9 fun London date ideas

Wander by the Thames, enjoy cocktails on a roof terrace, and dine in candlelit restaurants – dates in London are a recipe for romance. Here are nine fun London date ideas.

Paris may have Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’ and Rome may have the Trevi Fountain (the site of romantic superstition for centuries), but London can definitely hold its own when it comes to swoon-inducing settings. If you’ve got a date in the capital lined up and you’re looking to really bowl that special someone over, read on to discover some brilliant London date ideas.

Do a tasting – with a difference London is a great place to do a wine, whisky or gin tasting. If you and your date are passionate about fine vintages and cutting edge cocktails, but seeking something a little more adventurous than the norm, book yourselves onto one of these tastings. At Mr Fogg’s you can browse London’s largest gin collection in the quirky surroundings of a lovingly designed Victorian parlour, or enjoy a Tipsy Tea complete with champagne and gin. At Skylon on the Southbank you can enjoy a wine tasting made extraordinary by the fantastic views of the Thames. As for whisky tasting? You can’t do much better than Black Rock in Shoreditch. Not only are there 250 bottles in the cabinets, there’s a large table constructed from an oak tree trunk containing two “rivers” of whisky.

Dance the night away When trying to come up with London date ideas, dancing might not instantly spring to mind. While we Brits aren’t known for our dancing skills, London is actually a bustling destination for dance schools and venues. If you’re seeking a date idea that’s a little more energetic and adventurous than your standard drinks-and-dinner combo, head to one of the capital’s many salsa bars, order a Cuba Libre, and get those hips moving. If swing dance is more your tempo, check out Swing Out London for a list of classes and events nearby. Remember: if you decide to opt for something particularly high energy, warn your date that dancing is ahead so they can dress accordingly!

Dine 30 storeys up London is not short of skyscrapers, and while some of them are a bit of an eyesore, they can be the perfect destination for a romantic date. Head to the Shard to dine at the Shangri-La Hotel’s Ting restaurant – where European classics are given a modern Asian twist – and to sip cocktails at Gong, the highest bar in Western Europe. Another great spot for drinks and dining is Galvin at the Windows in the Hilton Hyde Park – here you can gaze out at the beautiful capital while you dine on Michelin-starred dishes. A twinkling cityscape and some excellent grub will be sure to rustle up some romance.

Get competitive with bar games Going by the success of Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi’s marriage, there’s a lot to be said for injecting some healthy sporting rivalry into a relationship early on. Of course, there’s no need to take to the tennis court on your first date. Instead try out one of London’s hip new bars that specialise in modern takes on traditional bar games. Head to Bounce and you can challenge your date to a game of ping pong while sipping on an excellent craft beer or cocktail. At Flight Club you can try your hand at darts, ordering food and drinks to your table and getting a laugh out of the slo-mo reaction shots that appear on screen after a round. London is also home to many trendy modern pool bars and bowling alleys where you can work out some sexual tension trying to rack up that high score…

Enjoy a picnic in the park Need help coming up with some London date ideas? One of the best things about London is its vast array of gorgeous green spaces. Should the right weather come along at the right time, seize the opportunity and plan a picnic in the park. Hampstead Heath is the place to go for walking trails, while Regent’s Park and Greenwich Park come with lots of nearby attractions. If you’re simply seeking a stretch of well-kept grass you’ll be spoilt for choice. Make things that little bit more special by upgrading your usual picnic fare. Instead of ham sandwiches and crisps plan an array of deli delights: quiche, pâté, charcuterie, excellent cheeses, and some crusty French bread. Oh, and don’t forget the champagne.