Rumour has it that a tunnel once led from Buckingham Palace straight to the cellars of St James’s wine merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd, thus allowing Charles II to surreptitiously visit his mistresses without being spotted.
Luckily, you won’t need to go to such lengths to impress your paramour; partly because you’re not (presumably) a 17th century king whose infidelity could potentially destabilise the entire monarchy, but also partly because the area’s now home to a fair few date-worthy spots above ground, too – which we happen to have collated into a succinct guide for your delectation.
So behold, the best date ideas in St James’s…
Picnic in St James’s Square
Turns out the grass is just literally greener here.
Details: St James’s Square, SW1Y 4LE | Open daily 10am-4.30pm | Free Entry
Head to an Exhibition at the Royal Academy
Even better, see it after hours at one of their immersive, cocktail fuelled Late parties…
Details: Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD | Open daily 10am-6pm (10pm Fridays) | Ticketed exhibitions vary
Go Tea Tasting at Whittard’s
And finish with their white hot chocolate.
Details: 13 Regent Street St James’s, SW1Y 4LR | Open 9am-8pm daily (from 10am Sundays) | Free
See Who Can Eat The Most Danish Pastries at Ole & Steen
The good news is, you both win.
Details: 56 Haymarket, No 2 St James’s Market, SW1Y 4RP | Open daily | £
See If You Can Break the 2 Martini Rule at Dukes
Warning: you may leave feeling both shaken and stirred. READ MORE
Details: 35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY | Open daily 2-11pm (4-10.30pm Sundays) | ££££
Watch the Pelicans’ Feeding Time
Credit: Amy Gowens Hirschberg/Flickr
Yes, St James’s park has NATIVE PELICANS.
Details: St James’s Park, SW1A 2BJ | Feeding time at 2.30-3pm daily | Free Entry
Order Ice Cream Sodas and Caviar at 45 Jermyn St.
You are nailing this whole adult thing.
Details: 45 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6DN | Open daily | £££
Browse the 40kg Cheese Wheels at Paxton & Whitfield
Insist on dropping terrible puns into every sentence.
Details: 93 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6JE | Open daily 10-6.30pm (11-5pm Sundays) | ££
…Then Freshen Up in Floris
England’s oldest perfumers still hold the enviable title of “Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales.”
Details: 89 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6JH | Open daily 9.30-6.30pm (11.30-5.30pm Sundays) | £££
Go Wine Tasting at Pall Mall Fine Wines
For better or for worse, there is also a piano you can play.
Details: 6-8 Royal Opera Arcade, SW1Y 1UY | Open Mon-Sat | ££
Eat an Old School Pre Theatre Dinner at Rowley’s
Their steaks come with unlimited fries. You have been warned.
Details: 113 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6HJ | Open daily | £££
…Before You Catch A Show Across The Road
Michael Gambon and Imogen Stubbs have both trodden the boards of the dinky Jermyn Street Theatre.
Details: 16b Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6ST | Show times and prices vary
Learn to Roll Sushi at Sake No Hana
And eat your homework.
Details: 23 Saint James’s Street, SW1A 1HA | Regular dates | £127
Sip Cocktails in a Courtyard at The Stafford
Or retire into the eclectic American Bar if it rains.
Details: 16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ | Open daily 8am-11pm | ££££
Go For Drinks at The Ritz
The True Gentleman comes with its own miniature cane.
Details: The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR | Open daily 11.30am-11.30pm (12-10.30pm Sundays) | £££££
Eat Brunch at The Wolseley
Then, however the date goes, at least you’ve had brunch.
Details: 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB | Open daily (from 7am weekdays, 8am weekends) | ££££
Have Afternoon Tea at the Saddlery Café
It’s a hidden, minimalist oasis beneath the Osprey store.
Details: Osprey London, 27 Regent Street, SW1Y 4NQ | Open 10-7pm daily (12-5pm Sundays) | ££
Go All Out at Caviar House & Prunier
It’s worth pooling your life savings for. Probably.
Details: 161 Piccadilly, W1J 9EA | Open daily 10am-9pm (11-6pm Sundays) | ££££
Enrol at Champagne School at Berry Bros & Rudd
Nine champagnes. One historic wine merchants. And you.
Details: 2 Pickering Place, SW1A 1EA | Regular events | £155
Prop Up the Bar at Quaglino’s
Serving up foolproof date ideas in St James’s since 1929.
Details: 16 Bury Street, SW1Y 6AJ | Open daily until 1am (3am Fri-Sat, 5pm Sun) | Cocktails from £13
Main image: RA Lates
NOTE: You can find more inspiration for date ideas in St James’s on the area’s official website HERE, and check out our full St James’s guide HERE.
Looking for a good nightcap spot? Check out our guide to the best bars in St James’s