There are over 2,000 restaurants in London. The sheer choice available in terms of interesting things to do, world-class restaurants to enjoy and then quirky bars for a luxurious nightcap is astonishing.
Mr Kiwi and I try to make sure that we book in regular dates (ones where we have to talk, rather than staring at our respective phone screens.)
So, I fancied putting together a list of quirky, luxurious places that we have loved over the years. All tried and tested extensively.
Waterloo: The London Eye > Afternoon tea at the Marriott Hotel > Gilrays Steakhouse Bar
Begin with a view of the London skyline, in a private pod on the London Eye. As you overlook the River Thames you’ll be able to point a bevy of icons and the next stop of your date: the impressive Mariott County Hall. Walking through the beautifully appointed hotel, you will be shown to a table in the library – overlooking Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and a delicate afternoon tea stand will be brought to your table by the charming staff. Once you’ve had your fill of classic sandwiches, the scone conversation (jam then cream, or cream then jam) you’ll be able to whisk your date over to the adjoining Bar at Gillray’s Steakhouse to relax in and admire the view.
London Bridge: Sunset cocktails at Aqua Shard > Dinner at Hutong > Ballie Ballerson
Begin the evening overlooking the London skyline, choosing something delicious from the extensive cocktail menu at Aqua Shard. If you time it well, you will see London light up at your feet, then you can walk up the glass stairs to Hutong for an exquisite Northern Chinese feast, before scooting to Ballie Ballerson to float in one million balls, two private ball pits, luxuriate in a ball pit waterfall and sample a few more retro cocktails for dessert.
Picadilly Circus: Rowleys Restaurant > Catch a movie at the Picturehouse Cinema
Begin the evening with a platter of Chateaubriand that has been perfected over decades, not to mention endless fries (to save the awkward fry stealing battles), cross over the busy atmosphere of Picadilly Circus, settle into the plush Picturehouse Cinema for a film then settle into the members bar to discuss said film.
Walthamstow: Gods Own Junkyard > Sodo Pizza Cafe > Mirth, Marvel and Maud
Wow your date with your insider knowledge, and just a 10 or so minute walk from Walthamstow Station past almshouses, street art murals and beautiful terraced houses, you’ll enter the neon heaven of Gods Own Junkyard, the largest collection of neon signs outside of the US. Then, pop to Sodo for a taste of sourdough nirvana (their dough is fermented for up to 48 hours and then baked in excess of 450°C to make it light and give it that sourdough tang) before popping in for a cocktail at Mirth, Marvel and Maud, a Grade II listed building housing a pub, cinema and cultural centre in Walthamstow, London.
Charing Cross: Le Garrick Restaurant > Catch a West End Musical > Savoy Hotel American Bar
Just off the heart of Covent Garden, Le Garrick is a little piece of Paris. Enjoy a romantic meal in the family-run restaurant with a tricolour soul, before catching one of the amazing West End musicals, and end with a glass of something lovely in the American Bar at the Savoy – one of the 50 best bars in the world.
Sloane Square – Saatchi / V&A exhibition > Eat at Polpo > Crack a few cocktail codes
For the ultimate conversation icebreaker, go to the Saatchi gallery on Duke of York Square, or dimble around the Victoria and Albert Museum. You’ll love them, hate them or at the very least have something to chuckle over as you eat dinner at Polpo, and then walk down to the Bletchley code-cracking cocktail pop-up.
Where was your best ever date experience?
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