Bored of the classic dinner and drinks combination? Whether it’s your first outing together or you’ve been married for 10 years, these alternative date ideas are sure to keep things interesting.
Alternative Date Ideas in London
Go to a drive-in cinema
For an American-inspired date, channel Danny and Sandy at one of the many drive-in cinemas popping up across the UK this summer. Secret Cinema’s offering, The Drive-In, takes place at the renowned Goodwood Motor Circuit in Sussex, alongside an array of entertaining pre-screening performances, diner-style food and ice cream from the official partner Häagen-Dazs.
Go bowling at Ham Yard Hotel (reopening in August)
Not many people know that deep within the ever-chic Ham Yard Hotel lies London’s coolest bowling alley. With vintage shoes, large scale Howard Hogdkin artworks and retro interiors by Kit Kemp, The Croc is worlds away from your average bowling joint. There are four alleys, and you can either book into a lane or hire the whole thing for ultimate privacy. firmdalehotels.com
Drink at a speakeasy
Speakeasy bars first came about in 1920s America, when new laws meant alcohol was banned. But instead of its desired effect, prohibition resulted in the emerging of an illicit, underground drinking culture in the shape of secret bars requiring a password. A hundred years on they’re still around – but less for necessity, and more for fun. These days, speakeasies take on more of a sophisticated guise, with snazzy surroundings, jazz bands and well-crafted cocktails. London is filled with them, if you know where to look. Our favourites include the Lewis Carroll-inspired Callooh Callay, classy jazz bar Nightjar and the mysterious 69 Colebrooke Row, but there are plenty to choose from – more ideas here.
Visit London’s smallest bar (currently closed)
There’ll be no worrying about loud music and long queues at The Brig, London’s tiniest bar, fitting just four people. Book a session for you and your date and you’ll have the entire bar to yourselves – minus your very own bartender. For just £65pp per hour, you’ll be treated to unlimited drinks which can be tailored to your preferences and tastes, as well as the opportunity to go behind the bar and mix up some cocktails yourselves. merchanthouse.bar
Compete at crazy golf
Challenge your date to a crazy golf competition at Swingers, with venues in both the West End and the City. Both have fun designs and a buzzing atmosphere: the former is inspired by the roaring twenties, while the latter is based around golf courses of the bucolic English countryside. There’s an array of street food to tuck into – from Pizza Pilgrims to Hackney Gelato – alongside plenty of bars in case you need some Dutch courage. swingersldn.com
Climb over The 02 Arena
See London in a new light: from the top of The O2 Arena. You’ll traverse over a 380m walkway, stopping at the top to marvel at the city, with Greenwich, The Olympic Park and Greenwich all in view. For extra romance, opt for the sunset climb, going up as the sun comes down. theo2.co.uk
Take a cookery class
They say the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach – so what better place to bond than a cooking class? From doughnut making at Bread Ahead to vegan cooking at The Plant Hub Academy, there are cookery schools covering pretty much all culinary avenues across London. Here are some ideas.
Have a midnight feast at Duck & Waffle
Make a trip to London’s only 24-hour restaurant, Duck & Waffle. Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, the views are pretty incredible – and with their new late night menu, you can stay feasting away until the sun rises over the city (if the date goes well!). Who wouldn’t want duck ‘n’ cheese at three in the morning? duckandwaffle.com