Where To Take Her: Gin Tours, Brunch And Twilight Dinners

Our weekly guide to impressing your other half

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1 | For A Fancy Japanese Dinner: Sosharu

The food at restaurant juggernaut Jason Atherton's latest eatery is totally different to what you might expect: Sosharu is the chef's foray into Japanese cuisine. Note to self: that does not mean sushi. It does, however, mean beautifully light sashimi, moreish open temaki and delicate salads that, whilst flaunting Atherton's inimitable style, contain surprisingly fresh and clear flavours. It's great fun to see Atherton take on this new approach, which suits his eye for detail down to a tee. Don't miss the broccoli tempura (way more exciting than it sounds) or the chashu pork belly with udon king oyster and a ramen sauce that you are fully encouraged to finish off with your spoon.

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It has a very urban, New York kind of buzz with darkened lighting and fast-moving waiters. Downstairs is a cocktail bar if you don't fancy heading home straight away.

64 Turnmill Street, London, EC1M 5RR; sosharulondon.com

2 | For A Moment of Zen: St Christopher's Garden

A little taste of spring is on offer at St Christopher's Place (just behind Oxford Street), with a floral installation running all weekend long that sees 1,200 fresh flowers suspended from above. Retreat from the madness of London's biggest high street and wander through, experiencing the sights and smells of springtime courtesy of acclaimed artist Rebecca Louise Law. The neighbouring shops have decorated their windows accordingly, too.

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16 – 20 March, St Christopher's Place, London, W1; stchristophersplace.com 

3 | For Laid-Back Brunch: Bernardi's

And while you're in that neck of the woods, pop-in to Bernardi's, where you can expect pan-Italian cuisine served with Australian ease in this bright and breezy Marylebone restaurant. Weekend brunch is where it excels, with a menu of shareable little pizzas and mains that can be ordered in small or large sizes, depending on whether you're really in sharing mood or not. Make sure to try their n'duja, egg and basil pizzette for a good spicy kick, and Sundays see roasts, like the succulently salty porchetta, added to the menu.

62 Seymour Street, London, W1H 5BN; bernardis.co.uk

4 | For Mood Lighting: Earth Hour

This year's Earth Hour takes place at 8.30pm on Saturday, during which you are encouraged to turn off the lights and spend 60 minutes immersed in darkness, in the name of fighting climate change. If you're out and about, the South Bank looks super eerie with its lights all blacked out. But if you're at home, make the most of this prime opportunity for romance by digging out the candles and enjoying a dinner in, with ambience. Top tip from the experts: pure beeswax or soy candles are the most environmentally friendly (in for a penny, and all that…).


5 | For A Foodie Gin Tour: C.O.L.D. Dinner at The Lady Ottoline

If you like gin, and you like food, and you like good pubs, then you're in luck as the City of London Distillery has teamed up with The Lady Ottoline pub in Fitzrovia to put on a stonker of an evening for just £65 per person. For that, you will get a tour of the distillery (which makes truly excellent gin) and then be escorted by taxi to the pub for a five course gin-inspired meal. Dishes will include beef consommé infused with Old Tom gin, truffle and oxtail on toast, and venison haunch and celeriac fondant with City of London sloe gin and coco nibs. Obviously, gin cocktails will be involved as well. This Tuesday's event is the first of its kind and will be repeated every two months.

22 March, 6 - 10pm

11A Northington Street, London, WC1N 2JF; book tickets here 

6 | For St Patrick's Day Whiskey

It's St Paddy's Day today! That means you ought to have either a Guinness or an Irish whiskey. It's just manners, isn't it? And, conveniently timed, The Pogues (yes, we mean The Pogues) have released their own whiskey. It's pretty light on the palate, with a hint of caramel warmth, which teams a treat with ginger beer.

RRP: £26.99 (70cl); drinksupermarket.com

Available at Whisky Ginger, Arch 2, Green Dragon Court, London, SE1 9AW

7 | For Stout & Oysters: The Jar Kitchen

Speaking of St Patrick's Day, there is an offer on all week long at one of our favourite new openings of last year, The Jar Kitchen in Covent Garden, which is celebrating its first birthday. A tiny little place serving delicious food (ideal for romantic but not-too-formal dinners), it is offering Fourpure's Oatmeal Stout with two oysters for £9. You can try a black velvet cocktail instead, if the beer's not your thing.

15 - 19 March; 176 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5QF; jarkitchen.com

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