Deciding where to go on your first date is all part of the fun, but getting the details right is vital. Will you be able to hear each other above the noise, and will you both be able to enjoy the food and drink on offer?
The venue you suggest for your first date together could either help or hinder its success, so it’s important to choose wisely. We’ve come up with a few boxes to tick which should help you pick out the perfect spot.

A well-lit venue

Whether you fancy the bright lights of the city or something a bit more casual, it’s important that the two of you can actually see each other, and feel comfortable with the atmosphere of the venue you’ve chosen. Opt for a well-lit venue to ensure you both feel at ease and can see each other’s faces!

Close to transport

If you’re dating a woman who has donned her brand new Louboutins, or a guy that’s in his smartest shoes, you’re not going to want to trek for miles to your date location.
By picking a place that’s well serviced by public transport, you’ll prevent travel issues getting in the way of your enjoyment. Removing the hassle of getting there also means you’ll be more likely to arrive on time, freeing up more quality time to get to know each other.

Get the cuisine right

If you and your date are real foodies, a restaurant date may be on the cards. Introduce your date to your favourite gastro pub, or if you’re feeling a little daring, sample some unusual cuisine for the first time together.
For extra brownie points, if you’ve spotted your date has a favourite dish, why not do your research and take them to the best restaurant of its kind in the area?
Similarly, if you’re aware that your date is a vegetarian or has any allergies or food intolerances, avoiding restaurants which serve the foods they don’t eat is an excellent way to show that you respect their needs.

Not too loud

The best first dates are those that make conversation feel easy-going. A lively and vibrant atmosphere can provide a welcome distraction, but it’s not ideal for exchanging anecdotes. To get the most out of your date, you’ll want to be able to hear what each other are saying.
If you like the idea of visiting your favourite bar together, try to go at a quiet time in the day and avoid the surge of post-work drinkers.


There’s nothing more embarrassing than your card being loudly “declined” on your date.
Getting the budget right will not only help prevent this happening, but it’ll also remove the stress of potentially confronting a big bill at the end of the night.
Picking an affordable venue or activity also shows your date you’re considerate enough not to expect them to pay through the nose or, if you choose to pay for the date, to reciprocate the favour in the future.

If you need some inspiration when it comes to affordable venues take a look here.

Read the other articles in our ’10 steps’ series:Step 1: Why you should try online datingStep 2: Why you should choose match.comStep 3: Tips for writing your online dating profile – Step 4: How to pick the perfect profile picture – Step 5: Discover who you’re really looking forStep 6: How to find your matchStep 7: Getting in touch with your matchesStep 8: How to respond to your first messageStep 10: The first date survival guide