Top 5 Alternative Date Ideas in London


Written by for eHarmony

London has so many options when it comes to dating, that there’s every reason to pick something a little unusual. Plus, nothing makes a better impression! So scrub up and show off your knowledge of London’s goings on: our Top Five is sure to have an alterative to the pub that’ll surprise and excite your date!

Up at The O2

up the o2

Depending on the weather, this experience can either be relatively relaxing or thoroughly adventurous! Launched last year, Up at The O2 offers the unique opportunity to climb over the top of the famous dome’s roof. Lasting ninety minutes, you’ll be kitted out in harness, suit and boots before clambering up the steep walkways to the 52 metre central viewing platform at the summit. Don’t take it lightly though, the climb is tough and the walkways at times reach angles of 30 degrees!

You can also climb the O2 on one of their ‘Sunset Expeditions’, resulting in a beautiful, romantic overview of the city below your feet. So follow in the footsteps of James Bond (albeit with less falling!) and get on top of one of London’s most recognisable modern landmarks. You’re sure to bond over the experience!

Black Cat Cabaret

black cat cabaret

For a more sensual experience why not head over to Black Cat Cabaret at London Wonderground? This year’s award-winning production is an expansion of last year’s smash-hit, and brings together a wide range of talented performers, from acrobats and fire-breathers to dancers and singers. There’s sure to be plenty to talk about, and you’ll likely find it to be funnier and more moving than you might expect!

The show continues until the end of September, so there’s plenty of time to catch it. If you’ve not tried London Wonderground before, it’s the Southbank Centre’s festival of circus and cabaret, all set within its own pop-up location. So why not meet there for a drink first, and then after the show there are loads of great bars all along the Southbank if it’s all going well!

Tickets for Black Cat Cabaret start at £20.50

Aqua Shard

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

An attractive contemporary bar and restaurant, this would be a more traditional date idea – if it wasn’t for the location. Situated on level 31 of The Shard, the venue boasts spectacular views over the city through its floor-to-ceiling windows.

Perhaps the smartest option (although not the most affordable) would undoubtedly involve eating at Aqua’s restaurant. The venue serves contemporary British cuisine infused with local produce combined with a novel touch.

Aqua’s bar is open all day until 1am and covers a remarkable three stories in a central atrium. They serve an extensive range of cocktails (including two exclusive signatures, one inspired by tea!) so it’s a great spot for a classy evening or after-dinner drink.



Bounce on Holborn Circus is quite literally the home of Ping Pong – built on the very site of its invention by John Jaques III in 19o1. Today it’s an attractive bar and restaurant, all built around 17 bespoke tables. Right at the heart of the venue is even the stunning table used in the London 2012 Olympic final!

As you might have guessed, all the tables are available to hire, starting from £10 for half an hour. For pairs you generally can’t book tables in advance, so make sure to get there in good time and get your name on the list. While you wait Bounce offers a great selection of cocktails from its stylish bar, so there won’t be a lost moment.

Bounce’s restaurant is also a great place to grab a meal, so is perfectly suited for a date combining lots of elements under one roof. You’re sure to have a ball!

Dans le noir


For a meal with a real difference, give this experience a go. Taking place in a completely pitch-black room, you will not be able to see a thing as you eat, having only chosen a broad type of menu rather than specific dishes.

Allowing you to focus solely on taste and smell, the darkness heightens your experience of the food, as well as providing a less pressured setting in which to get to know your date. Also, all the waiters at the restaurant are blind, and so it gives you a unique insight into their world, creating an environment where they become the guides, showing you to your seat and helping you to eat in the darkness.

Just try not to drop any food on yourself as the bar outside is fully lit! is a vibrant and proactive online guide to everything cultural in the city of London, we want you to love London as much as we do!

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