[Photo: New Old Stock]
Confession Time: I have never been on a proper Valentine's Day date. Paul and I are not overly romantic people, and have never made a fuss about it. This year we'll be celebrating a friend's 30th birthday with drinks, and will probably exchange reasonably-witty cards. That said, I'm not too cool to get excited about Valentine's Day and I love the idea of getting dressed up and wining & dining. It's basically my favourite thing to do on any night of the year, and this seems like as good an idea as any.
If you fancy the traditional meal this Valentine's Day, you're spoilt for choice in Leeds. Here are my top picks for romantic restaurants in the city, so hopefully you'll get an idea if you're stumped on where to take your sweetheart. Just remember Dan Savage's Valentine's Day advice.
Consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in Leeds, Kendells Bistro is top of my wishlist of places to go for a romantic evening. French food is definitely the most seductive cuisine - it's probably all the wine and butter - and at Kendells you'll have the very best French food served up in a gorgeous restaurant with plenty of candlelight. Whilst it doesn't come cheap (the set menu is £62.90), but your date will definitely be impressed if you manage to book a table at this gorgeous bistro.
One for lovers who also love meat, RARE is where we would go if we hadn't got prior plans. Steak is the classic Valentine's Day dinner and they do it so well at RARE, but it's really the cocktails you should go for, which are both delicious and unusual - you won't find their equals elsewhere in the city. Decadent food and drink served up in an intimate setting (complete with Sue, the stuffed cow for company) - it doesn't really get better than that.
Roast + Conch
We dined at Roast + Conch - Hotel Chocolat's flagship restaurant in Leeds - last week for my birthday, and it absolutely blew us away. The service was fantastic, some of the best I've ever experienced, and the food was divine. The menu is a mixture of British and Caribbean style, with everything from Beef & Yorkshire Pudding (which is served with an insane white chocolate mash) to Coconut Curry. Oh, and everything has cocoa in it in some form or another. Definitely highly recommended, and perfect as a spin on the usual box of Valentine's chocolates. Get the Gin Martini, it's beautiful.
Sharing food with the one you love is one of the best things in the world, and what better way to do that than with tapas - which is made for sharing! Situated on the Aire in a gorgeous building full of exposed brick & beams, Ambiente Tapas is the perfect place for a romantic meal for two. The food is very good - I've been a few times and left very happy every time - and since sherry is their speciality you should definitely give it a go when you're there!
Where are you planning to take your Valentine's date?