Coming up with inspired date ideas when you're a busy person living in London, whether you are single, dating or in a relationship, can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare.
Well, guys, it really doesn't have to be that difficult. There are so many great date ideas to do in and around London that'll not only give you some serious props in the first date department (way to nail that first impression), but will also wow your long-term partner too. Our round-up of London's very best romantic locations and events should get even the most cynical of boyyfriends in the 'date night' mood.
1. The Shuffle date
Shuffleboarding is the newest American phenomenon to hit the capital, and it's probably the most perfect London date idea ever. Fact. A cross between bowling and curling, the London Shuffle Club brings the sport to Shoreditch for a three-month run (opening October 13th), and we anticipate it'll fast become the newest hipster trend. Boasting two bars, eight full-length Shuffle lanes plus all the Americana foodie treats to indulge in, book your tickets now. Let's Shuffle.
2. The vintage cinema date
Transform that tired and mundane movie date into something more memorable by visiting one of London's many vintage cinemas. Everyman's Screen on the Green in Islington has probably one of the most impressive theatre facades in London, playing an eclectic mix of new and old movies to suit even the most cynical of movie buffs. Plus you can watch the flick snuggled up on your own cosy couch, with antipasti and wine delievered sofa-side.
Read More: 7 Of The UK's Best Outdoor Cinemas
3. The retro roller disco date
If watching Stranger Things has made you nostalgic for '80s persuits, why not take your date along to a roller disco for some retro roller fun? Roller disco pioneers BUMP will be bringing their mobile roller rink (complete with dazzling lights, wooden floor, pumping sound system and roller bar) back to London's Southbank Centre in early November, so be sure to keep checking their website for dates. Leg warmers are optional.
4. The secret speakeasy date
Perfect for couples that are sick of the local boozer, and a pretty impressive first date idea (boom), a 'secret' London speakeasy bar will raise your dating game tenfold. If you want to go all out, then definitely don some '20s threads, order an Old Fashioned and rock the night prohabition-style. Shoreditch's slick speakeasy The Nightjar is currently sitting pretty at the top of our date list.
Read More: The Best Late Night Bars To Hit Up In London This Weekend
5. The street feast date
Because sitting down at a restaurant can be so bloody formal, thank heavens that London has so many street food markets to choose from - perfect for those daters who like to walk, talk and get a bit messy. PUMP in Shoreditch is always open late and offers up some fantastic world cuisine to share along with beers, benches and chats without that pesky table slammed in between you.
7. The ping pong date
For something really fun (and a little competitive) London's Bounce club offers ping pong tables from £10 for 30 minutes, plus there's traditional Italian pizza and an impressive cocktail list on hand to ease any pre-match nerves/post-match sore loser grumps.
8. The escape the city date
Sometimes it's nice to drop the concrete jungle shtick and get out the hell out of dodge for an afternoon, and Londoners have so many out of town options that are just a short train ride away. Our favourite date spot? Whitstable in Kent has everything daters need to make things memorable. Chilly beach walks, cosy pubs and all ALL the fresh oysters you could wish for. Be sure to visit the Old Neptune pub, situated right on the beach, to 100% up the romance factor.
9. The record shopping date
If one or both of you are in any way music lovers, getting together over a shared passion is always a good thing. Come on, who doesn't like arguing about bands? Grabbing a coffee and visiting your local record fair or store is a great shout (think Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer) and can be a cheap date idea if you haven't got an expensive vinyl habit. Rough Trade East even has it's own photobooth should you need a quirky date souvenir.
10. The outdoorsy date
A bike ride, a picnic, or park walk can be a very romantic way to spend a weekend afternoon, especially if you plan your route to incorporate a nice lunch or cosy pint (or three) at the end of your trip. The cycle routes along Regent's Canal will bring you into some great parts of East London where you can stop off for food (the Counter Café in Hackney Wick does an awesome brunch) or just take in the scenery of the beautiful Victoria Park along the way.
11. The beer-tasting date
Show off your booze knowledge by taking your date to Camden Town Brewery Bar for a tour or sampling session. As well as gaining expert beer recommendations from the barkeeps, this established London brewery also offer tours, and events from their base in Kentish Town. Plus, the buzzing world of Camden is right outside.
12. The ghost bus date
A great way to get out and explore the spookier side of London's history, the capital's Ghost Bus Tour is a both a theatrical sightseeing tour, and a riotous piece of comedy horror theatre - onboard a classic 1960s Routemaster bus. It's got 'quirky rom-com' scene written all over it.
13. The butchery class date
Okay, so probably not a good one for the vegetarians, but if you are both enthusiastic carnivores, then why not try a butchery class? Come on, if you can feel romantic whilst carving up slabs of meat then the relationship is most definitely a winner! The Ginger Pig's stores in Moxon Street and Askew Road offer three hours of meaty education which includes a butchery lesson, a two-course informal feast (with wine), plus you get to take home some of the fruits of your labour AKA sausages. Yum.
Read More: 10 Of The Best First Date Bars In The UK
15. The swing-dancing date
Now before you pale at the thought of dancing in a couple, on a date (eeps), rest assured that not all dance classes are like an outtake from Strictly. It's more about having some fun, and yes, getting up close and personal in the old touch department. And you never know, things might get romantic. Bethnal Green's St Margarets House offers it's very own 'Collegiate Shag' night called Shag Pile, which is billed as 'innuendo-laden swing dance of the 1930s'. So that means you can make all the rude jokes you want, right?
16. The coffee date
Londoners love their coffee, so if you are dating a like-minded caffeine fiend, why not make a date at a coffee brewing class? Specialty coffee makers Vagabond offer a series of bespoke Coffee Workshops at TRADE UNION restaurant and bar in Wapping, teaching the art of brewing the perfect cup of Joe. Learn the tips, then put into practice the morning after the night before *wink wink*.
17. The ring-making date
Now, don't get ahead of yourselves. We get that making a ring together might be a little matrimonial, however, all the classes at hip London hang out Drink Shop Do are all 100% date worthy. The silver ring workshop looks super fun if you fancy a bit of metallic creativity (with cocktails), but they also offer up 3D drawing classes and balloon pit disco. Check the website for a full schedule.
Are you feeling inspired? Let us know your perfect date idea...