Hidden in the heart of the City of London is The Sign of The Don, a bar and bistro tucked away down St Swithins Lane close to The Bank of England. Offering one of the best priced set menus in the city and set in a medieval cellar, The Sign of The Don is just the ticket for a weeknight date among the hustle and bustle of the city.
Ever wanted to know what having a disco and cocktails round at your nan’s would be like? This is a question that plagued my mind and millions of others like me for quite a while, until now…
Deep down Deptford way is Little Nan’s, the ultimate nan’s house crammed full of the furniture, chintz and stuffed toys. A small speakeasy style bar it’s hidden at the back of a corridor full of bins, an easy bar for a date bursting with novelty, talking points and teacups.
Hiding in plain view on a rooftops on the Southbank is ‘The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden’, One of the prettiest and most peaceful places in the area. If you’re on a date nearby then it is well worth a visit to this secret little haven.
A subterranean bar in an unusual location on the edge of the city, ‘Discount Suit Company’ is an underground speakeasy that once was the stockroom of the tailors above. Sitting in the centre of Wentworth Street (part of the Petticoat Lane Market) it’s surrounded by street traders and fabric shops, but once the hubbub of the trading market ceases, the street falls silent, unless you know what’s lurking underground! This is the perfect location for a secret speakeasy.
Close to London Bridge Station, a short walk down Southwark Street is The Menier Chocolate Factory, an award winning restaurant and performance space for plays, musicals and stand-up comedy that sits comfortable outside of the West End.
Originally the building was, as the name suggests, a chocolate factory for the Menier Company, once one of the largest chocolate companies in the world, but now only a small brand owned by Nestle which can only be bought from Waitrose or in France.
Here at London Date Guide we understand that vegetarian food isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s becoming increasingly popular in London so it’s worth knowing a few good veggie restaurants in case your date turns out to be one. Luckily London has some of the best vegetarian restaurants around, so in no particular order here are the best vegetarian restaurants in London for a date.
Tucked away off of Charlotte Street lies shy and retiring Windmill Street, home of Drakes Tabanco, a small, traditional and totally charming Andalusian tapas and sherry tavern. It is the sister restaurant of the superb Barrica and a recent addition to Fitzrovia. With its modest white front (so modest you could almost miss it), light and airy interior and welcoming Spanish staff, Drakes instantly invites you into a different country and culture.
The Southbank is an electric part of London, popular with tourists and Londoners alike, all enjoying the atmosphere, sights and entertainment that happens every day and night alongside the river.
With so much to see and do along the Southbank it’s one of the best places in London to go on date. Read on for all the information you need for a date on the Southbank…
If you’ve never been to Kew Gardens then now is the time – though Kew Gardens is beautiful in all the seasons, it’s Springtime when some of the most beautiful flowers start coming out making it the perfect place at the moment for a date. Here you’ll see the stunning beauty of flowers including snowdrops, crocuses, bluebells and daffodils.
Just a short walk around the back of Kings Cross Station leads you to the not so well known, ‘Granary Square’ an imaginative oasis of redeveloped warehouses, hidden by a wall of construction. I realize that this picture does not paint one of romance but I think its secrecy is the key to its charm. My date and I arrived at sunset, where outside the red-lit fountains glistened in the evening sun, providing the mood for the evening ahead.
Sitting on Soho’s Archer Street near Piccadilly Circus is the aptly named, ‘Archer Street bar.’ With the fabulous Bocca Di Lupo restaurant across the street and the delicious ice cream parlour ‘Gelupo’ a few doors down, it really is in the perfect spot for a date in the West End.
From the creators of Secret Cinema, Future Cinema offers a movie experience like no other (apart from Secret Cinema). Even before getting in, the world of the film you’re there to see bursts out in to the streets and unfolds in front of you. With actors everywhere encouraging you to get involved, you have no choice but to lose yourself in this wonderful experience.
Fitzrovia is a gem of an area sitting between Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street and Great Portland Street. With restaurants and bars to suit all budgets it is an ideal location to go to for a date in London.
Barrica is a stylish and authentic Spanish tapas bar that sits close to the centre of Fitzrovia on Goodge Street. Recommended by a friend as serving the finest white Rioja ever – I knew I had to sample its delights. It serves up some damn fine food, wine and sherry and who doesn’t like tapas? You can’t go wrong with this stunning little restaurant.
Have you ever fancied being part of a studio audience and seeing a TV show whilst it’s being filmed? Going to the recording of a show be it TV or radio can be a fantastically fun and is a quirky idea for a date. On top of that it’s free!
Sitting halfway along Dean Street in Soho is Dean Street Town House, an upmarket hotel and bistro owned by the Soho House Group serving high quality British fare. It was a Thursday night and packed! The wait for walk in’s was long but luckily I had a table booked.
Even before entering the Townhouse we could feel the buzzing atmosphere resonating from inside the restaurant.
Sitting in a pretty Georgian townhouse, The Modern Pantry offers fresh, imaginative and well cooked food making it a perfect choice for a date.
A stone’s throw from Highbury and Islington Station, perching just on the Highbury Island roundabout, The Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar is one of London’s most famous venues for up and coming comics, be it sketch, improv or stand up. With two shows on every evening at 19:30 and 21:00 at just £12 per ticket, a night of merriment is a guarantee.
It was the final Friday before Christmas, I had promised my date the week before that I would treat her to a romantic Christmas meal in town, but heavy work do’s and last minute Christmas shopping had distracted me from my promise and I found myself in a mad rush to find an available slot at a good restaurant. Call after call I was greeted with the same response, ‘Fully booked.’ Having no luck by phone, I consulted TripAdvisor which gave a great recommendation to a charming French bistro on Brick Lane – Chez Elles (ranked 10th best London restaurant) I immediately called them and thankfully managed to get the last table of the night at 21:30. I was in for a treat!
London is vast, new bars and restaurants open every day, nice places come and go and The London Date Guide can’t cover every awesome date venue. So, if you’re after more ideas for a date in London check out these fantastic books to give you inspiration for your perfect date in the big smoke.
Just a stones throw from Brick Lane, down arty Cheshire Street is ‘The Carpenter’s Arms’, a cosy and warm pub rumoured to be an old haunting ground of the famous Kray Twins. It serves a small menu of scrumptious food and an excellent selection of wines and beer. This pub was recommended to me by a friend who lives nearby and I thank her for such a great find.