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…
Go bowling at Ham Yard Hotel
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
Laugh out loud at a comedy show
Laughter is crucial to good relationships, so why not spend an evening giggling away at a comedy club? The comedy scene in London has never been better, with a mixture of long-standing favourites like The Comedy Store and lesser-known spots such a cosy Balham pub The Bedford. Check out our comedy clubs round up for more ideas.
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 an sophisticated guise, with snazzy surroundings, jazz bands and well-crafted cocktails. London is filled with them, if you know where to look. Our favouries 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
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 £50pp 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
Catch a movie outdoors
Cosy up with a blanket and some popcorn at one of London’s outdoor cinemas. Rooftop Film Club have three sky-high venues across London – all with double lounge seats available – while the ever-popular Luna Cinema pops up in green spaces across the city from Alexandra Park to Wimbledon.
Cosy up at an intimate gig
Book onto one of Sofar Sounds’ intimate gigs, where artists are kept secret until they arrive at the venue. Previous gigs have seen the likes of Bastille, Tom Odell and Matt Corby performing in stripped-back, unique settings, from living rooms to boutique shops. sofarsounds.com
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 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