Clapham has a vibrant atmosphere, and is a fan favourite for many of the capital’s professionals. Its thriving nightlife stems from the immense variety of venues, themes and cuisines on offer. So no matter what kind of date you’re going for, day or night, you’ll find any number of fantastic spots dotted around the buzzing suburb—ideal for impressing on this first date with your solid local knowledge! Here are our top 5 first date ideas in Clapham.
1. Lotus Bar
76 Clapham High St, SW4 7UL
Lotus Bar is a fabulous one-stop shop for all your first date needs. Boasting swish interiors and lip-smacking grub to nibble on as you acclimatise to those first date butterflies, Lotus Bar can top you off with elaborate cocktails from top mixologists and a thrumming party vibe on the weekends if you and your date fancy letting loose.
Lotus Bar serves up exotic Pan-Asian–Italian cuisine, prepped by dedicated chefs using only the freshest organic ingredients, and the dancefloor’s home to eclectic popping tunes covering hip hop, R&B and Afrobeat. The restaurant–cocktail bar also offers sumptuous brunches and dinners, so you and your date can head to Lotus Bar pretty much any time of day—although don’t miss out on happy hour, which extends to 9pm on Mondays!
2. The Cocktail Club
182–184 Clapham High St, SW4 7UG
Five minutes down the road from Lotus Bar is The Cocktail Club, an epic basement bar whose drinks unashamedly emulate all the very best bits of 90s Hollywood: think blockbusters, cult classics, nostalgia overflowing your glass. The Cocktail Club is renowned citywide for its unparallelled party spirit, and its super menu caters to the taste of every punter who wanders through the bar’s iconic cinema-like front door.
If it’s a bottomless brunch you’re after for your first date, boy have we got a treat for you. Dust off your double denim co-ord of yesteryear, for ladies and gents it’s The Cocktail Club’s 00s Bottomless Brunch! Prepare for the unleashing of the greatest 00s hits on unsuspecting brunchers, along with party prizes, performances, and a whole heap of mischief and surprises along the way.
It’s all totally trashy and it’s all so fetch, and it’s jam-packed with nostalgia and bottomless bubbles and cocktails. For a first date with a difference or as the starting point of an epic all-day flirtathon, there are fewer better places to let your hair down and show your fun side! Just make sure you book ahead—this one is seriously popular!
With film artwork decking every bit of wall space, every part of The Cocktail Club is steeped in movie magic ambience, matched only by the high-quality banter emanating from the perennially chipper bartenders, serving up those legendary Instagrammable cocktails that lend their name to the club. So whether you and your date are ready to dance the night away in the Millennium Falcon or order another round for your cabin aboard the Titanic, get ready to lose yourself in a time capsule of cinematic throwbacks.
44–48 Clapham High St, SW4 7UR
We continue our whistle-stop tour of Clapham High Street with Mommi, a wondrous hybrid of Japanese and South American cultures, daringly pairing all manner of wild fusions sure to impress your date. Sushi side plates and Brazilian bites for the table? Sure, why not. Or an all-out bottomless brunch? Sign us up!
Even the drinks stacked higgledy-piggledy behind the bar are a boozy marriage of cuisines from opposite sides of the world. Whether you and your date are passing by as you cavort down the high street or you’re heading to Mommi as your final destination, you’re in for a treat. There’s nibbles around every corner, frivolity galore, and sumptuous international spices bursting off your plate to show your hot date you’re a bona fide man or woman of the world.
4. Blame Gloria
89–91 Battersea Rise, SW11 1HW
The guys over at Blame Gloria certainly know how to throw a party. This raucous den serves up a winning combination of flamboyant interiors, zingy cocktails and zany partygoers—the ideal atmosphere to get you and your first date feeling bouncy while ensuring total discretion as you flirt somewhere in the midsts of the awesome hubbub.
Indulge in some eminently sip-worthy 2-4-1 tipples, and by all means bring your dancing shoes if that’s your thing—Blame Gloria’s open late, just for pretty young things like you and that fine date o’ yours.
Blame Gloria throw together some glorious mixological masterpieces: their extensive cocktail menu boasts several specialist numbers, of which our favourite would have to be the Hot AF (so hot in fact that they had to put a chilli symbol next to it on the menu). It comprises chilli-infused Olemca Reposado tequila (¡Ay ay ay!), triple sec, jalapeño, lime, pineapple and Tabasco. Get ready to have your little socks blown off.
5. The Little Orange Door
16A Clapham Common South Side, SW4 7AB
Perched on the edge of the common, The Little Orange Door unapologetically dubs itself ‘Clapham’s best late-night cocktail bar’. A hell of a claim—although with its carefully curated selection of handcrafted drinks, they’re definitely in the running for that title. The Little Orange Door also has one hell of a menu, with irresistibly juicy burgers and chunky truffle-topped fries sure to pique your interest as you and your date get giddy on all the fine aperitifs on offer.
It’s all part of the founders’ vision that their establishment should encapsulate all the best bits of a house party: think unpretentious settings, chilling in the corner or dancing on the table. (Actually, don’t quote us on that last one—we’re pretty sure there’s some healthy and safety regulation prohibiting that sort of monkeyshine.) The Little Orange Door is where you just want to hang out with your mates—or this beautiful stranger with whom you’re enjoying a very Clapham first date.
Not happy with Clapham for a first date? Check out Battersea for more romantic date nights.
If you are ready to meet someone special, contact the friendly award winning matchmakers at Drawing Down the Moon Matchmaking.