Every week on 30 Dates, I share the weird and wonderful date venues I’ve come across, so that you can hopefully get away from the local pub, and start exploring London to the max.
This week there’s a full range of options, from flying over the city, to watching acrobats perform in their pants …
The London Helicopter
Literally the best thing I’ve ever done in London! I spent the very sunny first Bank Holiday Monday of this month flying over the Thames – all the way from Battersea to Greenwich, and back. At first when I’d heard the flight was only 25 minutes long, I was a bit apprehensive, but it genuinely covered all the major London landmarks, and it was so cool seeing how the city all fits together. It’s really weird seeing all the parts of London that I know, and understanding how they come together. Probably the oddest sight for me, was Waterloo Station from above! I loved every minute, and the weather couldn’t have been better. NOT a first date, but if you’re celebrating an anniversary, or want a grand way to propose, this has my vote!
Bistro by Shot, Parson’s Green
This cute little bistro is a stone’s throw from Parson’s Green tube station, and well worth a visit. Opt to sit out the back in the conservatory if you can. I went for the Chateaubriand steak and chips, and didn’t regret my decision. The macarons are handmade by a local French lady, and they are literally to die for.
M Restaurant, Bank
Bloody hell … I may have found my favourite date venue in the City … this restaurant/ bar is awesome. The open plan is perfect for a date, wide and spacious so you can enjoy privacy, and can’t hear the next table’s conversation, but not so huge that it feels impersonal. The atmosphere is smart with a high-end feel that doesn’t border on pretentious. The menu in M Raw (the casual restaurant downstairs) has an Eastern feel, and, as the name suggests, is predominantly raw. Tartar, sashimi, and marinated steaks which you cook yourself on a hot stone on the table. Upstairs, in the M Bar in the mezzanine level, you can kick off the evening with a glass (or three) of champagne. Go on a date when you are trying to impress … you won’t be disappointed.
Scotch & Soda, London Wonderground
Longtime blog readers will know I’ve always been a fan of the Spiegel Tent in the London Wonderground. The first ever time I went, was during my original 30 blind dates, with The Fake Pimpernel, and we sat in the crowd, watching Limbo, with Madonna just a few seats away. I then ran a Guardian Blind Date at Limbo last summer, and also checked out the winter acrobatics there a few months ago. At first, I have to admit I was a little disappointed to hear Limbo wouldn’t be returning for a third summer, but I was keen to check out its replacement. And so last night I headed along to Scotch & Soda, to chaperone a blind date for Time Out (which you can read all about in a few weeks time!). I wasn’t disappointed. The show is short (only an hour and a quarter) but it’s slick, and fun. If anything, the acrobatics are so good, that they make it look too easy. At times I found myself wondering why no one was clapping, but it was because it all just looked too simple. I’ve said it before, but kicking off at 7.30, a show at the Wonderground is a great start to a night out, and really puts you in the mood. Plus the beautiful outdoor drinks area around the Spiegel Tent and Udderbelly are certainly worth a visit, whether you’re going in to see a show or not.