Despite the cold weather, winter in London is definitely going to warm your heart this year. With help from the capital’s gorgeous restaurants, roaring fireplaces, ice-skating rinks and the city’s increasing twinkle-factor as we approach the festive season, London provides the perfect backdrop for an intimate night with your special someone. We romantics at Secret London have put together this list of alternative places that will seriously impress your date…
1. Play a game of idyllic mini golf at Swingers
If your date hasn’t heard of ‘Swingers’, they might double take if you’re suggesting it as a first date… So perhaps best to reassure them that it’s just a crazy golf club and bar prior to telling them the name. A bit of *friendly* competition is said to lay a strong foundation of any healthy relationship, so you’ll be absolutely on fire after a game of mini gold. Swingers, which is located close to the Gherkin, is a rather beautiful place for indoor crazy golf – perfect for a chilly evening! The space is decked out with lovely garden-esque interiors and holds two 9-hole courses, as well as a whopping five cocktail bars (no need to worry about queuing for drinks). Swingers is also home to branches of much loved street-food vendors Patty & Bun, Pizza Pilgrims and Le Bab to keep you and your date full and satisfied. It’s £13 per person and you can book here.
8 Brown’s Buildings, London EC3A 8AL
2. Selfridges Forest on the Roof
Everybody loves a rooftop bar, but the fun doesn’t have to stop in winter. Selfridge’s Forest on the Roof Restaurant & Bar is possibly the only reason we’d ever suggest taking your date anywhere near Oxford Street. And it’s a mighty good reason too, as their wintry themed pop-up is back for the season and is bringing with it a whole new menu. Expect après-ski inspired classics of British seafood, naughty cheese fondue, alpine salami cuts and dishes inspired by forest flavours. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and, of course, cocktails, but make sure you book ahead of time, because the Forest on the Roof gets busy.
400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB
3. Get into some blades and go ice skating
We couldn’t leave out this romantic winter classic. Glide around hand-in-hand with your date as you chuckle merrily at the minor bumps and slip ups you make along the way… or go for the endearing approach and cling on the railing whilst doing your best Bambi impression – it’s sure to melt a few hearts. There are loads of ice cool rinks opening in London this November so just take your pick, grab a date and slide on down…
4. Watch a movie at Backyard Cinema‘s Winter Night Garden
Backyard Cinema are returning for winter and, as usual, are bringing their wondrous magical cinematic experience. You’ll find the Winter Night Garden cinema screen behind a wardrobe and through fairy-lit tunnels. Choose from a selection of Christmassy and seasonal movies to watch, within the beautifully designed enchanted forest. Plus, the beanbags give you the perfect excuse to snuggle up and get cosy. To check film availability and book tickets visit their website.
42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR
5. Wander round these sparkly Christmas markets
Grab your date and tell them that the twinkle of the lights have nothing on the twinkle in their eye… Buy your date an adorable hand-made gift and sip on heart warming mulled wine as you get well and truly into the spirit of the season. You big softie, you! It is awfully romantic at Christmas, whether you like it or not. Have a look at our favourite Christmas marketshappening in London this year.
6. Get lost in Hampton Court Maze
Located in Greater London, Hampton Court Palace was built by Henry VIII’s right hand man Thomas Wolsey in 1514 – historical facts will *always* get you laid. Wrap up warm and go on a chilly stroll around the romantic palace garden and into the maze. The lush green bushes and towering trees provide a little privacy but don’t worry if the date isn’t going well – at least you can lose them in the maze and be on your way home with nothing more than a ‘couldn’t find you bye!’ text… We’re pretty sure that’s how the Tudors would have done it!
East Molesey KT8 9AU
7. Snuggle up by an open fire
What better to way to get cosy with your date (and stay warm from the chilly London weather) than to snuggle up in a nice pub with a roaring open fire place? Nothing. That’s what. Actually if your date is Leonardo DiCaprio that would probably improve things and if your date IS Leo than I’m extremely jealous. Anywaaay, these London pubs all boast toasty fireplaces and great booze to warm you up from inside out!
8. Petersham Nurseries
Ideal for any budding romance, this tranquil garden centre in Richmond is perfect to getaway from the city for a morning. Visit the Tea House, which is open daily, for a selection of nourishing soups, bites and homemade cakes and then walk it off as you potter around the plants. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but come December the cafe also looks rather spectacular. For more information and opening times, visit the website.
Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB
Feature Image: Backyard Cinema