The maxim goes that too much choice isn’t good for anyone, and when it comes to choosing the perfect date spot from the swathe of locations in London, this can ring particularly true.
If you’re tasked with organising that all-important first date this winter, then it’s crucial that you choose wisely — pitch the venue wrong, and you’ll find yourself heading home solo. Get it right, however, and you might just have ignited a lifelong love affair.
With this in mind, we’ve curated a list of the best restaurants, pop-ups and venues to take the date you’re really hoping to impress this winter. Whether you’re looking to cosy up in London’s literary heartland or brave sub-zero temperatures in an ice bar — read on for our definitive list of the best date spots to spark romance in the capital this season.
For an alpine experience: Lodge d'Argent
For the old romantic who’d love to whisk his date away for a trip to the alps but is rather pressed for budget, this pop-up allows Londoners who aren’t able to escape to the mountains a refuge in the city.
Located on the rooftop of the famous Cog d’Argent restaurant, get cosy at Lodge d’Argent, an alpine-themed winter wonderland above the hustle and bustle of the city. Order a classic tartiflette from the seasonal brunch menu, indulge in a whorl baked cheese in your own private chalet or settle in for whisky cocktails and alpine food pairings curated by Hennessy.
For some serious brownie points: The Bloomsbury Club Bar
Photo courtesy of the Bloomsbury Club Bar
Set in the heart of literary Bloomsbury, The Bloomsbury Club Bar takes inspiration from the lives of the famously hedonistic Bloomsbury Set. Split into two areas, we suggest you save the dark lighting of the plush original bar for at least date four — and begin proceedings at the secluded, heated outside bar.
The design of this romantic hideaway is perfect if you’re looking to avoid things seeming a little too intense, but still earn some serious brownie points. Book here for a venue that ticks all the boxes for a bohemian space — with everything from exposed brickwork to a canvas of fairy lights.
For a touch of class: Winter at Dalloway Terrace
Photo courtesy of Dalloway Terrace
Described as ‘One of London’s most Instagrammable restaurants’ by the Evening Standard, Dalloway Terrace has once again been made over into an icy haven of crystallised white, pink and silver petals for winter.
Its transformation into the ultimate city date spot is completed with a menu that features Truffle Cheese Fondue, warming winter cocktails and a seasonal menu of decadent winter delights. If you’re looking for the perfect excuse to snuggle up, the outdoor terrace comes complete with cosy hot water bottles, Foxford woollen blankets and a chiminea on the patio.
For something completely different: Ice Bar
Continuing with our wintry theme, it doesn’t get much cooler than the Belowzero Ice Bar. Located in the heart of the chic Heddon Street Food Quarter, this date spot is an iconic frosty venue, where signature ice cocktails are served on the rocks at -5°C.
Once a year the entire Ice Bar is completely transformed with a new design theme and layout by a team of skilled ice designers and sculptors, with the current theme being a seasonally appropriate ode to Norse mythology: ‘Valhalla Calling’.
Drawing inspiration from the figures of Thor, Loki, Odin and the monsters of the Ragnarok war, Ice Bar has been transformed into Valhalla, the legendary hall where fallen soldiers feast. Perfect for a date that makes a lasting impression on.
For a skyline view: Rosé on the Roof at Sea Containers London
London is fit to burst with elegant rooftop bars but few are quite like 12th Knot at Sea Containers London. Boasting both indoor and outdoors spaces with views over the Thames, there’s never really a bad time to visit, but this winter the bar is taking things to the next level with a new collaboration with Champagne Laurent-Perrier.
Rosé on the Roof does exactly what it says on the tin – offers the maison’s finest rosé champagne on a cosy arctic winter terrace. Nestle into one of the fur-lined love seats and order from the special champagne cocktail menu while gazing out over the London skyline – a perfect ice breaker.
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