll, but their real selling point is the wonderful restaurant and cafe complex in the centre, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2012. Located in what can only be described as a glasshouse shed, this is without a doubt one of London's best and most original places to eat lunch, serving exceptionally seasoned, local, fresh produce in a divine location. The likelihood, unfortunately, is that it is already booked out - but do try your luck on 020 8605 3627. If you're unlucky, settle for a warm cup of tea (including some exotic flower varieties) and a nice slice of cake at the neighbouring Teahouse.

 
 
 

Albert Bridge

A Grade II* listed bridge over the River Thames which connects Chelsea to Battersea.

Albert Bridge Road, London, SW3 5RJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 
 

Albert Bridge is a Grade II* listed road bridge over the River Thames which connects Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south. Albert Bridge is the only bridge in central London never to have been replaced. That's not to say that the original 1873 design - by Rowland Mason Ordish - has remained the same. Between 1884 and 1887, Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated some of the design elements of a suspension bridge, and the two concrete piers were added in 1973 transforming the central span into a simple beam bridge. At night the bridge is beautifully lit up by 4,000 bulbs, making it one of West London's most striking landmarks.

 
 
 
 
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