Table for Two – London

Sophia reveals her gold list restaurants for romance in London, from Simpson’s to Sheekey and Andrew Edmunds.

These venues have been hand-picked for their charm, intimacy or sensational setting; they are ideal for Date Night, Valentine’s Day and Anniversaries.


Colonial Elegance $$$

Simpsons restaurant in London

This 19th Century dining room – called the Grand Divan – oozes old-fashion glamour. It feels like an elegant gentlemen’s club with its high ceilings, oak paneling and chandeliers. It evokes an enchanting by-gone era; and makes me think of Agatha Christie. In fact George Bernard Shaw was a patron here.

If you order the beef, a roasted joint will be wheeled to your table in an antique silver-domed trolley. Terribly traditional and adorable too. Any romantic will be easily seduced in this Grand Divan.

Dress: like a lady.
Tip: go upstairs to Knight’s bar – a discreet place for a drink.

100 Strand, London, WC2R 0EW
Website link »
+44 (0) 20 7836 9112

J. Sheekey

Refined Haven $$$

J. Sheekey restaurant in London

The assured sibling to Scott’s and The Ivy, Sheekey is located on a tiny street near Leicester Square. The entrance is discreet; thankfully there’s no flashy signage to alert the tourists to the gem within. Inside the styling is old-world charm – wood paneling and white table clothes. The menu leans towards retro too; you’ll find heartwarming dishes like Cornish Fish Stew and Bramble Bakewell. Personally, I can never resist the Chocolate Souffle Pudding. All their desserts are perfect date night fodder – rich, satisfying and enough for sharing.

Yet it is the privacy offered by this restaurant that I most adore: partitioned into rooms of five or so tables – Sheekey is ideal for date night or any other intimate occasion.

Dress: like Jemima Khan. Conservative yet chic.
Tip: if the restaurant is full, book a table in the Oyster Bar.

28-32 St Martin’s Court, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AL
Website link »
+44 (0) 20 7240 2565

Andrew Edmunds

Romantic Rendezvous $$

Andrew Edmunds restaurant in London

In the heart of old Soho, Andrew Edmunds is permanently packed – with couples. Relaxed, cosy and candle-lit this 18th-century townhouse restaurant knows how to court romantic trysts.

You’ll find a small but fetching seasonal menu and a wine list worthy of a gentleman’s cellar. The dessert list and plethora of pud wines and ports will seduce you to linger on. They even advise that patrons turn off their mobile phones. Clever!

Recommended for an unpretentious yet intimate rendezvous.

Dress: understated Soho style.
Tip: bookings can only be made one week ahead.

46 Lexington St, Soho, London W1F 0LW
Website link »
+44 (0) 20 7437 5708


Stylish and Sincere $$$


A stunning David Collins designed dining room, Massimo could be a metaphor for a well-groomed man; there’s a tailored masculinity to it.  It is perfect for date night with intimate tables, careful lighting and perfectly pitched music.  And here’s the bonus, this debonair restaurant turns out heartening Italian fare – I imagine there is real passion in the kitchen.  The menu is peppered with aphrodisiac properties from black truffle on pasta to impressive lobster starters. Yet you’ll also find your Italian favourites and they’ll be beautifully turned out.

Massimo is suave – and delivers to the heart.

Dress:  in Italian brands – Armani, D&G, Cavalli, Max Mara.
Tip: take a pre-dinner drink in the Bassoon bar.

10 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AE
Website link »
+44 (0) 20 7998 0555