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.
I’ve been slightly cynical about the Shard since it’s been open. Believing it to be over-priced and over-hyped I’d resisted going up. This came to an end last weekend when my date insisted we go up to one of the bars for one drink to see the view.
We love a food market, and Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey is one of our favourites for a foodie date. It’s the kind of place where a couple of drinks or a plate of tapas can easily lead to a whole day of eating, drinking and wandering.
With a rich history, it’s no surprise that London Bridge has some of London’s most popular tourist attractions in London. London Bridge Experience can be good fun to kick off a date but be warned, it;s quite expensive so we wouldn’t recommend going unless you have a 2 for 1 deal or love hanging out with a coach load Spanish kids. However, away from the overpriced bars on the river and the throngs of people blocking the outside of the station there are some great places to go on a date.
A delightful little pub, The Gladstone Arms is hidden down a side street next to Borough Station.
Small but perfectly formed, the Gladstone is exactly what a pub should be. It’s quintessentially old English, lit by candlelight and fairy lights and offers live music in the downstairs bar on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. On my date there was live jazz in the form of a pianist and double bass player which was the perfect addition to the relaxed atmosphere. If you’re not up for live music, then visit the mellow upstairs lounge and make use of the scrabble and chess games on offer.