Features

Neil Frame 13/06/24


101 London Date Ideas

101 London Date Ideas | Quirky Things To Do For Date Night

Chances are high that you’re either in a relationship, or single.

And whichever it is, well, you’re going to need date ideas.

And that’s where we come in, because while yes the whole of The Nudge is filled with amazing London date ideas, with hidden spots and romantic nooks for you to explore, we also relentlessly and lovingly update this: our humble collection of 101 London Date Ideas which will help you to not only secure the lifelong devotion of whomever it is you’re trying to impress, but also – hopefully – allow you to have a little fun along the way.

We’d call that a win-win.


1. CATCH A SHOW AT WILTON’S
Wapping | ££

Step into London’s last remaining Victorian music hall, then go for post-show drinks at the 300-year old Mahogany Bar.

Details: 1 Graces Alley, London E1 8JBSee what’s on

2. SLIP INTO A COCKTAIL BAR BELOW A DELI
Soho | ££

bar lina

And show that when it comes to hidden bars, you know your onions.

Details: 18 Brewer St, London W1F 0SG Book here

3. GO TO A GOOD OL’ LOUISIANA CRAWFISH BOIL
Bermondsey | £££

Crayfish Bob's Crawfish Boil

And dance to live zydeco music on the cobbles.

Details: Gosnell’s Taproom, Arch 72 Enid Street, London, SE16 3RA | £54 | Book here

4. GO TO A MYSTERY SHORT FILM NIGHT
Kennington | £

exploding cinema quirky date idea

Then debrief over French food & live jazz at Toulouse Lautrec.

Details: Monthly events | The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH | £7.50

5. TOUR LONDON’S UNUSUAL MUSEUMS
Across London | £

Last Tuesday Society Viktor Wynd Museum

First to find UCL’s famous Jar of Moles wins.

6. STOCK A PICNIC BASKET AT ONE OF LONDON’S BEST FOOD MARKETS
All Over London | ££

markets date ideas

Then take it to one of the many lovely parks in London.

7. GO LEAF PEEPING FROM ABOVE THE TREETOPS AT KEW GARDENS
Kew | ££

Kew Gardens

Then get steamy in the Victorian glasshouses.

Details: Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE | £12-20

8. TAKE ROMANCE TO NEW HEIGHTS AT LIFT 109
Battersea | ££

By ascending the chimneys of Battersea Power Station.

Details: Circus Rd West, Nine Elms, Battersea, SW8 5BN | £17 | Book here

9. TAKE A STROLL ALONG REGENT’S CANAL
Paddington to Hackney | Free

regents canal free date idea

James Petts/Flickr

And wind up at Barge East for wine on the water.

Details: Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Lane, London E9 5EN | Book here

10. WATCH FILMS ON THE ORIGINAL 16mm REELS
Hackney | ££

At Ciné Real’s incredibly special screening nights.

Details: First Floor, 64 – 66 Brooksby’s Walk, London E9 6DA Book tickets

 

11. TAKE ONE GIANT LEAP INTO THIS LUNAR EXHIBITION
King’s Cross | £££

moonwalkers cool date idea

Then go to Barrafina for tapas that’s out of this world.

Details: Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DY £25

12. GO (WILD) LIFE DRAWING
Across London | £££

wild life drawing fun date

Invent pet names for each other. And the models.

Details: Regular events – see what’s on here

13. RUN AWAY FOR THE DAY
Not London | ££

These lovely places are all reachable in 2 hours, but we’ve included some hotel suggestions if you wanted to stay…

14. TAKE A POTTERY CLASS
Across London | £££

Teachers looove it when you do the ‘Ghost’ thing.

15. MAKE CANDLES TOGETHER AT EARL OF EAST
Soho | £££

Candle workshop at Earl of East

Though obviously, nobody holds a candle to your date…

Details: Regular dates | Unit 2, Quadrant Arcade, Regent Street, London W1B 5RL | £55pp

16. LISTEN TO SOME LITERALLY LIFE-CHANGING MUSIC
Wapping | ££

One Track Minds

At One Track Minds, a mash-up of TED Talks and Desert Island Discs…

Details: 2nd & 3rd JulyWilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, London E1 8JB Book here

17. PRESS FOR CHAMPAGNE AT BOB BOB RICARD
Soho | ££££

Champagne at Bob Bob Ricard

Trust us, it’s glorious.

Details: 1 Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DF Book here

18. CHECK OUT ONE OF LONDON’S NEWEST RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Across London | ££

Bambi

Or plan ahead, with our guide to restaurants opening soon.

19. GET STUFFED AT AFTERNOON TEA
Across London | ££-££££

romantic afternoon tea london

These places somehow make egg and cress an aphrodisiac.

20. SPEND A DAY EXPLORING SPITALFIELDS MARKET
Spitalfields | Free

Records at Spitalfields Market

Compete to see who can find the most hilariously old-school record cover.

Details: 65 Brushfield St, London E1 6AA | Open daily

21. THEN MOSEY DOWN BRICK LANE
Brick Lane | £

Dark Sugars Brick Lane

Mooch round the vintage stores, go bowling, feast on Indian food and get the city’s best hot chocolate at Dark Sugars.

Details: Brick Lane, E1 6QL

22. TAKE A CANDLELIT WINE BATH TOGETHER
Strand | £££££

aire ancient baths london

It’s how you’ll be living out your retirement years, so test the waters (so to speak) now.

Details: 2-3 Robert St, Covent Garden, WC2N 6RL From £98pp Book here

23. TRY LIFE DRAWING WITH LIVE MUSIC
Dalston | ££

hacknakey quirky date ideas

The models and the musicians are naked. Let’s just hope they’re not as attractive as you, so your date doesn’t get distracted.

Details: Kraft Dalston, 130a Kingsland High Street, E8 2LQ £22-25

24. TAKE YOUR CASE TO EVANS & PEEL
Earl’s Court | ££

evans & peel date spot

Put on big trench coats, hustle down to this 1940s detective’s office, and try to find the hidden speakeasy…

Details: 310c Earls Court Road, London SW5 9BA | Book here

25. DINE WITH LIVE MUSIC AT BRASSERIE ZEDEL
Piccadilly Circus | ££

brasserie zedel date spot

Then sip cocktails in their authentic 1930s bar

Details: 20 Sherwood St, London W1F 7ED Book here

26. BRAVE A TAXIDERMY CLASS
Hackney | ££££

unusual date ideas

And give each other crabs!

Details: Regular dates | Secret location | From £50

27. SPARK OLD-SCHOOL ROMANCE AT A JAZZ BAR
Across London | £

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Bar London

It’s hard to beat.

28. GO DANCING AT THE RIVOLI
Brockley | £

rivoli ballroom quirky date spot

Peter Dazeley

A totally unchanged 1950s ballroom, with a cash bar and regular retro themed nights.

Details: Monthly events350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, SE4 2BY | See what’s on here

29. TAKE IN AN EXHIBITION
Across London | ££

yinka shonibare exhibition london

© Yinka Shonibare CBE

Expressionism! Edwardian portraits! An interrogation of the under-representation of female artists through history!
^

30. ENTRUST THE BARTENDER WITH AN OMAKASE COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE
Knightsbridge | ££££

aubrey omakase cocktail experience

And leave with a bottle of your favourite to take… somewhere else.

Details: The Aubrey, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA£198 + 15% service | Book here

31. MAKE YOUR OWN BESPOKE PERFUMES
Covent Garden | £££££

Now you’re making scents.

Details: 53 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9DG£175+

32. PLAY GUESS WHO IN THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
Charing Cross | Free

national portrait gallery

David Parry

Then get London’s finest gelato at Gelupo.

Details: National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE | Open daily

33. HIT UP A RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW
Across London | £££

romantic restaurants with a view

With a view to impressing your date. 

34. GET ON YER BIKES, AND GO ON A MONUMENT CRAWL
Around London | £

Tower Bridge

A proper London date. We recommend including the Monument itself, the view up there is amazing.

35. GO CRAZY GOLFING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Across London | £

Or, you know, Barnet.

36. GET LOST IN THE BARBICAN CONSERVATORY
Barbican | Free (but book ahead)

Barbican Conservatory

A pop up bar, terrapins, and 1,500+ species of plants…

Details: Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS Book here

37. TAKE A STROLL ALONG THE SOUTH BANK
South Bank | Free

summer date ideas london

Grab a bite at the Southbank Centre’s food market, take in an exhibition at the Hayward, watch a show at the National, and sip award-winning cocktails at Lyaness.

38. PLAY PETANQUE ON THE KING’S CROSS RIVIERA
King’s Cross | Free

petanque date idea London

And restore all those burnt-off calories at Coal Office.

Details: Pancras Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AG No bookings

39. SIP DRINKS ON A ROOFTOP OVERLOOKING THE CITY
Across London | ££

rooftop bars date spots

Cocktails, amazing views, and most importantly, emergency umbrellas.

40. PLAY THE MOST ROMANTIC ROUND OF CRAZY GOLF EVER AT SWINGERS
Oxford Circus/The City | ££

Swingers London golf

Remember: in golf, being sub-par is a good thing.

Details: 8 Brown’s Buildings, St. Mary Axe, EC3A 8AL | 15 John Prince’s Street, W1G 0AB £12+

41. FLOAT ALONG THE CANALS IN A HOT TUG
Canary Wharf | ££££

hot tug boats london

It’s literally a hot tub. That’s also a boat.

Details: Off Hertsmere Road, West India Quay, Canary Wharf, E14 4AL £130-180

42. SEE SOMETHING AMAZING AT THE THEATRE
Across London | ££

Remember this? It’s like Netflix, but 3D. 

43. PLAY A FEW ROUNDS OF DARTS AT FLIGHT CLUB
Finsbury Square/Bloomsbury/Victoria/Islington | ££

flight club date ideas

Use the board to determine what you drink.

44. SURROUND YOURSELVES WITH ART AT BIGGER & CLOSER
King’s Cross | £££

David Hockney’s celebrated exhibition is back at the four-storey high digital art cube that is Lightroom. And in September, world-class pianist Yuja Wang will be performing some highly unique concerts there…

Details: 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, London N1C 4DY | Book here

45. TACKLE THE BERMONDSEY BEER MILE
Bermondsey | ££

bermondsey beer mile

For some pint-sized fun.

46. THEN STROLL THROUGH MALTBY STREET MARKET
Bermondsey | £

Maltby Street

Create your own banquet with a course from each stall…

Details: Saturdays 10am-5pm, Sundays 11am-4pmRopewalk, Maltby St, London SE1 3PA Free entry

47. EXPLORE ABANDONED TUBE TUNNELS BELOW GROUND
Across London | ££££

hidden london abandoned tube tunnel

Don’t let your date say you never take them anywhere nice.

48. LISTEN TO LIVE MUSIC IN A CHURCH CRYPT
Charing Cross | ££

quirky date ideas

It’s surprisingly lively down there…

Details: Regular events St Martin-in-the-Fields , Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ £9-29

49. NERD OUT AT FOUR QUARTERS
Peckham | £

Four Quarters

Show off your video game skills. Loser buys a round of craft beers.

Details: 187 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP Book here

50. SURPRISE YOUR DATE WITH AN UNUSUAL RESTAURANT
Across London | ££

sketch quirky date spot

For when you feel like chicken (fat tarte tatin) tonight.

51. TAKE A BOAT TRIP TO GREENWICH
Greenwich | ££

greenwich

Jianfeng Jin/Unsplash

Then drink like sailors at one of Greenwich’s best pubs.

52. CLIMB THE O2 BY TWILIGHT, DRINK CHAMPAGNE AT THE TOP
Greenwich | £££

unusual date ideas london

It’s a long climb. Perfect for checking out, or improving, your date’s stamina.

Details: The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX £35+

53. INVITE YOUR DATE TO PLAY SQUID GAME AT IMMERSIVE GAMEBOX
Southwark | £

Squid Game 3

It’s probably not exactly like the show. Probably.

Details: Arch 3, 83 Scoresby Street, Southwark, SE1 0XN£31+ Book here

54. WATCH A FILM SOMEWHERE BEAUTIFUL
Across London | ££

date cinema london

Cocktails, blankets and cinema beds. 

55. TAKE A COCKTAIL MASTERCLASS
Across London | £££

Best Cocktail-Making Classes in London: Sauce by The Langham

When you feel like shaking things up.

56. WATCH TOP COMEDIANS IN A HISTORIC CHURCH
Highbury | ££

live at the chapel comedy date idea

They’ll have you rolling in the aisles.

Details: Monthly gigsUnion Chapel, 19b Compton Terrace, N1 2UN £27.50

57. GO TO THE THURSDAY LATE AT NOVELTY AUTOMATION
Holborn | £

Novelty Automation

Play a friendly game of Divorce, then make up over a glass of wine.

Details: Thursdays, 12-8pm | 1A Princeton St, London WC1R 4AY

58. DO EVERYTHING AT THE HORNIMAN MUSEUM
Forest Hill | Free

horniman museum quirky date

They’ve got a butterfly house, a farmers’ market, an outdoor musical garden, a pygmy goat enclosure, an aquarium, a functioning bandstand, a Dutch barn, 16 acres of gardens… aaaand a giant overstuffed walrus.

Details: Open daily 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ Free

59. DRINK COCKTAILS AT NIGHTJAR
Old Street | ££

Nightjar london date bars

They have 100 year-old Pimm’s, and considerably younger musicians.

Details: 129-131 City Road, EC1V 1JB Book here

60. SEE WHO CAN HAGGLE THE BEST DEAL AT PORTOBELLO MARKET
Notting Hill | ££

Portobello road london date spots

Paul Hudson/Flickr

The most quintessential of London dates.

Details: Saturdays | Portobello Road, London W11 1LJ

61. TAKE THE BOAT FROM TATE BRITAIN TO THE TATE MODERN
Bankside | £

Tate Modern

Then talk about the signs, doors, and chairs as if they were exhibits. 

62. TAKE A STROLL ON HAMPSTEAD HEATH
Hampstead | Free

hampstead heath london date spots

Take in the Pergola, Kenwood House, and a pub. Or two. Check out our full Hampstead Heath date idea here.

63. SCALE THE WALLS OF A STOKE NEWINGTON CASTLE
Stoke Newington | £

Because it actually houses a rock climbing centre.

Details: Castle Climbing Centre, Green Lanes, Stoke Newington, N4 2HA | £16.50

64. DRESS UP ’40s STYLE AND GO TO CAHOOTS
Soho | £££

Cahoots date ideas

Order one of their ‘Dig for Victory’ vegetable cocktails.

Details: 13 Kingly Court, London W1B 5PW Book here

65. BLOW YOUR MINDS AT AN OPTICAL ILLUSIONS MUSEUM
Oxford Circus | £££

Twist Museum

Dan Weill Photography

It should put a spin on your typical London date…

Details: 248 Oxford Street, W1C 1DH£19+

66. TAKE YOUR DATE TO THE FAIRGROUND
Canary Wharf | ££

Fairgame

The kind with adrenaline-fuelled mini-games, street food, and boozy candy floss.

Details: 25 – 35 Fisherman’s Walk, Canary Wharf, E14 4DH | £15+ | Book here

67. GIVE CUPID A RUN FOR HIS MONEY
The City & Canary Wharf | ££

Clays Canary Wharf

Sharpen your aim with virtual clay pigeon shooting at Clays.

Details: 55 Moorgate, London EC2R 6LL | 1 Cabot Square, W India Ave, London E14 4QJ | Book here

68. GO BOWLING AT ALL STAR LANES
Holborn / Westfield / Brick Lane | ££

All Star Lanes fun date ideas

And see who can come up with the most puns about balls, pins, and splits.

69. HIT UP ONE OF LONDON’S MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS
All Over London | ££

romantic restaurants london

Some beautiful London date spots, with a little candlelight, a little live music, a little love in the air.

70. EAT CHEESE TOGETHER. ON A BARGE.
Paddington | ££

The Cheese Barge, Paddington

The key to anyone’s heart. Except the lactose intolerant.

Details: Sheldon Square, London W2 6DL Book here

71. SPEND AN ENTIRE DAY IN VICTORIA PARK
Hackney | £

Victoria Park

Start with a Sri Lankan breakfast at Pavilion, take a dessert from the Happy Endings hatch for a walk in the park, go boating, check out Victoria Park Market, then end with a glass of wine outside Bruno’s. Or, you know, just follow our perfectly planned date around Victoria Park.

Details: Victoria Park, Grove Road, E3 5SN

72. TAKE A HIKE
Not London | £

hikes near london

Francisco Autunes/Flickr

Or if it’s only a second date, test the waters with one of these walks in London.

73. BUILD-A-BOUQUET AT THE CHISWICK FLOWER MARKET
Chiswick | ££

chiswick flower market

Check out our full Chiswick date idea here.

Details: First Sunday of every month | Old Market Place, Chiswick High Road, W4 2DR

74. STROLL THE GLASS WALKWAY ABOVE TOWER BRIDGE
Tower Bridge | ££

Then look back on it over dinner at Tavolino.

Details: 2 More London Pl, London SE1 2RR Book here

75. VISIT THE HUNTERIAN MUSEUM
Holborn | Free

And see who gets grossed out first.

Details: The Royal College of Surgeons, 38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE | Open Tues-Sat

76. SIP ABSINTHE AT THE LAST TUESDAY SOCIETY
Hackney | £

Last Tuesday Society

Then descend into Viktor Wynd’s cabinet of curiosities below…

Details: 11 Mare St, London E8 4RP Book here

77. ATTEND A CONCERT IN A SUBTERRANEAN, VICTORIAN CAVERN
Rotherhithe | ££

debut unusual date ideas

They say Brunel was building a tunnel… but really, he was creating a Grade A date spot.

Details: Regular events | The Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £32 | Book here

78. GET YOUR SKATES ON AT FLIPPER’S ROLLER BOOGIE PALACE
Shepherd’s Bush | ££

Flippers Boogie Palace

It’s the revival of an iconic LA roller disco. Backed by Usher.

Details: Ariel Way, London W12 7SL | £20.50+

79. HIT THE OLYMPIC PING PONG TABLE AT BOUNCE
Farringdon / Shoreditch / Battersea | ££

Bounce active date ideas

Invent victory dances.

Details: 241 Old St, London EC1V 9EY | Book here

80. ORDER THE DUCK AND WAFFLE AT DUCK AND WAFFLE
Bishopsgate | £££

duck & waffle date

Best order it at 4am. Just because you can.

Details: Salesforce Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY Book here

81. BROWSE THE STALLS AT LONDON’S FLEA MARKETS

Buy each other an obnoxious piece of bric-a-brac, and insist your date displays it in pride of place at home.

82. TOP UP A TAB CARD AT VAGABOND WINES, DRINK DOZENS OF SAMPLES.
Various Locations | ££

cool date ideas london

Then buy a bottle of your favourite for your next date.

Details: 18-22 Vanston Place, London SW6 1AX | Book here

83. WATCH UN FILM ROMANTIQUE AT THE INSTITUT FRANÇAIS
South Kensington | £

Cine Lumiere date ideas

That’s French for ‘a romantic film’.

Details: Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT Book here

84. SMUGGLE BOOZE ONTO THE LONDON EYE
Westminster | £££

London eye date

These guys totally managed it.

Details: South Bank, London SE1 7PB | £19+

85. SIP COCKTAILS AT JOIA
Battersea | ££

JOIA

The mother of all date spots.

Details: art’otel Battersea, 1 Electric Boulevard, SW11 8BJ | Book here

86. TRY NOT TO PROPOSE AT CLOS MAGGIORE
Covent Garden | £££

romantic spots london

It’s craaaazy romantic there. If you book a table in the right room (this one).

Details: 33 King St, London WC2E 8JD | Book here

87. PLAY BOARDGAMES TOGETHER AT DRAUGHTS
Dalston/Waterloo | ££

draughts date idea

Do NOT play Monopoly if you want there to be a second date.

Details: 41 Kingsland High St, London, E8 2JS | £7.25+ | Book here

88. TAKE A CANDLELIT TOUR ROUND SIR JOHN SOANE’S HOUSE
Holborn | £££ (Free by day)

quirky date idea sir john soane's museum

Feat. salvaged architecture, an imaginary monk, and moving walls…

Details: Open Wed-Sun 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP

89. HAVE A SHUFFLEBOARD CONTEST
London Bridge | ££

electric shuffle london bridge

Then toast your victory with cocktails at Swift Borough.

Details: 10 Bermondsey St, London SE1 2ER £20+ | Book here

90. GO FOR A DIP IN A HEATED LIDO
London Fields | £

london fields lido heated

Peter Smith/Flickr

And if you still need warming up afterwards, grab a couple of small plates at Bambi.

Details: London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU £6 Book ahead

91. WANDER ACROSS ACRES OF URBAN WETLANDS
Walthamstow | Free

walthamstow wetlands free date idea

Then hole up in Tottenham’s tiniest pub.

92. GO TO LONDON ZOO. DECIDE WHY THE ANIMALS ARE IN PRISON.
Regents Park | £££

london date ideas

Those zebras are wearing comedy burglar outfits.

Details: Regent’s Park Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY | £27-33 | Get tickets here

93. HIRE YOUR OWN BOAT FOR THE DAY
Paddington | £££

Go Boat

And speak like pirates all day.

Details: Merchant Square, Paddington, W2 1AS £65+

94. GO TO ELTHAM PALACE, PRETEND TO BE ROYALTY
Eltham | £

london date ideas

Take a picnic to enjoy by the moat.

Details: Eltham Palace, Court Yard, London SE9 5QE £21.50

95. GO FOR BRUNCH
Across London | ££

london date restaurants

Because if the date doesn’t go well, at least you’ve had brunch.

96. DRESS UP IN RIDICULOUSLY FANCY OUTFITS
Covent Garden | £

royal ballet and opera date night

And book £9 tickets to see the Royal Ballet.

Details: Royal Ballet and Opera, Bow St, London WC2E 9DD | See what’s on

97. WANDER THROUGH A SPITALFIELDS HOUSE TRAPPED IN TIME
Spitalfields | £

Dennis Severs House

The candlelit evening tours are silent – so you can save all your best jokes for dinner at Brat afterwards.

Details: 18 Folgate St, London E1 6BX | £16-25 | Book here

98. PIT YOUR WITS AGAINST AN ESCAPE ROOM
Across London | ££

Modern Fables London escape rooms

If you can survive an hour of high-intensity puzzling while locked in a room together, it probably bodes well. 

99. TAKE A DAY TRIP TO A VINEYARD NEAR LONDON

Tillingham Winery

Resist the urge to sing I Heard It On The Grapevine over and over.

100. OR STAY PUT, AND VISIT LONDON CRU
Fulham | ££

london cru wine tastings

You can literally squeeze grapes with your squeeze.

Details: 21-27 Seagrave Road, London SW6 1RPBook tours here

101. GO DEER-SPOTTING IN RICHMOND PARK
Richmond | Free

London attraction: Richmond Park

Then have dinner at the effortlessly romantic Petersham Nurseries.

Details: Church Lane, Petersham Road, TW10 7AB | Book here

 


Looking for more London date ideas? Take a look at what’s on in London this month