Justaskmeout's Top 10 Winter Date Ideas
Winter doesn’t have to send you into dating hibernation – there are actually loads of fun, cosy and exciting date ideas to fill those crisp winter nights and we’ve done the hard work for you by picking out our Top 10.
Winter Date Idea 1: Illuminate Your Date at Kew Gardens
For the first time ever, Kew Gardens are opening their gates after dark and inviting guests to explore an illuminated trail through their enchanting winter landscape. Linger by the lake, meander through the Mediterranean Garden, gaze at the Garden of Fire and wonder at the iconic Palm House all cleverly lit with the help of artists from across the UK. And when you and your date have sauntered through the 1-mile trail you can warm each other up at Kew's Christmas Market with a hot drink and tasty treats. Book your tickets in advance as the best dates/ times will probably sell out.
When? Wednesday 26 December - Saturday 3 Jan, 5pm until 10pm
Where? Kew Gardens, on the District Line.
How much? A little pricey at £12.50pp but it's guaranteed to be a truly unique experience that will impress your date
Winter Date Idea 2: Get some après action at a Ski Lodge
Xmas Date Idea #2 is to whisk your date away to a magical ski lodge right in the heart of London! Complete with pine trees, falling snow, reindeer, snowmen, ski racks, piste maps and strings of fairy lights and lanterns. Apres-inspired treats on the menu include flavoured vodkas and cream liqueurs, cheese or chocolate fondue, mulled wine, winter Pimm’s, hot spiced cider and mugs of steaming hot chocolate. Plus there are big furry blankets to snuggle under. Are you sold yet?
When? Any evening or daytime until end Feb
Where? Believe it or not but there are actually two ski lodge options in London! Choose between Lodge d’Argent or Montague Ski Lodge
How much? It’s a little more than your average bar but a whole heap of snow cheaper than going to a real ski lodge! £20pp ski pass entry to Montague gives you 3 drinks and a fondue.
Winter Date Idea 3: Get your skates on & glide through your first date
Christmas Date Idea #3 you’ve no doubt heard before – it’s ice skating. But it really does make a very good first date in Winter so it had to feature in our top 10 winter dates. The general idea is that you both start out a bit nervous and tentative as you step out onto the ice. You stay in easy reaching distance of each other as you’re trying to get your skating legs back. And then one of you has a wobble and grabs hold of the other to steady themselves. If you have to, you can always fake the first wobble. Ideally the other partner then follows suit with their own little wobble to make their date feel better. And by the third wobble, it just makes sense to hold onto each other as you go round and round. And there you have it. Ice broken. Physical contact sparked. Adrenalin pumping. All the perfect ingredients for a great winter date.
And if you want to try a spin on the ice theme (see what we did there!?) you could always suggest Somerset House’s Club Nights where the music will turn up the tempo as the rink transforms into an ice dance floor with a live soundtrack spun by DJs from some of Europe and the UK’s leading clubs!
When? Any evening or daytime until Sun 5th Jan
Where? Take your pick from the list: Somerset House (for Club Nights), Canary Wharf (open til 15th Feb 2013), Winter Wonderland (Hyde Park), Westfield, Natural History Museum, London Eye, Hampton Court Palace, Tower of London
How much? Around £15pp
Winter Date Idea 4: Keep your options open at Westfield
Ok, Ok, Westfield might not sound the most romantic of date locations but hear us out a minute while we explain why it actually has rather a lot going for it as a Christmas date venue. The great thing about Westfield is the vast array of different options it houses all under one roof. So it’s the perfect venue for a date that lands on a rainy, miserable winter’s day. It’s also a great option if you’re not too sure how well a first date is going to go… For example, you can arrange to meet for just a coffee at aptly named Love Coffee initially, see how it goes and if you’re not convinced by the end of your drinks you can just call it a date at that. And then go cheer yourself up with some sales shopping so it’s not a wasted trip! If, on the other hand, things are going well during coffee, there is a multitude of different things you can suggest for afterwards.
Until the 5th January there’s a full-blown ice rink which even has dedicated ‘Date night’ on Wednesdays 7-10pm or Disco Nights on Thursdays and Fridays 8-10pm. If ice-skating is not your bag, there’s always the Vue cinema with its plush big screens. And of course there are all the different eateries and even a few bars along the Southern Terrace. If your date is going REALLY well you could even suggest a glass of Champers at Searcy’s Champagne Bar in The Village where there’s also live music playing most days throughout the Christmas period!
When? Any day or evening (Ice skating available until 5th Jan only)
Where? Westfield London, nearest tube Shepherds Bush
How much? Anything from the price of a coffee upwards depending how well the date goes and how many different places you after coffee!
Winter Date Idea 5: Movies by moonlight on top of The Berkeley
Are you looking for a new take on the old cinema date? Well we have the answer for you. The Berkeley has created a pine-filled forest, roof top cinema experience, showing winter themed films such as Nightmare before Christmas and Miracle on 34th street. The Berkeley’s, outdoor winter wonderland is a perfect excuse to cosy up to your date although there are also heat lamps, hot water bottles and Moncler blankets provided to keep the chill away. Homemade hot chocolate and Berkeley mince pies are served to add to the festive atmosphere. This romantic date idea would be an unforgettable winter time experience to impress your date with.
When? Two screenings, 5pm and 7pm weekdays
Where? The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL
How much? If it’s a second or third date and you really want to impress, go for the special Winter Cinema package (£55 per person) which includes hot chocolate and home-made mince pies. Otherwise you can also get tickets just for the movie.
Winter Date Idea 6: Wander through Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland houses a wealth of different date activities all in one place and what’s more – it’s completely free to wander around the various amusements on offer. We recommend trying one of the adrenalin-pumping fairground rides for starters and certainly before you divulge in the array of food stalls. Sharing a high-adrenalin experience is a great way of forging a connection between people when they are getting to know each other. After that we’d suggest a wander around the cute Christmas Market stalls before getting yourselves a steaming mug of mulled wine or hot cider to warm up.
If you get peckish we’d seriously recommend the Pulled Pork – forget the bap, you get extra meat & stuffing for the same price if you get it in a pot. Then head over to the Oktoberfest Beer Tent and get yourself a Stein. Or if beer is not your thing try the mulled wine with a shot of amaretto – it works really well. Finally, if you have any energy left, grab your date by the hand and take them for a few turns around the ice rink. Now, if that’s not Winter’s Dating Wonderland we don’t know what is!
When? 10am – 10pm until 5th January
Where? Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
How much? Free entry! Drinks and snacks cost around £5 each. Ice skating is £14.50pp
Winter Date Idea 7: Mull over things with a mug of mulled wine
Mulled wine is a seasonal favourite and could really add some heat to a winter date. There are heaps of cosy and romantic venues around London which are the perfect location to sip on the warm and spicy festive drink. Mulled wine is popular everywhere this time of year, at cosy pubs with open fires to elegant bars and even outdoor markets. So why not take your date on a mulled wine tasting mission and cosy up over the best mulled wines around London. There are so many places to choose from but here is a selection of our favourites:
+ Kettners Champagne bar - a glamorous and intimate champagne bar and brassiere with a homely touch, a cosy yet fabulous way to enjoy a posh mulled wine
+ The White Horse - Why not enjoy your festive beverage at this quirky country pub nestled in the heart of London
+ The Cross Keys - This cosy pub is full to the brim of pop memorabilia provides lots of talking points to mull over as you drink your wine and get to know your date
Where? Pretty much any good pub serves mulled wine over the holiday period. Our recommendations are Kettners Champagne bar, The White Horse and The Cross Keys
When? Anytime although evenings are best for this date idea
How much? The prices of mulled wine vary but it’s generally the cost of a standard glass of wine. You will find prices at Kettners a little dearer
Winter Date Idea 8: The New Year, New You Detox Date
Feeling a little hungover? Over-indulged a little? Turn over a new leaf with our New Year, New You Detox Date! Take a step into the fresh air and take your date on a trip around London on a Barclays bike! The City is at your fingertips with the easy bike hire system. The route possibilities are endless but why not meet at Knightsbridge station, grab a bike from Seville Street docking station and go for a nice refreshing cycle around the beautiful Hyde Park. It would be a fantastic, fun activity to break the ice on any date, plus there are plenty of land marks to stop off at and have a chat.
If the date is heading in the right direction, park up at the Phillimore Gardens docking station on Kensington High Street and stop in at Down To Earth, an independent organic café, for a delicious but healthy smoothie to top up your energy levels. The great thing about the bike hire scheme is that you can pick up and drop of the bikes at any of the nearly 600 docking stations around London. So your date is limitless! This is the perfect date for those daters who want to get out in the open and make the most of our beautiful city.
When? Whenever you fancy! The bikes are available weekdays and weekends at any time
Where? Anywhere in London with docking stations.
How much? Bike hire from £2, check out the website for more pricing info.
Winter Date Idea 9: Mince through a Mince Pie Date
Before you stop filling your tum with all of the yummy Christmas foods, why not take a date on a mice pie eating bonanza. See off the Christmas season by taking somebody to one of the best places to enjoy the delicious festive favourite. Sit down with a hot drink and a pie for a relaxed winter themed date and let sparks fly. To make sure you are sampling the best Mince pie’s around why not try some of our favourites…
+ J + A Café - With home cooked delights made from fresh produce, J+A are a café that are inspired by family values and good old-fashioned hospitality they are passionate about providing the best fresh food. Find this café tucked away on Sutton Lane near Old Street.
+ The Dorchester Hotel – Festive Afternoon Tea- To dazzle your date somewhere a little more extravagant why not visit the gorgeous Dorchester Hotel and experience their festive afternoon tea which includes mince pies along with festive sandwiches and champagne.
+ Gail’s Artisan Bakery - Exmouth Market holds one of Gail’s Artisan bakeries, they specialise in bread but they make the most golden, buttery mince pies of them all, at £1.20 a pie you can’t go wrong!
When? Whenever suits you and your date. But be warned, the mince pies won’t be about for much longer!
Where? Most cafes will be serving mince pies right now. Our recommendations are J + A Café, The Dorchester Hotel – Festive Afternoon Tea and Gail’s Artisan Bakery
How much? Most cafés are pretty reasonable but for festive afternoon tea at a hotel, expect to pay in the region of £30-£50 per person
Winter Date Idea 10: The Hot Fireside Date
Want a hot date? Then sit next to an open fire! Ok, please excuse the pun, but there is something about the cosy warmth of an open fire, isn’t there? It gives you that lovely toasty, warm, fuzzy feeling, and any pub with an open fire is bound to have the right intimate ambience that is just right for a date. Aim to sit close enough that you can hear the snap, crackle and pop of the fire, but not so near that you start to sweat, or worse still melt!
Although, if your date is as hot as the fire you may well not mind if they start stripping off to keep cool under the collar…! In terms of venue, there is, of course, a plethora of different options available to you so we’d recommend you use this list by our friends at DesignMyNight to find one in your desired area. Our favourites are: William IV (Shoreditch), The Spaniards Inn (Hampstead), The Old Queen's Head (Angel) and The Cross Keys (Chiswick)
When? Any evening or Sunday lunch
Where? Any cosy pub with an open fire - use this list to find one in your desired location
How much? The price of a drink or two, unless you get tempted by the food too...