So you’ve found someone you want to go out with, figured out when and what to do with the kids, now… where to go?
London is full of great date spots, whether you’re going out for a quick lunch date or an evening of drinks. But if you want to impress your date, it can be hard to find something that works for both of you – besides, who doesn’t love a little first date inspiration anyway!
Here’s a guide to our favourite date ideas in (and sometimes around) London:
Our favourite date spots in London
There are plenty of places to go on dates in London (including lots not mentioned here).
We’ve tried and tested these ideas ourselves to give you the best of the best when it comes to date spots that are friendly, beautiful and most of all, fun to be in!
Foody fun dates
If you want to show off your culinary palate, a food date is a sure-fire hit. Maybe you can even use a “you get the babysitter, I’ll get the dinner” deal to get things going.
With everything from organic to vegan dishes, here are a few select picks for our best foodie thrills:
Grow specializes in Lebanese food, but they have an extensive drinks menu and jazz music every Thursday to boot. So if you’re looking for a romantic date with food destined to impress your date, look no further than Grow. There are also cultural events and menus for brunch, lunch or just coffee if you’re in need of a time-saving date event.
Alter is undoubtedly one of the best vegan restaurants in London. You’ll forget all about meat! With small plates and excellent cocktails to boot – not to mention their recently launched lunch menu for those who are trying to go dating whilst the kids are at school – Alter has something for everyone, plant-based or not.
Are you trying to really impress your date? Take them to The Smoking Goat. With quirky dishes and an almost too-cool atmosphere inspired by Bangkok, this Shoreditch gem isn’t best adapted to vegetarians or vegans, but is a delight to every carnivore out there.
One of the best parts of living in London is that you can date a variety of different people, whether you’re used to being a part of the queer community or are new to the scene. The city is full of LGBTQ+ friendly nights, events and people if you’re in central or off out in east (the gayest part of London if you ask us), dating LGBTQ+ people in London has never been easier:
For those who hate conforming but like a little fun, Fuckoffee is a great date spot for gays, theys and lesbians alike. If going to a bar isn’t your sort of thing or you only have a Saturday morning free for a meeting at the coffee shop, this is the spot to go to. With off-kilter interior décor and actually good coffee, you’re sure to have a silly and jolly date.
Gay dating recommendations wouldn’t be complete without a suggestion to visit London’s best gay bookshop. At the centre of the gay world and in central London (Soho, obviously), it might be wise to only have a short visit here whilst walking around some of London’s other historic gay and lesbian sites because it can get very busy in here – and dating is all about the chat!
Opened in 1981, Two Brewers has been serving the LGBTQ+ community in London for over 40 years. The ideal place for queer dating, you can be sure you’re always welcome here and there will be plenty of options for you to choose from (not people, more drinks). Bars aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so opt to just go out for food – it’s really, really good – or just stay on the softs if you need to look after the little ones later.
Play it cool with some cocktails
It doesn’t matter who you are, we all kind of want to be like James Bond. Cool, calm and collected with a cocktail in hand and pitching out our pickup lines with the best of them. If you want to set to match your suave, here are some excellent places to grab a drink – shaken, not stirred, of course:
The best places are often overlooked, but Plaquemine Lock is a truly ideal date spot. With Cajun vibes, you’ll be up and dancing to their Tuesday and Saturday jazz sets and e before you know it. It’s a smaller pub, so you won’t lose any of the intimacy you want on a date, and the food isn’t to be missed either.
Feeling a little sherry on a date? Downstairs at Morito is the place to be. Mediterranean décor fans will also love this spot, with its relaxing colours and laid-back vibes. They also do a vegan Monday menu and breakfast for those of us who can only do morning dates these days (someone has to feed the children).
Ok, hear us out on this one. You might think a date in a toilet is less than perfect, but WC Clapham has a level of sophistication that makes you forget the original setting. A wine bar with a fun twist, you can learn a little about wine from their menu and make your best attempt to understand exactly what “quaffable” means.
Go full romantic on a culture date
Cultural dates are the best, mostly because they can be done in the daytime as well as the evening, and you don’t have to drink if you need to look after your little ones later. London has some magical places to visit for a taste of culture, so here are some of our favourites:
The highest public garden in London, Sky Garden is good for a wander around at any time of the day. Even better, it’s completely free. Just remember to book a slot on Monday or early in the month for a weekend, as it is as popular as expected.
Some dates are worth waiting around for, and The Forsythe Evening at Sadler’s Wells is one of them. Featuring modern music anthems and usually centring around one artist in particular, The Forsythe Evening does matinees as well as evening shows, so you can see the ballet whenever best suits you.
You can’t ask for more than the most historic market in London! Taking a stroll around Borough Market is a good way to date and perhaps even pick up a few treats at the same time (we won’t tell). If your idea of a great date is people-watching, there’s nowhere else to go on a Saturday morning whilst the kids are still sleepy.
Ready, set, date!
Now you’ve had your fill of dating ideas, it’s time to put them into practise!
Joining Even isn’t a commitment to dating, it’s just a first step to getting out there (whether it’s been a few years or a few days), and meeting single parents who actually get what it’s like to balance dating and having a family to come home to.
Whatever day of the week you want to start dating and whatever city you’re in – it doesn’t have to be London to start single parent dating – Even is here to help you meet new people, suggest events and provide a guide on how to organise and go on dates a single parent.
If you just want to get your date on online for now (we know how busy you are), join Even and find singles near you today.