When a classic drink date just won't cut it, BarChick likes to spice it up with something a bit different.
The cinema date is a classic. Great if you're not sure the chat will be flowing, but at TT, the drinks definitely will. Book in for one of their monthly cult movie showings. They create an epic cocktail to pair with it, and chuck in plenty of popcorn for good measure. Do the old yawn and reach-around cuddle trick and have a cheeky snog in the back row. You can head down to the basement bar afterwards and continue the snogging in one of the cosey cells if you haven't already gone straight back to theirs.
17B Kingsland Rd, Hackney, London E2 8AA - see whats playin' for your date here
Want your date to get a bit filthy? F*ck yeah, we're down with that. Rock up to Mr Foggs House of Botanicals for Terrarium Tuesdays and get down and dirty amongst the flora and fauna. Hosted in Mr Fogg’s Botanical Glasshouse, The Botanical Boys will walk you through making your own green-fingered creation, which you can take home to kill together. Talk about romance. They'll make sure you're well watered with some ace cocktails as you go, too.
48 Newman St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1QQ - Book in for Terrarium Tuesdays here
Playing tourist in your own city is a solid date option. Pair it with a glass-roofed bus, a sh*t load of wine and some hella fancy French food and you've got a date you won't forget in a hurry. Especially as you'll be taking ALL the pics for the 'gram as you go. Gaze up while crossing Tower Bridge while sippin' on a crisp glass of Bustronome's house champers, then do some gazing into your date's eyes for good measure.
Bustronome departs from 40B Coach Bay, Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 6PB. Book here.
Wanna see what your date is made of? A bit of healthy competition will separate the weak from the chaff. And it's bloody fun, too. Get the G&T's in (they have 350 variations) and get your game face on in a round of remote controlled racing, dip into some virtual reality gaming and shoot your, er, load on the retro arcade games. Game on.
51 Lavender Gardens, Battersea, SW11 1DJ - Book yourself in to play here
Confident on how hot you look in a pair of goggles? Then your date will go full heart-eye emoji on you when you go below deck for this Gin Distillery Experience. You'll be making your own juniper creation down here, and you know things will get hot and steamy next to that furnace. Knock up a unique batch of hooch with the epic mix of flavours and botanicals, then bottle it all up. Invite your date to drink back at your place and see if the hot, steaminess continues...
37 Broadgate Cir, London EC2M 2QS. Book for below deck chaos here.
There are some serious tropical colonial vibes going at this Bermondsey basement bar. They call it ‘Tropicalifornication’ – think cascading leaves hanging from bamboo scaffolding, and cosy shag covered seats parked on parquet floors. It's really f*cking cool. Plenty to chat about over a few of their epic cocktails. Once you've got some dutch courage in you, challenge your date to a game of Shuffleboard. They have a retro table in the corner. BarChick is pretty bloody good at it (it's all in the wrist) so see how your date fairs. Loser buys the next round.
8 Holyrood St, London SE1 2EL. Book a table here.
You need a date who can trust you for this one, cos who knows what you can expect from the Gingerline crew. They've been curating some hella exciting dining adventures right across London for several years now, pitching up at a secret location somewhere along the London Overground line. You find out on the day and get given directions on how to get there by text. This is where your first argument might occur, but if you can get through this, you'll get through anything. Once you're there, you're in for an exciting food adventure, and the cocktails are pretty adventurous too.
Secret location on the London Overground (the "ginger" line). Find tickets to whatever they're running right now over here
Yo, b*tch. This is your opportunity to see your date in head-to-toe rubber latex. Hey, if that's what does it for you, cool, no judgement. Now get ready to do some science, Breaking Bad Style. It’s a raucous lab-vibe with bare light bulbs, test tubes, mysterious jars lining the walls, loads of hissing smoke and shouty staff. Expect to be called a b*tch a lot (it's affectionate, trust us), loads of weird instruments and instructions to cook up your own cocktails together, smokin’ dry ice and bubbles style, baby.
ABQ, 18 Bohemia Place, Hackney, E8 1DU. Book to cook here.
Make it boozy, but make it educational. Get your knowledge on at the East London Liquor Co. These guys make it all... and when we say all, we mean gin, vodka, rum and whisky. You can book in to learn about it all; Gin tours, whisky tastings, or to learn how rum is produced. You'll be pros before you know it. You'll have loads to chat about in the bar after a wicked distillery tour. And even if you don't, the cocktails are epic so you'll still have a great time.
East London Liquor Co, Unit GF1, Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Road, London, E3 5SN . Book yourself in here.
Grab your partner by the hand and get ready for some illicit bootlegging in the Wild West... aka Chelsea. Grab a bottle of your favourite spirit and get ready to smuggle it into the saloon, once you've been decked out in the appropriate togs at the local tailors, that is. You gotta look the part, after all. Your date will definitely fancy you in a stetson. Once you're in, the Saloon Barkeeps will mix you up 4 rounds of epic cocktails with your smuggled moonshine. Here's hoping your date is smuggling a bigger bottle rather than a miniature, if you know what we mean...
Moonshine Saloon, 535 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW10 0SZ. Grab tickets here.