Matthew Pearson

London Date Ideas: Drinks and Eats

We don’t know when you’re reading this, but as we write, Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. It's either looming on it or joyfully skipping over it, depending on your point of view. But, either way you look at it, it's coming. So we’ve come up with our very best London Date Ideas for those looking to eat and drink and drink and eat. These aren’t Valentine’s Day specific. They aren’t just for the newly met, or for those who are in it for the long haul. These are London Date Ideas for everyone, including...

  • Some of our favourite secret bars in London
  • The bars with the best views across the capital
  • Restaurants with Hollywood date night lighting
  • And much, much more.

London Date Ideas: Drinks

Secret Bars

Is there anything cooler than knowing the location of a secret bar? And knowing exactly how to get in. Not even having to pause or check the map or reread the email. Not having to ask for the help of a confused passerby, or sneak in on the coattails of someone who actually knows what they’re doing. Is there anything cooler than strolling into a secret bar like it’s no big deal and not falling down the stairs as soon as you enter because the lighting is so poor and such a contrast with the daylight outside. Sure the password thing might be a bit much. Pulling a lever to reveal a mysterious staircase might be too. And don’t be too obtuse about it: you want to share the secret, not lord it over the other person. Secrets are cool. Sharing them is cooler. A secret shared is a secret halved—halved in a good way. Or wholed. Our favourite secret bar in London? Well, it’s a secret, but it’s hard to think of a better one than Discount Suit Company. It’s underground, it’s atmospheric, it’s not too loud or christ on a bike expensive. It’s downstairs in the old storeroom of a tailors close to Liverpool Street. There’s no password or gimmickry. Just signature and special cocktails, the right lighting and a style and location worth talking about. Discount Suit Company, 29A Wentworth St, Spitalfields, London E1 7TB. For more information and to book, head HERE. Other places for your consideration: Happiness Forgets, 8 – 9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NUNightjar, 129 City Road, London EV1V 1JBLa Cabina, 232 Kingsland Road, Whitmore Estate, London E2 8AX [caption id="attachment_6247" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Coffee Shops

What’s good about a coffee shop date? It makes it clear that you go outside during the daytime. It implies you like doing so. Sure, nothing that good ever happened during the daytime, but does anything really bad happen in the daylight? It’s informal, it’s relaxed, there are families in this cafe for flips sake. You can hear the person sat opposite you. Until they’re drowned out momentarily by the steaming tscchhhhhhh from the barista. But most of the time you can hear them. The coffee’s making you a bit jittery, but maybe that’s what you need. Concentrate. Be present. There is no alcohol in this coffee. Can you order an Irish one? No, you’re trying to prove you don’t always need alcohol to get through situations such as this. That would be proving the opposite, remember? Think, damn it, think. No alcohol. No numbing effect, no inhibitions lost, no chance of derailing the date with a throwaway line that you spend the next four hours trying to defend/row back/remember. If this goes well, it’s still early. Think of all the things you can do with the day. If this goes badly, it’s still early. Think of all the things you can do with the day. Choose somewhere like Caravan in King’s Cross. It’s perfect for a single coffee time, a brunch time, some lunch and even a drink drink when the clock strikes three and it’s allowed again. It’s big and airy and kind of busy but not hellishly so. Caravan is perfect. Caravan King’s Cross, 1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA. For more details and to book, head HERE. Other places for your consideration: Fig Tree Cafe, 228 St Paul's Rd, Highbury East, London N1 2LJMAP Studio Cafe, 46 Grafton Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 3DUQuince Tree Cafe at Clifton Nurseries, 5a, Clifton Villas, London W9 2PH [caption id="attachment_6249" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Places With a View

There’s nothing more romantic than looking at things from up high. And you can’t look at things from any higher than when you’re up at The View from The Shard. It’s the highest viewing platform in London and thus the most romantic viewing platform the capital has to offer. And did you know that entry to The View from The Shard is included with London Pass? Find out more about by pushing the little button below.

Other places for your consideration: Frank’s Cafe, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE15 4STDuck & Waffle, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AYTate Modern Restaurant, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

London Date Ideas: Eats

Places With the Right Lighting

Get someone else to set the mood for you by picking a restaurant that knows how to light date nights. You don’t want to feel like you’re under examination in a laboratory. You want to feel like you’re under examination in the charmingly low lit corner of a dream library. Find a place like Morito. It’s got neon strip lights on the ceiling, which only emit a subtle glow, a few lamps and candles. Floor to ceiling windows looking out onto Hackney Road let the daylight in and fade away when the time’s right. Their Spanish and North African tapas is delightful and great to share, proving that you’re not someone who gets a ruler out each time you’ve got to cut a tortilla in half. Morito, 195 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL. For more information and to book, head HERE. Other places for your consideration: Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James St, Soho, London W1F 9DFClos Maggiore, 33 King St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8JDXu Teahouse and Restaurant, 30 Rupert St, London W1D 6DL [caption id="attachment_6250" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Popular Places with Open Kitchens

Prove you’ve got your finger on the pulse and plump for somewhere popular. When you go somewhere universally loved, it doesn’t matter what the price point is. And while hushed places can be good for a getting to know you session, sometimes you need the outside influence of a busy restaurant working in beautiful chaotic synchronicity. Open kitchens are perfect for this. The flames to distract, the clatters to fill the gaps, the joy of seeing something come from nothing and get presented for you both. It’s a good chat that you have when you’re watching a kitchen in action. It’s a forgiving environment if that chat doesn’t work out. And if you can hold each other’s attention in a place like the Palomar, you’ll know something special is happening. Sit at the zinc counter up front to watch the finely tuned and choreographed flame dance performed by the line as they create modern plates that draw from the mix of influences you get in contemporary Jerusalem dining scene. The Palomar, 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN. For more details and to book, head HERE. Other places for your consideration: BAO Soho, 53 Lexington St, Soho, London W1F 9AS and BAO Fitzrovia, 31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JNKiln, 58 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TLPadella, 6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ [caption id="attachment_6251" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Specialist Places

A few dates in, you should have a good grasp on your new flame’s political leanings, moral orientation and spiritual beliefs. And, for goodness sake you should know what they like to eat. If you don’t, what on earth have you been talking about this whole time? Their political leanings, moral orientation and spiritual beliefs? Who talks about that? Pick somewhere specialist, somewhere that does one thing very, very well. Somewhere that chimes with the person you’ve recently been sharing tables and dishes and more with. We don’t know your (potential) partner’s persuasions. But somewhere like Where the Pancakes Are, if they’ve shown a fondness for the eponymous American brunch favourite. If they’ve suggested their favourite type of monger is a cheesemonger, take them to The Cheese Bar in Camden for their unashamedly cheesy regular menu or their Fondue Thursdays. And if your date is me, take me to Yorkshire Burrito, a place that serves all their dishes in Yorkshire pudding wraps. Where the Pancakes Are, Arch 35a, 85a Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 0NQ. For more details and to book, head HERE. The Cheese Bar, Unit 93, 94 Camden Stables, Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AH. For more details and to book, head HERE. Yorkshire Burrito, West Yard, Stables Market, Camden, London NW1 8AF. For more details and to book, head HERE. [caption id="attachment_6252" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption] So there you have it, our London Date Ideas: Drinks and Eats. Stay tuned for a London Date Ideas: Activity Edition soon. But in the mean time, let us know if you have any London date idea suggestions in the comments box below. And, of course, tell us what you thought of our London date ideas too.

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