It’s no secret that London is a buzzing metropolis that’s positively filled with things to see, do, eat, and watch. Of course, this makes the city a dream-come-true for someone planning a date, whether it be a first date where you’re eager to impress that special someone or your 150th date with your long-term partner.
If you’re visiting from out of town, don’t forget that the first step in planning the perfect date is picking central London accommodation. While we may be biased, Park Grand London Lancaster Gate Hotel is an ace choice, not only because it puts you in the heart of the city, but because you and yours will no doubt enjoy the stylish rooms, modern facilities, and the free breakfast.
What more do you need?
To help you plot your romantic afternoon or evening in London, we’ve put together options that will suit lovebirds of all sorts, from those who swoon over the traditional to those who will be over the moon with the unexpected.
Here are Park Grand Lancaster Gate’s top tips for planning the perfect date in central London.
Ideas for a first date in London
Attention singletons, this one is for you! We’re here to prove that planning a first date doesn’t have to be daunting.
Here are our top picks.
Treat her to afternoon tea
While you might not necessarily associate tea and scone with a perfect date, afternoon tea is a perfect option, especially for the first date. It’s not overly formal or romantic, which means it’ll be easier for you to relax and your date will feel spoilt, especially if you choose a more posh or traditional setting.
Looking for a bargain? Check out our afternoon tea deals in London.
Browse a weekend market
If there’s one thing London isn’t short of, it’s a weekend market. From Shoreditch to Borough and just about everywhere in between, you’ll find a bustling street filled with vendors selling food, clothes, drinks, and trinkets.
The idea here is that the market will spark conversation, which should help the first-date jitters pass quickly.
Show off your competitive spirit
Inject some fun into a standard date by going bowling, axe-throwing, golfing or playing ping-pong. Tons of bars offer one or more of the above, which means you can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat while you show your date what you’ve got.
Bonus: The St. Christopher’s Place location of the popular chain Ping Pong is less than 2 miles away from Park Grand Lancaster Gate London!
Date ideas off the beaten track
Sick of the same old, same old? If so, skip dinner or a show and do something more unusual. There are plenty of one-off events you can attend (keep up with our blog for the latest information regarding what’s on month-to-month) or choose one of the below which are safe bets year-round.
Visit a museum after hours
We know what you’re thinking. It’s hardly novel to suggest going to a museum or gallery for a date! We couldn’t agree more. That’s why instead, we’re suggesting you take advantage of one of the many late museum and gallery openings in London.
Museums including the Bank of England Museum, the British Library, the London Transport Museum, and the Museum of London offer dates occasionally, there are several that have late openings weekly, including the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Royal Academy of Arts every Friday and the Camden Arts Centre every Wednesday.
Sign-up for a cocktail making masterclass
Forget ordering cocktails and instead make your own! This is a great way to have a giggle with your date while also being able to knock a few back. Of course, the added bonus here is that you’ll walk away knowing how to mix up classic cocktails on your own.
Several bars offer classes, but you will have to sign-up in advance. Our top pick is Basement Sate, which is just a 20-minute tube ride from the hotel.
Catch a stand-up comedy show
While, yes, London is famous for the West End, if you’re aiming for something unusual, look out for stand-up comedy shows instead of the latest musical or play. You can find shows at pubs throughout the city, but if you’re looking for a guaranteed good time, head to The Top Secret Comedy Club or The Comedy Store.
Check each respective venue’s website for details about booking tickets.
Grand gestures to ‘wow’ your spouse
If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you’ve probably seen and done it all. If that’s the case, dinner and a show simply won’t cut it. Instead, try one of the following.
Book a romantic stay package
The easiest way to make a date extra special is to extend it. Instead of hitting the town for an hour or two before heading back home, make a full day of it by booking a London hotel package like our own Romantic Stay package.
In addition to your night’s stay, you and your partner will be treated to chocolates and flowers on arrival, a bottle of wine, and the best full English breakfast in London in the morning.
All you have to do is show up!
Dine in one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants
If you’re tied down to a foodie, making a reservation at one of the city’s top restaurants is a must. And, even if you aren’t, you know the saying: ‘The way to a man (or woman’s) heart is through his (or her) stomach!’.
London is home to dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants, many of which are just around the corner from Park Grand Lancaster Gate.
Take a helicopter tour
We’ve saved the best for last. If you really want to ‘wow’ that special someone, all you need to do is arrange a helicopter tour at night over the city. Throw in a bottle of champagne and you’ll have a winning recipe for romance.
Feeling inspired? Good!
If you’re a guest at our central London accommodation and are still struggling to decide where to take your date, head downstairs to the concierge and ask. After all, they’re local experts.