Hattie Lloyd 10/11/23

Cosy Winter Date Ideas

At this magical time of year, loved-up Londoners find themselves spending a lot of time in bed…

…with a hot water bottle, a pint of Lemsip, and the electric blanket jacked up to 5.

Frankly, if anyone else is in there too, that’s just a bonus.

But the fact is that winter is actually primo dating season, even if that involves, ugh, going outside. Because you can whisk your date off for a spin on the ice overlooking the river Thames; sip mulled wine as you wander through the city’s greatest market; dine on bottomless cheese as you snuggle up around a firepit; bop to Christmas anthems played by a ten-piece brass band; sip hot cocktails on a secluded Soho rooftop; and watch a festive flick in the comfort of your own faux fur-lined loveseat.

So here they are: a cluster of winter date ideas guaranteed to warm the cockles…

Have a Meltdown at Gelupo

gelupo cheap winter date idea

Yes, the ice cream place. Because they’ve just unveiled a menu of wintry ice cream sandwiches and hot drinks, and it’s frankly going to be impossible to choose.

Details: From 15th November 7 Archer St, W1D 7AU

Wander Round A City Made of Gingerbread

Gingerbread City london date ideas december

Sign up for a workshop to build your own house, and see if your relationship has solid foundations.

Details: 2nd December – 7th January Westfield, 1081 Ariel Way, London W12 7GF £18.50

Huddle Together at a Winter Rooftop Bar

cosy winter rooftop date spots

You can get hot cocktails, and if it snows you’ll get to enjoy it seconds before anyone else in the city. SEE LONDON’S BEST WINTER ROOFTOPS

Take Your Date Ice Skating

ice skating london

Then warm up with hot chocolates. Or mulled wine. Or fondue. Or all of the above. SEE THE BEST ICE RINKS IN LONDON

Sail London’s Waterways In A Hot Tub Boat

hot tub boats london outdoor things to do

Yes, the idea of changing into a swimsuit in December is terrifying. But you’ll soon forget those gruelling 30 seconds once you’re floating along enjoying balmy 38ºC water and your own bar…

Details: Open daily West India Quay, Off Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, London E14 4AL | £225-250 for 75 mins

Sweep Your Date Off Their Feet at Curling

club curling king's cross

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

Details: Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ | £8pp

Stroll Around A Festive Light Trail

romantic winter light trails

The perfect backdrop to some illuminating conversation. SEE THE BEST LIGHT TRAILS IN LONDON

Dress Up Fancy and See The Nutcracker

christmas ballet shows

Because nothing says ‘winter’ like sparkly tutus, snow blizzards, and a giant rat king battling a nutcracker brought to life.

Or Catch An Alternative Take In A Pop-Up Jazz Club

the nutcracker at the tuff nutt jazz club

Drew McOnie’s jazz-fuelled reimagining is a warm, fuzzy treat.

Details: Until 6th January Tuff Nutt Jazz Club at the Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX£35

Sing Carols in a Candlelit Church

And fuel up across the road with one of Madame Pigg’s legendary roasts beforehand.

Details: 17th December | Union Chapel, 19b Compton Terrace, N1 2UN Free

…Then Go and Watch ‘A Christmas Carol’

christmas carol

The best versions on stage this year include one in a 450 year old hall; the critically acclaimed Old Vic production; and a dazzling immersive show with a three course festive feast, presented by Dickens himself…

Drink Chocolate Orange Negronis in A Speakeasy

winter date spot speakeasy

Somehow, they’re even more delicious than the real thing.

Details: Lost Property Office, Brewdog Waterloo, The Sidings, Waterloo Station, London SE1 7BH

Go For A Pint at the Most Christmassy Pub in London

churchill arms

Andrea Vail/Flickr

Almost 100 Christmas trees decorate the outside of The Churchill Arms at this time of year, so it’s just as accurate to say you’re going to the most pub-like forest in London.

Details: Switch on 16th November at 6pm | 119 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 7LN

Wander Round Merry Maltby

merry maltby winter date ideas

Join some impromptu carolling, sip mulled wine and snack on street food at Maltby Street Market after dark.

Details: 1st, 8th & 15th December, 6-9pm Maltby Street, London SE1 3PA | Free entry

Watch Christmas Classics on a Cosy Rooftop

winter rooftop cinema cosy date idea

Assuming your living room isn’t filled with dozens of lanterns, Christmas trees and a dusting of snow, this is probably the most romantic spot you can watch Love Actually this year.

Details: 22nd November – 23rd December | Holmes Hotel, 108 Baker Street, W1U 6LJ | £70 (inc. dinner, Champagne, a cocktail and a film)

Go Carolling Somewhere Insanely Atmospheric

Or just leave it to the pros at one of these Christmassy concerts.

Slip Into A Speakeasy Below An Italian Deli

bar lina

And yes, that Italian deli does send down piping hot bar snacks to go with your negroni…

Details: Wed-Sun evenings | Beneath Lina Stores, 18 Brewer St, Soho, Central London, W1F 0SG Book here

Then Share A Whole Chicken at Bébé Bob

bebe bob new soho date spot

Bob Bob Ricard, but make it 70s.

Details: Open Wed-Sun 37 Golden Square, London, W1F 9LB Book here

Sip Experimental Drinks in a Cocktail Studio

Atelier Coupette

Atelier Coupette is where Coupette’s drinks are first dreamt up. And in return for being a willing guinea pig, you’ll get to enjoy all the most cutting-edge concoctions at a snip of the price…

Details: 9 Moor St, Soho, Central London, W1D 5ND

Act Like Melts at Earl of East’s Candle Workshops

earl of east candle making

Boom, that’s a Christmas gift sorted too.

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

Go For A Walk Along the River in Richmond


But fuel up with the thick Italian hot chocolates at Gelateria Danieli first. You WILL need a spoon.

Details: 16 Brewers Lane, Richmond TW9 1HH

Play Secret Santa in A Christmas Market

christmas markets london

Set an arbitrary theme, meet up after 15 minutes and hold a solemn present exchange ceremony… with mulled wine. SEE LONDON’S BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Watch Christmas Films On The Water

christmas floating film festival

Bundle up in blankets, and watch a festive flick while gently bobbing on a pontoon in some historic docks.

Details4th-10th December | St Katharine Docks | £15+

Go To A House Party at Jimi Hendrix’s

Explore Handel and Hendrix’s old gaffs by candlelight, with live music inspired by the two – sliiightly different – musical legends.

Details: Fridays until 15th December | 25 Brook Street, London W1K 4HB £20

Work Up A Sweat at A Scottish Ceilidh

ceilidh at cecil sharp house

Then make sure you rehydrate at BYOC.

Details: Friday nights | Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 7AY £16-22

Watch Christmas Flicks in a 1950s Ballroom

Rivoli Ballroom Cinema - winter Date Ideas

It’s such a stunning setting, The Rivoli Ballroom’s more used to being on screen than behind it…

Details: 20th – 22nd December 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, SE4 2BY £10

Dine on a Christmas Banquet with an Indian Twist

Dishoom’s take on Christmas dinner involves slow-cooked turkey raan, gunpowder potatoes and mince pie kulfi… and where better to indulge than in their newest restaurant in Battersea after a spin on the ice rink outside.

Details: Christmas menu available from 20th November | £42pp

Watch A Mash-Up of Improv & Japanese Gameshow

The completely bonkers BATSU! is one of our top picks of comedy shows on in London right now, inviting comedians to duke it out over improv challenges in a bid to avoid some extremely bizarre physical punishments.

Details: 15th November – 26th January Underbelly Boulevard, 6 Walker’s Court, London, W1F 0BT £15+

Put Some Fire in Your Belly at Kolae


Ben Broomfield

The duo behind Som Saa have just opened a second restaurant, specialising in dishes cooked over an open flame – and it’s just what you need for a little heat on a wintry date.

Details: Open Tuesday – Sunday 6 Park Street, London SE1 9AB Book here

Blend Your Own Korean Tea at Be-oom

Then enjoy a candlelit dinner at Quality Wines.

Details: Regular dates | 27 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL | £45.32+

Dine in an Insanely Opulent Hall

romantic christmas dinner

As if Greenwich’s Painted Hall wasn’t atmospheric enough, they’ve now filled it with a dazzling new artwork. That you can have dinner beneath. With live music.

Details: 15th December Old Royal Naval College, Romney Road, SE10 9NN£125

Take A Candlelit Tour of an 18th Century House

Dennis Severs House

Dennis Severs’ House is atmospheric at any time of year, but it really comes into its own for the twilight tours at Christmas, when the fires are lit, trees are put up, and the air is scented with oranges & cloves…

Details: Until 5th January | 18 Folgate Street, E1 6BX | £20

Hunker Down in A Cocktail Bar Below A Church

below stone nest cosy winter date bar

Don’t worry – you don’t have to pay in cryptocurrency. 

Details: Open Wed-Sat from 6pm Below Stone Nest, 136 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 5EZ | Walk-ins only

Curl Up by the Fireside of a Cosy Pub

chesham arms pub with cosy fire

And BYOC (crossword, not chestnuts).

Feast on Fondue at The Cheese Bar

fondue at the cheese bar date idea

On Thursday nights they roll out the fondue sets, and every month there’s a different collaboration with chefs from the likes of Snackbar, Koya and Decatur.

Details: Thursday nights | Unit 93 – 94, Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, London NW1 8AH

Take A Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Through Richmond Park

romantic winter date in richmond park

The, ahem, slightly steep fee includes mince pies and sloe gin… but this might be a good time to arrange that triple date.

Details: 25th November – 1st January Richmond Park Stables £450

Tear The Head Off A Snowman

festive afternoon tea

Zodee Media

At one of these delightfully festive afternoon teas.

Dress in Tweed, Go Virtual Clay Shooting

clays quirky indoor date idea

The couple that clay together, stay together. 

Details: Open daily Clays, 55 Moorgate, EC2R 6LL From £10pp

Drink Bah F****** Humbugs in A Christmas Dive Bar

humbug quirky winter date

It’s a potent cocktail of rum, chocolate liqueur, Oreos, and whipped cream. With a mince pie on top.

Details: 15th November – 6th January | Unit 9, Leake Street Arches, Waterloo, SE1 8SW | From £19.50

Bop To Christmas Anthems with A Ten-Piece Brass Band

christmas anthems at between the bridges

You must have been good this year, because Santa’s delivered an insanely fun line-up of events to Between The Bridges

Details: 1st December Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1 £10+

Determine How Much Raclette It’s Humanly Possible To Consume

fire & fromage

At Fire & Fromage you can indulge in 90 minutes of bottomless melted cheese. With vodka-spiked mulled cider. Around fire pits overlooking the Thames.

Details: Until 31st December | Belvedere Road, Southbank, SE1 8XX | £35pp

Try To Get 10p Tickets at the Royal Court


And spend the savings on dinner at Azzurra.

Details: Turn up to the box office an hour before the main show on Mondays to nab tickets.

Revel in Borough Market’s Evening of Cheese

borough market at christmas

Sip mulled wine as you explore the stalls, then cosy up with a film at the Everyman in Borough Yards.

Details: 13th December Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL Free

Make Your Own Bottle of Bordeaux

When you join the winemaking crew at London Cru.

Details: Regular dates | 21-27 Seagrave Rd, Fulham, SW6 1RP £170

Stroll Round The Christmas Lights in Covent Garden

christmas lights covent garden romantic

Sample enthusiastically from the hot drinks stands dotted around the piazza, and cast your judgement on whether mulled rosé is a thing.

Details: 7th – 26th November Around Covent Garden Piazza

Learn To Swing Dance at The Mildmay Jazz Club

If “hot jazz and cheap drinks” sounds good to your ears, then get yourself down to The MildMay on a Tuesday night.

Details: Tuesdays | The Mildmay Club, 33-34 Newington Green, N16 9PR | £15

Listen To A Christmassy String Quartet in a Candlelit Church

And slink off for a nightcap at the similarly candlelit Trullo Wine Bar.

Details: 22nd December Union Chapel, 19b Compton Terrace, London, N1 2UN £25

Take A Trip to the Moon

moonwalkers quirky date idea

On the off-chance you’re not dating Elon Musk, book tickets to this lunar exhibition instead, where you’ll be able to step into 360º photographs.

Details: 6th December – 21st April 2024 Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, N1C 4DY£25+

Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas (Five Nights Before Christmas)

At the Luna Winter Cinema, popping up in the exceptionally atmospheric Battersea Arts Centre.

Details: 18th-23rd December Battersea Arts Centre, Town Hall Road, SW11 5TN £14+

Go To A Disco… On Ice

alexandra palace

Sure, you can go skating at Alexandra Palace all year round. But it’s only in winter that they crank out classic Christmas tunes and dust the whole rink in occasional flurries of snowfall…

Details: 14th December – 3rd January | Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY | £15

Watch Dazzling Cabaret in Soho | NUDGE MEMBER PERK

Then discuss your own party tricks over dinner at Café Kitty.

PERK: Nudge Members can enjoy 50% off the food bill until 7th December. Find out how to book here.

Details: 8th November – 6th January Underbelly Boulevard, 6 Walker’s Court, London, W1F 0BT £25

Go To A Jazz Party in a Crypt

crypt lates quirky winter date idea

St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields is throwing a festive special for their last Crypt Lates of the year, which (ironically) sounds like it’ll be pretty lively…

Details: 29th November St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4JJ £9-25

Watch The Muppets Christmas Carol at Hackney Picturehouse

The Muppets Christmas Carol

Then indulge in a feast of Fezziwig proportions at hot new Italian, Dalla.

Details: 11th December Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, London E8 1HE £8.20

Float The Idea of Dinner at Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor Canary Wharf

Then have dinner at this floating Hawksmoor.

Details: Open daily 1 Water Street, E14 5GX Book here


Looking for more date ideas? See what else is happening in London this month