Whether you’re on a first date, or a fifty-first date, we all need inspiration sometimes … which is where 30 Dates comes in! Every week we showcase some of the best date venues in the City, to help you think out of the box.
Afternoon Tea – The Lancaster Hotel
A few months ago I had a really lovely dinner at the Island Grill at the Lancaster Hotel, so when I was invited back for afternoon tea, I jumped at the chance. I’ve always been a big fan of afternoon tea. It’s one of those things I very rarely do, so it always feels like a treat. It’s funny how much nicer sandwiches can taste when they’re cut into bite-size fingers, and how easy it is to forget calories, when all the cakes are on the same plate!
The Lancaster have just changed up their afternoon tea menu, and it includes a real variety of sweet and savoury treats – including gorgeous coriander chicken tartlets, and chou pastry stuffed with egg mayonnaise. My particular favourite were the raspberry chocolate lollipops.
Often afternoon tea can be a rushed affair, particularly in the most central hotels, however the atmosphere at the Lancaster was relaxed and quiet, and two hours quickly and easily turned into four. Opt for the champagne upgrade – it’s certainly worth it.
Any restaurant with the tagline ‘Moules, Frites, Bieres’ is a winner for me (and most guys I know!). A stone’s throw from the West End, the Belgian chain’s central restaurant resembles a beer factory. Grab a bier keller-esque table in the bowels of the metal factory, and be prepared to struggle over the menu. Everything sounds too good to be true! I opted for a kilo of ‘snob’ moules frites (mussels in a champagne and lobster sauce) and wasn’t disappointed. The service is a bit hit and miss, but it’s worth a visit for both the atmosphere, and the food.
La Soiree, The South Bank
For two summers running, I’ve raved about Limbo on the South Bank, but until recently, I hadn’t realised the Spiegeltent returns in the winter. La Soiree is a world class cabaret show, with the very best musicians, acrobats and circus acts from around the world. A smorgasbord of entertainment, you literally don’t know what to expect next. Whether you’re watching a man juggled knives, a guy reading the morning paper, whilst lifting a man above his head with just one hand, or a 6 foot tall, middle-aged man dressed in a lycra bunny suit and 5 inch heels, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the stage. It was hand’s down my favourite date venue this week.
The music was well-picked and fast-paced. The entertainment was breath-taking, yet performed with such ease that you often forgot just how hard what the performers were doing was, and the humour was well-timed and made us belly-laugh. It’s a pretty sexy show – with burlesque balanced out with topless male acrobats. So don’t take your parents – there are a fair few awkward moments (from a nude female magician, to a man reading sections of a Mills and Boon novel!) – but do take a date. (Just one you’ve seen naked a couple of times first!)
I’d recommend going on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday and making it a drunken evening – the bar serves throughout the performance.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx