Chunky knitwear and comfort food are the two main benefits of autumnal dating. An inability to decipher your date’s body shape and unpredictable weather is the flip side. Think open fires, hugs, and hot drinks; the key advantage of an autumn date is that you can very easily communicate that you would be a lovely person to spend Christmas with, and that is rather the point of them. With this is mind, and in no particular order, here are eight of the finest dates to do in London at this time of year.
8. Eating Fondue
The advantage of cheese fondue is it is the kind of food that makes you feel like hugging and falling asleep with someone. On my site I’ve written about St Moritz in Soho, which is great, but since then I’ve found Androuet in Spitafields, which is equally good, and a little cheaper. If cheese isn’t your bag then chocolate fondue is available at the Cafe Godiva in Harrods, which has the added advantage of being near the Christmas department for a spot of early Christmas browsing.
7. Maison Bertaux
If you are already aware of Maison Bertaux then you know why this is one of the best places to eat cake in London, If you are yet to discover it then dress like the lead in a Rattigan play and head down there. It’s a beautiful cafe, and if you are planning a let’s-have-a-drink-in-Soho date it’s the perfect place to “stumble” across at the start of your evening.
6. The Aquarium
I know every date ideas site will tell you about the Aquarium, like you didn’t already know about it, but one of the greatest things to do in London is to load up your iPod with Radiohead songs, give an earpiece to your date, and listen whilst you’re looking at fish. It creates a very unique experience and when you come back outside the world looks completely different.
5. L’Artisan Parfumeur
In perfume circles, L’Artisan Parfumeur is top of the tree. Its perfumes are regularly voted the best in the world, but what is remarkable is how the first time you smell it, you think it’s pretty disgusting. It’s only over time that you stop smelling pig farm, or leather couch and gradually start to love it. Perhaps not an activity which will fill a whole date but definitely a place you should stop in, when doing some kind of coffee in Covent Garden date, chiefly because smelling each other is something you rarely get to do on a date, without looking a bit Hannibal Lecter.
4. Pumpkin Soup
If you’re low on cash, or at the point in the relationship where you are keen to do a date at your flat, then cooking pumpkin soup together is the way to go. Set up with the difficult to turn down text:
“Want to cook some pumpkin soup and watch a film? x”
Google Nigella’s pumpkin soup and stilton bread, and you will start to look like marriage material.
3. Breakfast at the Delaunay
Breakfast is an infinitely better date than dinner, primarily because if it goes well you get to spend the day together, if it goes badly you can be getting on with your life by 11:00. The Delaunay is equal to the Wolseley for breakfast, but it is far easier to get a table and new enough that your date probably won’t have been before. Order steak and eggs, and take your credit card, you’re going to spend a minimum of £15 but it can easily be double that.
2. Gordon’s Wine Bar
I wish not as many people knew about Gordon’s Wine Bar. Let’s make a deal, after today we won’t recommend it to anyone. So, it’s a candle lit wine cellar just by Embankment that serves wine and also cheese. The trick to making this date good is getting there very early by yourself and reading a book, as you stand no hope of getting a table by 19:00. Its location means that after you’ve had enough wine and cheese you can walk to Trafalgar Square and drink hot chocolate whilst sitting on a lion, large coats advised.
1. Mooch around Richmond
Nothing makes you want to settle down more than an afternoon spent in Richmond. From the station, walk down the river to Petersham Nurseries Garden Centre, and then onto some deer spotting in the park. Stop for hot drinks, talk about buying a house there, pick up conkers, maybe borrow a dog. It’s the date that makes you think you are already married and five years down the line, if it all goes wrong you get to use the line, “we’ll always have Richmond”.
For more information on the date ideas here, and many others, visit www.thedateguy.co.uk, or head back to our London dating page.