There’s no excuse for a boring date night in London. A city crammed with exciting events, from dining in the dark to having a Butler in the park, it’s time to break out of your date rut (dinner and drinks can get really old, really fast) and try something new with one of these fun date ideas in London. From evening cookery classes to intimate gigs, London’s opportunities for romance mean that dating need not be dull. As a dating coach and matchmaker, it’s my job to know all the hottest date ideas, so give your courtship some added ooomph with my ultimate alternative date ideas.
Dine In The Dark At Dans Le Noir?
Find love in the dark at Dans Le Noir?, a gourmet restaurant run by blind staff who serve your food in a pitch black dining room. Yes, that means you have no idea what is on your plate (or if you have food on your face). A sensory experience that’s sure to get your taste buds salivating, this is a unique experience for the most daring of daters. Time to fall for the sound of a voice?
Details: From £48 | 30-31 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R | london.danslenoir.com
Take Your Date to a Time-Travelling Supperclub
A raucous, travelling, jazz-age party, with flappers, dancing, cabaret, cocktails and live bands at a secret location in London, The Candlelight Club is the place to go to add a little razzle dazzle to your date night. Two days before attending, you’ll receive instructions to track down the secret venue, be it an warehouse or a disused ballroom restored to its former grandeur for one night. Don your vintage gladrags and enter a glimmering, brawling, hooch-laden hall of debauchery that’s sure to impress your date.
Details: A Secret Location | Parties once a month, check website for dates | From £25 | thecandlelightclub.com
Watch A Surprise Gig In Someone’s Living Room
If you’re keen to impress your date and don’t mind taking a risk or two, check out a Sofar Sounds show, where performers are kept secret until they turn up at your intimate venue. Think enjoying a cocktail in someone’s London living room with 45 other people where Emeli Sandé turns up to perform. Or Previous artists to play include Bastille, Matt Corby, Tom Odell and Happyness. If you know your date is into live music and isn’t fussed on frills, this is a winner.
Details: From £10 | Sofarsounds.com
Picnic with your own butler in Hyde Park
Forget M&S sandwiches and a tatty old picnic rug; DUKES Hotel in London’s Mayfair will pack you up a luxurious picnic to be enjoyed in a London Royal Parks (Green Park or St. James’s Park), specially prepared for you by their Great British Restaurant. It even comes with rugs, gazebos and – if you really want to impress your date – your own butler to serve you. You’ll be the envy of the park and ensure there’s plenty to keep your date smiling.
Details: From 39.50pp | dukeshotel.com
Dress up at Secret Cinema
If dressing up on a date is your idea of heaven, Secret Cinema’s immersive cinematic experience is guaranteed to make you happier than your average movie night. Secret Cinema brings films to life, combining fine-dining, with impressive set design and live performance. Whether it’s Dirty Dancing, Moulin Rouge or Casino Royale, prepare to step into the world of your favourite films in this fully interactive theatrical adventure where guests MUST arrive in fancy dress or hotfoot it back to the regular old Odeon. The perfect London date for cinephiles who love a good dress-up challenge.
Details: From £26.50 | secretcinema.org
Go Competitive Axe Throwing
Yes, this really is a thing – and if you want to stand out in the dating game, it could be the way forward. On arrival at Whistelpunks, you’ll be given a safety briefing and a lesson in axe throwing techniques, before being placed into one of two teams (who will go on to compete against each other in a tournament). A step-up from playing darts, and a sure-fire way to quell any date nerves, hurling heavy, bladed objects at a wall together is sure to be bonding!
Details: Vauxhall | Open Tues-Fri evenings and weekends | £22-29 | whistlepunks.com
Take A Cookery Class
If you’ve heard that food is the way to their heart, but you can barely boil pasta, esteemed cooking school L’atelier Des Chefs can save the day with its weekly evening cookery classes. Prepare to be a match made in culinary heaven as you whip up a gourmet three-course French, Spanish or Brazilian feast before sitting down to enjoy your creations with a well-deserved glass of wine. Brownie points indeed.
Details: From £15 | Venues near Oxford Circus and St Paul’s | atelierdeschefs.co.uk
Take A Stroll Through Highgate Cemetery
Believe it or not, not every date in London needs to involve splashing the cash. As a dating coach, I often hear stories about dates that kept it simple being off-the-charts successful. In fact, a wander around London’s surprisingly beautiful Highgate Cemetery is a chance for deep connection as you discuss the important things in life inspired by the graves of Karl Marx, George Michael and Douglas Adams located there.
Details: Open daily 10-4/5pm (Mar-Oct/Nov-Feb) | £4 admission to East side, £12 tour of West side | highgatecemetery.org
Discover Your Shared Dreams at an Artist’s Eccentric House
If sitting opposite a new date at dinner and worrying about topics of conversation is a concern, there will be plenty to talk about at the eccentric abode of artist/magpie Stephen Wright, who’s covered every spare centimetre of his walls in East Dulwich in something kitsch. A brilliant date idea if you’ve decided to meet during the day one weekend, and an out-of-the-box date idea that’s never boring.
Details: East Dulwich | stephenwrightartist.com
Watch A Mexican Wrestling Contest
Oh, London, you are never boring! Described as “10,000 volts of sexy mayhem”, Lucha Britannia will ensure a night neither you nor your date will forget in a hurry. Not for the faint-hearted, it might not be the best first date idea… but once you know your date loves a little adventure, this should go down like a wrestler being slammed from the ropes into the floor.
Details: Bethnal Green | Monthly events, plus classes every Monday evening | luchabritannia.com