My Favourite London Date Places

Now that London has tentatively begun to reopen, I thought I’d share some of my favourite among the myriad of possibilities for date places that it offers – even if those dates have to be kinda socially distanced. Going on a date outdoors is something I really miss, and hopefully I’ll get to come back to these places when I’m back in September!

Dating In London

Disclaimer: when I talk about dating, this could be a date with yourself, with a friend, a date with your partner or a new date. Thinking about it though, up until now, I didn’t do much partner or ‘new’ dating. Most people I hung out with didn’t have my same tastes in going out.

So this is why, even though some of these places can be quite romantic, you don’t have to visit them with an significant other. They are so fun you can go alone or with a friend.

Some of the date places I feature come from personal dating experiences past and present – and while I must say that we are nailing dates in my current relationship, I’ve discovered some of these by myself or while out with friends. So this post isn’t about making you feel bad for being single. It’s about cute places for when you’re in a special mood.

The Park Date: Primrose Hill

The nice thing about this date idea is that it’s totally free. This was one of my very first super romantic London dates, back when I was at uni and was dating a very cute guy who took me here at sunset.

We sat on the grass – you might wanna bring a towel, but we used his jacket – and watched Primrose Hill going from a lovely park with a killer London view to a spectacle of skyline lights. It was during a summer heatwave, and even if we didn’t work out as a couple that date did.

You can up your game with a hamper, some wine and cheese and cake. Be extra. Corona bonus: it’s outside, so it’s a safe place if you’re about to meet up your lockdown Tinder match.

The Cute Tapas Date: Hello Darling

I had never been to this fantastic Waterloo restaurant, but luckily I made up for it at my friend Travel With Mer‘s birthday earlier this year.

Hello Darling has stunning interiors, secluded corners, unique cocktails and a perfect tapas menu that will make both veggies and meat eaters happy. The great thing is that the restaurant’s options are very generous but affordable, making it a go-to date not too far from a stroll down the river.

Hello Darling is also great for brunch, and its desserts – like its banana split – are a must.

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Today is the day! Arguably one of the best days of the year.. PANCAKE DAY! 🥞 Join us to celebrate pancake day, DARLING STYLE – 🍳 – Smoked haddock & mature cheddar pancake – Accompanied with the lightly spiced Jager Mule 🍳 – Vegan spiced aubergine & tomato stuffed pancake – Paired with the sweetly refreshing Earl Grey Collins 🍳- Berry compote & vanilla ice cream, clotted cream pancake – Teamed with one of our infamous Berry Mimosas 🍳- Vegan banana, miso caramel, peanut brittle pancake – GF – Alongside a delicious Cocoa Negroni All of our pancakes are priced at £10 with recommended cocktail pairing for an additional £10! 🙌😋🍽 We suggest booking tables in advance to avoid disappointment Darlings! #pancakeday #londonpancakes #foodie #pancakeslondon #ilovefood #sweetreats #pancakes🥞 #pancake #pancakeart #peanutbutter #deserts #ilovedeserts

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If You Like Culture: One of London’s Museums and Galleries

A lot of London’s museums and galleries have already reopened, like the Barbican, the National Gallery, Tate and Royal Academy. Many of them have both free and ticketed exhibitions that you can enjoy on a date. Museums make great date locations because I think talking about what you see removes a lot of tension and pressure from first dates. They provide plenty of conversation starters and can be a lot less awks than a restaurant if you don’t know the person well.

My personal favourite museum date (although still not open at the moment) is the British Museum. Stunning surroundings and collections going from Ancient Greece to Egypt, from Persia to Africa, the museum is the perfect shelter on a rainy day and a safe space if you don’t know someone very well. Aaand, of course, a great photo opp. Exhibit A.

I went to the British Museum a lot before lockdown. Once for a date with my partner, which was nice and chill, looking around the permanent exhibition, and once for their Troy exhibit. As a humanities student (I studied Latin and Ancient Greek in high school back in Italy) the museum is just heaven.

If You’re Feeling Fancy: The Coral Room

If your stroll at the British Museum or around Bloomsbury has gone particularly well and you want to take the date further, you can always get a drink or a coffee at the gorgeous Coral Room.

It’s not just Instagram goals: its decor, colours and big windows have an incredibly relaxing effect. It’s a quiet but lively venue with both cosy tables and more open-plan seating options, depending on how close you are allowed to be to your date.

If it’s more privacy and darkness that you’re after, you can always go downstairs and have a drink at The Bloomsbury Club Bar (when it reopens).

The Bloomsbury Set rejected Victorian ideas of religion and explored new sources of spiritual meaning. Last time I went to the bar named after them, cocktails were inspired by the deck of Tarot cards I use in my readings, designed in 1910 by bohemian occultist Pamela ‘Pixie’ Colman Smith. The 14 drinks on the menu correspond to 14 states of mind or being, and were suggested by the team’s own “clarvoyant”. The set up was fun, the tables cosy and the setting romantic and mysterious. Worth a visit!

The Cinematic One: Postman Park

The movie Closer has a special place in my heart. For our first date, my partner and I met at Postman’s Park, the little garden in between St. Bart’s Hospital and St. Paul’s Cathedral where Jude Law takes Natalie Portman at the beginning of the movie.

On one of the park’s walls, plaques remember people who died saving the lives of others. It’s a quiet oasis of calm in the midst of busy East Central London, and it’s a place I’ll never forget. You can chat sitting on a bench, or make your way to neighbouring pubs and wine bars after a stroll.

The Cosy One: Westland Coffee & Wine Clerkenwell

Another date venue, another Closer location. The Westland Coffee & Wine bar in Shoreditch sits right next to what was Julia Roberts’ studio and house in an alley next to City Road, in between Clerkenwell and Hoxton. It’s been open since 2013, and it was always on my way from my Hoxton student flat to uni. I’ve had many a wine and cheese night here, and you should, too.

The Date With A View: Seabird London

I love me a rooftop bar, but not all of them in London have a pretty, romantic vibe. Enter Seabird London, on the rooftop of the Hoxton Hotel in Southwark.

Seabird isn’t the cheapest of venues, but you can easily get away with wine or cocktails to enjoy its beautiful view of the river on one side – including the Shard – and of the Houses of Parliament on the other. It’s beautiful both during the day and at sunset.

I went there with a good friend and, needless to say, I indulged in an impromptu Instagram photoshoot. Because I am shameless.

The Cute Walking Date: From Lambs Conduit Street to Exmouth Market

When you work and teach around Islington, you can’t help but feel lucky about the wonderful date locations this bit of London offers. I feel like part of my relationship was made by strolls and wine around the Lambs Conduit Street and the equally quaint Exmouth Market.

Exmouth Market in particular, with its many cafés, wine bars and restaurants, is a cheap-ish option with a very romantic scenery. As soon as the tealights come on, I’m screwed.

What Are Your Favourite London Date Places?

Let me know! Always looking for new ideas 🙂

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