Dating in London can take you to some strange places, and not just emotionally -- it's just so damn huge, it seems impossible for anyone to be prepared for romance regardless of where they are. Well, consider this your cheat sheet for a dozen neighbourhoods...
Milk & Honey (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: With no sign on the outside and an entrance via a buzzer, your date won’t see this one coming. Although technically a members bar, sneak in before 11pm with a reservation and hide in a deep booth with low lighting and enjoy expertly made classics.
Gordon’s Wine Bar (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: Get pleasantly lost in the maze of dark rooms and tunnels down by Charing Cross. The perfect place to swirl a couple glasses of wine and whisper sweet nothings to each other, it’s also super close to major transport links for when you want to go to the next level.
Ritzy Picture House (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: With massive cushy seats, a full bar, and a bunch of amazing parties (plus Q&As with star directors), this is a total black horse in Brixton.
Ladies & Gentlemen (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: Hidden in an old Victorian loo, this neighborhood bar feels like home. Unpretentious and easy with interesting drinks and great banter, it's a perfect spot to find a corner and settle in.
Arnold Circus (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: While hanging out in London’s oldest estate might not sound like the most romantic spot, the gazebo in the bandstand is absolutely stunning. Walk along Brick Lane on a Sunday, grab some food, and sit among the flowers.
Primrose Hill (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: One of the higher points in the city, head up here to watch the sunset behind pretty much every landmark in town. Pro tip: make a picnic out of it.
Satan's Whiskers (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: This place has the recipe for setting the mood -- top-notch cocktails, finger lickin’ good bar snacks, and old-school hip-hop tracks. When the lights are low and the candles twinkling, it's unbeatable.
London Eye Drink Experience (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: High above London, sit in a pod and drink some bubbles and try to recognize the tiny dots below. Best part -- you get to jump the insane tourist-filled queue and only have a limited amount of other riders in your pod.
Electric Cinema (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: Sure going to the cinema is a classic date thing, but this is next level. If features red velvet double couches, booze, and cinema snacks from the kitchen of the Electric Diner next door.
Pedalo Hire (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: When the sun is shining, hire a little blue boat and peddle out to the center of the the lake and catch some rays. Pack a bottle and a picnic and try not to fall in.
69 Colebrooke Row (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: Tucked on a tiny side street, this award-winning bar is small, intimate, and seriously likes to play up on the noir vibe. The staff are attentive, yet discreet and will make sure you’ve always got the perfect drink in your hand.
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There's no sign outside and the entrance is buzzer activated, giving the clear indication that this spot is exclusive. If you're no a member of this Soho spot, you can sneak in with a reservation before 11, but other than that you'll have to fill out a membership application and wait to see if you're worthy.
Buried deep beneath cobbled streets in Covent Garden, Gordon's Wine Bar is composed of multiple caves and tunnels filled with small candlelit tables and copious bottles of wine, which is somehow more romantic than it is gimmicky. Gordon's has been around since 1890, and is still going strong serving its wide selection of global wines (ranging from red to rosé to vegan) and a handful of snacks, such as cheese plates, a smoked salmon salad, and peppers stuffed with feta cheese.
Owned and operated by William Borrell, the producer of craft spirit Vestal Vodka, Ladies and Gentlemen is Kentish Town’s answer to artisanal cocktails. There’s a big focus on neighborhood pride here: everything is locally sourced, from the honey and fruit respectively used for syrups and garnishes to the Highwayman Gin that they make daily in an on-site, 16-litre copper vat. If the elegant presentation of each drink isn’t already enough for you, consider this: this sleek, bright space used to be a public bathroom in the Victorian era.
From the team behind The Hemingway and Hunter S, this occcult-tinged neighborhood watering hole is a trendy and delicious place to lounge with a drink. Dark slatted shutters betray little of the outside, but once you’re in, you’ll find candlelit tables, strange taxidermy, old-school hip-hop, tasty snacks, and mind-blowing drinks. These guys were at Milk & Honey in its heyday and really know their stuff, treating you to a classic-heavy, daily-changing menu filled with drinks you know and drinks you’ll never forget. It's not a huge space, and it's definitely popular, so make sure to get there early for a seat at the bar.
Officially called "the bar with no name,” this small-but-perfectly-formed space is helmed by Tony Conigliaro, godfather of the London cocktail scene, who’s decked it out with a classic ‘50s-Italian-Riviera feel. The drinks themselves all feel timeless, yet there’s plenty of science going into their creation, with ingredients and methods developed in a lab by Broadway Market, including the Manhattan Steel Corp., a Manhattan twist with "Dry Essence."