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Restaurant Review - 20 Best Romantic Spots

Restaurant Review - 20 Best Romantic Spots

Wednesday 21 February 2018


Perched over the water at the end of Howth's West Pier, pretend you're starring in The Crown and on your own private Royal Yacht. Have a drink in the clubby bar and bag a window table with views of Ireland’s Eye. The very finest shellfish, with ALC mains ranging from €23-€65.

One of Dublin’s best restaurants is also one of Dublin’s best-kept secrets. Avalon is named after the mystical island where King Arthur pulled the sword Excalibur from the stone. What could be more romantic? A classy big room with ample romantic corners. ALC mains €19-€34. 

Just beside the Liffey, in a quirky old house, bedecked with exotic fabrics and south East Asian artefacts, take your amour to experience the colours and senses of the Indonesian rijstaffel (rice table) a mezze/tapas style selection of dishes. Set menus from €30-€40.

When Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis, was wooing Jackie Kennedy, he always ensured they were toute seule by booking out a restaurant. I can’t promise you a billionaire or sole occupancy of the Michelin starred Chapter One, but I can promise an experience you'll remember for the rest of your lives. Try the Tasting Menu (€100).

Olivier Meisonnave's atmospheric basement bastion of fab French food in Dublin’s Georgian Quarter is totally classy, while chef Graham Neville delivers on exquisite cuisine. Mains €28-€34.  

Treat yourselves to an overnight stay in D4's chic 5-Star Dylan Hotel. The rooms are luxurious, the cocktails are great, the buzz is brilliant. Enjoy a 6-course Tasting Menu in their Tavern restaurant. Indulgent Valentine’s Package €289-€569.

Retro 50s Soho glam on Drury Street. Schiaparelli pink neon lighting winks as you head down the steps and through the red velvet curtain to a world of plush booths, tux attired waiters, a big Campari bar and damn good food. Mains €22-€38.

Inspired by the Thai markets of Chiang Mai and Hua Hin, Nightmarket in Ranelagh could be the perfect setting for you and your Valentine. Their tiled al fresco dining area is a perfect spot for romance – it’s like being in some kind of classic Parisian tunnel of love. ALC Mains €16-€24. Great cocktails.

Michelin starred chef Sebastien Masi and Kirsten Batt’s restaurant is truly a pearl, serving classy contemporary French food which never loses the ethos of top-notch traditions. Bag one of their romantic booths for their three course Valentine’s set menu at €65pp.

Dinner and duvet in 5 Star Georgian elegance of the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel on the Stillorgan Road, which has a cracking package on the 14th February only at €155pps for 1BB plus a 5-course dinner in their lovely Talavera Italian restaurant? They also have have a Valentine’s dining package on the 16th and 17th with a 5-course dinner at €45pp.


Your Princess will be glowing like Meghan Markle if you whisk her away to your own private castle in the lush lands of Co. Tipperary. Bring the friends too, and play the country squire, for this is an exquisite castle with 7 bedrooms. €900 per night (minimum 2 nights).

Not many can trace their history back to Attila the Hun but Samantha Leslie can. What she has done for the 1,000 acre family estate in the past twenty years is amazing. Their Valentine’s special of 1BBD from €165 pps in the Lodge, or from €180pps in the Castle, includes romantic goodies and candlelit dinner in the Castle's Snaffles Restaurant. Applicable 1st – 28th February.

With its romantic historic wrought iron balconies, the Eccles Hotel overlooks Bantry Bay and Garinish Island. It's where our grandmothers spent their honeymoons during WWII and where Pippa Midleton stayed last summer with her husband James Matthews. Open weekends in Feb. Double rooms from €120.

With glorious lake views at Aghadoe Heights Hotel, I saw a chap drop to his knee here and propose to his blushing girllfriend. Supeb food prepared by new Head Chef Alan McArdle. 5-course Valentine Dinner €39 pp. 1BBD from €139pps midweek/€154pps weekend. Applicable 9th – 18th Feb.

“Old Fashioned Romance” is the theme of the 2BB1D Valentine’s package at the 5-Star Glenlo Abbey – midweek/weekend €239/€269pps. Their Pullman restaurant (weekends only), set in original carriages used in the movie Murder on the Orient Express, is fab. Midweek dining is in their River Room restaurant.

The Michelin starred Lady Helen Restaurant at Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown is exquisite with 7/9-course Tasting Menus at €85pp/€99pp. They also have a Be My Valentine 1 night stay for two in a Manor House room from €299, to include the signature tasting menu and a glass of Prosecco. Ends 28th February.

Enjoy a Side by Side Full Body Massage or a Voya Ocean Fresh Facial. When you’re both refreshed and beautiful, retire to the Drawing Room, overlooking the park in Limerick’s Georgian Quarter, for a Sparkling Afternoon Tea served on traditional stands with vintage china. €99pp. Valid 14th February only.

Chic, cool and contemporary, with a fab spa, the Seafield Hotel in Ballymoney has a Timeless Romance package on the 14th and Saturday the 17th February offering 1BB and romantic candle-lit dinner in their superb fine dining Greenmount Restaurant from €250 for 2 people.

Head for Quiet Man country and wallow in luxury. Overlooking Lough Corrib, indulge in Jonathan Keane’s cutting edge take on trad Irish cuisine in Wilde’s restaurant. 1BBD, Prosecco, chocolate dipped strawberries, €447 for 2 people. Available every weekend in Feb.

A glorious 17thC Longford manor house. Stroll in the Japanese gardens, dine in their superb restaurant, where chef Gary O’Hanlon, has just handed over the reins to Robert Groot Koerkamp. 1BB with 5-course romantic dinner on Valentine’s night, bottle of Prosecco and chocs  €270. Suite package €300.

First Published In The Sunday Independent