Valentine’s Day in London, 2008: The Wolseley, Wine Tasting and Champagne on the London Eye

Breakfast at The Wolseley

Why wait for dinner on Valentine’s night when breakfast at The Wolseley awaits? Highly regarded among the elite of London as the place to be seen having Eggs Bendict, The Wolseley is best saved for a special treat.

Before the Grade II listed building housed the upmarket restaurant it was owned by Barclay’s Bank and was a prestigious car showroom before that. Thankfully, the present owners have saved the original architecture which makes The Wolseley worth the visit in itself.

Surprisingly, for being such a sought after eaterie and a big celeb hangout, all meals are very reasonably priced. Breakfast is served from 7am till 11.30am and it’s highly recommended to book, sometimes a few weeks in advance and especially for Valentine’s Day.

Wine Tasting at Vinopolis

Wine lovers need not leave the capital to savour their favourite tipple as London’s leading wine tasting attraction has plenty to offer budding connoisseurs.

Situated on the Southbank of the River Thames near London Bridge, Vinopolis houses wines from around the world in a maze of arches under an old Victorian Railway Viaduct. Sauntering through the cellars, it’s easy to imagine being in a fine winery on mainland Europe rather than beneath the busy streets of London.

The Champagne Tour (£99.99)

Just for this year’s Valentine’s Day, Vinopolis has joined forces with Ruinart Champagne and is offering a romantic package for two which includes a 375ml bottle of Ruinart rosé Champagne in a swanky pink gift box, two Ruinart Champagne flutes, two tickets for the Vinopolis Champagne Tour, three Ruinart Champagne tastings each and two tasting notebooks.

Each taster will also receive:

• ‘How to Taste Wine’ session

• 5 Regular Wine Tastings

• A Bombay Sapphire cocktail

• 3 Extra Regular Wine Tastings

• 4 Premium Wine Tastings

Vintage Wine Tasting Tour for Two (£63)

Discover wines from around the globe in a region-by-region tour which includes the history of winemaking. Each person chooses their 12 favourite wines to taste from and also receives the extras listed above. A great little package for those new to the world of wines.

Valentine Flight for Two on The London Eye

As cheesy as it sounds, this is still one of the top choices for Valentine’s in London.

Stand underneath the London Eye on Valentine’s night and you’ll be witness to couples queuing the whole way down the Southbank. It can seem like a cattle market on first sight but once each couple boards a capsule with their complimentary glass of Champagne, they have 30 minutes of sweet loving time in their own little bubble to mull over the hustle and bustle of the city below.

The Valentine’s package also includes a red rose and chocolates and allows couples fast track entry.

Become a Flâneur for the day

In 18th and 19th century Paris, rich people who had nothing better to do with their day than show off their wealth would wander around markets and hang out in cafes grazing and drinking throughout the day; they were known as Flâneurs.

Foodie Valentines and wannabe Flâneurs will enjoy browsing the food halls of Flâneur in Farringdon, where shelves are packed with Northern European foods. Take a seat in the restaurant to sample the day’s produce fresh from the market and linger for hours, just like Flâneurs of yore, because at this restaurant there are no set sittings so there’s no pressure to rush.

Try the fish stew with chilli, it’s strangley appealing and because they have a no music policy all the senses are able to concentrate on the food, wine, and of course, romance.

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