Great Date Guide: Winter 2015-2016


Sourced from recommendations from among thousands of eHarmony couples as well as local experts, the Great Date Guide is home to the best dating venues and activities across the UK. Take a look at our favourite cold-weather date venues in our new 2016 winter edit.


North West

Beef & Pudding (copyright Beef & Pudding)

The Beef and Pudding, Manchester
Well if a sophisticated setting and locally-sourced ingredients sounds like your idea of a great night out then Beef and Pudding on Manchester’s booth street is the dating venue of choice for you. Choose from sharing “beef boards”, a steak from the grill, or sample a classic “Brisith & Proud” main course, including their eponymous suet puddings.

Dunham Massey Hall and Gardens, Altrincham
Take some inspiration from the old romantics and get to know each other by the lawns and lakes of a country manor. A visit to Dunham Massey and its beautiful park is ideal not just for lovers of the great outdoors, but anyone looking for a first date with a difference

South East

spinnaker-tower (1)

Hampton Court Palace, London
The song says “we’ll never be royals”, but we say “why not?”. If you’ve got your sights set on grander ventures, Hampton Court Palace is literally fit for a King or Queen, no matter who it may be who has taken your fancy.

The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth 

For many, a great first date makes you feel on top of the world. But if you’d like to speed up the process a little, eHarmony’s Jay recommends a trip up Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower.
Offering you a meeting place 360ft above ground level and with panoramas of the sea and city, it’s hard to beat for a romantic rendezvous. “I said to my date, ‘you wanted to see my city, well here it is’. And as we could see the whole of Portsmouth, I was able to tell her about places I grew up in and interesting facts about the area,” says Jay. “She loved it.” So much so, they’re still together now.



Gordon's Wine Bar

The Breakfast Club, Liverpool Street

The Breakfast Club in London Liverpool Street offers you the perfect kind of surprise to spring on your date – a secret underground bar that you need a password to enter.

On the face of things, it’s like any of the other Breakfast Clubs dotted around London, with tasty diner-style food and a neon ‘Sex, Drugs & Bacon Rolls’ sign. But if you tell the wait staff that you’re ‘here to see the Mayor’ you’ll find that there’s a lot more to this restaurant than meets the eye.


Union Chapel, Islington North London
This is a really unique venue in London. Not only is it a working church and community centre with a long running programme to help homeless people, but it’s also an award winning arts venue that has played host to rock bands, comedians, classical and jazz musicians, and all kinds of live performance. Time Out has called it the best live music venue in London because of its “spellbinding surroundings and acoustics.” Previous singers that have performed in this nineteenth century built venue include Elton John and Noel Gallagher.

Gordon’s Wine Bar
Love culture, history and all things antique? Secretly prefer wine to all three? Gordon’s Wine Bar – which just happens to be the oldest in London – may well be the oasis in the proverbial desert you’ve been looking for.

All Star Lanes, Holborn
Gone are the days when bowling meant cheap burgers, screaming children and sticky floors. When it comes to the All Star Lanes in London, bowling is boutique. In any of their three locations you can expect an impressive cocktail list, atmospheric lighting and specials, like popcorn squid, to tempt your taste buds as you play.


North East

Bibis 2

Botanical Gardens, Sheffield
It’s impossible to know how many first dates the Sheffield Botanical Gardens may have hosted. But since it opened in 1836, we’re sure it’s a fair few. One of the many couples to grace (and love) the 19 acre gardens was eHarmony’s David and Joanna.
“It’s perfect for those that are a little more interested in good conversation,” says Joanna. “The park’s café is a great place for coffee, or as it’s licensed – a glass of wine. ”

Bibis restaurant, Leeds
If you’re still going strong after forty years, chances are you’re doing something right. The same could be said for bar and restaurant Bibis – forty years in Leeds city centre and still unrivalled in the Italian dining stakes.
Besides its stellar reputation, it’s also got a special place in the hearts of eHarmony couple Jean and John. “We love the surroundings – all the mirrors and chandeliers. And more importantly it’s where we decided we wanted to be with each other,” says Jean. After dinner John came back to mine and stayed the rest of the weekend, and now we go back every year.”



The Stand Comedy Club

The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh/Glasgow
Take the pressure off your one-liners and let someone else provide the laughs with a first date at The Stand Comedy Club. With venues in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, and twelve thousand tickets sold a month, it’s one of Scotland’s most popular date destinations.

The Sun Inn, Dalkeith
Whether your priority is food, setting or service, you won’t be disappointed with a first date at The Sun Inn. Proudly family-run, this award-winning pub concentrates on the little details that make all of the difference when it comes to a special first date.


East Midlands

hardwick inn

Firebug, Leicester

Sometimes familiar, chilled out and fun is best when it comes to a first date. So with tasty, home-cooked food, an impressive roster of comedy and music acts and a light and spacious bar, Leicester’s Firebug delivers all that and more.

The Hardwick Inn, Chesterfield
With a beautiful building – constructed using locally quarried sandstone and dating back to the 15th century, delicious home-cooked food, and open coal fires, The Hardwick Inn in Chesterfield is a perfect winter date spot.


West Midlands


Hotel du Vin, Birmingham

Picture the venue for the perfect dinner – beautiful decor, great food and quick service. So if you’re looking for somewhere special for a first date in Birmingham, you’ll probably be picturing Hotel du Vin.


South West

Souk Bristol table

Souk Kitchen, Bristol

In many Arabian cities a souk is at the very epicentre of their brilliance, usually the hub of trade and activity for the whole community. Bristol’s Souk Kitchen aims to recreate this exciting and bustling experience with their own take on authentic, Middle Eastern market food, which is so integral to the culture.

On the Waterfront, Exeter

The best lunch or dinner dates are the ones that offer an easy way to continue your date if it’s going well. And Exeter’s Quayside, with its restaurants, events and peaceful waters gives you just that and more.


For more Great Date recommendations explore eHarmony’s Great Date Guide.

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