With the most romantic day on the calendar just around the corner, Visit London has put together a list of some of the quirkiest, dreamiest and most alluring ideas for a big date in an already magical city.
Go to Vegas
No, Sin City hasn't changed postal codes. But for one night only, Las Vegas hops the pond to London for an evening of gambling, indulging and a serenading Elvis. The OXO Tower Brasserie is hosting Vegas Valentine on Feb. 14, and it promises to be a memorable event. The bar is being converted into a true Vegas casino, and there will even be a small chapel, perfect for renewing wedding vows or fooling loved ones "“ they will even take your picture for "evidence!"
Tickets for the evening include champagne upon arrival, wine, a three-course dinner and coffee. And remember, what happens at the OXO Tower Brasserie stays there.
Take a twilight tour around a museum
For the cultured couple, there is no better date location than a museum. Stocked with famous paintings from Van Gogh, Monet and Da Vinci, the National Gallery is an ideal place to get up close with famous pieces. And the experience is getting even more intimate on Valentine's Day, with the museum offering a twilight tour of paintings focusing on love exclusively on Valentine's Day.
For couples with more contemporary taste, the Tate Modern is offering private tours around the museum. Tate Tours for Two gives private daytime or evening tours that can be paired with afternoon tea or a champagne meal.
Spend an evening with the stars
Celebrate both Valentine's Day and the 2009 International Year of Astronomy at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The Planetarium will be open late on Feb. 14, allowing stargazers to look through the 28" telescope and wander around the modern astronomy galleries. Keep the Valentine's theme going with a look at love stories written in the stars. Ticket prices include a glass of champagne and a single red rose, so love is sure to be in the stars in Greenwich.
Wine and dine along the banks of the Thames
London's Bankside has menus to allow celebrating couples to eat like kings and queens on Valentine's Day. Wine haven Vinopolis is having a special on Feb. 14, offering a vegetarian or meat tapas platter featuring food sourced from Spanish food specialist Brindisa in Borough Market. The restaurant will offer self-guided wine tours as well. For entertainment, Vinopolis will be hosting a Laughter Lounge with a lineup of top comedians to complement any wine selection.
Another delicious option is a romantic dinner at Swan at the Globe Brasserie. Located within Shakespeare's Globe theatre and offering outstanding views of the river, the restaurant is offering a special romantic menu Feb. 13-14, featuring oysters, a Valentine's cocktail and decadent chocolate after-dinner drink. Flickering candles and soft music complete the ambiance.
Stay in and take a dip
Of course, "in" doesn't have to mean at your own house. Take advantage of The Berkeley hotel's "From London with Love" package. For the entire month of February, The Berkeley is offering this deal for romantics. Guests will be treated to a goodie bag upon arrival, stocked with bath oils and mini candles. To set the mood, the hotel is also setting each room up with an iPod stocked with romantic songs, and guests will get a late check-out of 2 p.m. to continue the romance.
Though the package lasts through February, there is an exclusive offer to guests on Valentine's Day. On the 14 only, The Berkeley's rooftop pool will be open until midnight, giving guests the chance to get a late night al fresco dip. A swim under the stars would be the perfect cap to a magical Valentine's Day.
For more information about general London including attractions, accommodation and events, log onto www.visitlondon.com
About Visit London:
Visit London is the official visitor organization for London. A leader in best practice destination marketing, Visit London promotes the UK capital internationally, across Britain and to Londoners targeting leisure and business visitors. Visit London works in partnership with the Mayor of London, the London Development Agency, London Councils and the tourism industry.