Turning the tables: Women take control of Valentine’s dating

  • 1 in 4 men fail to book their Valentine’s Day restaurant due to leaving it too late²
  • 38% of women resort to booking the romantic meal themselves on Valentine’s Day²
  • Londoners are the region most likely to book more than two months in advance²
  • The earliest Valentine’s Day booking for 2016 was a year in advance¹
  • OpenTable releases top 10 romantic restaurants in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh

London, 2 February 2016… New data from OpenTable, the world’s leading restaurant booking service, has revealed that Brits will need to get a move on this Valentine’s Day if they’re planning to win the heart of their loved one with a romantic meal. With restaurant bookings rising up to 119% on Valentine’s Day compared to an average day, and OpenTable’s earliest 2016 booking made a year in advance, those that aren’t quick off the mark may find themselves queueing in the cold.

With continuing strong demand for Valentine’s Day, Brits are sitting on a romantic time bomb when it comes to leaving their reservation to the last minute. And the stakes are high with two thirds of women in favour of a romantic meal over a bouquet of flowers on this special day.

Despite this fact, 1 in 4 men (26%) admit failing to book their Valentine’s Day restaurant due to leaving it too late. As a result, a growing number of dissatisfied ladies are taking care of the details with research showing more than 38% of women make the booking themselves. Although this modern approach still leaves most men footing the bill with only 1 in 10 women being happy to pick up the tab.

Londoners, the nation’s foodie capital, are drawing the shortest straw with the region being most likely to book more than two months in advance.

Further insight into the nation’s V-Day dining habits shows that 1 in 10 reservations were for tables of more than two, a sign of the rising popularity in anti-Valentine’s Day group celebrations. The research also revealed that 90% of diners were first time visitors to the restaurant they booked. Brits appear to play it safe when choosing the cuisine. Italian food comes in as the top choice for diners on Valentine’s Day (14%), next up are UK favourites Chinese (12%) and Indian (9%).

Mike Xenakis, Managing Director at OpenTable, comments, “Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular times of the year for dining and it’s easy to be caught off guard when it comes to booking your restaurant of choice. With our earliest reservations starting a year in advance, we’ve tried to take the pain out of booking by compiling a lists of the most romantic restaurants in the UK, to ensure you don’t miss the boat.”

To help you decide where to take your Valentine, the restaurant experts at OpenTable have rounded up the top 10 most romantic restaurants in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, based on diner feedback:

Restaurant Cuisine
Anderson’s Bar & Grill English
Pasta di Piazza Italian
Buonissimo Restaurant Italian
Edmunds French
Turners Restaurant International
Cielo Restaurant Italian
Fleet Street Kitchen British
The Fountain Inn at Clent British
The Shrewsbury Arms English
Asha’s Restaurant Indian
Restaurant Cuisine
The Stockbridge Restaurant Scottish
Monteiths British
Angels with Bagpipes Scottish
Blackfriars British
Twenty, Princes Street, Grill & Smokehouse Steakhouse
The Cellar Door Scottish
Contini Cannonball Scottish
WHISKI Rooms Bar & Bistro Scottish
C~shack Seafood
Victor & Carina Contini Ristorante Italian
Restaurant Cuisine
Number 16 Restaurant Modern European
The Butchershop Bar & Grill Steakhouse
Hutchesons Bar & Brasserie Scottish
Italian Caffe Italian
Rogano Seafood
The Sisters Kelvingrove Scottish
The Grill Room at the Square Steakhouse
Alston Bar & Beef Steak
Mini Grill International
Urban Bar & Brasserie British
Restaurant Cuisine
Clos Maggiore French
Gauthier Soho French
City Social – Restaurant Contemporary European
Galvin at Windows French
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Contemporary French
Typing Room Modern European
The Greenhouse French
The Glasshouse Modern European
Petrus French
The Ledbury Contemporary European
Restaurant Cuisine
Tattu Restaurant & Bar Chinese
63 Degrees French
Rosso Restaurant Italian
The Cherry Tree British
Gaucho Manchester Steak
Velvet British
La Bandera Spanish
47 King Street West British
Hawksmoor Manchester British
Iberica Manchester Spanish