Festive pop-ups all over town, cocktail bars at ice rinks, hot cocktails, fireside sessions and hidden wonderlands... now all you need is a hot date to accompany you
If you've snagged yourself a date with a thing for botany, head to the South West of London and go for a stroll around London's beautiful botanical gardens at Kew. From November to January, you can surround yourself with sparkle as the after-dark trail lights up for a fourth year of Christmas at Kew. Snuggle up close to you beau as you wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in Christmas colour, then retreat to The Good Wine Shop in Kew village to pick up a bottle to take back to yours.
Book an afternoon at Kew here. Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE
Probably (definitely) the most historic of all ice rinks in London. Run rings round your date on the ice located in the dry moat, and try not to find yourself on your back (not yet, anyway). Snap a selfie with Tower Bridge in the background and then get cosy in the Ice Rink Cafe & Bar. A steaming hot toddy should get the temperatures raised.
Tickets can be bought here. Tower of London, EC3N 4AB
Cinema dates are usually a pretty dull idea. Sitting in a dark room not talking for 2 hours? Nah, not for us. Unless its a trip to the Backyard Cinema. Now that's a whole different kinda cinema date. Step through the wardrobe into the enchanted forest in Wandsworth and rediscover your favourite movies. From musicals to cult classics and Christmas faves, you and your date can snuggle down in the bean bags and bond over that weird love you both have for The Greatest Showman. Hey, no judgement here.
Book your seats in the cinematic Winter Night Garden here. Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, SW18 1ET
Jimmy's Winter Lodge has prime a Southbank location so you can gaze right across the river without getting vertigo, cos ya don't need to be several storeys up to get a wicked view of the skyline, you know! Due to social distancing measures, this year you can only book tables of 4, 5 or 6 - so this is the perfect opportunity for a double date. Get cosy with your group in this rustic pop-up chalet before getting stuck into one helluva fondue menu with plenty of charcuterie & sourdough baguettes for dunking. Just remember: double-dipping should be saved for after dinner...
Jimmy's Winter Lodge is open from 10th October 2020 and can be booked here. The Queen's Walk, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX
Every winter it’s all about the French chalet vibes on one of London’s hottest rooftops. Get in on the apres-ski action and curl up under fur blankets at The City's chicest roof-top restaurant. Hungry? You're in the right place so get your fill with Croque Raclette and wash it down with Alpine Sours. That'll warm up those cockles.
Coq d’Argent, 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
You can only go wrong taking a date to this place if they're vegan. This is hands down the best joint in London for awesome quality beef, but it's their cocktail bar that really raises the steaks stakes. They've recently given their cocktail menu a killer refresh, unashamedly ignoring that wise old adage – ‘Don’t f**k with a classic!’. The Hawksmoor mad scientist twist has been given to a few dissolute faded stars like the Pina Colada, Harvey Wallbanger and Pink Squirrel. Slide into one of the sexy booths, get some epic bar snacks in you (Bone marrow oysters? F*ck yes!) and embrace the experimental. Woof!
157A Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6BJ
No swiping required to find your next love affair. It literally comes to you on a conveyor belt. Seven Dials Market brings you the world’s first cheese conveyor belt restaurant and its AWESOME. Grab a stool and watch as 25 different kinds of cheese, all sourced from around the UK slowly parade in front of you. It's like a dairy-based generation game, where everybody wins. Hell yeah! Each is paired with individual condiments (think Stilton with a chocolate and oat cookie, or Burwash Rose paired with pistachio & orange flapjack) and there's a menu of small producer wines to go with them. You'll feel hella sophisticated sampling them all... take a date and see how many you can try.
Seven Dials Market, Short’s Gardens, London, WC2H 9AT
Even if you haven't been to this place yet, you've definitely already seen it on the gram. It’s all twinkly fairy-lights and ceiling foliage. Like a sexy grotto. The food is banging - we're talking Carbona dished up from a giant cheese wheel and cocktails served in a pair of t*ts. Even though reservations are offered, getting one is rarer than modesty from Kanye West, and the queue is often round the block. But we reckon if you hit this place up on a frosty night, you won't be out there for long. And you can always get close for warmth while you wait.
40-41 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HX
This wicked wine bar in a disused bar in Clapham is an oldy but a goody, and still up there with the best date hangouts. After a chilly walk around Clapham Common head down here, grab a booth, pull the curtains and drink wine by candlelight.
Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AJ
Gets us every time. Slap bang in Soho this is the kind of secret bar you'll want to keep to yourself. Head into the London’s oldest whisky shop, Milroy's and let them know you’re heading to The Vault. You’ll be pointed in the direction of a bookcase, push it open, head down a dark and narrow neon-lit stairway into a little whisky laced speakeasy.
This pub in Bethnal Green is owned by the Discount Suit Company boys and it's simple but effective. They rotate eight banging local beers so whenever you go you’re sure to get something new but if you wanna move on to cocktails, it's what these guys do best. Plus you can trade some rock ‘n roll vinyls for a freebie. Cheap date.
444 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AN
This pub is awesome, they brew their own beer, get up a huge fire pit to keep you warm outdoors and their food is spot on too. Throw in the DJs that rock their decks each weekend and this is the place that'll keep your date going from afternoon to an all-night session.
360 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7BT
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