It is rare these days I get to enjoy a date night but when I do boy do I enjoy it and boy does it take preparation. What used to be popping along to the latest restaurant friends are raving about post work, has now become at least a weeks worth of researching and planning in a vague attempt not to make a fatal mistake resulting in major restaurant envy over the place/s we chose not to dine at. So in case this is of help to anyone else planning their date nights in London here are my current favourites and highly recommended staple date nights haunts….
Dean Street Townhouse – safe staple
Well established, unpretentious, easy going and part of the Soho House group – Dean Street Townhouse offers tasty food in a special setting and in the middle of Soho so you can grab a few drinks afterwards and relive pre-baby days! Ask for a table in the back room which used to be private dining, or by the fire for a more intimate quieter setting.
Chicken Shop – budget date
Starting back in 2012 Chicken Shop is not your average chicken joint – it offers free-range spit chicken with a whole range of flavourings and sides. Good for the figure and the bank balance!!! And all that protein surely means you can indulge on those date-night cocktails.
p.s. They also do take-out if you’d rather finish the date at home!
Chiltern Firehouse – Celebrity / VIP haunt
This place was everywhere last year, every celebrity under the sun was pictured leaving here and it helped that all the big designers held their parties here post fashion weeks. It is much easier to get a table now, still not the easiest mind so book in advance. The food is divine and you never know who’ll you spot on your date. The room everyone wants to get into – the Ladder Shed. This is where Poppy Delevingne took her wedding party after she married and where Bill Clinton got behind the custom-made wooden decks and played a set, kicking off with Billie Holiday! It is a sumptuous bar resembling a slice of Palm Beach seen through a Hollywood lens. Officially it’s only possible to step inside here (once you’ve announced yourself and signed the black leather guest book) if you’re a hotel resident or their friend. Officially. Winners of the Ladder Shed lottery are given a tongue-in-cheek token, a coloured gambling chip or a playing card of a certain suit, to show if they wish to re-enter after leaving. (It used to be a red chip, until people started arriving ready-loaded with their own.)
Berners Tavern – Fashionista heaven
The stunning room of Berners Tavern has to be one of the most instagrammed restaurants of London with its huge high ceilings and walls full of glitzy framed art. This is the restaurant of The London Edition, the hotel which during LFW is packed to rafters of designers, VIP’s and fashionistas from all over the world. The food is fab, not too pricey, and cocktails are immense!!! Worth a date night just for the instagram post!
Randall and Aubin – first come first served
I was actually taken here as a birthday surprise and it was wonderful. Cool soulful house music plays over a very relaxed setting complete with chandeliers and disco balls, whilst you chow down on the most succulent sea food and other culinary delights! Perfectly placed in Soho you can enjoy a fun night on the town with simple delicious food and well priced champagne. Whats not to like?! This is not the latest coolest restaurant but its high quality and high fun. Plus it is always full and as you cannot book so make sure you arrive before you’re too hungry to wait!
Bob Bob Ricard – For Champagne Lovers
Another Instagram favourite famous for its ‘Press for Champagne’ bells at every table… this place describes itself as having an electric clientele and as being London’s most glamorous all booth restaurant. Being all booths it is perfect if you’re looking for privacy on you date night. Food is pricey as is the Champagne ordered by private bell so it is one for special evenings. Decor is over the top ’20s and the menu is European, but not your average Euro! Definitely somewhere to impress your date!
Have fun and let me know if you have anywhere you’d recommend – love to hear!