Whether you’re a serial dater or you’ve finally plucked up the courage to ask that special someone, first dates are a daunting – especially when you’re the one who has to make the plans! If you need a little bit of inspiration for a date in the city, Our Top 20 London first date ideas will have you cruising down the Thames, taking in a few rooftop views and boogying into each other’s arms. There has never been a better time to ask out the special someone for a first date in London.
1. An evening at Gordon’s Wine Bar
Situated a stone’s throw away from the river, this little gem is the perfect candle-lit place to get to know your date over a glass of wine.
Gordon’s Wine Bar
47 Villiers St, London
020 7930 1408
2. Drive-In Film Club
Indulge your Grease movie fantasy and take your date to Alexandra Palace where you can watch classic movies at an American-style drive-in, complete with popcorn and candy delivered straight to your car.
Tickets £22 until April 2014
Drive-In Film Club
Alexandra Palace Way
3. Cycling through Hyde Park
Take advantage of being in one of the most beautiful cities in the world in spring and cycle around Hyde Park with your date, stopping at the café overlooking the Serpentine to take in the view. Then, if you’re feeling brave and the weather is set fair, coax him or her onto a pedalo.
Tube: Hyde Park Corner
4. Roller disco in Vauxhall
For a retro-cool first date, ditch dinner and go to the Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall where ‘80s garb is an absolute must. Falling over is part of the deal, so prepare for some enforced handholding to steady you on your feet…
The Renaissance Rooms
020 7720 9140
5. Borough Market
Dating a foodie? Explore Borough Market and hop between the amazing stalls, sneaking a few tasters and sweet treats as you go. There’s always the selection of local pubs to head into if the weather changes and the date is going well.
8 Southwark St
Tube: Borough or London Bridge
6. Cocktails at London Cocktail Club
This tiny bar has a great atmosphere and plays ‘90s classics mixed in with crowd pleasers. Perfect if you’re looking for a Central London date night.
London Cocktail Club
4 Great Portland St
Tube: Oxford Circus
7. Portobello Road Market
Stroll down one of London’s most loved streets on market day, and trawl through the hundreds of antiques on offer.
Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 8am-6.30pm, Thu half day until 1pm
Tube: Notting Hill Gate
8. Afternoon Tea at Cannizaro House
Have a traditional afternoon tea at Cannizaro House, Tucked away in Wimbledon, before exploring the extensive grounds, spotting a statue or two on your way.
W Side Common
020 8879 1464
9. Tate Modern
Keen to impress a cerebral first date? Revise the night before and exercise your arts knowledge artsy at Tate Modern. Coffee by the river is a must afterwards.
10. Thames Clipper
Not into walking? Why not take your new date around London on the water? The Thames Clipper covers all the major sights including Big Ben, St Paul’s and the LOndon Eye. A great first date especially by moonlight.
Route: Woolwich – Putney
11. Cocktails at Radio Rooftop Bar
Looking for the wow factor on your first date in London? We love this rooftop bar. Take a lift to the top of the ME Hotel and enjoy an evening sipping cocktails, with the added benefit of a breathtaking view of the city below.
Radio Rooftop Bar
12. Tapas at La Mancha
Compatibility relies on being able to share food. Go for tapas at this sweet restaurant and test whether he or she is really okay with you taking some fritas.
142 Chiswick High Road
13. Breakfast at The Breakfast Club
If you can face queuing in the name of bacon or pancakes, hit The Breakfast Club for a delicious morning meeting. Enjoy juices and full English plates in a suitably cool establishment.
The Breakfast Club
31 Camden Passage
14. Soho Comedy Club
If you want a laugh a minute on your first date but you don’t want the pressure (we don’t blame you) sit back and let some of London’s best standups do the work for you.
Soho Comedy CLub
5-6 Leicester Square
Tube: Oxford Circus
15. Late Nights at London Zoo
Assess whether your first date is an animal lover by heading to London Zoo on a Friday night for an evening with tigers, monkeys and the like. Pop-up bars, performances and the carousel are a must. Animal-themed onesies at your discretion.
Tube: Camden Town
16. Picnic on Parliament Hill
Why not take your date to one of London’s top romantic spots (weather permitting)? Sit on Parliament Hill in Hampstead and look out over the city with your tipple of choice.
17. Natural History Museum
Get nostalgic and share your first date with the scariest animals to walk the planet – remember the days when the dinosaurs really did seem terrifying? Release your inner child and geek out amongst the other treasures and exhibitions at the Natural History Museum.
Natural History Museum
020 7942 5000
Open Monday to Sunday from 10.00-17.50, except 24-26 December. Last admission 17.30.
Tube: South Kensington
18. Walk over the O2
If you want an adventurous first date in London, UP at the O2 is a good move. Scaling the roof of an iconic building to 360-degree views of the city is bound to get the conversation started.
Tube: North Greenwich
19. Coffee at Fernandez and Wells
Go for a classic first date at this charming coffee bar – it offers great food and smooth flat whites. Pick the Somerset House branch for an idyllic setting for those getting-to-know-you chats.
Fernandez and Wells at Somerset House
Weekdays – 8am-10pm
Saturday – 10am-10pm
Sunday – 10am-8pm
20. Ping Pong at Bounce
Expose your competitive streak at Bounce, London’s popular Ping Pong club. Think along the lines of bowling but without the smelly shoes, and a lot of beer.
020 3657 6525