Even if you don’t live in England’s capital, London is a handy location for meet-ups, thanks to an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and cultural attractions. There’s a venue to suit all tastes and interests. However, choosing can be tough if you’re meeting the person for the first time.
Are you struggling to come up with awesome first date ideas? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of London’s top establishments and institutes for your romantic rendezvous – which is your favourite?
1. The restaurants
The world’s recipe book is laid open before you when you’re in London. Walk down any street and you’ll find cuisines from across the globe. Picking the right one for your date means you need to look beyond the menu, though. Atmosphere plays just as important a part so choose a restaurant with the ‘wow factor’.
Circus in Covent Garden is a decadent blend of classy cocktail bar and cabaret club. Serving colourful Pan Asian dishes, this glamorous establishment will win points for the food, but the main attraction is the entertainment. Sequined acrobats tumble from hoops above your table while fire-eaters roam the floor. You definitely won’t run out of things to talk about.
For dinner out with a difference, head to Shaka Zulu in the heart of Camden. This vibrant South African eatery goes all out to impress its guests. Authentic wooden murals cover the walls while statues of Zulu warriors stand guard over the entrance.
2. The bars
Bars aren’t the only place singles can find love but they’re ideal for first dates – quiet enough to chat and not too formal. Pick the right one and you have the makings for a perfect evening.
Lost Society has become a legendary location in South West London. Housed in a barn dating back to the 16th century, this bar’s elegant art deco theme exudes from every nook and cranny. Settle down with a cocktail and get to know each other better or make a night of it and stay for the DJ.
3. The cultural attractions
With so many events, museums and art galleries to attract culture vultures, it’s tricky narrowing down the numbers to find the most appropriate location for your date. It helps if you know a bit about your potential partner first. Online dating website eHarmony UK will match you with people with similar interests. However, if you still need help, read on.
South Kensington is the home of London’s world famous museums – and most of the exhibits are free to enter. See fine and exquisite examples of design in the V&A. Housing everything from crystal-encrusted jewellery to sequinned ball gowns and religious artefacts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
For art that’s guaranteed to provoke a reaction, arrange a meeting at the Saatchi Gallery. Often seen as the forerunner in the modern art scene, this institute is where you go if you want to see works by leading contemporary artists.
Tracey Chandler works as a freelance writer for a wide range of female-interest publications and also contributes regularly to travel blogs and magazines.