Ronnie Scott’s | Soho Jazz Bar
Last Updated: 25th February 2019
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or picking out somewhere to head for a first date, Ronnie Scott’s is a good bet.
This isn’t, as you’d be forgiven for expecting, because it’s a world-renowned jazz club.
Nor is it because it offers dinner, drinks and entertainment all in one place (removing the need to source 3 different venues).
And nor is it for its proximity to several other Soho gems, including Karaoke Box and Little Italy (should the need for an “after-party” arise).
Ronnie Scott’s is the place for lovers (and “hopefully lovers”) mainly because of its no talking rule.
When the music’s playing, there’s nothing to do but listen to it and gaze lovingly at your companion over the soft glow of your candlelit table. Which means, for first dates, no awkward small talk and, for couples, no secondhand conversation or – perhaps more likely – arguments.
It’s the perfect date.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, Ronnie Scott’s is something of a rare, authentic slice of old Soho, dotted with low-lit cabaret tables, velvety booths and jazz legends adorning the ruby red walls. The intimate stage here plays host to at least two shows a night, every night – and has been graced by some of the genre’s greats, as well as up-and-coming artists.
Back to that dinner – the food here is no afterthought. While the suave strains of the sax caress your eardrums, your tastebuds will be equally well looked-after with the likes of Scottish lobster; Gressingham duck breast (with a duck leg ‘bonbon’); saffron risotto with truffle, squash and parmesan; and – if you’re feeling plush – caviar.
Arrive in time for the late late show at 11pm (1am Friday and Saturday), and you can still score small plates, like guinea fowl and smoked pancetta croquettes; salted padrón peppers and jamón Ibérico. You’ll need the sustenance if you’re planning to hit the dancefloor upstairs – open from 6pm-3am most nights – where live musicians blast out everything from Latin and flamenco to funk and soul.
And of course, like all the best plans, it’ll feel completely spontaneous.
Mainly because you can’t talk about it.
WHAT’S ON AT RONNIE SCOTT’S THIS WEEK (25th February)
MONDAY | Main: Kind of Blue: 1959 – The Year That Shaped Jazz [SOLD OUT] | Late Late Show: Walking Distance Plays ‘Freebird’: Re-imagining Charlie Parker | Upstairs: Acoustic Jazz Lounge (from 6pm)
TUESDAY | Main: Carminho [SOLD OUT] | Late Late Show: Alex Garnett presents… Luca Caruso Quartet | Upstairs: Ruby Sings, then Ruby Sings Jam from 11pm
WEDNESDAY | Main: Carminho [SOLD OUT] | Late Late Show: João Caetano | Upstairs: The Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs Jazz Jam
THURSDAY | Main: Snowboy and the Latin Section feat. Jen Kearney | Late Late Show: PYJÆN | Upstairs: The W3 Sessions (jazz & funk)
FRIDAY | Main: Snowboy and the Latin Section feat. Jen Kearney [SOLD OUT] | Late Late Show: Carl Orr Quartet | Upstairs: Viva Cuba
SATURDAY | Main: Jose Neto and the NetoBand | Late Late Show: Carl Orr Quartet | Upstairs: Funky Nation
SUNDAY | Main: Groove Armada DJ Set exclusive + Doncaster Jazz Orchestra: Big Band Dance Classics | Sunday Jazz Lunch: Adrian Cox “Profoundly Blue” – a tribute to Edmond Hall [SOLD OUT] | Upstairs: Women In Jazz: Jessica Lauren 4 (special guest Josephine Davies), Shirley Tetteh & Zakia
Need more date ideas in Soho? Well, coincidentally, we have a Soho Date Guide…