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Love in the East End: places to go for Valentine’s Day

While Valentine’s Day 2021 was something of a damp squib, our local bars and restaurants worked hard to offer takeaway treats and ensured that love still flourished during lockdown. But, this year will be different. 

With restaurant tables laid out, cafés’ roasteries warming up the coffee beans, and cocktail glasses gleaming, there is no excuse; 2022 is the year to pull out all the stops and celebrate in style with the ones you love.

With not long to go to woo your date, amp up the romance with your partner, or even just show a friend how much you love them, we’ve got you covered on some of the best places to go for a cosy coffee and cake or a romantic dinner to spoil your loved one.

Barge East

Flowers on tables and giners eating on Barge East, Hackney Wick, East London

Where could be more romantic than spending the day dedicated to love than on a century’s old barge, bedecked with twinkling lights like stars, moored on the canal? If this sounds up your street (or canal) then head to Barge East for its Valentine’s Evening special. For £49pp, you and your plus one can enjoy a four-course meal (meat and vegan options available), plus a cocktail on arrival, all under the ambiance of rustic decor and dim lighting. Now that’s amore.

Address: River Lee, Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Lane E9 5EN


Inside of Cornerstone, Hackney Wick, East London

If you want to go all out and treat your partner big time, then it has to be Michelin star winning Cornerstone. This Valentine’s Day, Cornerstone, for both lunch and dinner sittings, is offering an eight-course tasting menu to share at £65, or a premium tasting menu to share at £130. The menu changes daily so who knows what you’ll be served?! But, like Valentine’s dates, that’s part of the allure. And, for another Michelin Star call-out, there is Da Terra over in Bethnal Green. Head there for a Brazilian Italian fusion.

Address: 3 Prince Edward Road E9 5LX

Mae + Harvey

Pancakes at Mae + Harvey, Roman Road, Bow, East London

Valentine’s Day isn’t all about the candlelit dinners, evening drinks and smooth late-night jazz music. The effortlessly cool cosy living room vibe that’s Mae + Harvey is welcoming its customers for a Valentine’s Day Brunch. Start off the day with pancakes stacked high, topped with rhubarb, flaked almonds and maple syrup. And, even better, it is two for one on cocktails – try Mae + Harvey’s blood orange mimosa to get the heart racing.

Address: 414 Roman Road E3 5LU

The Pizza Room

Heart shaped pizza from The Pizza Room, Grove Road, Mile End, East London

What says ‘I love you’ more than a heart-shaped dough with tantalising toppings? This year, laid-back pizzeria, The Pizza Room, is celebrating love and friendship with a Bottomless Prosecco and Pizza bundle for a whole week. Starting from 12 February and running until 19 February, enjoy 90 minutes of free-flowing prosecco and one heart-shaped pizza for £29.80pp. Bring on the fizz!

Address: 2a Grove Road E3 5AX


Inside Symposium, Roman Road, Bow, East London

Restaurant and wine bar Symposium combines neighbourhood warmth with true foodie passion and style. This chic Italian gastro is offering customers a four-course meal for £45pp and it sounds utterly delicious. The menu includes gratin prawns, smoked salmon tortelloni with creamy butter and dill sauce, and chocolate mousse with red berries coulis. Vegetarian options are available upon request. 

Address: 363 Roman Road E3 5QR

Alongside these cafés and restaurants, we feel these places should get also get a mention: head to Mum Likes Thai Food for some spice; Vicolo Romano for cute date vibes; we hear The Bakery Room is rustling up some special Valentine’s Day treats; and, Palmers is great for a European experience in Globe Town.

If you liked this article, then check out our list of best places to have lunch around Roman Road.

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