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Where to actually go on a first date in London, because the choice is a bit overwhelming (especially with Valentine’s Day coming up)

In a rush (i.e. your date is in a few hours)? No worries, scroll to the bottom now for the best first date ideas in London. 

Let’s be honest, though, first dates are terrifying. No matter how bold we are on Bumble, how strong our Tinder game is or how many expert-approved Hinge hacks we’ve used, that first proper IRL meet-up is enough to reduce even the most experienced daters to a bag of nerves.

And particularly with Valentine’s Day on the horizon (cue endless “boy did good” posts on the ‘gram), the pressure to find love, and get that first date right, feels more intense than ever. Any sort of date around V-Day can be tricky to get right because you’re surrounded by loved-up couples, gazing into each other’s eyes and you’re only ever really a few feet away from a surprise proposal (or at least that’s how it feels!). 

That’s why it’s good to have a solid plan; an idea of what you’re doing and where exactly to go, to take the pressure off and impress your date with your excellent suggestions (we’ll let you take the credit).

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The problem is, the options for the first date in London are endless… do you go to a restaurant? A pub? A bar? Or do you suggest an M&S meal for two and an evening of Netflix?  

Don’t panic though, we’ve rounded up the best spots for a first date in the capital, from seriously Instagrammable restaurants and pubs for those who want to keep it casual to boat picnics, ping-pong and pottery for those who want something a bit different. 

Plus, these are all brilliant ideas for friend dates too, whether you’re meeting up with a pal you met online over the pandemic or just want to plan something a little bit special for a friend who is in need of a pick-me-up. 

Right, get your notepad out, these are our top first date ideas in London to make sure you have a genuinely great time… all you need to do now is choose your outfit. 

Scroll down for GLAMOUR best first date picks…