Ideas and inspiration for dating in London: spring edition
From the cherry blossomed igloos turning heads to the chocolate-making masterclasses melting hearts, spring brings with it a host of fresh things to do on a date in London
Cosy up under the cherry blossom
If you thought London’s smattering of faux Igloos were the reserve of the Christmas period, think again. Winterland London has erected a cluster of igloos at its Fulham base for Valentine’s Day. Here, the team have done away with wintry frosting and fur blankets – instead, decking their dens out with cherry blossom. The pop-up igloos will run from 14 – 23 February, offering couples a hideaway adorned with pastel-coloured foliage in which to lock eyes over a glass of sparkling wine and dine on steaming cheese fondue.
WHEN: Until 23 February
WHERE: Winterland, Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, London SW6 2TY
Meanwhile, for a similarly-decorated setting that’s open all year round, book at table at Covent Garden restaurant Clos Maggiore. Between its roaring fire, white blossom ceiling and French bistro menu, it’s unsurprising the restaurant is often described as the most romantic dining room in London.
WHEN: Clos Maggiore open 12PM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 10/11PM
WHERE: 33 King St, London WC2E 8JD
Feed the lambs at Stepney City Farm
With the return of (slightly) warmer climes comes daffodils popping up in the park and new life being born on the farm. All this heart-warming loveliness makes spring a time when even the hardcore city-dwellers among us want to escape to the countryside – if only for a weekend. But you don’t need to travel beyond the M25 to get a taste of countryside life. If you and your date are wildlife enthusiasts, pay a trip to Stepney City Farm in east London, where you don’t just get to look at the lambs – you can feed them, too. The three acre working farm is free to visit and home to several different breeds of sheep, including horned Jacobs and ewes that lamb every spring.
While you’re there, check out the farm’s gallery space dedicated to showcasing traditional trades, arts and crafts. If your visit coincides with a Saturday, you can make the most of the popular farmers’ market, where coffee and hot food is sold from 10am – 3pm. Use the opportunity to stock up on organic farm produce – from fruit and veg to fresh eggs and farm-reared meat – to take home and turn into a romantic supper (or perhaps a morning-after breakfast).
WHEN: Tuesday - Sunday 10AM - 4PM; Sunday closed
WHERE: Stepney Way, Stepney Green, London E1 3DG
Travel around the world and into space with Gingerline’s new immersive adventure
Couples with an appetite for adventure and exciting cuisine should book in for the new immersive dining experience from Gingerline: The Grand Expedition. Don an aviator hat and prepare to travel around the world before venturing into space – all with the help of a five-course dinner, multimedia simulation and interactive dance performances. This magical experience is a chance to float, feed and frolic your way across the world and interject some excitement into your dinner date. You’ll want to book well in advance, though; tickets to Gingerline experiences often sell out as soon as they’re released.
WHEN: Booking open for April & May
WHERE: Secret location on the Victoria line
Make your own salted caramels – with help from award-winning experts
Multi-award winning chocolatier Paul A Young can often be seen on TV demonstrating his chocolate finesse. But far more enjoyable to look at – and indeed taste – are the neat rows of truffles and block-like towers of rich brownies found in his gorgeous chocolate shops dotted across London.
Our favourite is the Soho branch, which sports vintage Cole & Son cacao bean wallpaper, chocolates laced with experimental flavours and a programme of events as rich as Paul’s brownies.
For a date, we recommend Paul’s salted caramel-making masterclass. Led by a trained chocolatier, the classes begin with an introduction into the world of chocolate-making – yes, this includes a chance to taste the acclaimed sea salted caramels – before being guided through making your own. These intimate classes of just eight people cost £75 each to attend.
WHERE: paul.a.young fine chocolates, 143 Warodur Street, London W1F 8WA
WHEN: 6PM - 7:30PM, 28 February and further select dates
Dine by candlelight at Kitty Fisher’s
If flowery igloos and chocolate tasting (sorry, making) sounds a bit too sweet to stomach, do away with all things pink or sugary and instead engage in romance the traditional way: over a candle-lit dinner. Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair is oozing with atmosphere and romantic charm. Whether you opt to duck into a velvet booth in the basement dining room or keep things light with a seat at the street-level wine bar, you and your date will find yourselves tucking into a meat-heavy menu of modern British fare with a Spanish twist. Kitty Fisher's is a rare example of a London restaurant where the dishes and dining space rival one another in excellence.
WHEN: Monday - Saturday, 12PM - 10:30PM; Sunday closed
WHERE: 10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1J 7QF