London Date Guide Reviews, guides and ideas of the best places in London to go on a date Sat, 14 Feb 2015 23:53:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Valentines Day Date Ideas 2015 Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:12:39 +0000 Valentine’s Day is upon us yet again and this year falls on a weekend allowing you to take advantage of those precious days off work to spend some quality time with your loved one. A lot of people are adverse to Valentine’s Day due to the mass marketing, tacky gifts and price hikes that surround it however those naysayers should not put you off, (they are usually the tight or lazy ones) there is loads of ways to do it on the cheap. With so much to see and do, Valentine’s date ideas in London are a plenty so you have no excuse!

London Valentine's Day Date Ideas 2015

Romantic Restaurants

A romantic restaurant is always a lovely way to spend an evening. It doesn’t have to posh or expensive, as long as it has a warm atmosphere and ambience. Old favourites include Clos Maggiore, Galvin at Windows, Chez Elles and Toulouse Lautrec. For a double date Barrica near Goodge Street is a fantastic tapas bar and for vegetarians check out Vanilla Black at Chancery Lane. A dinner cruise along the Thames with Bateaux London is a must-do experiences that combines food, views and live entertainment to create a unique experience on the Thames.
See all romantic restaurants in London

Chez Elles Restaurant Brick Lane

Cocktail Bars and Cosy Pubs

There are loads of brilliant bars for a date in London and we just scratch the tip of the iceberg. We’d recommend getting yourselves some delicious cocktails at one of the many speakeasy style bars such as Discount Suit Company, Portside Parlour and Little Nans. Alternatively you could snuggle up in a cosy pub such as The Carpenters Arms.
See more bars and pubs for in London for a date.

Discount Suit Company - Bar

Valentine’s Getaway

It’s not too late to book something! Though the prices for the Valentine’s weekend may be higher it is always fun to get away to somewhere new and different even if it’s to just outside of London. Bath, Oxford and Cambridge are only a short train journey away and and Secret Escapes are usually pretty good for getting last-minute deals on a decent hotel. make sure to check Groupon for dinner & spa hotel deals to save yourself some cash.

Valentine's Day Date Ideas - Escape London - Bath

Valentine’s Activities

Doing a fun activity, seeing a show or comedy makes for a great date on the Valentine’s weekend. For the adventurous there is Go Ape just outside of London. If a show is more your bag then The Play That Goes Wrong is a side-splittingly funny show to see and its hilarious touring sister production Peter Pan Goes Wrong is on in Bromley over the weekend, well worth getting tickets to see. For stand up comedy, Clapham Comedy Club has a Valentine’s comedy show featuring big names and you also get wine, cheese and a charcuterie sharing plate. For live music check out intimate Limehouse venue Jamboree for gypsy jazz, swing and blues. For a Valentine’s activity deal look at offers on Groupon, LivingSocial and

Peter Pan Goes Wrong - Valentine’s Date Ideas 2015

Valentine’s Flowers

Flowers are a standard Valentine’s classic and while cliché they should not be overlooked. Sending flowers is a sure-fire way to make someone feel special. The prices are more expensive for Valentine’s however you can save money using discount codes. See Valentine’s flower deals and discounts.

London Valentine's Day Date Ideas 2015 - Flowers

If you’re broke and doing Valentine’s on the cheap then stay in and cook dinner and make a card, while it may look a little childish if you’re not skilled in the arts, a homemade card is a thoughtful and meaningful token of your love that is way better than any tacky gift and it will earn you serious brownie points.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s fun, relaxed and personal.

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Andrew Edmunds Thu, 05 Feb 2015 14:34:16 +0000 Nestled slap bang in the middle of Soho, Andrew Edmunds is a quintessential romantic restaurant. Twinkling candles, warm and cosy with chatter a plenty create what makes for a wonderful date and meal in London’s West End.

Andrew Edmunds Restaurant - Outside

The outside of Andrew Edmunds is fairly nondescript, dark with a small doorway and windows, if you’re weren’t on your way there you would probably pass it by without a glance. Inside is snug, a tiny space that could be considered a bit too small for the amount of tables that inhabit it however the warm and relaxed atmosphere gives a lovely welcome.

Seated in the candle lit window we definitely had the best spot in the house. It felt like we were in a 1940’s Parisian style speakeasy being surrounded by all the candles and rustic wooden decor.

Andrew Edmunds Restaurant - Inside

The menus are charmingly handwritten and it was quite fun trying to decipher the writing that reminded me of a chicken scrawled doctors prescription. While the menu is fairly small there is a good variety of dishes with something to suit everyone’s taste. We decided on starters of cured beef with salsa verde and the foie gras mousse with brioche. Mains of Dover sole with prawn salad and new potatoes, and the wild boar ragu. All dishes were excellent but the Dover sole was standout, cooked with care, the delicate light flesh falling away from the bone. A very good main indeed.

We got a dessert each however we should have just opted for one between us; a humongous potion of sticky toffee pudding and a slice of cheesecake. The sticky toffee was killer and left us both with an enormous smile on our faces, real comfort food.

Andrew Edmunds Restaurant - Sticky-Toffee Pudding

Picture courtesy of

The presentation of all the dishes was simple, nothing fancy and it didn’t need to be, the emphasis being on beautifully cooked high quality ingredients.

Andrew Edmunds also sports a large, well priced wine list with a great selection of sweet wines and sherries. At the end of our meal we indulged in a glass of the sickly sweet Pedro Ximénez; a sugar overload but a perfect way to round off the meal.

Reservations open one week before and walk-in tables do become available late on in the evening but I wouldn’t risk it, it’s a solid choice If you’re after a fantastic romantic restaurant for a date in Central London with an extra cosy atmosphere.

Useful Links
Andrew Edmunds Website
Google Map Link
Closest Tube : Piccadilly Circus / Oxford Circus

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Portside Parlour Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:58:54 +0000 Close to Old Street Station at the top end of Rivington Street is Portside Parlour, a cosy candlelit bar serving tapas style food and well crafted cocktails. Originally started as a speakeasy on Broadway Market it has since moved to a more prominent area on London’s east side.

Read more about Portside Parlour

In a fantastic location to kick off a date, Portside Parlour is just a few minutes walk from the Old Street roundabout. Primarily a cocktail bar it is styled from the outside to look like a nautical antiquities shop. Inside, the bar sticks to its nautical theme stocking over 80 varieties of rum for the sailors in you.

Portside Parlour Bar

Portside Parlour operates under a restaurant license which means you have to buy some food whilst you are there but don’t let this put you off, the menu is small and so are the plates but they are packed full of flavour. When we visited we had already eaten so just decided to get some nibbles; mixed olives which was a generous portion and Manchego stuffed courgette flowers that turned out to be the crack cocaine of nibbles, priced at £1 each I would happily come back and get 10 of these for my dinner though sadly these are no longer on the menu as it’s seasonal.

With the cocktails we didn’t know what to go for but the staff are on hand and gave excellent recommendations based on what we liked. After tasting a few our personal favourite was the “Jet Pilot” containing a mix of Plantation OP, Myers’s, Matusalem Platino, Velvet Falernum, Absinthe, Grapefruit & Lime Juice, Fassionola & Angostura Bitters and topped with a mini bowl made from ice and full of pomegranate seeds.

Portside Parlour Jet pilot Cocktail

The space is fairly small so make sure to book to avoid disappointment. There are plenty of options to move on to afterwards such as The Blues Kitchen for live music from some of the best musicians London has to offer.

Portside Parlour is a great bar for a first date, with it’s ideal location, great food, cocktails and ambience as well as an easy attitude, it’s a no brainer.

Useful Links
Portside Parlour Website
Portside Parlour Map Link
Closest Tube / Rail: Old Street

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Briciole Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:21:57 +0000 Close to Edgware Road station in the heart of Marylebone sits the wonderful Briciole that thankfully happened upon me whilst on a date in the area. A light and airy café, restaurant and deli, Briciole is the epitome of laid-back Italian café culture.

Briciole Outside

Briciole is split into just a few small rooms consisting of the deli and the restaurant, there is also some outdoor seating for al fresco dining if the weather is nice.

Entering the trattoria through the deli that serves a large range of meats and cheeses sitting tantalisingly behind the counter, we were greeted by friendly staff with a smile and a “ciao” who instantly made us feel like part of the family, we knew we were on to a winner.

The mouth-watering deli products that we passed on the way in were also on the menu in the restaurant, perfect for a snack at lunch or something to nibble on over drinks, we opted to get a few of these as starters as well as a finely made Aperol spritz each.

Briciole Restaurant

The mains are small but beautifully cooked, fresh and full of flavour, we dined on tagliatelle with lamb ragout and asparagus as well as meatballs in pea sauce with a side of wilted spinach and balsamic vinegar.

A fantastic option to dine at for lunch or dinner if you’re in the Marylebone area. There are a few good pubs nearby to grab a drink at afterwards and you can always wander up to Paddington Basin and Little Venice for a mooch around.

Briciole is the little sister of Latium restaurant in Fitzrovia which is billed as one of the best Italian restaurants in London, if you’re looking for a more central option then this makes the ideal candidate.

Useful Links
Briciole Website
Google Map Link for Briciole
Closest Tube / Rail: Edgware Road / Marylebone

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Bingo Mecca Great Date Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:03:51 +0000 Some of you may think that bingo halls are old fashioned, only for old ladies or hen do’s and generally just not your scene. You’re wrong, well, half wrong. I admit Bingo has a lot of stigma about it, it is full of old ladies but is also full of characters. Yes the halls are bit old fashioned but it’s still a lot of fun, definitely not a game to be sniffed at, especially for a date.

Read more about a date to the bingo

We ventured to Mecca Bingo in Camden for more of an offbeat date. Having never been to a proper bingo hall before it was quite daunting, on arrival we had to sign up to be members, this only took two minutes but by this point we’d already seen some of the characters that bingo attracts; two old dears flirting with the man behind the counter and commenting on the couple (us) that had just arrived. Like I said daunting but funny all the same. With the membership card (free) came a dabber and some vouchers for drinks that would come in handy during the night. After you’ve got your membership you need to buy game books as well as additional game sheets for the big money draws. The price varies night to night so check before you go, on Tuesdays it’s about £20 per person.

Walking into the hall you realise how MASSIVE it is, it could probably seat 500 people or more easily however it was mostly empty on our visit, Tuesday is one of the quieter nights but we have been informed that Thursday to Sunday are the busiest nights with larger prizes up for grabs.

Mecca Bingo Date - Bingo Hall

Taken at the end of the night when everyone had left

Luckily before the first game of the night started we had a lovely membership manager called Eva teach us how to play, explain the rules and what to do, it’s pretty simple but her guidance definitely came in useful.

When the first game started we both had an exhilarating rush, not quite bungee jumping or sky-diving but a rush all the same. Keeping up with the caller, dabbing your numbers off, checking to see if you had a winning line and being a little tipsy was tough going. a wave of relief hit us when someone shouted “EAR YAR” (It means they’d won) and we got a little respite.

Mecca Bingo Date Gamesheet

After the first 3 games there was a much-needed short break so ordered something to eat. The food is very cheap and similar to the quality you’d get at a Wetherspoon however you’re not there for the food and it’s great for a snack. The bar is also ridiculously cheap, £2.50 for a pint, £7 for a bottle of wine and yes they had a deal on WKD’s. I will be coming here first when I’m next on a night out in Camden.

Mecca Bingo Date Drinks Offers

By end of the night after loads more games we’d won £10 and at one point I was one number off a full house which would have bagged us £150 though at that moment I thought I was close to a heart attack, I‘m not sure how the old timers do it.

As well as the Camden club there is also a Mecca Bingo in Hoxton so both in brilliant locations for going out afterwards, it finished fairly early (around 9pm) giving you plenty of time to hit up some bars in the area but to be honest after the adrenalin rush you may just need a lie down.

If you’re after something truly different from the norm then a date to Mecca Bingo is definitely the way to go, not for a first or second date but third date onwards it’s a winner.

Useful Links
Mecca Bingo Website (clubs)
Google Maps Link Mecca Bingo Camden
Closest Tube / Rail: Camden
Google Maps Link for Mecca Bingo Hoxton
Closest Tube / Rail: Hoxton

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The Sign of The Don Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:25:52 +0000 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.

The Sign of the Don Restaurant Sign

The vaults and building in which it sits has a wonderful history, originally a meeting hall for the Worshipful Company of Drapers in 1342, then in 1798 used to bottle imported sherry and port for distribution across the globe. Now owned by The Bleeding Heart Restaurant Group they have transformed this fantastic building into two fantastic restaurants; “The Sign of The Don” and its more expensive big brother, fine dining restaurant “The Don” which also has a prix fixe menu.

Arriving to a rather empty upstairs bar, we were a little perplexed and got that “oh no” feeling but that soon disappeared after following the neon sign down the stairs to the cellar and vaults. The medieval cellar is split into sections with some private dining areas, we were sat in the more modern area decorated with barrel hoops, destination stencils and bottles harking back to the port and sherry exportation business that once ran from there.

The Sign of the Don Restaurant

To start we shared starters and had the scotch duck egg which came hot, crispy and with a runny yolk – just how it should be. The other starter was a trio of croquettas; ham & chorizo, salt cod and mushroom. All were rich and comforting with soft melting centers.

To drink we just ordered some of the cheaper Trinity Hill wine which the restaurant seems partnered with however it wasn’t that great so go for something a bit nicer which will complement your meal.

After the quite calorific starters we tucked into Dingley Dell pork with puy lentils and a large portion of black pudding as well as Lamb with peashoots, beans and mint, well presented and filling.

The Sign of the Don - Dingley Dell Pork

Desserts were small and simple yet very rich, The orange and pistachio cake with crème anglaise was so so but he only way to describe the salted caramel chocolate pot is “killer”.

The service throughout the night was impeccable and really made us feel special, especially our friendly French Maitre d’ who made light conversation, was attentive and really knew her stuff.

For £21.50 for three courses the prix fixe menu is an absolute steal, with a choice of seven dishes for each course there is bound to be something that tickles your tastebuds and a little tip, If you book on OpenTable or over the phone and mention that you’re getting the prix fixe menu then you will receive a free glass of Cava which is a nice bonus.

Useful Links
The Sign of The Don Website
Google Map Link for The Sign of the Don
Closest Tube / Rail: Bank / Cannon Street / Monument.

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Little Nan’s Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:53:52 +0000 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.

Little Nan's Bar in Deptford

Deptford is one of London’s up and coming area’s, a bit like Dalston but with less skinny jeans.
It has a few art galleries and is close to Greenwich so simple to get to after a date at the Royal Observatory or such like.

Little Nan’s sits close to Deptford Bridge DLR Station and is solely marked by a door propped open by a chair with a balloon on, quite missable if you don’t have your eyes peeled. Entering into a corridor full of bins you can hear the faint sounds of the Bee Gees coming from the back.

Stepping through into the one-roomed small and cosy bar that smells like your loft it feels as though you’ve gone back in time to an intimate party in your grandmas house.

Little Nan's Bar in Deptford Chintz

The space is limited, seats, tables and tat take up the majority of the room leaving a small amount of standing room. Lamps with tasselled shades, ghastly pictures and odd ornaments decorate the room leaving no blank spaces always giving you something to look at.

The bar itself has barely enough room for two people behind it with the amount of teacups they have stashed and it has a distinct “Del Boy” theme. Cocktails are served from either tea cups and pots or seventies crystal glasses which is always fun. The cocktail list is extensive, all named after celebrities the old fogies enjoy such as the “King Kriss Akabusi”, and my personal favourite “The Lady Anneka Rice” which consisted of an alcoholic chocolate shake with a dollop of marshmallow fluff. The bar also serves snacks such as cheese straws, pork pies and penny sweets.

Little Nan's Bar in Deptford Lady Anneka Rice Cocktail

On our visit if you took a picture of Little Nan’s decor or drinks and tweeted you received one of their free flavoured shots for each tweet. Flavours included old timer favourites such as Weather’s Original and Rhubarb and Custard, well worth checking if they have this offer on when you go.

Booking is highly recommended, there is only limited space and it is a popular little bar.

For a fun, novelty and out-and-out chintz date bar head to Little Nan’s, and as the cross stitch says

“There ain’t no party like a Little Nan’s tea party”

Little Nan's Bar in Deptford Cross Stitch

Useful Links
Little Nan’s Website
Google Map Link for Little Nan’s
Closest Tube/ Rail: Deptford Bridge

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Belair House Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:58:19 +0000 Situated deep in the heart of Dulwich is Belair House, a beautiful 18th Century Georgian mansion that lies in the grounds of Belair park. A quirky yet stylish venue with eccentric staff, delicious food and well made cocktails. It is an ideal venue to hit up on a relaxed summertime date in South East London.

Read more about Belair House in Dulwich

To get to this gem you can walk through Belair Park which is especially lovely on a hot day. The park is popular with couples, families and seems worlds away from the maddening hordes that plague Clapham Common as soon as the sun shows its face.

Arriving at the white house you realise just how grand it is, almost like something out of a music video, decked out with chandeliers, enormous gold framed over the top pictures and the odd touch of kitsch & humour. Off the grand entrance hallway is the spacious and airy dining room as well as the ground floor bar that is of a smaller size than one would expect but a large terrace leads off this and overlooks the park.

Belair  House - Dining-Room

Craft beer and cocktails are the tipples of choice and the waiters know their stuff when it comes to the food and drink, their recommendations always go down a treat. The roast’s come with the most enormous Yorkshire puddings and the pork is top-notch so highly recommend a Sunday visit.

The staff do an excellent job of looking after everyone, on our visit they made us feel very at home, relaxed and kept the drinks flowing. They are very friendly characters and quite offbeat, all the men with facial hair, possibly a requirement to work there, one of the guys sported a very well-groomed smaller version of Salvador Dali’s famous mustache.

Belair House - Dali Mustache

Entertainment focuses on music from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40s and 50’s and with regular events such as swing dancing classes, live jazz bands and Dj’s so be sure to check the website for any goings on.

This picturesque bar / restaurant / palace is a wonderful escape for a date on a sunny day, granted Dulwich is a bit of a mission to get to but it is definitely worth heading down there if you’re looking for a wonderful park for a picnic.

Belair House is close to West Dulwich Station however you could go to North Dulwich and walk down through the lovely Dulwich Village to get there.

To explore more of Dulwich we recommend getting one of the numerous London Walking Books on Amazon, most feature an excellent walk through Dulwich and it’s surrounds.

Useful Links
Belair House Website
Belair House Google Map Link
Closest Tube/Rail: West Dulwich

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The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:42:17 +0000 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.

Southbank Centre's Roof Garden on the Queen Elizabeth Hall

© Belinda Lawley

Designed by the Eden Project the roof garden is open daily from 10am to 10pm April through to October (depending on weather) and it is one of the best kept secrets along this busy tourist stretch.

Providing fantastic panoramic views of London along the Thames, it is a mini green oasis in which to relax and get away from the crowds on the riverside path below. With troughs full of wildflowers, mini allotments, trees and a lawn you can sit amongst the flora with a jug of Pimms and while the day away.

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden - Allotments and Wildflowers

The cafe bar is run by ‘Company of Cooks’. It serves small salads, sandwiches, snacks and cakes and is on the pricey side but that’s no great shock considering it’s unique location.

The rooftop garden is a wonderful romantic setting if on a date; ideal for having a drink before catching a show at The National or a film at the BFI. To find this little gem, simply climb the yellow spiral staircase at the side of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

See more of the best places for a date on the Southbank >>

Useful Links
Roof Gardens on the Southbank Website
Google Map Link for the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Gardens
Closest Tube / Rail: Waterloo / Embankment

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Discount Suit Company Fri, 30 May 2014 14:24:22 +0000 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.

Discount Suit Company - Outside

Stepping down the wooden stairs through a velvet curtain into the small dimly lit bar, my date and I were greeted by a very friendly waitress. While our eyes adjusted to the moody lighting, we could hear the super cool funk and northern soul playing through the speakers, setting the scene for a very relaxed and somewhat vintage experience. Luckily it wasn’t busy when we arrived so we managed to get a seat (there’s not many), within half an hour it had filled to capacity so we timed it perfectly!

Discount Suit Company - Interior

The decor of Discount Suit Company is wood panelling with exposed brickwork, pipes and beams, think Wilton’s Music Hall’s grungier little sister. It is an atmospheric and sexy little bar that gives the feeling you’ve stepped in to a laid back and informal 1960’s spy drama.

Discount Suit Company - Bar

The cocktail menu is small, yet well tailored to suit all tastes, it hosts around 10 cocktails, all delightfully named and full of very eccentric flavours and ingredients. So eccentric that my date and I were a little befuddled as to what to choose, but our trusted waitress was only too happy to sit down and talk us through it all. She really knew her stuff and wanted to get to know what we liked, I replied “something sweet but manly” (don’t laugh) so she recommended the “Goldfish Bathtub” which was spot on. My date got a “Skipper” – a delicious blend of rum and white port, which was slightly sweet and packed a punch.

Discount Suit Company - Cocktails

We sampled a few more of the flavoursome cocktails but the “Goldfish Bathtub” was a firm favourite. We didn’t get anything to eat but nibbles are available if the form of olives or you can go for a Neal’s Yard Dairy cheeseboard if you need proper snackage.

Discount Suit Company is a quirky, relaxed and intimate speakeasy with personable service and killer cocktails, a quintessential bar for a date in East London, now go reserve yourself a table!

Useful Links
Discount Suit Company Website
Google Map Link for Discount Suit Company
Closest Tube / Rail: Aldgate / Aldgate East / Liverpool Street

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