There are many decisions when it comes to a first date…what to wear, what to talk about, where to go? The pressure is on! Here is our pick of the best bars for a first date in London to take the stress out of the occasion, leaving you to concentrate on the conversation flow and securing date number two.
The Punch Room, London Edition, Fitzrovia
Impress your date with your insider knowledge when it comes to this discreet, oak panelled room and its punch menu, but be sure to book in advance.
If you are looking to impress your date, look no further than The Coburg Bar in one of London’s hotel greats.
The warm and homely atmosphere will do wonders for settling first date nerves and if you need a little more to relax, the cocktail menu is impressive, showcasing the finest drinks throughout history.
Aqua Shard, London Bridge
Pull out all the stops and take your date up to the glamorous atrium bar at Aqua Shard.
This enchanting bar makes for a romantic setting, especially at night, when you and your date can admire London’s landmark monuments glinting below with a glass of Champagne in hand.
The Gilbert Scott, Kings Cross
Impress your date at the elegant Gilbert Scott, one of the best cocktail bars in London. This grand bar has a magnificent bell chandelier and ornate décor and there is an excellent cocktail menu to match.
Make your way through the innovative concoctions and see where the evening takes you, Paris is but a train ride away…
Dukes Bar, Dukes Hotel, St James’s
The legendary Dukes Bar lends itself very well to a first date; timeless and intimate, this place is traditional and arguably serves the world’s best Martini.
You will feel as though you have entered the world of James Bond and rightly so, Ian Fleming used to frequent Dukes Bar and apparently this is where James Bond’s Vesper Martini originated.
Artesian, The Langham
Artesian is a sleek and sexy bar that will add a little West End glamour to your date with its luxurious interiors and renowned cocktails.
Recently voted the world’s best bar, Artesian boasts 50 types of run and experimental cocktails that can only be found here.
The Luggage Room, Mayfair
Expect soft leather, dark woods and impeccable service that is both friendly and laidback and will put you at ease so you can make the best first impression.
Kettner’s Champagne Bar, Soho
The Champagne Bar at Kettner’s boasts over 100 varieties of Champagne, one of the most extensive Champagne menus in London.
The relaxed glamour of the bar with its lavish décor and plush seating will be sure to win over any first date.
Oskar’s Bar, Dabbous, Fitzrovia
Oskar’s Bar in the basement of Dabbous, Ollie Dabbous’s successful first restaurant venture, exudes a cool and stylish vibe.
Treat your date to some of the best cocktails made from foraged herbs and flowers and some exquisite canapés in this relaxed yet smart setting.
Scarfes Bar, Rosewood London, High Holborn
Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London, which opened in October last year, is a snug and cosy choice for a first date.
Grab a comfortable wing-back by the roaring fire and make your way through the great cocktail list in this stylish and homely bar. The daily live music makes Scarfes Bar one of the best bars for a first date in London.
Vinoteca – Soho, Marylebone, Farringdon, Chiswick
Take your date to one of the four buzzy Vinoteca wine bars if you want to show off your inner oenologist. With a choice of nearly 285 wines this is the place to sample new and unique flavours and if your date finds one they love, why not treat them to a bottle to take home from the wine shop?
Note: Nobody has paid to be featured or offered anything free to be included. These are our own thoughts on the best venues for first dates in London. Click here to view our editorial policy.
If you liked this feature on the best bars for a first date in London, read some of our other bar guides including speakeasy bars and the the best hotel bars in London. Sign up to The Bon Vivant journal below: