A Guide to Dating in London
What You Need to Know
- While spontaneity can be appealing, good planning is the key to a successful date in London.
- Dinner for two in an Italian restaurant or a trip to the cinema may be the easy options, but something a little quirkier can help make you look original, considerate and adventurous.
- London’s many parks offer the perfect setting for romantic – and free – dates, though check the weather forecast before making arrangements!
- London is home to a wide array of world restaurants. Again, trying something different, such as Ethiopian or Japanese cuisine, could get you extra points for effort.
- Sharing an evening of comedy can be a good way of getting to know someone without the pressures attached to a romantic meal. Beware of sitting on the front row of a comedy show, however.
- A stroll along the River Thames can be a great way of bringing a night to an end, but it’s a good idea to have a route mapped out in your head beforehand; getting a date lost late at night is not overly attractive.
- Above all, though quirky is good, don’t try too hard to impress. Just be yourself.
When you meet that special someone, you want to make sure your big night on the town is memorable, so it's worth coming up with the right plan. London is full of great opportunities for dating fun, so take advantage - there's more out there than just a night at the pub. You might consider a restaurant that serves something exotic, a ride on a boat, comedy tickets, or live music or theatre tickets, for example.
London’s Romantic Parks
London is home to numerous parks and gardens that, in the right weather, are perfect for romantic – and free – dates.
One easy but very sweet way to start a date is to take your paramour on a walk through the Hyde Park Rose Gardens. Especially in the spring, the park is a perfect representation of love and romance, with dozens of pathways full of flowers in bloom. Regent’s Park also has a much-loved rose garden and this is often quieter than the one in Hyde Park.
And of course London is full of stunning parks, so the Rose Gardens aren't the only possibility. If your date is an urbanite, consider taking them to Holland Park, which is located in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge, but which boasts plenty of quiet corners. Alternatively, if you think they might prefer something a bit wilder, head north of the vast, unspoilt Hampstead Heath.
Sample Some World Cuisine
A good meal can warm things up romantically, and trying out a restaurant with an unusual menu or interesting setting makes the date all the more memorable and, more importantly, means you might earn extra brownie points for originality and adventurousness. It's not necessary to find the trendiest new place, but finding a spot with a romantic atmosphere and some tasty food is a good starting point. Exotic food can be fun, and a dining room with a view or live music is another option to consider.Check out Time Out magazine or its website for the latest guide to world cuisine in London. Alternatively, if the thought of a fancy restaurant puts you under too much pressure, consider taking your date to Camden Market or Borough Market to enjoy some quality street food.
Laugh Your Way to Love
Laughter is a perfect way to connect, so picking up comedy tickets for after dinner can make for a wonderful next adventure. Finding a show that both of you will enjoy is a good bet so be wary of taking your date to a show by a controversial comedian.
It’s also a good idea to avoid sitting right at the front of the venue: many comedians are adept at spotting couples on a date and only too happy to get a few laughs at their expense.
Finish the Evening with a Riverside Walk
An enjoyable chance to spend some time together as the evening winds to a close is to take a stroll along the Thames. Whether at the end of the night when the skyline is lit up against the dark night, or earlier in the evening, the river is not only a lovely location to wander along, but it can also be very romantic.However, though it may not be romantic, it’s a good idea to do a bit of planning, even if you try and make an evening stroll look like a spontaneous idea. Knowing the route and being aware of any planned transport disruptions can minimize the risk of awkward moments.
Whether some or all of these ideas should be incorporated into your plan is up to you, but taking advantage of the options in London is worth your effort. Impress your date with a couple new ideas, and have a great time yourself. The evening will go better if you're both having fun, so look into entertainment that appeals to you, and show your date a good time.
- If you’re looking for love on the internet, be sure to read our guide to safe online dating.
- To boost your chances of getting a date, check out this guide to writing a winning online profile.
- Looking for a good time in the capital without the associated expense? Read our guide to free days out in London.
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