Whether it’s peppered with picnickers basking in the sun, sledgers gallivanting in the snow or kite enthusiasts harnessing a high wind and the open space, Primrose Hill attracts Londoners from far and wide. The area surrounding it is equally beautiful and diverse in its offering, brimming as it is with quirky cafes, stylish bars and upmarket restaurants.
And all the while, Primrose Hill still does a magnificently effortless job of retaining its unique village vibe. So if you’re looking for a fabulous North London date spot surrounded by greenery and quaint architecture of a bygone era, look no further than this little green paradise all the way up in North London for you and this hot new stranger in your life. Here are our top 5 first date ideas in Primrose Hill.
1. The Lansdowne
90 Gloucester Ave, NW1 8HX
When The Lansdowne first threw open its doors in 1992, its aim was simple: bring high-quality but still nonetheless homely pub grub to the folk of Primrose Hill. Three decades on, the vision remains very much actualised. Today The Lansdowne is an integral part of the Primrose Hill drinking and dining scene.
In fact, the establishment is widely considered one of the founding fathers of the gastropub movement in all of London! The Georgian building is one of the centrepieces of life in Primrose Hill, and has that unmistakable ambience of somewhere traditional, historic and important, replete as the pub is with large rustic dining tables and high wooden ceilings.
The Lansdowne’s blackboard menu shifts with the seasons, and its sumptuous offerings draw from both British and Mediterranean cuisines, although The Lansdowne is also renowned for making perhaps the finest pizzas in the whole of the capital. (Jeez guys, leave some plaudits for the rest of us would you?)
So whether your date is something of a food buff or the two of you just want a fine few hours of gastronomic joy coupled with an eclectic range of beverages, The Lansdowne is the place to head in Primrose Hill for that all-important first date.
4 Erskine Rd, NW3 3AJ
To say that Manna came before its time is something of an understatement… although, of course, it’s still here today to see its ethos far more widely accepted, practiced, even celebrated. “What ethos is that?” I hear you ask. Simple: veganism! Incredibly, for over half a century this fabulous deli has been dishing up vegan fine dining to discerning Londoners: think lettuce tacos, maki rolls, rainbow panzanella. In fact, Manna pride themselves on being not only London’s leading vegan restaurant, but also the capital’s foremost purveyor of plant and organic-based fare, too!
Enjoy a genuinely relaxed dining experience with your lovely date, and be sure to cast your eye over the specials. If you and your date are feeling a little fruity, you simply have to peruse Manna’s fine selection of desserts, too: think vanilla and passionfruit cheesecake with a chocolate base, almond and cacao biscuits and eye-wateringly piquant lemon cake. Among gastronomists and connoisseurs of veganism across the capital and beyond, Manna are famous for putting nifty spins on classics, like their cannellini burgers, fennel and pumpkin seed sausages—and showstopping vegan Sunday roast, of course.
130 Regent’s Rd, NW1 8XL
Odette’s is iconic. And pay heed, for that is not a term we use lightly. For 45 years the restaurant has been known as an idyll for lovers and first-time daters alike, by virtue of its intimate low lighting, sumptuous jewel-green tones, and exquisite artworks thoughtfully placed throughout the establishment.
And complete with its masterfully delicate dishes crafted by Head Chef Bryn Williams—meals displaying astonishing culinary prowess, like smoked eel and Cornish halibut grenobloise—Odette’s is widely considered a bona fide icon of both Primrose Hill and all of North London.
Odette’s is a timeless eatery with a thoroughly well-earned decades-long reputation for inducing romance among its diners!
89 Regent’s Park Rd, NW1 8UY
A little Greek number popular even with Londoners who don’t call Primrose Hill home, Lemonia has been going for over four decades! The moment you enter you’ll understand why it’s widely considered Primrose Hill’s favourite neighbourhood restaurant, as the entire place is positively bursting with the hubbub of thronging diners, who chat, relax and make merry somewhere between the ceilings hung with vine plants and the terracotta-tiled floors illuminated by abundant natural light.
Lemonia’s extensive menu features exquisite favourites like dolmades, moussaka and spanakopita, as well as fish dishes, charcoal-grilled meats and meze specialities. This family-run eatery has a warm and welcoming atmosphere—the perfect ambience if you’re nervous and want to busy yourself with some irresistible Mediterranean sharing plates while getting to know your date!
5. Greenberry Cafe
101 Regent’s Park Rd, NW1 8UR
Greenbery was in fact one of the original names of Primrose Hill, and this eponymous restaurant serves the area’s heritage well by providing a happy, thriving atmosphere equally suited to sunshine brunches, flirty dinners and late-night drinks with someone special.
The à la carte menu in this Brooklyn-esque dining room promises an everchanging mix of seasonal dishes, of which every mouthful is to be savoured in the midst of the dramatically sandblasted brick walls. Particularly delightful numbers include shakshuka, sea bass ceviche, Moroccan spiced lamb and Jerusalem artichoke risotto, as well as a selection of expertly curated salads like endive, pecan and Roquefort.
Don’t be deceived by the relatively small wine list on offer at Greenberry Cafe: the establishment’s selection is truly masterful, mostly sourced from organic or biodynamic producers to ensure only the highest-quality vintage of ethical origins.
For a delightful first date in relaxed surroundings, you can’t go far wrong with a rendezvous at Greenberry Cafe! And to curb those first date nerves a little more, why not bring your four-legged friend along? The folks over at Greenberry Cafe actively welcome pooches of all shapes and sizes!
If you are ready to meet someone special, contact the friendly award winning matchmakers at Drawing Down the Moon Matchmaking.