London is jam-packed full of activities for couples. They say if you are bored of London you are bored of life – with the limitless ways you can enjoy the city, this may certainly be true.
London is home to high-profile pop-ups for an ever-changing social scene – there are numerous pop-up cinemas, cafes, shops and art galleries to keep your Instagram account fresh. Break the date night Netflix and takeaway rut and get out and explore London with your partner.
Unusual dining experiences in London
If you’re heading out to eat in London, you might as well make it a dining experience to remember. Impress your date with these more unusual dining experiences and make the most of London’s passion for all things cutting edge.
Forget the curry restaurant with the packed in tables and those wilted single roses being handed out – these are perfect for a Valentine’s Day with a difference! Check out our pick of the weird and wonderful, including:
- Bel Canto
This opera-themed French restaurant near Hyde Park has waiters singing opera classics. The opera singing waiters have been trained at the most prestigious academies, so this is an opportunity to hear some beautiful singing in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Quirky decor matches the quirky menu. How about sharing some crocodile, kangaroo, wildebeest, python carpaccio or pan-fried crickets with your date? The menu will certainly be a talking point!
- Le QuecumBar
As you enter this romantic and nostalgic setting, you will be transported to a brasserie in Paris – an absolute hidden gem, with live jazz and gypsy swing music
The height of glamour, you’ll feel like you are in the midst of a rather surreal and decadent film set. Enjoy your meal and prepare to be wowed with the surprise cabaret and circus acts who perform on the tables – watch out for your wine glass!
- La Cabina
The unusual experience starts with entry into La Cabina. Intrigue your date by finding the telephone box/tardis and enter the secret code to open the door. The tapas menu is delicious – share your choice in the flag draped snug.
Alternatively, try sister bar The Imperial Durbar in Tooting – a rich and decadent enclave with Colonial decor where you can have a curry served to your table by dialling through on the old-fashioned telephone at the bar. Choose to dine in the dimly lit hidden velvety sofa area for privacy.
- Dans le Noir?
This is certainly a date night experience that you will never forget. In this restaurant in Clerkenwell you will be served by blind waiters in complete darkness. You won’t be able to see a single thing so you will have to reach out for your date’s hand. At the end of the meal the waiters will show you the menu – we think it will really surprise you!
Things to do for your anniversary in London
Keep the romance alive as the years go by. London has impeccable charm and an abundance of fun things to do to celebrate your anniversary:
- For the ultimate anniversary celebration fit for the movies, take a private helicopter ride across London taking in all the sights of the famous skyline. Or delight your loved one with an exclusive helicopter tour and picnic package at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
- Learn to make lots of delicious treats together at the Cookery School in Little Portland Street
- Nothing is as romantic as some star-gazing at the Royal Observatory planetarium
- Dig out your 50s style threads and jitterbug with your other half at a swing dance class
- Enjoy theatre under the stars at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
- Hire a rowing boat on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park and read some poetry to each other (just don’t fall in Hugh Grant-style!)
- See one of the Bard’s romantic plays at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
- Make like Austen and go horse riding together through Hyde Park
- Competitive couples can have a fun anniversary celebration playing ping pong at Bounce
- Dress up in your vintage best and enjoy retro-style bowling at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, complete with a classic root beer float.
Where to stay on a couple’s weekend in London
Head to the capital for a romantic weekend away. Venues we’d recommend include:
- The Rookery
A quirky boutique hotel with wonky wooden floors, Georgian architecture, Turkish carpets and roaring fires
A boutique hotel with modern decadence, each room has been individually designed to reflect some exotic and far-flung corner of the world
- The Zetter Townhouse
A mixture of the British love of both traditional and quirky, The Zetter Townhouse does bohemia perfectly. One room has a bath on a private outside terrace for an al fresco bathing experience overlooking the London skyline
London doesn’t get much more glamorous and opulent than Claridge’s, London’s iconic luxury hotel. This is one of the ultimate places to stay for a romantic weekend. You can try to pretend that the luxury is too much, but we can guarantee that even the most modest of people will be impressed by this indulgent experience.
The best bucket list ideas for couples
For a wish-list with a difference, here are some things you can have fun ticking off as a couple to make the most of the city:
- Booklovers must visit Daunt Books – you might never come out thanks to shelves and shelves of the most interesting reads, all set against the backdrop of a beautiful stained glass window. Browse for hours, choose a book for each other and write a romantic message in the flyleaf
- Secret Cinema – for a night out that you will never forget, dress up and feel like you are on a film set. Sign up to the mailing list and await further instructions!
- Listen to live jazz at Ronnie Scotts – the ultimate jazz bar on London. Share a table lit with the iconic warm glow of the jazz club lamps
- Highgate Cemetery – walk hand-in-hand around this beautiful, atmospheric and gothic setting
- Ride the Emirates Air Line over the Thames for breathtaking views
- Kayak in the River Thames for an action packed day
- Visit The Ritz – afternoon tea at The Ritz simply has to be experienced. Since it’s a bucket list event, why not push the boat out and book a room?
- Climb Big Ben
- Explore the deep dark depths of Chislehurst Caves, where Jimi Hendrix played underground gigs
Where are the best date bars in London?
If you’re looking for a bar that’s a cut above, head to:
- Cocktail Trading Company
Cocktails come with golf balls as ice, teeth floating in them and some are even on fire. This is a date bar with a difference!
- Doodle Bar
Have a drink and a game of ping pong to break up any awkward moments. You can also chalk messages on the walls – how about some love hearts?
- The Owl
Flickering tea-lights provide romantic soft-focus lighting – of vital importance on a date!
- Original Sin
This dark basement den sounds as seductive as it is!
Where to go on a dinner date in London
Shakespeare was onto something when he declared music the food of love. Check out these impressive dinner venues:
- Clos Maggiore
Truly romantic, you can dine in the conservatory under white blossom trees, fairy lights and candles. The blossom is fake, but it looks exquisite – ideal for all year round romance!
The super trendy Michelin-starred Hakkasan made Chinese food sexy, with melt in the mouth dishes and a dark elegant interior to match, all complemented by sensuous lighting
- The Ivy
For traditional comfort food in a restaurant whose name alone will impress your date, this famous restaurant might have a reputation as a past celeb hang out, but the atmosphere is relaxing and the staff impeccable
- J Sheekey Atlantic Bar
Cuddle up and keep your eyes peeled for a celebrity in this famous fish restaurant. Try Sheekey’s legendary fish pie – it’s a must!
- Hutong at the Shard
The views are incredible and this is the main reason for taking a date here. With floor to ceiling windows, this venue is film-set glamorous – and that’s what you pay for!