Looking for some inspirational venues for those three little words? If you're visiting London for Valentine's Day, here are some ideas to mark it in style
Way Up At The Shard
According to the old song, “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around”, which couldn’t be more appropriate for romantic couples who take to the skies on Valentine’s night at The View From The Shard.
At 309 metres high, The Shard is Western Europe’s tallest building and has London’s highest viewing platform on floors 68, 69 and 72. Visitors can take in 360-degree views of the whole of the capital below—on a clear day can see up to 40 miles away.
Opened in 2012, The Shard has already become a much-loved feature of the London skyline, joining other contemporary buildings such as the 'Gherkin', the 'Walkie Talkie' and ‘Cheesegrater’ in an architectural renaissance for the capital.
For the romantics though, it’s all about the view from the Shard, and whether you watch the sunset with a glass of Champagne in hand, or take advantage of the late opening until midnight on Valentine’s Day, it’s a recipe for love. Two couples got engaged within ten minutes of the attraction’s opening, so you can expect a few bended knees on the 14th. A good place could be the Champagne Bar on Level 69, for courting couples to pop a cork and pop the question at the same time.
The Love Boat
Prepare to set sail on a romantic Valentine's Day river cruise. Bateaux Cruises' trip onboard the Harmony boat includes live entertainment, a four-course meal with wine, a welcome glass of Champagne and a single red rose. There’s a huge open observation deck holding up to 250 passengers. It heads through the heart of town, alongside Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, past the London Eye and to Tower Bridge. Below deck, enjoy dinner amid spectacular Thames views. £150 per person
'Starry starry night, paint you palette blue and grey...' A star-filled sky is sure to get hearts fluttering, so head for the planetarium at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, for an evening of stargazing through the 18-tonne Victorian telescope. The 25-minute walk through Greenwich Park is a romantic way to start the evening, then head for the top of the hill from which the telescope rises to meet the night sky. The planetarium uses cutting edge CGI along with images produced from real spacecraft to represent the night sky onto the domed ceiling. Take a tour of the galaxy and learn your Ursa Major from Minor accompanied by a glass of chilled Champagne—cosmic! £28 per person
On The Right Track
Take a journey on a classic British Pullman steam train, where the sounds and smells of vintage engineering evoke memories of Brief Encounter and the prospect of romance. This is a sister train of the Orient Express, making for the ultimate romantic travel experience. Dress to impress and pack your camera to capture the classic moment of departure as the whistle blows and the engine puffs. The train departs from London Victoria at 7.15 pm (14th Feb) after which you can enjoy the elegant tasting menu, including wine and champagne, served at your table as you glide through the English countryside before returning to London for 11pm. £420 per person
In Vino Veritas
For all things wine related, Vinopolis is the place. Built into the railway arches of London Bridge, it’s a homage to the grape and offers regular wine-tasting experiences. The venue offers visitors the chance to sample and compare a wide range of wines all within a stylish setting near Borough market. Join wine expert Tom Forrest for a Valentine’s Sparkling Wine Masterclass (13th Feb) when he will lead you through six different styles of sparkling wine and champagne. £55 per person
The Valentine's Day Package (14th & 15th Feb) includes a glass of Framboise Fizz, wine tasting tickets and a bottle of Prosecco. Soak up the booze with a cheese and charcuterie sharing plate. £70 per person
Get in a Spin
Put your loved one in a spin on a Champagne-fuelled trip on The London Eye. A 30-minute trip in your own Cupid's Capsule includes luxury Hotel Chocolat Pink Champagne Truffles and a bottle of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne. The London Eye opened in 2000 and is one of the world's largest observation wheels, at 135m high. More significant is how Londoners and visitors have taken the wheel to their hearts; it's now an important and much loved part of the city's skyline. Expect romance to fill the air as you take in the wonderful views of the capital below; on a clear day you can see as far as Windsor Castle, some 25 miles away. £350 per capusle.