Hattie Lloyd 24/11/23

A Martini & Ice Cream-Fuelled Soho Date Night

Itinerary Location: Soho |  Duration: 6 Hours

Winter is coming.

And while, on the plus side, that means good things like mulled wine and skating, it also means saying goodbye to rooftop bars and ice cream for the next 360 days of the year.


…you follow this totally winter-proof date idea in Soho, which not only involves decadent bistro fare in a glamorous setting, jaw-dropping live performances and customised martinis, but also Christmas gelato (it’s a thing) and cocktails on a toasty heated rooftop.

Your night begins at the…


ham yard romantic rooftop bar

You’ll meet in a twinkling, secluded courtyard before ducking into the Ham Yard Hotel and ascending to their rooftop bar, a hidden oasis that’s usually open only to hotel guests. Right now, however, it’s home to the Winter Martini Garden, a pop-up serving hot cocktails and twists on martinis from a table-side trolley – all of which you’ll enjoy snuggled up in blankets and throws, and surrounded by candlelit lanterns and fairy-lights.

Appetite suitably whetted, come back down to earth and head out of the yard, along Archer Street and left up Rupert Street. Sneak down the alleyway ahead of you and duck into the Underbelly Boulevard theatre, above which you’ll find:


cafe kitty romantic restaurant

Newly opened Café Kitty is the third restaurant from the Kitty Fisher’s team, a glorious temple of brasserie dining in a deeply romantic, art deco-styled setting. Dishes are designed to share, or not (depending on what you think will be better for your burgeoning relationship), and include numbers like the ‘very Welsh rarebit’, scallops Rockefeller and the salt-aged sirloin special, served with bordelaise and bearnaise sauce. Order a Bad Kitty cocktail to finish (it’s actually very good), and head downstairs to take your seats in:


underbelly boulevard

This sleekly glamorous theatre space has recently been taken over by the Underbelly team (the producers behind, among other things, that big upside-down purple cow). Kitted out with plush seating and a moveable stage, Underbelly Boulevard‘s programme is a wide-ranging rollercoaster of entertainment, from risqué cabaret shows to live music and comedy. Right now, you can book in to see Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett, a raucous night of circus, cabaret and fire, or the late show, BATSU! Something like a cross between Jackass and a Japanese gameshow, it’s one of our top picks for comedy gigs this month, and includes the option to upgrade with a special souvenir headband that will entitle you to surprise sake shots at various points in the evening.

bar lina

And the night’s not over yet – and you’ve just got time to sneak in a nightcap. For something intimate and boozy, head back out of the alleyway and swing a right to stand in front of the iconic Italian deli Lina Stores. Knock on the door, and you’ll be ushered downstairs into Bar Lina, a glamorous speakeasy serving only Italian spirits, mingled into a set of original cocktails. Otherwise, retrace your steps to Archer Street to call in at:


gelupo winter date spot

It’s one of the most glorious ice cream spots in London. And they’re not about to let a little thing like subzero temperatures get in their way. For the winter, Gelupo has transformed into a twinkly chalet serving scoops of caramel gingerbread ice cream and persimmon sorbet, which you can order ‘affogato style’ with a generous glug of thick Italian hot chocolate over the top. On Fridays and Saturdays they stay open till midnight (10pm through the rest of the week), but if you don’t fancy sitting in, take one of their drinks to go. Try Italy’s answer to mulled wine, or a thick concoction of zabaione (a kind of whipped, custardy eggnog) spiked with brandy and cinnamon.

Then you can head for a short stroll, drinks in hand, to take in the glittering Christmas lights on Regent Street by night, with no cars, no crowds, and no better setting to say those three magical words…

Back to Gelupo?


The Itinerary:

Winter Martini Garden | Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, W1D 7DT

Cafe Kitty | 6 Walker’s Court, London, W1F 0BT

Underbelly Boulevard | 6 Walker’s Court, London, W1F 0BT

Gelupo | 7 Archer Street, London W1D 7AU

Enjoyed this? Find more inspiration with these cosy winter date ideas

Itinerary: Soho Winter Date

Start at Ham Yard, Soho, W1D 7DT