Bites: Highs and lows

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Indy Lifestyle Online

All recommended for romance. But dining à deux (or trois or quatre if that is your preference) on 14 February cannot be a spontaneous event. All these destinations are likely to be fully booked for Monday night. Make a date for another time; they're top spots for experiencing the dizzy heights (or depths) of passion.

All recommended for romance. But dining à deux (or trois or quatre if that is your preference) on 14 February cannot be a spontaneous event. All these destinations are likely to be fully booked for Monday night. Make a date for another time; they're top spots for experiencing the dizzy heights (or depths) of passion.

Highs

The Tower, Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh (0131-225 3003). Daily noon-11pm. Though the food may not have as much impact as the all-day restaurant's position on top of the Museum of Scotland, with a bull's-eye view of the Castle, it still keeps up its end of the bargain. Choices are wide-ranging, from prawn cocktail to sushi, potato and leek soup to tarte Tatin, in a clean-limbed airy dining room which serves food all day. There's no special menu on Monday; there may just be space for early or late diners. Around £35 a head without drink.

Oxo Tower Restaurant and Brasserie, Barge House Street, London SE1 (020-7703 3888). Daily lunch and dinner. A view to kill for, a bill on the high side, food not quite to die for. The restaurant part of this eighth-floor wonder, overlooking St Paul's and beyond, is plush and fashionable. The food doesn't quite live up to its position, but then most people come for the whole stunningly designed experience. Around £65 a head for evolved contemporary European food and drink. The brasserie half is less upholstered, the food less lavish, but a meal still costs £40-£45 including drinks. Step out on to the balcony overlooking the river to cool down.

Fourth Floor Café, Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds (0113 2048000). Mon-Wed lunch, Thur-Sat lunch and dinner. There might just be space left for lovers; the restaurant is open on Monday evening with a four-course dinner for £25 - good value for velouté of Jerusalem artichokes, new potatoes and pancetta; lobster risotto demi-tasse; aged fillet of beef with shallot purée and truffled pommes Anna; hot chocolate and almond pithivier with pistachio ice-cream. Dinner is usually £18 for three courses on Thursday and Friday, £20-£25 on Saturday. There's a rooftop view of Leeds' undulating skyline from the modern interior at the top of the frocks' shop.

Lows

Harveys, 12 Denmark Street, Bristol (0117 927 5034). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat dinner. Harveys is known as a wine shipper, and the ancient cellars, given a conversion by Conran, combine subterranean medieval mystery with modern style. On Monday there may be a few spaces left for the £39.95 three-course dinner, no different from the usual menu, which changes twice a year. It's luxurious, contemporary French featuring, say, fillet of turbot with langoustine bouillon, wild mushrooms, asparagus and truffle, and bourbon vanilla soufflé with blueberry sorbet. The wine list is fat, your wallet need not be - there are enough bottles for less than £20.

McCoy's Bistro, The Cleveland Tontine, Staddlebridge, North Yorkshire (01609 882671). Bistro daily lunch and dinner. Yes, it's full on Valentine's night, but at any other time is one of the most captivating below-ground dining rooms anywhere. The atmosphere is enveloping, the Thirties and Forties tunes nostalgic. Part Yorkshire, part French, sometimes further afield, it's robust, flavourful and generous. Good wines, candlelight and log fires contribute to a satisfying glow. About £30 with drinks.

Quaglino's, 16 Bury Street, London SW1 (020 7930 6767). Daily lunch and dinner. Undeniably dramatic. Sweep down the staircase to the temple of modern dining held up by painted pillars with a crustacea altar at the far end. The predictable menu may not justify the prices, but cooking doesn't miss a beat. Oysters and Caesar salad; fish cakes and calves liver with bacon. Gorgeous fries. Feast your eyes and pander to your exhibitionist streak. This is not intimate but it ensures an uplifting evening. £35-£40 without drinks.

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