The Perfect Relaxed Date - for those with nothing to prove
It doesn’t have to be all red roses, champagne and michelin-starred dinners.
Sometimes the best kind of dates are the ones that are a little more laid-back.
If you’re looking for the perfect date that’s high on charm but low on effort - then read on…
Ditch the same old dinner and drinks routine and go for brunch, a day date - YAY! If you ask us, a glass of bubbles with bae over breakfast is basically the dream. Wake up leisurely and start your morning with a coffee in bed, then get up, get ready and get your butt to brunch. Find a cute cafe, hotel or restaurant that does great food… and great Bloody Mary’s. The Good Egg, Chiltern Firehouse (well - if you can, you should), Coupette or Granger & Co (V. Day falls mid week - so no queue?) are the first that spring to mind.
After you’ve ordered and finished your third breakfast cocktail... grab the bill and walk it off. Where there’s good brunch, there’s always good window shopping, have a little stroll and find somewhere to have a late afternoon bevvie. If you're headed back East - stop into a cute little wine bar like P Franco or Sager & Wilde or Martello Hall have a drink, enjoy the surrounds and finish the night off by grabbing a bottle to go and ordering in way too much pizza. Perfect. Day Date. Sorted. You’re welcome.
The Perfect Gal Date - for those that just want to hang with their bestie
No Boyf? No problem! Grab your best gal pal, get dressed up and hit the town. Soho always has a certain frisson in the air so why not head to the centre of town to celebrate with a healthy does of cynicism. While the night is young, grab some food - one of our favourites is Magpie, they do small plates which are easy to share but please make sure you order the Fried Chicken ‘coq au vin’ for the table. Your pal will be so grateful. Plus they have wine - on tap - at such unbelievably reasonable prices you'll forget your in the glittering West End.
Food done, time for drinks... staying in Soho we'd probably head to Opium, Disrepute or Swift - or you know - all three - where there's counter seating options that lets you bypass the smoochers and enjoy your own conversation. After putting the world to rights, and the buzz of Soho egging you on - we suggest El Camion - the true home of late nights and bad decisions.
The Perfect Solo Date - for those that are doing it for themselves
The ultimate solo date has to be completely and utterly indulgent, and done right, can maybe beat a date with your S-O.
Self love starts with self care - so the day could start with a lovely morning yoga class in one of the many excellent studios in central London to get those endorphins flowing. Then... brunch! Always keen to discover somewhere new, our choice is Kettner’s in Soho which has just reopened after a huge refurb – and, who very conveniently do a Champagne breakfast menu which involves caviar, egg and soldiers, coffee and a glass of champagne for a fairly reasonable £25. Glorious.
Wasting some time in the West End is never hard and the joys of Liberty of London are perilously close... There's always something lovely to try on or even better - buy. 100% relaxed, with peckishness is setting in… it’s off for some late-afternoon tapas at Barrafina overlooking the chefs at work. No need to feel self conscious at this counter - just be delighted that you'll be sat long before anyone else in the queue! No date, solo or otherwise, would be complete without some cocktails to end on, so a little walk (or, if raining – uber obvs), to Scarfes Bar at The Rosewood Hotel, for a negroni (or two!) sat at the bar, chatting up the bar staff, listening to the live swing music into the evening.
The Perfect Date with Pals - for those that think sharing is caring
Why should champagne and roses and heartfelt declarations be exclusively for those in a seeeeeerious relationship?
Why not widen the wooing opportunities and celebrate V Day with your gang, reminding yourselves that you’re stronger together and in it for life.
The best nights out should always remain somewhat unplanned (while we’re all for love, we don’t particularly like organised fun!) BUT… the perfect mates date should probably start with dinner. Sharing plates really prove your commitment to your friends as there’ll always be one last taco - and for laid back, hands-on, delicious Mexican food with lashings of tequila and a great vibe - head to El Pastor in Borough Market. It’s impossible not to be in the mood for a night out after starting there. Nicely buzzing from Tommy’s Margaritas - it’s time to switch the cocktail but not the spirit… Head up the steps onto London Bridge, slink into London Grind and ask the bartender nicely to make Tequila Espresso Martinis… KAPOW. With a view over the river and their on-trend neons allowing for photo opportunities - this is the perfect pitstop before the final destination and dancing… I mean - it’s Wednesday - why not…
A short stroll takes you to Nine Lives - a tropical paradise of a cocktail bar hidden beneath the arches of London Bridge station… as a venue, it’s basically waste free but don’t let this fool you into thinking it’s all serious or anything… drinks are utterly delicious… enjoy.
The Perfect Romantic Date - for those wanting to be wooed
Listen - if we've been somewhat cynical so far... we do apologise because really - dates are great. Any day of the year. Over at DrinkUp, we love love. So if you're looking to go all out this Valentine's Day this is the DrinkUp dream date. Be prepared to be enchanted... (cue twinkly music)
First stop The Savoy. The doormen, the revolving doors, the grandeur of it all - just stepping foot in this hotel shows your date you mean business. Swish through the lobby, down the steps to The Beaufort Bar – for us it’s the most beautiful bar in London and there’s no way you can’t feel spoilt nestled safely in it's glorious interior – Champagne throughly enjoyed we’d hot foot it over to the London Edition for dinner in the opulent dining room at Berner’s Tavern (after a cheeky pre-dinner martini in the Lobby Bar, naturally). As for a nightcap - why not eke this out even more - take a leisurely stroll through the West End and head down to The Henrietta. The bar as you come in is lovely, but there's a second hidden up on the mezzanine. Go there. It's sexier. Plus you can even stay the night if it's all going rather well.