North London presents a veritable smörgåsbord of fabulous bars and eateries ideal for a first date, and the area is arguably the most exciting part of the capital. Interestingly enough, this part of London is often skipped by the tourists, clamouring as they are to instead head to the hotspots of Central London. Yet the northern neighbourhoods offer hubs of boozy activity of their own, and places to get your groove on from dusk till dawn. There’s always somewhere cool to drop in for a quick bite and beverage or somewhere swanky to settle in for a night of heavy romancing.
Whether you’re hankering for an effortlessly chic cocktail lounge or a thriving independent pub, there will be somewhere excellent to pique your date’s interest! Although with so much choice, it can be hard to decide, so we’ve gone ahead and compiled some of the best for you, so you can concentrate on looking hot and turning on the charm! Here are our top 5 first date ideas in North London.
90 York Way, N1 9AG
Snugly nestled in a cracking location right in the heart of King’s Cross is Rotunda, a bar, restaurant, and bona fide hidden gem boasting epic views of the London skyline, perfect spots for basking in the summer rays and a delightful à la carte menu focusing on British produce but reflecting many a European dish, too. And don’t forget to try out some of the many homemade bar snacks, handpicked craft beers and innovative cocktails.
At Rotunda, you and your lovely date can start the weekend with a bang, with the restaurant’s two-course brunch. Prepare to feast on a baker’s breakfast basket, mouthwatering olives and then a choice of classic brunch dishes. If you guys are planning an epic all-day first date comprising multiple activities, it all makes perfect sense. After all, what better way to get your energy up for all the fun and walking ahead?
Drink and dine right beside Regent’s Canal in hearty surroundings of dark wood, hammered metal and attractive lighting while enjoying hand-crafted pasta, a veggie roast or some truly sumptuous cuts of meat exclusively sourced from the restaurant’s very own Northumberland farm, where all their animals are born, traditionally hand-reared, grassfed, and free to roam the acres on naturally fertilised land. And if after your fabulous and wholesome mains you and your date are in the mood for something sweet, look no further than the irresistible chocolate and almond lava cake with cherry compote!
22 Inverness St, NW1 7HJ
Just moments from Camden Town Station is DUO, a quirky bar and restaurant with impressive interiors and an even more impressive cocktail menu. If your ideal first date involves chowing down on some wood-fired pizza while the DJ spins his tunes into the night, look no further than DUO. Lavishly spread over two storeys, this boutique baby-blue establishment pairs a stunning bar complete with bespoke murals and electrifying neon with a diverse Mexican menu, and hosts a range of creative events the two of you could come along to in order to ease into your date: party brunches, afternoon teas, and crazy basement nightclub sessions! The in-house mixologists love experimenting, so be sure to sip on one of DUO’s very own candy cocktails as well!
Matchmaker Tip: DUO is the latest addition to Camden’s massive nightlife scene, and there are few better places in North London to head if you and your date are in this for the long haul! Probably DUO’s most awesome event is Cirque de DUO Fridays: think circus acts wandering the throngs of revellers, including clowns, mimes and contortionists. It’ll certainly make for a first date to remember!
3. Arepa & Co
58A De Beauvoir Cres, N1 5SB
An idyllic little restaurant overlooking Regent’s Canal in Haggerston, Arepa & Co dishes up mouthwatering Venezuelan cuisine as the swans and kayaks drift lazily by. The bright and colourful interiors emphasise the vibrant menu, which features such delicious offerings as cachapas, rice bowls and the eponymous arepas, all filled or topped with pabellón (shredded beef), del Campo (black beans, plantain, avocado and cheese) or pernil (braised pork shoulder). And while you’re waiting on your main, you guys simply must partake of the divine and authentic small plates—the perfect introduction to the diverse palate of Venezuelan flavours!
4. The Fellow
24 York Way, N1 9AA
The Fellow is a stylish hideaway tailor-made for a secret dinner and drinks with your new beau or belle. Focusing on the finer things in life, The Fellow is all about airy spaces, tasty cocktails, thirst-quenching beers, toasted ciabatta marvels and an eclectic lineup of mains, not to mention a sumptuous Saturday brunch! It spans three storeys of pure class, with a happening pub on the ground floor, gorgeous cocktail bar on the first floor and heated roof terrace all the way up on the second floor, boasting super views over one of the nicest parts of North London. Swanky and discreet yet a mere stone’s throw from King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations, The Fellow is the ideal North London hangout for an epic first date in which the two of you have zero intention of moving much farther than to the bar and back!
5. BAO King’s Cross
Unit 2, 4 Pancras Sq London N1C 4AG
BAO King’s Cross showcases delectable Japanese cuisine in a chic space. Expect tea snacks and rice bowls alongside a vast selection of beverages hot and cold, including a range of intriguing bubble teas, of course! Very much inspired by the Western-style cafes of Asia, BAO King’s Cross is perhaps more specifically described as a reimagining of nostalgic Taiwanese cafes and old foam teashop classics. This fun and lively little number is sure to pique your date’s interest the moment they get their first whiff of those scrumptious baked goods!
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