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18 Unusual and Fun Date Ideas to Try in London

Sam Peet / © Culture Trip
Picture of Georgina Wilson-Powell
Updated: 11 July 2018
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Sometimes it feels like the whole of London is on a date. Art dates, dinner dates, romantic dates, mate dates… you get the picture. Break out of your date rut (the Tate, bowling, brunch… sound familiar?) and try something new with one of these fun date ideas in London. You might have a fun date and like it. Or even better, you might like the person you’re with.

Crank up the crazy golf scores

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Swingers
Swingers | Courtesy of Swingers
At Swingers you can pick one of three crazy courses, waitresses bring you cocktails as you putt and there’s plenty of food in the clubhouse afterwards.
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Sun:
10:30 am - 9:30 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tue:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu - Fri:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
10:30 am - 1:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Relaxed, Quirky

Book a ping pong table at Bounce

Bar, Pizzaria, Restaurant, American, $$$
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See who’s best at table tennis and who’s more likely to hit someone else with the ball at Bounce. Loser has to pay for the next date.
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Sun:
1:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Mon:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tue:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Wed:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu - Fri:
4:00 pm - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Relaxed, Quirky

Dine in the dark at Dans Le Noir ?

Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
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At Dans Le Noir in Clerkenwell, everything is pitch black. You can’t see each other or the food. Time to fall for the sound of a voice?
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Sun:
1:00 pm - 12:00 am
Mon:
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tue:
6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Stylish, Quirky, Unusual

Watch the sunset over London

Spendthrifts can head up to Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath, while flash Harrys can book a table at Aqua Shard or at Searcys at The Gherkin to watch dusk fall.

Find love at the Gherkin

Dress up at Beyond Retro

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Give yourselves a £20 limit to get a new outfit at Beyond Retro for drinks that evening and see what bargains you can get.
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Sun:
11:30 am - 6:00 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Loud

Pétanque, madam?

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, French, $$$
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Ramp up the va-va-voom at Baranis, where you can play pétanque or, if it’s a nice day, head to Cleaver Square in Kennington to watch locals play in deadly serious matches (while you sip pints from the square’s posh pub).
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Tue:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am

Atmosphere:

Quirky, Relaxed, Stylish

Go on a ghost tour

Museum
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The Ghost Bus Tour
The Ghost Bus Tour | © Matt Brown / Flickr
Climb aboard The Ghost Bus Tour and use any frightening facts as an excuse to get closer and hold hands.
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Sun:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark, Touristy

Have a posh picnic in Hyde Park with a butler

DUKES Hotel in Mayfair will pack you up a picnic that will make M&S look shoddy. It comes with rugs, gazebos and even a butler to serve you – you’ll be the envy of the park.

Picnic in the park

Take out any frustration on table football at Bar Kick

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Had a misunderstanding? Take it out on the tiny players at Bar Kick in Shoreditch. Winner takes all.
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Sun:
11:00 am - 10:30 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 12:40 am
Sat - Sun:
11:00 am - 12:40 am

Atmosphere:

Quirky, Loud

Go on a foodie tour of London

And only buy foods beginning with B at Borough Market. Bread, burrata, beer, beefburgers… before wandering down to the Italian market Mercato Metropolitano opposite Southwark Playhouse for negronis and wine.

Entrance to Borough Market
© AC Manley / Shutterstock

See a really off-the-wall play

Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and the Hen & Chickens all have new playwrights and directors cutting their teeth.

Cuddle up in the cinema

At the Electric in Notting Hill you can book a sofa, while at Genesis in Stepney Green you get a sofa, table and wine.

Try and get seats at Hoppers

Restaurant, Asian, $$$
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It’s the best Sri Lankan food in town. A two-hour queue will be the making or breaking of your relationship. Give up after 10 minutes and end up in Byron Burger.
More Info
Mon:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Mon:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Tue:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Tue:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Wed:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Wed:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Thu:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Thu:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Fri:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Sat:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Traditional

Push the boat out with cheap comedy at Top Secret

Theater
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London Brown at Top Secret
London Brown at Top Secret | © Jorge Gonzalez / Flickr
Top Secret does comedy nights in Soho for a pound. Yup, a whole pound. Make sure your funny bones are aligned before you spend the big bucks.
More Info
Sun:
2:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Mon:
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tue:
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Wed:
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Thu:
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Fri:
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sat:
2:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Loud

Go to a daytime rave at Printworks

Music Venue
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Printworks hosts daytime raves
Printworks hosts daytime raves | © Simon King / Alamy Stock Photo
Printworks in Surrey Quays is London’s best new club, but its raves are daytime affairs. Emerge blinking at 10pm and be home cuddled up on the sofa by midnight.
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Book into the gin hotel in Portobello

Bar, British, $$$
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The Distillery, modern gin palace and hotel, Portobello Road, Notting Hill.
The Distillery, modern gin palace and hotel, Portobello Road, Notting Hill. | © Peter Scholey / Alamy Stock Photo
The Distillery not only has a 100-strong gin list at its bar, it also offers gin-making classes and has sultry rooms, so you don’t have to catch the last train home.
More Info
Sun:
11:00 am - 11:30 pm
Mon - Tue:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Tue - Wed:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Wed - Thu:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Thu - Fri:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
11:00 am - 1:00 am

Looking for some quirky bars to take your date to? Then check out these unusual and cool bars in London.

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