London Dating: Top 10 Bars & Restaurants for Blind Dates
Searching for a cute and quirky way to break the ice on a blind date? Look no further than Drink, Shop, Do. Located smack bang next to Kings Cross station, this café-by-day/bar-by-night venue also plays host to an array of activities, from Bloody Mary and Board Game nights and Pimp my Converse, to Hip Hop Colour In and the now infamous Indeedy Musical Bingo. The food is delightful, cocktails sublime and everything that you see - on the walls, the tables and in the cabinets - is for sale.
South Bank & Bankside
The perfect panoramic view of London's dramatic Southbank landscape is always going provide ample excuse to getting the conversation flowing on a blind date. This restaurant, bar & brasserie is renowned for being one of the most romantic restaurants in London due to the high number of marriage proposals that occur on a weekly basis. One step at a time though, right? First, get stuck into that al fresco terrace dining with views over the Thames to St Paul's Cathedral.
Bar / Hotel
The stakes are high on a blind date on London so you need to make the best impression early on. Th stylish and well-lit Long Bar at Sanderson is a cool bar in Fitzrovia where you can casually order two glassed of the Sanderson Enchanted Hanging Garden, made with Perrier-Jouët champagne, and have present a tray that includes mixed berry liqueurs, pear and elderflower liqueurs, as well as kaffir lime leaves and edible flowers. This showy number should set the tone for your date, before you later head out into the West End close-by.
Planning a late one? Dive bar Aces and Eights in Tufnell Park covers all bases: live bands. stomach lining food (freshly-made pizzas are served until 2:30am on Friday and Saturdays), DJs, live comedy, cocktails (think no nonsense Manhattans and proper Old Fashioneds), private booths and whisky flights from £10. The jukebox plays rock'n'roll classics, the cosy speakeasy basement bar in perfect for getting to know each other, and there's a 'booze for boobs' policy - allegedly, a flash gets you a free drink. So all in all, it could be an interesting night?
City of London
Bar / Restaurant
Want to take blind dating to the next level? Meet your future partner in a completely pitch-black restaurant and find out if looks really matter. You'll be led into the void by blind waiters who know how to navigate the room and be served mystery food. The idea being that your senses are heightened when you are robbed of sight. Hopefully by the time you actually see your date, you'll be smitten already - for extreme blind-daters only.
Choosing somewhere that will be cool, casual, easy to find and suitable for any freak, sorry, person who walks through the door is a challenge but the Electric Diner works. Serving food spanning salad to beef rib for all until midnight, as well as brilliant drinks and a very cool soundtrack, it is a place to impress your date. If the first date is going really well, snuggle up on one of the sofas at the Electric Cinema. Films currently showing are on the menu.
Bar / Restaurant
My number 1 golden rule on a date is an integrated activity. It breaks up chasms of awkward silences, provides a good distraction and stems the flow of nervous drinking that often leads to bad choices on date night. Bar Kick is well equipped with vintage table football as well as enjoyable drinks and food. The busy atmosphere will keep spirits high, but be sure to specify a good meeting place - this spot gets busy.
For a blind date you need style, a hint of romance and strong booze. Going for drinks at Balthazar in Covent Garden ticks all those boxes. It's a beautiful, brasserie style restaurant, so opt for the little tables by the bar where you will be forced into close knee contact, while you drink the delicious and potent cocktails.
City of London
Bar / Restaurant
Champagne and interesting landmarks form two of the cornerstones of a successful blind date. So the easiest option is to combine the two. This swanky bar HIGH above the streets of London is cosy, contemporary and boasts remarkable views of almost everything in London. Book ahead of time as it's reservations-only and try to get a south-facing table overlooking the Thames, St Paul's Cathedral & Tower Bridge. Quick exits can be a problem though. Unless you have a parachute handy.
Bar / Club
Feeling brave? Why not suggest getting to know each other in Bar Salsa in Soho. As the name suggest, this is a South American bar and offers classes for all levels of dancers early in the evening, before morphing into a club later in the night (perfect if things are going well). The cocktails and tapas aren't bad, either. Certainly not one for those of us blessed with two left feet, but pure entertainment, giggles aplenty and an indicator of chemistry are guaranteed.