For residents of Pimlico there’s no finer place in London—yet the area remains relatively low on Londoners’ lists of must-visits (sans Tate Britain, of course). It’s often seen at best as a good spot for a night out—but have you ever considered the wide array of great first date spots on offer, too?
This unspoiled yet oft overlooked corner of Central London is home to fabulous bars, cosy basement restaurants and gorgeous cocktail lounges—and they’re all primed to make for an unforgettable night of romance. Here are our top 5 first date venues in Pimlico.
1. No 11 Pimlico Road
11 Pimlico Rd, SW1W 8NA
No 11 Pimlico Road is a proper independent neighbourhood day bar and restaurant: light, airy, and nestled right in the very heart of Belgravia. It has a generous helping of outdoor seating, along with a thrilling menu promising sustainably sourced and scratch-cooked meals any time of day.
Coupled with a super selection of irresistible juices, tasty draught beers and flavourful wines, this versatile establishment is a great place to head if you guys can’t quite decide what kind of venue you want for your first date—because No 11 Pimlico Road’s got it all!
Pro tip: Be sure to check out No 11 Pimlico Road’s bodacious bottomless brunch! Think free-flowing mimosas, mojitos and prosecco, complete with an array of tasty bites and relaxed surroundings. What better way to get to know your date in the soothing light of day?
In this lively all-day hangout you can enjoy a rich, freshly brewed coffee, a nightcap en route home from somewhere a little more raucous, or some last-minute post-work drinks, all soundtracked by a fabulously curated playlist. Spend less time thinking, more time getting to know this beautiful new stranger in your life.
No 11 Pimlico Road
2. The Orange
37 Pimlico Rd, SW1W 8NE
This Grade II–listed building and former brewery has been lovingly restored, and is now an award-winning British gastropub spanning an awesome four storeys, each utterly unique in design and aesthetic. The Orange looks out over the tranquil Orange Square, and lies a mere stone’s throw from Sloane Square. Boasting an enviable menu of locally sourced produce and sumptuous seasonal dishes, you and your date can peruse a whole host of delicious dishes or even unashamedly chow down on one of The Orange’s renowned pizzas, piping hot from the traditional wood-fired oven!
3. Clarendon Cocktail Cellar
52 Cambridge St, SW1V 4QQ
Clarendon Cocktail Cellar is the downstairs bar of Artist Residence, a quirky boutique hotel and former Victorian pub with a decidedly sordid reputation… In an intimate, low-key setting of tin tile ceilings and walls festooned with everchanging artworks courtesy of the hotel’s partnership with Soho’s Lawrence Alkin Gallery, Clarendon Cocktail Cellar goes all out when it comes to artistic experimentation of its own—in the mixology department, that is. Sip on a vast array of excellent beverages infused with unusual ingredients, and soak ’em up with some tasty seasonal dishes to boot.
Pro tip: Alongside the caboodle of fine wines and local beers you’ll find the headliner, the one they all come for: Clarendon Cocktail Cellar’s selection of sippable incarnations of literary classics! Like the Peter Rabbit, a surprisingly uplifting blend of tonka-infused sherry, fig leaf, rye whisky and white vermouth. Each cocktail marries boutique spirits with homemade tinctures, and they’re all served up on coasters depicting the literary inspiration in question—as well as bacon dust popcorn, of course.
There’s antique cast iron shelving galore, vintage marine lamps, red leather bar stools—even a dedicated table tennis room! What better way to burn off some of that nervous first-date energy than a few tipsy rounds of whiff-whaff?
8 Gillingham St, SW1V 1HJ
Any establishment unapologetically styling its name in all caps must put its money where its mouth is—and TOZI doesn’t disappoint. Tozi is Venetian slang for group of friends, and this Italian restaurant right in the heart of Pimlico is indeed the exact kind of place you’d happily meet your mates for a solid few hours’ chinwag—or on this occasion your sexy new date. Experience the very best of authentic Italian cuisine in a relaxed, upmarket environment.
Pro tip: A first date at the theatre? Much sophistication indeed. TOZI is a popular preshow hangout for actors and theatregoers alike. In fact, to celebrate their post-lockdown reopening, TOZI recently released a stupendous set menu guaranteed to get you in the mood for an evening of the finest thespianism on display in the capital.
A brilliant echoing space with vast whitewashed walls and high ceilings, Head Chef Maurilio Molteni specialises in the tradition of casual Venetian dining, especially cicchetti, a variety of small plates created using high-quality organic ingredients sourced from both the UK and Italy itself.
TOZI also offers a diverse selection of Italian drinks including homemade barrel-aged negroni, Franciacorta sparkling wines, and only the finest of beers hailing from Bel Paese.
5. The Marquis of Westminster
50 Warwick Way, SW1V 1RY
You could accurately describe The Marquis of Westminster as Pimlico’s village pub, although its recent refurbishment transformed it from country to full-on cool, while retaining its timeless rustic features. Established in 1839 as a corner house, the pub is easily recognised by dint of its four fabulous red telephone boxes!
The dining room serves up fare that’s totally gastro, while the basement is now home to a dancefloor and cocktail bar, complete with exposed brickwork and snug booths cut into the walls. It’s all exceptionally reminiscent of the times of the eponymous marquis, a racehorse fanatic (a pursuit he humbly regarded as one of his aristocratic duties) who was nevertheless a strict non-gambler and teetotaller.
Get close and personal over a cocktail or three, and indulge in some discreet flirtin’. In The Marquis of Westminster the hours simply fly by, as you drink, dine and dance to your hearts’ content.
Nothing suitable for your date in Pimlico? What not try and date night in Kensington.