London Date Ideas – Ethos, Urban Golf & Shakespeare in Love

Every week on 30 Dates I fill you in on the latest spots I’ve come across for a great date in the Capital.  This week there is sport, theatre, and ethical dining!

Ethos, Oxford Circus

Dinner with a difference – Ethos is both a meat-free restaurant, and self-service.  Whilst that may conjure ideas of school canteens, it’s anything but.  The new restaurant opened in September, and is certainly one of the most unique dining experiences I’ve had in London so far.  The dining area is beautifully set amongst floor-to-ceiling trees, giving Ethos a sophisticated and edgy feel.  The dishes were all very different, and the buffet set-up was an automatic conversation starter.  You pay according to the weight of your plate, making it an economical option for dinner particularly around Ethos.

However, I would certainly be careful who you take on a date here. The venue is great for drinks, however if you’re planning on eating, make sure your date is up for a veggie and vegan experience.  I found the buffet was missing protein options for me, and the gluten-free vegan deserts left a lot to the imagination. At one point my date suggested we were eating sawdust!

Definitely a fun experience and a conversation starter, but I won’t be rushing back too soon!

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Urban Golf, High St Kensington

It may look like a sports shop from the outside, but buried deep in the basement of High St Ken tube station is Urban Golf – a rather fun venue which is a bit like a giant Wii.  In the same way you can book a bowling alley, you reserve a golf green.  Using real clubs, and a real golf ball, you play golf into a very resilient screen, which then registers the movements of the ball, and moves a video game along accordingly.  The games can be set with handicaps, and details like whether you’re starting from the men’s tee or the women’s tee on each hole are carefully remembered by the computer.

I had a lot of fun … and I hate golf!  I was really pleasantly surprised by just how much fun a date at Urban Golf turned out to be.  There’s a really slick bar, designed like a club house, which serves both drinks and pub food like nachos, which was a great place to start the date off, before heading to play.  As a non-golfer, it took me a little while to get my head around it all, but by the time our hour was up, I was begging to stay on for another half an hour.  We ended up playing a round of speed golf for the last 15 minutes – trying to see how many holes we could get through as quickly as possible

If you’re looking for a fun, active date, that isn’t affected by the wintery weather, this is definitely worth a shot (boom boom!).

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Shakespeare in Love, Noel Coward Theatre

My favourite date this week is a cultural one.  I went to watch Shakespeare in Love on Wednesday night, and loved every minute.  It literally had me chuckling out loud.  The set is really well-designed, and there’s constantly something interesting going on.  The cast were flawless, and really well-cast, and the friend who I went with (a very manly rugby boy) loved it just as much as I did – so a great shout for a date.  There’s just enough time in the interval to catch up in the bar over a drink, though I’d recommend meeting for a drink or early dinner beforehand, so you don’t start your date in silence.

Genuinely the best show I’ve seen in London since Book of Mormon. (Unlike Speed the Plow which I watched on Monday – starring the infamous Lindsay Lohan.  Avoid it at all costs … it’s appalling!)

Finally, a quick mention to the Red Lemon pub, which I explored earlier this week.  If you’re looking for a drink spot around Notting Hill, it’s worth heading to.  Really lovely, friendly staff, a very relaxed atmosphere, and some rather interesting artwork to boot!

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

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