If you and your hot date are in the mood for fun, you guys simply can’t go wrong with Soho. Part of the City of Westminster, Soho offers an eclectic array of kooky bars, quirky pubs and lavish clubs. Amid the throngs of tourists and Londoners alike, you and your date can lose yourselves in the hubbub and be at one with each other’s company, while enjoying the vibrant backdrop of one of London’s most happening areas. Here are 5 first date ideas in Soho.
1. Scarlett Green
4 Noel St, W1F 8GB
Scarlett Green is a split-level all-day diner serving up gorgeous Aussie coffee, bottomless Aussie brunches and, yup, one of London’s most extensive Aussie wine lists.
With food from Down Under available from morning till night, you and your date can get your fill any time of day if you get peckish between rounds of craft beers or saucy cocktails. There’s also a range of innovative evening share plates to pick from, along with a superb readymade soundscape of Scarlett Green’s nighttime DJ sets.
The venue is lovingly inspired by Australian cafe culture, chock-a-block with chic furniture, bright artwork, and giant photos by Paul Robinson. Squint, and you could almost be right there on Bondi Beach. Nip inside for a lightning-quick espresso en route elsewhere, or settle in for a few hours of hot Aussie-style flirtin’ with this beautiful new stranger in your life.
4 Kingly Ct, W1B 5PW
Nestled deep beneath the Soho streets lies Disrepute, a cocktail bar with a decidedly naughty past. In the 60s it was The Pinstripe Club, which London history buffs will instantly recognise as the fateful location where Keeler met Profumo in one of the British scandals of the century.
Back in the present, the bar’s cocktails are second to none, reflecting the glamour, luxury, and counterculture vibes of its 60s heritage. Disrepute’s expertly curated drinks menu marries diverse spirits with cheeky concoctions, sure to delight both the discerning and the adventurous among its patrons.
To get you totally immersed in your historic wood-panelled backdrop with majestic vaulted ceilings, each cocktail comes with its very own story, invoking the optimism, hedonism and, well, disrepute that simply emanated from The Pinstripe Club in those sexy bygone times… and all with a lively jazz soundtrack, naturellement.
So if the idea is to seriously impress your date with a swanky night of upmarket flirting in one of the choice spots on the London cocktail scene, don’t miss out on Disrepute.
15–16 Gerrard St, W1D 6JE
Just shy of the heart of Soho lies this fabulous Oriental nook, whipping up some of the most indulgent cocktails in all of London. Opium is a 1920s Shanghai-themed cocktail bar and parlour, drawing on a wide variety of influences from across the East, and dishing up some top-notch dim sum dining to boot.
It truly is a cornucopia of exotic fare guaranteed to wow your date… if you can actually find the place, that is. Opium is your quintessential hidden bar, secreted as it is behind a nondescript emerald door and up a long dark stairway.
In fact, Opium comprises no fewer than three bars, each with its own cocktail menu and distinct ambience, and dim sum is served throughout the establishment.
There’s the intimate ground floor Peony bar, found in a secret space beyond a red velvet curtain; the first floor Apothecary Bar, where you can find Opium’s renowned tea parlour, adorned with medicine bottles lovingly filled with all manner of mysterious liquids; and the second floor Academy Bar, split into two sections: the Attic, with coffee tables and quirky booths, and the Bartender’s Table, where you can watch Opium’s resident expert mixologists practice their craft.
The entire place is a bona fide labyrinth of mystique and wonder, and the menu promises sumptuous Chinese dinners of only the highest quality, prepped with love and authenticity, and all the perfect complement to a delectable Oriental cocktail or three. This truly will be a first date idea with a difference.
4. Basement Sate
8 Broadwick St, W1F 8HN
Speaking of hidden bars, how about this den of iniquity and Parisian chic? Sneak down the steps and head into Basement Sate. Nab a pair of vintage leather armchairs, order a couple of scotches on the rocks and kick back for a night of foxy flirting and sexy shenanigans in Soho’s worst-kept secret.
Basement Sate unashamedly dips its fingers into many a pie: it’s a favourite both of after-work drinking buddies and hardcore weekend dancing divas. The bar brilliantly encapsulates everything that makes a good London watering hole: dark wood, exposed brick—and discreet spaces where the two of you shan’t be overheard. And don’t forget the outrageous food on offer, as well: why not go all out and treat the two of you to an exquisite dessert to accompany this latest round of mixological innovations?
Basement Sate is the go-to idea for all those daters in possession of a sweet tooth—and if that’s your date, you’ll be on to a winner the moment they take that first fateful nibble of cherry cheesecake.
5. Blind Spot
45 St Martin’s Ln, WC2N 4HX
Sleek, opulent furnishings and crazy cocktails abound at Blind Spot, a sultry lowlit bar drawing crowds from near and far. Set behind the facade of a boutique tea counter—and with its very own element of secrecy, this time in the form of a hand-shaped handle on a hidden door—Blind Spot is a late-night speakeasy-esque hub enticing daters and partygoers alike, thanks to its combination of pumping all-night DJ sets and private, intimate booths.
As the venue’s incredible resident mixologists shine behind the bar, you’re immersed in a period of yesteryear, of the British Empire’s thriving tea trade and all the spices, fruits and spirits that came with it. The ambience is, in a word, intoxicating—and so will this first date be, too.
The idea of Soho is a bit too busy for your romantic first date? Fancy a date night in Marylebone?
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