Best for First Date in London
Discover the best places for a first date in London with our hand-picked guide. As if first dates weren't stressful enough! The last thing you want to do is end up spoiling that big day by going to the wrong places at the wrong times. Whether you're looking for a snug speakeasy or something a bit different to get the conversation flowing, we've got it covered.
Last updated on 28th September 2017
Staying awake beyond its usual bedtime, the London Aquarium is opening up its doors inviting Londoner to explore their two-floor aquarium with a glass of prosecco in their hand. Perfect for anyone looking to see something a bit different, there are few better ways to see sharks, sea turtles and Cuban crocodiles in London.
If you’re looking for a relaxed yet cool place to go on your first date in London, Scout can provide for you. Their creative cocktail menu is the perfect ice-breaker: a seasonally changing list made from British ingredients to create fresh and fun mixed drinks. There’s also five beers available, as well as a bar snack menu innovatively made from left-over ingredients to fill your bellies whenever you’re hungry.
Taking over the space formerly occupied by a bank, Rotorino is a seriously stylish restaurant in Dalston. As the brainchild of Stevie Parle, the food is seasonal and utterly delicious, with Italian plates that are inspired by home cooking. Get the Sasso Chicken and thank us later.
Casita Andina is a Peruvian restaurant on Great Windmill Street that's been turning heads with its fresh ceviche and traditional recipes. Coupled with the restaurant's selection of hand-crafted cocktails and the overall rustic aesthetic, it's great for a stress-free date night in London.
Add a little heat to your first date at modern Indian restaurant, Cinnamon Kitchen. Entertainment is provided as you watch your meal of classic Indian food with British touches made right in front of you at the Tandoor bar so there won't be any awkward silences. There's always the outdoor terrace to get to know your date in a more chilled setting and, if all's going well, you can slip into adjoining cocktail bar Anise to continue your night with spice-infused cocktails!
La Bonne Bouffe offers a slice of France right here in East Dulwich, with French classics cooked to perfection, a warm atmosphere, and low lighting to create a truly intimate venue.
Blink and you might miss it, but this secret little bar beneath Bishopsgate is well worth the hunt. The barebrick walls, low lighting and wooden finish give the bar an intimate feeling. Try one of their beautifully crafted cocktails and get a bite to eat from the kitchen - the toasties are a real treat.
Impress your date with an evening full of cabaret, jazz and burlesque accompanied by an exquisite British dishes and delicious cocktail concoctions. The 1920's themed bar provides an entertainment experience like no other and an evening oozing with glamour. With various shows on offer, choose the one that suits you the most and enjoy the amazing atmosphere - it's sure to get you a second date!
The world famous Long Bar in London is ready to welcome you into their expert cocktail making arms for an unforgettable first date in London. Sit at the 80 foot long bar and work your way through the delicious cocktails and admire the unique art work scattered around to get the laughter going. For more intimate conversation escape to the Courtyard, where candles will light up your date.
Ceviche is a fun South American restaurant that showcases the best flavours that Peru has to offer. Specialising in ceviche made using only the freshest ingredients, the Old Street-based restaurant recreates authentic Peruvian recipes that date back through the decades. To complete the experience, guests can even enjoy hand-crafted cocktails made using a selection of fresh fruit and fiery spirits.
With a stunning interior and a wonderful a la carte menu, The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch is a great place to take your leading lady on a first date. So sit down over some prime rib, sip your glorious cocktails, and get to know each other. You'll have plenty of time, as you'll never want the night to end.
Welcome to Callooh Callay, where cocktails like this little beauty are the norm. The only reason not to bring that crush of yours here is that - really - how do you improve on this for your second date? Consistently recognised as one of the very finest cocktail bars in London, this is an intriguing and quirky hangout with lots of intimate corners to enjoy a few drinks in. For something extra special, check out their infamous Jubjub Bar.
Not only is a trip to Nine Lives for your first date a good idea because it looks so darn cool, but you can prove your good person credentials with the fact that the bar is a zero-waste bar. So with the guilt of drinking cocktails out the way, you can pay attention to each other and the carefully curated cocktail list.
Impress your date with a sophisticated soiree into Clerknewell's buzzing centre. Treat your hottie to a classy cocktail, blended with the finest, freshest ingredients into new and exciting innovations. Dinner isn't off the cards either, and we all know food is the way into anybody's good books.
Bounce’s buzzing atmosphere and playful nature will quickly get rid of any first date nerves. Found just a little walk away from Old Street in the heart of Shoreditch, bond over a few games of ping-pong (remembering it’s just a game throughout) then chat over delicious Italian cuisine and cocktails afterwards.
If you are on a first date night in London then you want to play it cool but casual. How about taking them to The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, a London bar which you have to enter via a Smeg fridge! Walk through the fridge, to the secret basement bar that feels very special and will have your date very impressed with your in-the-know choice!
The Racketeer has a long history of mischief, and it’s that kind of character that’ll keep the sparks flying on a first date. Come here for well-executed cocktails, and maybe steal a kiss in their very own secret garden.
The Parisian chic style of this luxurious Soho bar is certainly fit for impressing on a first date in London. Discover the indulgent dessert bar, Basement Sate and together you can reach a sweet nirvana lined with silky cocktails and hand made patisserie specials that are quite literally a piece of melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness.
Humble Grape is a truly charming little hangout that's sure to make your sweetheart swoon. Head down into multi-level, industrial-inspired hangout and snuggle up on a pew together. Spend your evening chatting, laughing and flirting as you sip on some premium vino in this charismatic cavern. And this isn't any old wine, Humble Grape boasts an exceptional selection of the best organic wines!
Do something different on your first date with Pitch Black. You’ll both be greeted with a glass of prosecco before the room is plunged into darkness. Then you’ll be guided through the flavours by your witty hosts. It’s certainly something to talk about afterwards!
If you want to make an impression your first date, take them to Craft. Not only will you be treated to a luxurious dinner – with food ranging from wood grilled scallops to Galloway sirloin steak, but also a spectacular and contemporary interior. After your meal, be sure to head upstairs to their bar and terrace where you both can enjoy a cocktail and gorgeous views of the river.
This secret restaurant and bar in the heart of Chinatown is the perfect place to impress that person you’ve always quite fancied. Tracking down Opium is by no means an easy task, but stumble upon this nondescript green door and make your way inside to find a winner of a bolthole known for its fire-cracker cocktails and delicious baskets of dim sum, with a lovely atmosphere to match.
Found is definitely a go-to for a first date in London. Somewhere that's off the beaten track, not a popular destination but still got enough intimate buzz to make for a cool atmosphere, Found is among London's coolest cocktail bars. Not only for its secretive reputation, but the mixology alone makes Found a top dog on the cocktail and dating scene.
A sumptuous space of warmth, mystery and magic, Oriole leaves the stressful streets of London behind in favour of a glorious, disconnected outside world. Settle in for drinks with an exotic influence; exquisite drinks are made offering tastes and flavours from all corners of the globe here. There’s grazing plates if you’re peckish, and live entertainment comes in the form of live jazz, swing and blues music throughout the week.
Imagine rocking up to a first date and whisking your love interest 180 metres into the sky for cocktails atop one of London’s most famous skyscrapers. We can make this happen. Normally reserved for private members only, we’ve had a word with the guys at Searcy’s and secured exclusive access to the top of the glass dome for DesignMyNight users; where beautiful cocktails and sweeping views of the city’s skyline await.
London is blessed with plenty of fantastic speakeasy-styled cocktail bars, and many would have Nightjar down as the very best in town. An elusive spot where discerning drinkers gather to enjoy spectacular prohibition-themed cocktails and a soothing programme of live jazz tunes, it goes without saying that a table for two here would knock the socks off that person you’ve always had a thing for.
Based upon the HQ of the secret society that ran Victorian London, The Escapologist is a beautifully designed basement bar pegged as ‘part modern-day Victorian men’s club and part Masonic Lodge.’ Ideal for a relaxed first date, this vintage themed bar serves a fun yet refined list of cocktails and cheese-drenched pizzas in the heart of Covent Garden.
This NYC-styled basement bar is cool and quirky, with an intimate feel that’s neither stuffy nor formal. There’s an unmistakable party spirit to the LCC that comes out to play no matter what time of the week you’re visiting, and the cocktails are spot on. Perfect for impressing a date that doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Pop-up bar Sager and Wilde has found a permanent home, moving into the historic British Lion pub and serving world-famous wines to the city's many wine-lovers. The impressive wine selection is the big hitter here, featuring old and new world wines from the most famous vineyards. To sweeten the deal further, the kitchen staff serve a variety of bar snacks and tasty toasties for guests to tuck into while they sip on a crisp white or an earthy red.
Photo Credit: Jon Santa Cruz
Part-cafe, part-basement club, the atmosphere inside this complete gem will put you at ease straight away. It’s not a big deal whether you’re planning on visiting to try one of DSD’s quirky (and free) events or just grabbing a drink in the bar area downstairs, this is a unique space that suits first dates of all kinds within a 2-minute stroll of King's Cross.
This regal nook is a must-try for anyone looking for a place to impress. 68 and Boston is an intimate Soho bar with a basement space dedicated for specialist wines and discerning labels with a dedicated cocktail bar stashed upstairs. Enjoy the best of expert mixology, beautiful wines and an ambience fit for bit of a swoon.
Why would you go to Nando’s or the movies when the UK’s only permanent frozen cocktail bar is on your doorstep? London’s famous Ice Bar is pretty damn extraordinary; everything in sight is carved out of the purest ice around and temperatures are maintained at a crisp -5°C. Make the most of a 40-minute slot, then head to the downstairs restaurant for a slap up meal if things are still going well.
This luxurious little den in Covent Garden is awash with beautiful bespoke art and luxurious décor that’ll make any first date happy. And when you both indulge in a theatrical cocktail, listen to the rota of live music or tunes from the best local DJs, the second date is all but guaranteed.
Perched just off the main Islington strip, Little Bat is a cosy and comfortable neighbourhood bar that's brought to us by the cocktail whizzes behind the award-winning Callooh Callay. With banging drinks, charming vibes, plenty of quirks by candlelight and friendly service, Little Bat is an absolute must try date night venue in Angel.
You need a restaurant as chilled out as Drake and Morgan for your first date in London. While the restaurant is beautiful and their menu of grilled meat, fish and vegetarian dishes may give off a more higher class affair, you’ll feel right at home amongst the quirky cocktails and wonderful wines.
Encant is the sort of sumptuous spot you head to when you seriously want to impress. Located in Central London, the restaurant only has space for a few diners, sit beside the open kitchen and watch the chefs whip up a feast, with Spanish dishes that include pork belly and sherry, as well as cured salmon.
How better to sweep someone off their feet than with a few glasses of fizz at a slick champers bar? Here’s where Searcy’s come into play, serving up a fine choice of tasty plates mixed in with a revamped cocktail menu and an extensive choice featuring champagnes of all varieties.
Styled as a cosy cafe during the day and a bustling cocktail bar at night, Map Maison is a characterful, colourful spot that's perfect of a first date in London. The team of expert mixologists, armed with a collection of strange ingredients, flavoursome punches and international spirits, mix and flair together an impressive range of fun concoctions that are sure to leave a lasting impression on you. If that wasn't enough, the chefs serve up a selection of light snacks and international-inspired small plates to help ease the evening along.
Tucked away down a cobbled side street just moments from St. Paul’s is Copa de Cava, a charming basement bodega dedicated entirely to showcasing the beauty of cava. Treat that someone special to a couple of glasses of fizz matched with stunning tapas plates in a secluded venue known for its cosy corners and low-lit ambience.