Dating is no easy task, and with expectations naturally rising these days, it's imperative you up your dating game. Whether you're looking to swoon a new love interest or you're after some ideas to spice up your relationship, we've got you covered with our Date Night Top Picks.
Are you new to the dating game or are you an old dog on the search for new tricks? Whichever it may be, we're here to give you a little helping hand in the form of our Date Night Top Picks. We've found some key products that will help you form the perfect date night. Just remember, these can only take you so far - we'll supply the tools for your date but you have to apply the skills.
Tea Room at Bun House is a new eatery in the heart of Soho that will cater for any date night needs. It can be found below Soho favourite Bun House, located in the dimly lit basement on the corner where Old Compton Street and Greek Street meet. Here, you’ll find a private enclave of the best in Cantonese food. The staff pride themselves on being a solely Chinese experience. The food is Chinese, the drinks are Chinese and even the music is Chinese – we were big fans of the ‘60s records from Singapore and Taiwan, that echoed out from the jukebox to set the moody scene.
The owner was inspired by Wong Kar-wai’s ‘In The Mood for Love’, and it’s definitely the vibe that has been achieved. The place oozes novelty and it will be one of the best dining experiences you’ll have in London. It’s perfect for any date – the quirky décor, neon lights and impressive china collection will get any conversation flowing.
When it comes to food, if you’re up for trying something different to what you’re used to, Tea Room is for you. What we recommend, is sharing a range of plates between two, as that way you get to experience the cuisine in all its glory. Sweet charred corn, Oolong smoked quail and Iberico char siu were some of our top picks, while the more adventurous couple might like to share a plate of the duck tongue fries or chicken gizzard skewers.
While the food is certainly a highlight, the cocktails were some of the best we’ve had in London. While you might fancy your typical Old Fashioned, Tea Room isn't the place to come to stick to what you know. Imported baijiu is big at Tea Room, which is China’s national drink, and cocktails are straight from the Far East. Sugar cane, winter melon, mango and chilli mixed drinks were our favourites. After dinner, we washed everything down with Uncle Xu’s green tea.
Tea Room was a particular hit for us and it seems as though in that basement, anything goes. Definitely a spot for an interesting date! Book yourself in over on their website.
The Million Roses
You have probably seen The Million Roses' flowers plastered all over your social media pages, and if you haven't, your girlfriend most certainly has. Let us share an inside secret with you: if a girl has ever spoken about what flowers she likes, she wants flowers. If a girl doesn't talk about flowers at all, she wants flowers. We know what many of you men may be thinking, what's the point of buying flowers when they'll die in a few weeks time? Well, what if you could invest in flowers that will last not only a few weeks but for around a year? The Million Roses are here to attend to all your flower needs, creating boxes filled with both fresh and preserved (long-lasting) roses.
The Million Roses design beautiful colourful roses in round, square or heart-shaped boxes. These are bound to get you far on a date, or even help to secure you a date in the first place. Situated in London's flower central of Caledonian Road, you can pop into place your order or go through the process online. One year's worth of flowers in one hit - winning!
Take a look at all The Million Roses over on their website.
Cheers Ice Cream
Everybody loves ice cream - fact. Alcohol is definitely up there, too. So, what better idea than to merge the two together? Introducing Cheers Ice Cream!
Cheers Ice Cream are a luxury alcoholic ice cream brand that infuses alcohol into perfectly delicious ice creams. They recreate our favourite cocktails including the humble Chocolate Espresso Martini (our favourite) and the Pornstar Martini (perfect to win over your woman). With a lot of alcohol-infused products, the alcohol content is compromised through the production process. However, Cheers have gone one step further. All of their ice creams have the same amount of alcohol in them as if you were drinking the real thing. This makes them the most alcoholic ice cream on the market. Yes, the Martini flavour has an impressive 8.4% ABV - pretty much double the ABV than most beers! If this isn't enough to sway you, know that all its products are created with fresh, locally sourced organic ingredients using premium alcohol, including Thunder (toffee vodka).
Next time you're chilling with your partner, chill with Cheers Ice Cream as well.
Explore more of Cheers Ice Cream on their website.
The Draft House
There's very little that's more intimidating than taking someone for a meal on a first date. Usually, the vibe can be pretty awkward or the conversation may run dry whilst you're picking on your food which you might feel too awkward to eat at all. That's why we have gone in search of the best first (or any) date venue. Our search led us to The Draft House, a chain of public houses that have one of the most extensive beer lists we have ever seen and one of the best burgers we've ever eaten.
A buzzing, vibrant and laid-back restaurant/bar is the perfect place to go on a date. The pressure is naturally lifted when you're surrounded by people drinking, laughing and having a genuinely good time. This is why we loved The Draft House. You can have a drink at their grungy interior bar and then head over to their dining area to tuck into their amazing food menu. They have food options including a huge platter of sharing nachos (cute) and a top range of hamburgers.
With the colder months approaching, we highly recommend you take your date to indulge on one of their Sunday roasts from their rib of beef and pork belly to roast chicken or mushroom, feta & walnut wellington. These are available at their Kennington and Camden sites.
Make your booking now over at The Draft House website.
Camden Town Brewery
You can’t beat a beer brewed in your hometown. Brewed in the heart of North London, Camden Town Brewery’s beers are some of the finest craft lagers and ales on the market. From the exquisite taste right down to the presentation and packaging, everything here is pretty much perfect.
If you’re a fan of craft beer there’s no doubt you’ve tried one of their products already, and if not, what better time is there to delve into the world of specialist beers? The Camden Hells Lager and the Camden Pale Ale are our clear favourites here, the taste is perplexingly simple yet so perfect.
If you know that your date is a fan of a quality beer, why not enjoy a premium Camden Town lager/ale rather than the bog standard usual suspects. We’ve no doubt at all that you’ll impress them easily with this, it may just be that little extra bit of attention to detail that was needed.
Head over to the Camden Town Brewery website for more.
Are you a foodie who is looking for the next best restaurant to woe your lover? Grub Club is here to help, and take your dining experience to the next level. Grub Club create a unique dining experience where you can taste new, fresh recipes with new, interesting faces. This makes Grub Club a great idea for a date, lifting the pressure with the fact that you are surrounded by plenty of other people too.
Grub Club was inspired by a foodie with a love for travel and an experience local, authentic cuisine. Whilst in Zanzibar, he found that no restaurant delivered what she had hoped, only to find a home-turned-restaurant run by a local family that hosted only two tables. This sparked an idea - he, and a friend created Grub Club where strangers come together to share stories and great food.
Grub Club has over 500 chefs and 1,000 venues for you to choose your dining experience from. You can even tailor a private experience for yourself, is there any other perfect date quite like this?
Sort out your next date night with Grub Club on their website.
Because who doesn't love a cocktail? Handing a cold one over to your other half after they get in from a long day will definitely earn you some brownie points. If you listen hard enough, you can almost hear the refreshed "aaaah" of the first sip - and it doesn't get much better than using Sweetdram as your tipple of choice. It's a bit like a gin, but if we're getting technical, Sweetdram isn't actually a gin at all - it's a botanical spirit, created using citrus and cardamon alongside a whole host of other herbs and spices, rather than the usual juniper berries that actually classify gins as gins.
Whilst gin seems to be the most fashionable spirit around at the moment, Sweetdram has strove to create a tipple that shuns trends, focusing on expertly crafted flavours for a fully modern spirit so that you can 'drink different'. Definitely impressive stuff, and if you're looking to woo that special someone, there's nothing more attractive than showing off a little alternativeness and attention to detail. Distilled from scratch in their East London workshop, Sweetdram compiles a library of individual botanical distillates in custom glassware (think proper stuff of science) and blends these together, constantly adjusting and repeating the recipe until it's just right.
Sounds simple, but there's a lot of care and attention that goes into this one, with the whole process from concept to production taking around 12 to 18 months - just enough time to find that special someone to enjoy it with, hey? Sweetdram certainly packs a punch, with big, spicy flavours - serve with tonic, lemon and ice for a super relaxed, chilled out vibe that'll have your date going swimmingly in no time.
Stock up for your next date night in and check out Sweetdram's website.
Wear A Shirt
No matter where you are going on your date, there is no excuse to look sloppy. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, for example, if go-karting is your thing, a shirt is a no-go. However, most date settings do require that little bit of extra effort when it comes to appearance, so in most situations, you should really be wearing a shirt.
Here at The Idle Man, we are pros on knowing how to wear any shirt in any situation. We would recommend going for a long-sleeved shirt. Whether you go for a plain or patterned one is down to you - but please just avoid brash designs such as the infamous Hawaiian shirt. If you are a messy eater, don't wear white. It really is that simple. Take a look below at our favourite date shirts.
Paul A Young Fine Chocolates
Chocolates say a thousand words. Ok, well, they'll definitely get you far on a date, but you'll still need to speak as well. If chocolates are your way to win over a heart, please, please don't go for a generic box from your local corner shop. Cheap chocolates don't give off any personality or effort from your part. Instead, go for a brand that has as much personality as it has flavour - go for a brand like Paul A Young Fine Chocolates.
Paul A Young Fine Chocolates is the genius, delicious brand of former patissier Paul A. Young. Now a multi-award winning chocolatier, Paul has three shops across London. They amazingly hand create all of their products in the stores. Using fresh and seasonal ingredients, his chocolates make a promise to never contain artificial preservatives or additives - better than your corner shop buy, right? We were lucky (very lucky) enough to get our hands on a box of his Champagne Truffles. We know these would make for the perfect date addition. If these don't float your boat, go for some of his other products. He makes innovative truffles, wonderfully filled chocolates, brownies, chocolate bars or try his signature salted caramel products. If you're up to seeing Paul in action, head down to The Chocolate Show (13th-15th October) to see him carrying out a demo (on Saturday).
To find out more about Paul A Young Fine Chocolates, make your way over to the website.
Nothing is quite as impressive, or romantic, as a home cooked meal for two. However, this is probably one of the most stressful dates you can have, especially if your cooking skills are anything like ours. The stresses of thinking what to cook as well as cleaning the house, getting ready etc can all get a bit too much. This is without the stress of having to haul to the shops to buy fresh ingredients. This is where Heartier come in.
Heartier is everyone's local farm shop. It is the absolute go-to for all of the freshest and most seasonal products the market (and local producers) has to offer, making them great for when you want to impress someone with your food choices. They eliminate the whole stress factor thanks to their nifty delivery, delivered fresh straight into your kitchen. With a huge variety of meat, cheese, charcuterie and chocolate, you can order as little as just meat for your main or go for the whole shebang. If you're short on inspiration, check out their blog for some top recipes and ideas.
Order your fresh food from Heartier over on their website.
On the topic of home cooking, the last thing you want is to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen only to serve your masterpiece in an old, cracked pot. What you need is to fresh up your cooking style with some new Falcon Enamelware pieces.
From prep sets, pie dishes, bake sets and mugs, Falcon Enamelware will make your food look even better. Their minimal design makes for a clean and easy presentation that is bound to impress your guest. All of their products are dishwasher safe (thank god). They're also oven safe up to 530°F / 270°C, so you're covered no matter what you make.
On That Note
We may be able to advise you with some top picks to help you out with your date night, however, there are some things we simply can't do for you. You need to make sure you bring your dating A-game to any date. Be it a first date or a date with someone you've been with for a while, you need to impress. Confidence and humour are key, so as long as you strip it back to basics (your personality, that is) you'll be fine. We hope you find these Top Picks helpful for your dating days. Good luck!