No one really likes dates on Valentine’s Day, but when it comes to Christmas and festive dates, well that’s a whole other story. There’s ice skating, snuggling under blankets at outdoor cinemas, eating fondue and getting tipsy on mulled wine. Whether you’re taking your S.O, that person you just matched with on Tinder or just your best pals, here are 9 festive date ideas…
There’s nothing we love more than a big bubbling cauldron of melted cheese. Sharing is caring so share your love with your other love… your partner. Bluebird Chelsea have transformed their courtyard into a fairytale inspired destination complete with hot espresso martinis, ‘Fondue Fridays’ and even a kiss-mas tree. Pucker up.
Where: 350 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UU, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.8 miles)
For an Escape
We all know that London is busy at the best of times, but when it comes to Christmas it’s like there is a sudden influx of people and the streets that were packed are now twice as bad, especially when everyone is stopping to take photos of the Christmas lights… So if you want to escape the bustle for somewhere a little more quiet then head to Shepherd’s of Westminster. Tucked away between Vincent Square and Smith Square and with intimate booths, it’s ideal for date where you can sip on cocktails, indulge on dishes such as baked smoked haddock, roast guinea fowl and chocolate and cherry roulade and forget about the crowds outside.
Where: Marsham Court, Marsham Street, London SW1P 4LA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Vauxhall (0.6 miles)
Illuminated Botanical Gardens
Lights, camera, action… If you want some lights with your dating action, then Kew Gardens’ winter trail is ideal. Colourful laser beams, a scented fire garden and a romantic tunnel of lights make up an illuminated trail with over 60,000 lights along a mile long route. Wrap up warm and pay Father Christmas and his elves a visit when you get to the North Pole village. Or just head straight for the mulled wine and mince pies.
Where: Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB
The Roof Gardens and Babylon
A Winter Terrace With Hot Cocktails
A winter terrace has been unveiled at The Roof Gardens in Kensington – at the award-winning Babylon Restaurant to be precise. Diners can choose from festive dishes (read: carbs) including cheeses and freshly baked breads, with warmth coming in the form of hot cocktails, cosy blankets and wines. It’s date night, elevated.
Where: 6th and 7th Floor, 99 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 5SA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: High Street Kensington (0.1 miles)
Skating and Seafood
Skating and Seafood might not sound typically romantic but why stop the romance at the skating? Follow a skating session at Broadgate ice rink with a delectable dinner at Crab Tavern. Choose from an array of seafood choices, though there are non-seafood options too, and enjoy a warming wintry drink on the Christmas light adorned terrace. If you fancy upping the romance, the menu offers a number of sharing dishes…as they say, what’s yours is mine.
Where: Unit 7, Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS
Nearest station: London Liverpool Street (0.1 miles)
Sure, you could take your date to a bar. Or you could take your date to The Eis Haus aka an ice bar. You’ll find it at the Tower of London ice rink, it’s created from ten tonnes of crystal clear ice, so that everything you touch is made of ice, there’s even an ice throne photo booth. Your night starts with an complimentary shot in an ice glass or a Pops (a non-alcoholic ice pop) and you get given a special coat to keep your warm too, because no one is in the mood for romance when they have frostbite.
Where: Tower of London, EC3N 4AB
Covent Garden Dates
When it comes to Christmas in London, Covent Garden is always one place that is on board with the festivities, so if you need a bit of an oomph when it comes to feeling Christmassy then head to Tuttons which over looks the piazza. Winter dishes include the likes of Dingley Dell braised pork belly, Shepherd’s pie and confit duck leg. Good food, twinkling Christmas lights and a date, surely you must feel festive now?
Where: 11/12 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.2 miles)
Fondue and Hot Chocolate
Decked out like Narnia, with plenty of snow, twinkling lights, snuggly blankets and thick sheep skins, Dalloway Terrace makes for the perfect festive date spot. Rather messy but wonderfully festive, share a fondue and slurp on a Pierre Marcolini hot chocolate. If you need a bit of dutch courage then order one of the alcoholic hot chocolates, we rather like the Raisin the Bar which comes with a dash of spiced rum.
Where: 16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)
The Winter Edition
You’ve got until next Friday (23rd December) to make the most of the winter edition of Pergola on the Roof. They’ve transformed the space to a Nordic winter forest. They have a tree lined walkway and a dome that is all sorts of weather proof (it’s true, we visited when it was bucketing it down and we stayed dry) to keep you snug throughout. The white-washed walls have been replaced with burgundy colours, deep bark forest flooring and plenty of holly, ivy and winter flowers. On the food front Patty & Bun are back with their burgers and joining them will be Snaps & Rye, Gunpowder and Le Bab
Where: Television Centre, Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush, W12 7RJ