For some bizarre reason, the general feeling among friends and colleagues is that summer is the best season to find love in London. However, over at the Handbook, we completely disagree with this consensus. Now that the days are shorter and colder, London offers an array of dreamy winter date nights that we feel make the chilly season the perfect time of year to find “the one”. So, without further ado, check out our definitive guide to London’s best winter dates. DISCLAIMER: this guide does NOT include ice skating because we’ve already given you a guide about it and you need to think outside the box sometimes…
Why: The Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park is as romantic as it is unique. Hold your date’s hand and lead them lovingly through the Capability Brown gardens that have been specially illuminated for the festive season. Eerie and bewitching, this is a perfect second or third date where you can wrap up warm and share a deep and meaningful. Although be quick, it finishes this Sunday!
Where: Syon Park, TW8 8JF
What: Hackney hot tubs
Why: Soak, London’s very first outdoor spa in Hackney Wick, has fast become a firm East London favourite. With wood-fired jacuzzis, music and tub side service, you can treat your Happn match to a perfect evening of bubbles and cocktails while watching the hipsters and hippies in their narrow boats meander along the canal – a great, chilled Sunday evening date.
Where: 90 Wallis Road, E9 5LN
What: Less cliché
Why: Forget Winter Wonderland, it’s too obvious, too crowded and if you’re the one paying for the date you’ll find you might not be left with so much festive cheer when you see your bank balance. Instead head to Winterville at Victoria Park, there’s street food, Sh*t-faced Shakespeare performances, comedy and club nights and cabaret – it’s a little bit naughty and a whole lot of fun! Just like your date….
Where: Victoria Park
What: Stargazing indoors or out
Why: If you’re a truly hopeless romantic, pop along to Greenwich for a star-gazing picnic with your significant other. As well as offering crystal clear views of the night sky, you’ll also get to marvel at the twinkling lights of Canary Wharf across the river. If it gets too cold for you, make a beeline for the planetarium inside the Royal Observatory. Here, you’ll not only be able to enjoy the same view without having to worry about developing hypothermia, but you’ll also be able to recreate that classic Ross and Rachel scene from Friends – ‘oh no, you just rolled over the juice box’.
Where: Greenwich Park, SE10 8QY
Forest on the Roof
What: A proper winter warmer
Why: This year, the Cabin Bar on Selfridges’ rooftop has been turned into a wintry hideaway for star-crossed lovers. With individual cosy snow lodges, complete with fluffy cushions and fur throws, this is a great place to nuzzle down with bae and enjoy some of the best seasonal cocktails London has to offer. The current bestseller is the Cheeky Monkey Choctail – a mix of banana and cinnamon liqueur, hot chocolate and whipped cream. Excellent for sharing while tucked up under a snuggly blanket.
Where: Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1 1AB