Are you holding out for a weekend away to celebrate love’s young dream? Looking forward to some just-us-two time over a candlelit dinner? Or counting down the days until the soppiest night of the year is over and it’s fun to be single again? However you feel about 14th February, with the help of our experts Team LBD has put together the ultimate guide to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day in style.
TABLE FOR TWO
Where to go: It may be a cliché but a classic dinner date is always a winner; whether it’s your first Valentine’s Day together or your tenth. But where to go for the ultimate romantic meal? If you (or your other half preferably) aren’t afraid to splash the cash, top restaurant and food critic Andy Hayler recommends Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisins in Oxfordshire. ‘Le Manoir is in a beautiful setting in a carefully restored manor house. It is so romantic I was married there!’ Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc, Le Manoir is renowned for offering one of Britain’s finest gastronomic experiences. Andy also recommends Clos Maggiore, which has been voted London’s most romantic restaurant and has won a heap of awards. With its fireplace, skylight and exquisite French cuisine, it’s guaranteed to incite some passion.
Lipstick Boutique Kate Dress in Black/Nude, £65, Aftershock Jolie Shoe in Black, £76, Johnny Loves Rosie Beaded Flower Headband in Bronze, £39, Lagom Carina Clutch Bag, £49, Konplott Rivoli Hook Earrings in Clear Crystal, £25.50.
What to wear: All men love a woman in a little black dress so we’ve decided to keep it chic with a classic LBD. This body-hugging luxe lace dress by Lipstick Boutique, £65, will certainly give him something to smile about with its form-flattering fit and sexy black lace. Add a little sparkle with an embellished hair piece and studded diamanté earrings. Team with chunky heeled court shoes, and a thin silver chain bag.
AT THE MOVIES
What to watch: Channel the old-fashioned romantic in you with a retro-inspired date at the cinema. Or try something new and upgrade your movie night with a gallery showing at the ODEON, which includes a VIP bar area, comfy couch seating, and unlimited popcorn and nachos. What’s more exciting than slurping ice-cold drinks and munching warm popcorn whilst his hand gradually gets closer to yours… And for those of you who have been together forever and those butterflies are a thing of the past, well, you get to enjoy a good film! But what to watch?
For a film that’s totally ‘for her’ (and when it’s Valentine’s Day, why not?) try the rom-not-so-com, I Give It a Year: don’t be fooled by the name, this light-hearted love flick, from the writers of Bridget Jones’ Diary, will certainly pull at your heart strings. Want an excuse to snuggle up to your date? Go for proper man film, A Good Day to Die Hard. Packed with action and some rather burly men this one certainly won’t ruin your mascara.
Gorgeous Couture Trinity Dress, £172, Bourne Jules Boot in Smoke, Was £257, £192.75, Urbancode Rubi Black Leather Clutch Bag, Was £52, Now £39, Zoe & Morgan Gold My Darling Earrings, £124.
What to wear: Just because you’ll be sat in the dark that’s no excuse not to dress to impress for a night at the flicks. And whether you’re looking to make a good first impression, or reigniting those romantic flames, we recommend wearing heart-pumping red with lavish look-at-me gold accessories. This Gorgeous Couture Trinity Dress, £172, will hug your curves in all the right places and teamed with these thigh-high grey suede boots, it’s the perfect way to show your edgy side without hiding your sexy side. Add a black leather clutch bag and delicate jewellery for a touch of femininity.
DRINKS IN TOWN
Where to go: Turn a Valentine’s date of ‘just a cocktail or two’ into a glamorous night-long affair in one of London’s trendiest bars. Sophisticated sipping, sumptuous surroundings and some seriously sexy style is a tried and tested recipe for love according to the cocktail-loving duo behind TheCocktailLovers.com.
Sandrae, joint editor of the website which specialises in finding the best drinks and most stylish places to drink them in, had no trouble choosing her top bars for 14th February. “Milk and Honey is one of the most smouldering, intimate and romantic bars in London. When you first walk in it’s like you’ve stepped into the decadent living room of a very rich friend with a penchant for romantic 1920s décor. M&H is a members club, but non-members are allowed in before 11pm, just make sure you call up to book.” Looking for something a little more sleek, chic and first-date friendly? Sandrae was keen to share the award-winning (no, really, it was voted ‘Worlds Best Bar’ by Drinks International), Artesian. Set in the luxurious Langham Hotel, this is definitely the place to leave your inhibitions at the door and try something new and exciting. She adds, “Martini lovers take note: there’s a new must-try model in town. Prepare your taste buds for The Langham Martini, sexy to look at and beautiful to taste, after a few of these you may well be sharing more than a cab home with your Valentine’s Day date.”
Bourne Dara Dress in Blue, Was £145, Now £108.75, Buba Bahia Clutch Bag, £420, Aftershock Josephine Shoe in Black, £81, Rok Chix Silver and Diamond Glitter Ball Ring, £75, Clare Hynes Swarovski Pendant Statement Necklace, £158.
What to wear: Wallflowers are not welcome on this kind of date. Make a statement and be bold in this Bourne Fashion electric blue satin dress, Was £145, now £108.75, with long slender sleeves and a short peplum to enhance your womanly curves. Match this with these vampy black glitter heels, lashings of gemstone jewellery, and an ornate clutch bag (this embellished beauty by Buba is perfect) and we promise his eyes will be firmly fixed on you, and you only.
ROMANTIC NIGHT IN
What to eat: Be it a fancy cookbook feast to make Nigella look like an amateur, or a ‘dine in for £10’ deal with a bottle of wine, a romantic night with just the two of you can sometimes be the most romantic date of all. Opt for meals rich in asparagus and basil followed by a naughty chocolate dessert; all believed to be edible aphrodisiacs! Dress up the dining table, go overboard on mood lighting and scatter rose petals (if you can’t go cheesy on V-Day, when can you?) to create a sultry, sexy ambience.
Scarlett Black London November Dress, £170, Clare Hynes I Have Butterflies Multicolour Bracelet, £75, Bourne Sara Shoe in Raspberry, Was £149, Now £111.75, Lagom Chrysanthemum Necklace in Red, £35, Konplott Heritage Large Dangle Earrings in Silver, £25.50.
What to wear: For this relaxing and intimate occasion Team LBD suggest wearing soft and sensual pastel colours. We think this luscious scallop detailed dress by Scarlett Black London, £170, is perfect with it’s knee-grazing length for comfort and form-fitting, frilly style to add to the attraction. Team with girly beaded bracelets, a long pendant necklace and pretty pink shoes.
Where to go: Here at Team LBD we like to think a weekend break is a textbook Valentine’s treat (or is that just wishful thinking on our part?). From beautiful scenery set in the idyllic countryside to a luxury town house in the heart of London, we asked Ellie Neville from UK luxury travel specialists BritainsFinest.co.uk for some romantic getaways sure to win a piece of your heart.
“The Jesmond Dene House near Newcastle is always popular. It’s a beautiful historic house hotel and this year is hosting a Valentine’s Day ball! Gorgeous gowns, dancing, drinking and some alone time with your man — perfect.” says Ellie. But if you’re searching for that elusive and elegant boutique hotel then Ellie has got the answer: “The Bingham in London is stunning. A Georgian town house overlooking the Thames and complete with its own in-room beauty treatments, this is the ultimate destination for relaxation and romance. They’re also hosting a special Valentine’s afternoon tea that you can enjoy before returning to your room to find rose petals scattered across the four-poster bed with a bottle of champagne on ice.”
The Pretty Dress Company Vintage Wiggle Pencil Dress in Camel, £95,Urbancode Crimson Faux Fur Collar, Was £19, Now £14.25, Bourne Bella Shoe in Leopard, Was £143, Now £107.25, Brandts Rose Stud Earrings in Deep Red, £18, Lagom Allegra Black Bag, £89.
What to wear: For a romantic weekend away we love this ravishing retro wiggle dress from The Pretty Dress Company, £95. Its midi length and capped sleeves are practical no matter where your day takes you and the body-con design and low-cut neckline make for seriously sultry night-time attire. Teamed with red accessories, femme fatale faux fur and leopard print stilettos, and your man may will be the luckiest man in town.
Where to go: Escape the normality of your everyday life and head for the bright lights of a new city to inject a little spontaneity into your Valentine’s weekend. We spoke to Alice Revel, founder and editor-in-chief of style and travel bible Running in Heels, to find out where’s hot right now and which cities are guaranteed to get both your pulses racing.
“The Scandinavian style capital, Copenhagen has a compact city centre meaning that you can pack lots of shopping and sightseeing into a romantic weekend away,” says Alice. “Or if dramatic landscapes, bustling street markets, sandy beaches and a rich cultural heritage are your favourite ingredients for love, there’s much to discover in Sicily.” But according to Alice, Valentine’s Day going away trends haven’t changed much. “Can there be a city more romantic than Paris? You’ll fall in love all over again as you stroll around the quaint streets of the City of Lights and watch sundown next to the Seine. Perfect.”
The Ultimate LBD – Short, £75, Vijoux White Pearl Drop Earrings, Was £15, Now £11.25, Moda In Pelle Rarzel Shoe in Gold, £79.95, Bourne Alicia Clutch Bag in Black, Was £108, Now £81, Urbancode Snow Fox Faux Scarf, Was £35, Now £26.25.
What to wear: Should you be lucky enough to be whisked away to the city of love for Valentine’s Day, we’ve got just the outfit for you. Paris is the home of the little black dress so it seems only right to channel Audrey Hepburn at her best in our short Ultimate LBD, £75. Finish with classic gold and pearl jewellery (these earrings are steal at just £11.25) and a black box clutch bag. And because we’re conscious of you being pretty and practical on your Parisian break, we’ve picked out this sumptuous faux fox fur scarf to keep you wrapped up. J’adore!
Shop all our Valentine’s Day dresses here.