14 Restaurants For An Anniversary Dinner
Whether it’s one month or one year, these restaurants are perfect to celebrate in.
Life isn’t a Werther’s Original advert. You’re more likely to age holding your phone than the hand of your partner after 50 years. With that in mind, every anniversary should be honoured. Be it one glorious year with a loved one, or one thankful year without, an anniversary is an anniversary, and it calls for a celebration. So whether you’re looking for a casual spot with the one month love of your life, or you’re looking to splash out on something fancy for the person who can now interpret your dreams via snores, you’ll find all kinds of options in this guide.
Sessions Arts Club
Is this your first anniversary with this person? Yes? Well, congratulations lovebird because you’ve only gone and got yourself the perfect opportunity to wine and dine your partner into believing that they should never, ever leave you. Or, as we like to call it, dinner at Sessions Arts Club. A vast, regal room complete with artfully distressed walls and plenty of candlelight, a meal here is always unforgettable and for all the right reasons. Think glorious crab croquettes, long, perfect panisse, and bottles of wine that are worth splashing out on. All you need to do to secure your anniversary aficionado status is to make sure you reserve your table at least three weeks in advance—a restaurant this charming books up quick.
n.b. Sessions will also work if this is not your first anniversary and you’re attempting to reverse all the damage you did buying that ‘Bone Me Baby’ card last year. There’s still hope / shame on you.
If you had a penny for every warm I love you whispered before bed and hug emoji offered on a bad day, you’d be very rich. Sadly, we’ve become aware that isn’t exactly how the economy works, which is why restaurants like Brasserie Zédel exist. A huge underground space that looks distinctly like someone raided the set of The French Dispatch, this Soho classic specialises in providing wow factor without any ‘sorry how much for a single oyster?’ sadness. Their three-course set-menu is £16 and, importantly, involves a chocolate tart. Don’t expect the kind of food that will alter your perception of time, space, and the common carrot, but it’s a no-brainer for a romantic memorable meal on a budget. For peak swoon factor head to their in-house cocktail spot Bar Américain for some tipples after dinner.
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There reaches a point in every long-term relationship where things become a little predictable. Where you go to the same restaurants, order the same things, and fall asleep in front of the same episode of Peep Show you didn’t finish the night before. As exciting as that sounds, you want to mix things up. And placing your faith in Hunan’s ‘trust me’ 12 or 18-course tasting menu is the way to do that. It features some of London’s best Chinese food, like crispy green beans, or pork in a bag, and it makes for an unpredictably delicious meal.
Noble Rot are the best wine pourers in London. Seriously, they know wine the way we know exactly how many Rennies to pop after eating three rounds of fried chicken. They’re effortless vino experts who will get you tipsy enough to flirt like you’re back to the your-place-or-mine glory days, feed you London’s best bread, and provide the kind of atmosphere that is both comfortable and confident. It also happens to be our highest rated restaurant in London, so it goes without saying that you’re in safe hands in their moody candlelit dining room.
You’ve been together for a long time. It feels like forever. So long that the memory of you serenading each other to the tune of a dial-up modem feels like a lifetime ago. So, it’s only fitting that you celebrate in a restaurant that feels just as old. Kitty Fisher’s is an old school British restaurant that makes frankly delicious takes on classic dishes. It’s a creaky old thing, just like you two, and it’s filled with velvet, candles, and all sorts of Victorian fire hazards. But you don’t have to be old to come here.
From the ever-changing sharing plates, to the constant buzz of conversation, to the London Fields location, everything about Bright feels effortlessly impressive. Which is convenient, because that’s what you should be looking for in an anniversary dinner. The atmosphere here is just cool—there’s no other way to describe it—and the food is also superb. There are five sections to the menu: snacks, seafood, meat, pasta, and desserts, and each one always has something outstanding on it. Everything does tend to add up bill-wise with wine, but it’s worth it.
Thanks to having a very loose understanding of what an aphrodisiac is, you’ve decided you want to go for oysters for your anniversary dinner. Enter Seabird, a highly glam and, erm, high up seafood spot in Southwark. On the 14th floor of The Hoxton hotel, it’s home to one of London’s best oyster experiences. The staff will politely guide you through the different options without ever making you feel like a crustacean imposter for not knowing the difference between a Morecambe Bay oyster or a Louët Feisser, and the whole lobster is a great special occasion sharing dish too. The views are excellent, the interiors are distinctly Cote d’Azur factor 50, and their outdoor patio is perfect for a round of post-dinner palomas whilst snuggling. Perfect.
If life was a Richard Curtis film, then Llewelyn’s would be the cosy neighbourhood restaurant you met your partner in, proposed in, and fed your child its first confit duck leg in. In fact, despite there being less Elvis Costello on the soundtrack, it can be. This spot is directly next to Herne Hill station, it’s classy and cute, and makes the kind of food you want to eat all the time: ricotta ravioli by candlelight, or roast chicken, chips, and aioli in the day. It’s simple, which makes it an easy choice for a lowkey and tasteful celebration.
photo credit: Jamie Lau
Core By Clare Smyth
Every once in awhile you need to drop a serious wad. To celebrate your time together. To say sorry for your time together. Or for both. Either way, Core By Clare Smyth is the place to do it. Although this fine dining Notting Hill spot is going to set you back at least 125-odd quid a head, it’s worth it. The room feels like going to that well-off kid’s house from school: fancy, but not uncomfortable. And the food is, well, it’s like that kid’s snack cupboard. But better.
The French House
You thought that conscious uncoupling was a myth, but here you are a year later organising a break-up anniversary. The 21st century is relentless. You may as well guarantee you both have a good time, and few things feel more je ne sais quoi than celebrating a break-up at The French House. It’s a Soho institution that’s as good at food as it is at getting people plastered.
Sometimes the easy win is the best win. The impulsive massage. The trip to Paris. The apology even though you absolutely know you’re right. The River Café is one of these classic wins. It’s a name that gets you an ‘ooh’, and that’s before taleggio pizzetta or the chocolate nemesis cake has arrived. There’s a reason this riverside Italian is world famous, and it’s not just because of the high prices. You come here for a good time, not a cheap time, and it always delivers.
photo credit: Adam Luszniak
Finding a special restaurant with plenty of special vegetarian dishes on the menu used to be a slog. There are plenty more options nowadays and Rovi is undoubtedly the best of the lot. It’s Ottolenghi’s latest (and fanciest) restaurant in Fitzrovia, and the menu is made up of beetroot, corn, tomato, and cabbage dishes that will make you gawp. Combined with the super-modern and super-slick space, it makes Rovi one of the most creative and cool choices for a celebratory dinner.
For the couple who is anti-attention and anti-hassle, there is always Trullo. Few London restaurants get the balance between casual and class spot on, but this Italian spot in Highbury is one of them. From the homemade pappardelle to the Amalfi lemon tart, everything here is food that you’ll both want to eat. Again. And again. And again again. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve come every year you’ve been together. It’s a classic.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Pollen Street Social
If making a big song and dance is your kind of thing - you know, some theatre, some napkin folding, some unexpected snacks - then you’ll enjoy Pollen Street Social. This is a fine dining restaurant in one of the most casual senses of the term. Although there are many courses, and many people seemingly monitoring your every breath, the food in this Mayfair spot is consistently tasty, and the atmosphere surprisingly, well, atmospheric.