It is a truth universally acknowledged that one of the worst parts of dating is choosing where to meet for a first date. (Deciding what to wear is also stressful).
Considering I’ve lived in London for my entire life, you would think I’d have this down to a fine art by now. But I still panic whenever I hear those five dreaded words: “So, where shall we meet?”
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Because I regularly receive frantic messages from my friends via WhatsApp, asking where they should meet for a date in X, Y, or Z area.
So I thought it was about time I collated a list of the best first date locations in London. I’m sharing some of my favourite spots below, and I’ve also invited some friends of Coco’s Tea Party to share their top suggestions too.
Next time you’re struggling to pick a location for a hot date, return to this resource page for inspiration…
This rooftop cocktail bar in Waterloo is a great choice for summer dates (although they are open year-round, as it’s fully heated). They have Happy Hour every day until 6pm, and there’s also a Dip & Flip burger bar, in case you get hungry.
For day dates you can’t go wrong with a walk in Hyde Park. Grab takeout coffees beforehand (don’t forget your KeepCup!), or stop for drinks at the Lido Café.
The London Gin Club is a winning first date location for three reasons. 1) Its central location in Soho. 2) It’s one of the few places in London that still allows you to reserve a table. And 3) Their extensive gin menu provides an easy start to conversation.
Bizarrely, I’ve had a lot of first dates at The Troubadour in Earls Court (and 9 times out of 10 I wasn’t the one suggesting the location). It’s a super-casual cafe and bar, with live music every night and an adorable outside garden.
“A casual Venezuelan eatery by Regents Canal in Haggerston. You can sit outside in the summer and, providing the date goes well, follow the path along the canal to Islington and you will arrive at 69 Colebrooke Row, a cosy cocktail bar off the beaten track.” – Stephen Farrell, Influencer Marketing Strategist at The Communications Store
“I love an intimate cocktail bar for a first date. Three Eight Four in Brixton is great: dimly lit, excellent cocktails that are also a talking point, and relaxed staff.” – Frances Cookson, Co-Founder at Rewritten
“A great, candlelit speakeasy bar just off Old Street. Super cute and sexy, but watch out for the strong cocktails!” – Phoebe Greenacre, co-founder and CEO at Silou London
“The walk along Hampstead Heath to Highgate is a perfect first date option. Start off at Daunt Books and finish with tea and cake at Waterlow Park. The views of the London skyline from Parliament Hill along the way are beautiful – especially if you’re lucky with the weather.” – Sarah Farell, Press and Communications Officer at Royal Opera House
“One for the meat lovers out there. Their restaurants have a relaxed, casual dining atmosphere. And they always bring over complimentary beef dripping popcorn – great for sharing on a date.” – Jay Mcloughlin, fashion photographer
“The Vault is an underground cocktail bar in Soho. It’s an old bank vault which is super cool. You need to walk through an old man’s bar then push the bookcase and make your way downstairs.” – Phoebe Greenacre, co-founder and CEO at Silou London
“For a truly show-stopping first date arrange to meet at sunset and take in the city before retreating to Lemonia, a family run Greek restaurant on Regent’s Park Road.” – Stephen Farrell, Influencer Marketing Strategist at The Communications Store
“You can’t go wrong with Cafe Boheme in Soho. It’s an oldie but a goodie with a Parisian jazz cafe vibe.” – Frances Cookson, Co-Founder at Rewritten
Do you have any more first date locations in London to add to this list? Comment below to share your favourites…
Photo by Claire Menary