We are a romantic lot in the UK. The number of weddings has started to rise – with 2.7% annual growth in the latest figures – after a steady and dramatic decline in the past 50 years. The number of divorces is also at its lowest level since 1971. An increasing number of weddings is preceded by an increasing number of proposals.
The most popular place to propose in the UK is at home and the most popular place in London to propose – the London Eye – comes down at number 9 on the global list. Booking a pod on the London Eye is romantic, but also a little unimaginative, with far too many London Eye proposal videos on YouTube.
Clearly, we need to up our game on original proposal ideas. If you are looking to propose in future, check out the most creative ways to propose that will all have your partner saying ‘yes’.
The best places to propose in London
If you really want your proposal to take your partner’s breath away, a proposal in a private helicopter as you soar high over one of the most beautiful cities in the world while the sun sets in the distance is hard to beat. After you land, you can have the option of including champagne in your package – head to one of London’s most glamorous bars for a glass or bottle of the best champagne.
The London Helicopter also offer private helicopter tour packages such as a picnic at Kew gardens with a luxury picnic hamper, including everything you need for a sophisticated picnic dining experience – fizz and gourmet food all beautifully packaged in a traditional wicker hamper containing crockery, cutlery, wine glasses, napkins, a bottle opener and a Kew picnic rug, which are yours to take home and keep.
For a truly individual proposal, choose a hidden gem in the city – a secret Bedouin tent which sits in the courtyard behind St Ethelburga’s in Bishopsgate, surrounded by a Lebanese fountain, bedouin-style lamps and an olive tree. So romantic, this is a rare secluded spot in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
Known for its enchanting blossom trees, the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is also home to a romantic waterfall, a pond with some graceful koi carp and stunning peacocks. This captivating garden in Holland Park is a sanctuary of peace and calm and is brimming with romantic charm. You could send your partner a romantic invitation on an ornate card to rendezvous in front of the cascading water.
Bend down on one knee under a canopy of stars at the The Royal Observatory Planetarium. With an entire 132-seat venue to yourselves, the astronomer will begin a normal planetarium show, before handing the show over to you to create your surprise. A range of spectacular astronomical sights can be displayed on the dome, including the constellations and a fly-out from the Milky Way.
A proposal on a boat makes for another different experience from the norm! This is one of the most important moments of your life, fittingly it needs to be somewhere special. HMS President at Victoria Embankment stands majestically on the river Thames and the President’s deck offers a stunning vista to get down on one knee.
Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story of all time, so proposing at The Globe theatre is the perfect location. Keep an eye out for magical performance like A Midsummer Night’s Dream to create a dreamy atmosphere to propose after the show.
Romantic restaurants with a view
The sky’s the limit when it comes to proposing at the Sky Garden’s luxurious Fenchurch restaurant. Even if you just have drinks at Sky Pod, the views in this sky-scraping destination will provide the perfect backdrop for that all-important social media shot of your proposal. The staff can even organise private proposals over a bespoke candlelit meal.
The views of the cityscape are stunning from Aqua Shard, especially at night. You’ll get nil points for originality in location as it is a popular place to propose, but you can make it unique by adding your own touches. One way to make your restaurant proposal personal is to have special mementos delivered to your partner throughout your meal. These could include love notes, a photograph or any other objects that have special meanings to you.
The Galvin brothers’ seductive Galvin at Windows restaurant is on the twenty-eighth floor of the Hilton Park Lane and boasts luxurious food and stunning views, ensuring you can pop the question in style. Fred from ‘First Dates’ is the restaurant’s general manager, which adds to the novelty factor! You can arrange for staff to take you to the elegant balcony for a private, romantic proposal.