From the decadent to the delicate, and from chocolate mousse to cheeseburgers, we've gathered up the most romantic food in London to have on your table for two.
The Dinner For Two risotto bag from Lina Stores
The hampers from this Italian deli are all appealing, but this risotto for two option has the edge if you're planning a romantic dinner. Inside is arborio risotto rice, dried porcini, white truffle oil, parmesan. A bottle of prosecco. Two chocolates. And a recipe card telling you how to turn all of that into everything you need so that neither of you have to leave the house till morning. In a cold January that feels seriously romantic.
The oysters at Wright Brothers
Even if you find the idea of oysters as a courtship food hackneyed, there's still something romantic about Wright Brothers. They don't truck with the on-trend - they're about the warm, the inviting and the defiantly un-modern. Take a barrel-table at their Kingly Court restaurant and fill it with amber ales, grilled fish, barbequed ribs... and if you're into oysters, as many as you can fit on the table, for a pound each from 3pm to 6pm every day.
Want to ply your loved one with bivalves in a different part of town? Try the Well & Bucket Bethnal Green pub, or Decatur's stall -- usually they're at Druid Street Market in Bermondsey on a Saturday -- for flamegrilled oysters topped New Orleans-style with cheese, parsley and hot sauce.
The rabbit pie for two at The Crooked Well
Still on a sharing theme, the Sunday menu at this Camberwell pub features a nice line in sharing meats for two, including rib of beef, rack of lamb or a roast chicken. For romance of the warm and lamplit sort come here and order the rabbit, smoked bacon and spinach pie for two.Deliveroo now from Peckham
Anything, really, at Rabot 1745
The romance of Rabot 1745 is one of decadence, chocolate-richness sliding its way into everything -- seriously, everything -- on the food menu. Unsurprisingly for a restaurant from master-chocolatiers Hotel Chocolat (not a formal rank, just a title we've awarded them for their services to chocolate), it's all about the cocoa bean. And chocolate: even if it's not an aphrodisiac, it's just... really good, isn't it?
The menu's filled with chocolate being used in inventive, brilliant, occasionally jarring ways. There are starters of crispy pulled pork with cacao crust croquette and cacao-studded rabbit roulade; mains include cacao-beer braised onions on the burger and mac and cheese with smoky cacao nib-roasted cauliflower. There's cacao ketchup for the fries, cacao-marinade on the monkfish and a range of more traditionally chocolate-based desserts.
For other places doing important and romantic things with chocolate, try the Chocolate Devil's Food Cake from Hummingbird Bakery, with shops across London, or the chocolate afternoon tea at R Chocolate London in Sloane Square.
The beef wellington for two at Hampstead Butcher and Providore
Or the Cote de Boeuf. Or the rack of herb-seasoned lamb. Any of the dishes for two at this West Hampstead butcher and deli offer the romance of a brilliantly-cooked dinner in your own home, plus the bonus of being able to pay more attention to each other than to the chopping board.
This West Hampstead butcher and deli -- with a branch in Hampstead -- does a range of steaks, joints and pre-prepared dishes for two -- order ahead and collect an oven-ready cut of meat to share. The beef wellington, a fillet of high-welfare beef wrapped in pastry with a pate of pork and chicken liver, and wild mushrooms, is our pick for ratio of lowest preparation to highest pay-off.
The All-in at Blacklock
The All-in at Blacklock is a platter of seven different individual chops piled high over chargrilled flatbread, to be ordered for a minimum of two. The flatbreads are soaked with the juices from the meat. The quantity of chops -- or if you're there on a Sunday, the All-in roast -- is enormous. From the minute it hits the table only you two, and this meat, exist. You'll tear into it like animals and cover yourselves in debris. Being willing to do this in front of somebody else -- and being able to look each other in the eyes after -- is both a test of romance and its truest proof.
The Txuleton steak at Sagardi
Sharing is caring. But it's also hard, which is where the pricing and sizing model at this Basque steakhouse comes into play. A Basque-r take on sharing cuts like the Chateaubriand, the Txuleton steak at Sagardi is aged dairy steak, charcoal-grilled and served in minimum quantities large enough that you have to share or be really, really reckless.