It can be hard to find a date spot in Soho that’s casual, yet impressive.
Modest, and glamorous.
Quirky, but reliable.
Especially as Pret’s always packed on a Friday.
So we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a comprehensive list of the best ways to while away an evening in the company of someone you like down in ol’ Soho…
Share a candlelit dinner at Andrew Edmunds
This 18th century townhouse has been rolling out romance for the last 30 years – we’re talking candles, good food, even better wine… Caution: May set an irrevocably high bar for the following dates. Read More.
Details: Open daily until 10.45/10.30pm (Sun) | 46 Lexington Street, W1F 0LP
Get blind drunk at The Blind Pig
Ok, it comes up in every date list. But evidently for excellent reasons:
1) It can be prefaced with a meal downstairs at Jason Atherton’s second Michelin-starred restaurant, Social Eating House,
2) It serves up exquisite cocktails with tongue-in-cheek presentation,
3) It has just the right amount of impressive intrigue with its speakeasy-style entrance, and
4) …Nah, that’s about all it has going for it. Read More.
Details: Open until midnight, Mon-Sat | Beneath the optician sign, 58 Poland Street, Soho, W1F 7NR
Get showstopper sushi at Oliver Maki
Order the Sushi Jewel box (a stacked five-storey tower filled with atmospheric smoke and an omakase sushi selection) and the matcha tiramisu, a pudding that looks like a mini zen garden in a terrarium. Trust us, your date will be Oliver it.
Details: Open until 11.30pm Mon-Thurs, midnight Fri & Sat and 10.30pm Sun | 33 Dean Street, W1D 4PW
Cosy up in Blanchette, speak as much French as you can
Tuck into sharer plates of mouthwatering French cuisine, and let the candlelight, fresh wildflowers and exposed brickwork do the talking. Hey presto, no awkward silences.
Details: Open until 11pm Mon-Sat and 9pm Sun | 9 D’Arblay Street, W1F 8DR
Go behind the curtain at La Bodega Negra
If you can persuade someone you barely know to follow you into what appears to be a Soho sex shop and down into its dark, subterranean depths – you’re probably onto a winner. Read More.
Details: Open Mon-Sat until 1am and midnight Sun | 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF
Spend an entire evening at Brasserie Zedel
For a date that looks like pure decadence but actually stems from sheer laziness and a strong aversion to spending too long walking around between venues, hole up at Zedel’s for the evening, where you’ll find a 1930s cocktail bar, glamorous turn-of-the-century French brasserie, and cabaret, music and comedy venue The Crazy Coqs all under one roof. Read More.
Details: Open until midnight Mon-Sat and 11pm Sun, Bar Américain is also open until 1am Thurs-Sat | 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED
Have pudding for dinner at Basement Sate
Because pudding and cocktails are the key to anyone’s heart. And if it’s not, at least you know early on that this is not going to work. Read More.
Details: Open until 1.30am Tues-Sat and midnight Mon & Sun | 8 Broadwick Street, W1F 8HN
Dress up ‘40s style, and go back in time at Cahoots
The baby boomer generation obviously did something right when it came to romance, so follow in their footsteps down at 1940s cocktail den Cahoots, replete with a retro train carriage and live swing dancing. Read More.
Details: Open until 1am Mon-Wed, 3am Thurs-Sat and midnight on Sun | 13 Kingly Court, W1B 5PW
Step behind the bookcase at Milroy’s
Leading your unsuspecting date behind a bookcase, down a staircase and into a subterranean vault can be a risky business. Unless you’re doing so at Milroy’s, where they conduct purely whiskey business – concocting seasonal cocktails to be shared in intimate booths. Read More.
Details: Open until midnight Tues-Sat | 3 Greek Street, W1D 4BD
Get starters, mains, and dessert from three different restaurants
We might have a few suggestions here…
Go on a cocktail crawl!
We might have a few suggestions here too…
Bring sunglasses to an exhibition at the Lights of Soho gallery
It’s London’s only gallery showcasing exclusively neon and illuminated art, à la Tracey Emin. Plus you can find out if your date is a secret millionaire if they buy some of the artwork.
Details: Open 10am – midnight, Mon-Thurs and to half midnight Fri & Sat | 35 Brewer Street, W1F 0RX
Push the Champagne button at Bob Bob Ricard
A meal here is like a Derren Brown experiment in resisting the urge to compulsively push the Press for Champagne button. Unless you’ve previously established that your date is a secret millionaire, in which case, knock yourself out buddy. Read More.
Details: Open until midnight Sun-Wed and 1am Thurs-Sat | 1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF
The 24hr Date
Go big or go home. Read our suggestions here…
Go gin tasting at Graphic Bar’s Gin Socials
They take place on the first Monday of every month, and for a fiver entry you’ll get a welcome G&T, Gin of the Month taster and a classic Graphic gin cocktail to boot, along with a mini lesson on gin tasting – so even if this date doesn’t go so well, at least you can sound really impressive on your next one.
Details: 6.30pm, book HERE | 4 Golden Square, W1F 9HT
Attempt a duet at Lucky Voice
No matter how tempting it is to put on your most charming, jaw-droppingly good-looking and erudite persona on a first date, it’s always best to just be yourself. And if that means screeching along to Livin’ On a Prayer, then so be it.
Details: Until 1am Mon-Wed, 3am Thurs-Sat and 10.30pm Sun | 52 Poland Street, W1F 7NQ
Order the entire menu at Bao
Don’t worry. It’s doable. And with sumptuous steamed buns stuffed with pork belly or fried horlicks ice cream, you’re bao-nd to get on well. If only because you’re laughing at how much sauce you both have around your mouths. Read More.
Details: Open 5.30-10pm Mon-Fri and 12-10pm Sat | 53 Lexington Street, W1F 9AS
Go for ice cream at Gelupo
Oh, this? Just a gelateria overflowing with ice cream flavours developed by chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants, like Cuban tobacco and dark rum. Or, earn brownie points for respecting complex dietary requirements by heading over to Yorica for vegan and allergen-free frozen treats.
Details: Gelupo | 7 Archer Street, W1D 7AU
Yorica | 130 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZN
Take in a Soho show
Not that kind of Soho show. Instead, take your pick from the up-and-coming comedians and new writing down at the Soho Theatre.
Details: Bar open until 1am Mon-Sat | 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE
Get the blues at Ronnie Scott’s
You can tell a date’s gone well when it ends with the blues… As long as they’re the type being played by the exceptional jazz musicians at Ronnie Scott’s. If things go well, head upstairs to cut a rug in front of the upbeat swing and salsa bands. Read More.
Details: Open 6pm-3am Mon-Sat, occasional Sundays until midnight | 47 Frith Street, W1D 4HT
Main image: Cahoots
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