Want to impress a new date with a great spot for an evening out? Or even surprise a long-term partner? North London has lots to offer if you’re looking for a date off the beaten track. We’ve asked our local insiders to give us recommendations for the most unusual date nights.
Let things get cheesy at Wildes Cheese
You don’t want your date night to get cheesy, do you? There are puns aplenty available at Wildes Cheese and the opportunity to learn how to make your own version of the good stuff. We recommend the mozzarella-stretching evening course with a dairy tour and plenty of cheese samples to keep you inspired. Discover the science behind cheese and (hopefully) love. Recommended by local insider Olivia Dicker
Bring a little soul to your evening with a boogie at Northern Soul Bar and Kitchen. This Archway spot brings weekly live music nights, a retro jukebox and the occasional open mic, so you can impress your lover with swinging moves and crooning vocals. A cute beer garden out back is the perfect place to rest up between dances. Recommended by local insider Alyson Parkes
A hop and a skip from Camden Town Tube station, the Jazz Café hosts themed events to please all. Whether your date is into neo-soul or reggae, Whitney or D’Angelo, you’ll find an evening packed with great music performed by a live band. Complete your night with a visit to the upper-floor restaurant where you can enjoy chili crab linguine and sip an old-fashioned while watching the performance below. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele
Pleasance Islington has been impressing locals and tourists alike from this spot for more than two decades. With an impressive roster of comedy and boundary-pushing productions performing in three different spaces, the shows are guaranteed to be memorable. Close by is a wealth of eateries and watering holes to choose from, perfect for après-show. Away from the glitzy crowds of the West End, this is an intimate choice for a date. Recommended by local insider Olivia Dicker
What better way to while away a couple of hours than by learning all about your favourite spirit? Alongside expert rum ambassadors, you’ll journey through the history of the drink, sample different rums (just call it research). Using different spices and dried fruits, you can create your own blend, then toast your date with a spiced rum of your own making. Recommended by local insider Alyson Parkes
London may not be known for its stargazing potential, but on a clear night, there’s nothing quite as romantic as staring up at the sky and letting the night wash over you. Parliament Hill, in Hampstead Heath, offers a great vantage point to gaze at the full moon with a backdrop of lights from one of the world’s greatest cities. Pack a Thermos and a blanket, and head up when the rumours of meteor showers and blood moons begin. Recommended by local insider Shelley Doherty
If you think bingo is for old dears, think again. Bogan Bingo claims to take players back to the glory days when the game was an untamed version of the one we know today. If you’re looking for an unusual evening, packed full of laughs with an over-the-top atmosphere and accompanied by a soundtrack of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, be sure to bring your date here in Camden Market, and expect quirky prizes with lots of alcohol.
If you know your date is a fan of cheese, then why not venture to the Cheese Bar in Camden, where you can indulge in some delicious cheesy dishes? After all, nothing quite says romance like taking turns dunking bread into a baked camembert. With several enticing options on the menu to choose from, this spot is a cheese-lover’s paradise. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to throw some cheese-related chat-up lines into the equation.
It may seem a slightly eery choice for a date, but Highgate Cemetery is actually one of the Magnificent Seven largest cemeteries in London, known for its natural beauty. The stunning gothic features provide ample talking points, which is great in case you’re worried about awkward silences. If you and your date love nature, the famous place of rest attracts all sorts of different birds and animals, making it an ideal setting for a romantic stroll. Then stock up with a picnic basket at Hampstead’s delis and head to Hampstead Heath to enjoy scenic views of London. Once it starts getting dark (and if your date is going well) head to a local pub for a drink, such as the Horseshoe and the Gallery. An intimate picnic with exceptional food, followed by a couple of pints in a cosy pub – you don’t get more romantic than that.
Show off your general knowledge by challenging your date to a pub quiz at Primrose Hill’s the Queen’s. Why not take a stroll through the park beforehand to admire some amazing views over London, before settling down in the pub for an evening of quizzing. Either work together as a team or compete against your date and enjoy the laid-back, cosy atmosphere.
Admire the beautiful city skyline on the benches outside Alexandra Palace, and watch the sun set behind the Shard, the Gherkin and other iconic London buildings. You could even take a bottle of wine and enjoy the views stretching right across the city – plus it’s completely free! Afterwards, if you fancy it, you can take up the ice rink for an evening of skating.