February. The feeling of wintery, cold weather for some, the feeling of romance and love in the air for others with Valentine's Day smack bang in the middle of the month.
I'm personally not one for grandeur gestures on Valentine's Day, but I like the excuse for an evening out to enjoy 3 courses (and some drinks, too) at a candle-lit table. And as February is the unofficial month of love, I thought it would be a great time to show some love to a few local businesses for you to enjoy in Guildford, Surrey - seeing as Studio SK is based here.
So whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or not, have a read on for 5 independent restaurants in Guildford to visit for a romantic evening out.
Authentic Italian food in a traditional, wood panelled interior
Behind the red door of an Elizabethan building in the heart of Guildford you'll find Positano - a family run restaurant serving all the classic pizza and pasta dishes, as well as Italian daily specials, bringing "the authentic flavours and fragrance of southern Italy to Guildford".
I can vouch that their Tagliatelle ai Funghi with truffle oil is delicious - I always get swayed by a dish that has truffle oil in the description.
The interior has plenty of traditional character and charm with exposed beams and red brick walls, and elegant dark wood panelling, altogether creating a lovely warm and romantic atmosphere for you to wine and dine in.
124 High Street
Greek cuisine with a contemporary twist in a unique, inviting interior
From it's entrance on Chapel Street, Theion sets the scene for a wonderful Greek inspired evening out! Their menu "highlights the use of fresh [ingredients] from the Mediterranean, brought together with creativity and ingenuity".
From my experience, Theion's menu is inspired by traditional Greek recipes, elevating them via contemporary twists on flavours and dish presentation - some of the mains are almost like works of art, too pretty to eat. And if you love (super) sweet desserts you need to leave some room at the end and try the Ekmek Tsoureki.
The modern style and feel of the restaurant interior compliments the romantic, rustic charm of the historic building it resides in. The lighting design also successfully creates an inviting and relaxed dining experience whilst showing appreciation to the building's beautiful architectural features.
Indian fine dining in a low-lit, intimate interior
Nothing like your typical casual Indian restaurant, Raviz is an Indian fine dining restaurant by award-winning chef Ravi Binu - with an experienced background working in several Michelin star restaurants, such as Zaika, Tamarind and Cinnamon Club.
What I loved about Raviz was the surprise complimentary palate cleansers served between all the delicious courses - it really is a dining experience and not just 'going out for food'. Perfect for a romantic evening to impress!
It's a relatively small restaurant but the interior is low-lit with dark wood panelling to the main walls, making for a cosy and intimate atmosphere to enjoy.
8-9 Jefferies Passage
Spanish tapas and wine in a relaxed, cosy interior
If you've not visited Guildford before there's plenty of lovely side streets to wander down from the main cobbled High Street, home to lots of independent businesses. Tucked away halfway down Market Street you'll find De Nada.
Serving up all your favourite tapas dishes and a Spanish-only wines list, De Nada aims to "recreate the taste of the Spanish sunshine and lifestyle right here in Guildford".
It's rustic finishes and furniture with candle-lit dining creates a charming, cosy interior that's perfect for a relaxed romantic meal. One minor word of caution: the acoustics of the the space are somewhat amplifying, so during busy times it can get quite loud and noisy.
12A Market Street
Authentic Thai cuisine in a charming, Thai-inspired interior
A well-established independent owned restaurant in Guildford, it's been around since 1978, head to Rumwong to experience authentic Thai cuisine - there's more than plenty to choose from on the menu!
Get your evening out off to a good start with some of the vibrant colours and fun flavours on the cocktail menu. Strawberry and lychee daiquiri or a chocolate martini, anyone? Or you can keep things a bit more civilised with a fragrant, blooming Jasmine flower tea. (I vote daiquiri.)
The restaurant is spacious and the interior reflects the traditional Thai menu of Rumwong with lots of decorative wall panelling and even a khantok inspired room - a Northern Thai dining style where you dine at low tables sat on cushions. Something to make for a memorable romantic meal!
18-20 London Road
I hope today's blog post has got you planning ahead on your next romantic evening out or Valentine's Day meal in Guildford, Surrey, or at the very least given you some ideas of independent restaurants to visit when next in Guildford!
If you're an independent business owner wanting to renovate your restaurant, you can find out more about my hospitality interior design service and how Studio SK can help you transform your restaurant interior.
(Cover image: Roman Odintsov via Pexls)