11 Cool Men Share Their Favourite Date Night Spots
11 Cool Men Share Their Favourite Date Night Spots

11 Cool Men Share Their Favourite Date Night Spots


Whether it’s an anniversary meal or a first date, you want to get it right. That’s why we asked some in-the-know foodies for their go-to spots – here’s where they go to impress…
Photography JOLENE

Adam Byatt


“My wife and I try to grab a date night once a week. Often, it’s in the West End after I finish work on Friday. I love places that are simple and grown up – so we can enjoy our own company – but also ones that showcase ingredients and skill with confidence. We also like quiet restaurants, booths, great art, a slick front-of-house team and great cocktails. I cook high-end food for a living but crave simplicity during my downtime. We love Mount St. – the artwork alone is worth the visit. Socca on Audley Street is another favourite. Then there’s The Ned if we fancy drinks, and The Wolseley for a late-night dinner. We’ve been known to leave events and hotfoot over there for an omelette Arnold Bennett and a martini. Drinks mean quality over quantity and we place a lot of value on great wine from our favourite producers – we normally go for a glass of blanc de blanc champagne or crémant, or burgundy, with a nice cocktail to finish.”

Follow @AdamByatt

Jackson Boxer

Brunswick House

Koya Soho was one of the first places my wife and I ate together and remains a place of romance and affection for us both. The restaurant is small so feels intimate and the food is outstanding. Seeing things done with care, attention and heart is beautiful. We always order the entirety of the blackboard, plus a bowl of udon noodles with cold broth. I prefer this combination, as the noodles don’t cook any further, so they retain their optimal texture, while the broth is pure and doesn't thicken or cloud from the starch. For a really special date, I love Sollip by London Bridge. It's very specific and charming and delicious, and I particularly admire how it's the product of a husband-and-wife team balancing its excellence with the demands of raising a pair of great kids. Then there’s Duck Soup in Soho which is perfect for a perch and a plate, pressed close together by the rickety furniture. Always buzzy and always excellent.”

Follow @Jackson_Boxer

James Cochran


“My favourite spot for dinner is Rogues in Bethnal Green. The food is biblical – expect proper seasonal dishes with excellent ingredients, perfectly paired with banging cocktails. You and your date will consistently have something to talk about – how good the food is! It’s an intimate neighbourhood restaurant with only a few seats, and that’s why I like it. There are no overbearing waiters, just guys who really know their stuff and are passionate about the things they’re serving – all while indie classics play in the background. They do a set menu for £55, which is great value for money. Check it out on Instagram beforehand so you can impress your date with your knowledge. They also serve a delicious trifle, so if that’s on the blackboard, don’t hesitate to order it. The paired drinks menu is also a good idea, but I do love the full wine list which has lots of intriguing bottles. For something even more casual, I’m a big fan of 200 Rye Lane in Peckham as a lowkey but impressive spot – they have the best negroni selection and also offer interesting cocktails for just £6 during the week.”

Follow @ChefJamesCochran


Greg Funnell


Lucas Oakeley


Jolene is perfect. Its places in Hornsey and Newington Green are great date spots regardless of whether you’re early on in a relationship or already at the stage of peeing openly in front of each other. Each restaurant seems to have been designed for kindling romance. They are candlelit and cosy, with just the right level of liveliness. They are places where, if there’s ever a lull in your own chat, you can happily eavesdrop on a conversation happening nearby then spend the rest of the night talking about how thankful you are that you’re a much more interesting couple than the execs in the corner. The chalkboard menu changes regularly and there’s always an array of delicious things scrawled on it in trendy handwriting. The plates are the perfect size for sharing, too. Not too big, not too small – we’re talking proper Goldilocks territory here. A nice bottle of wine never goes amiss but the crew at Jolene also make their own kombucha which is an excellent non-alcoholic option. The fact they serve it in a wine glass is a chic touch and a great way to make non-drinkers feel more comfortable.”

Follow @LucasOakeley

Jay Patel


“My favourite date night spot changes according to the occasion. If it’s something impromptu, 40 Maltby Street is down the road from our apartment and always has a fantastic menu and wine list – look out for the amazing oyster fritters in lettuce cups with tartar sauce. We’d have them with a bottle from Mas Coutelou. If we want to treat ourselves a little more, Brawn on Columbia Road always reminds us of our years spent living in Shoreditch. Both of these places are effortlessly cool, with brilliant food and relaxed, professional service with fantastic wines to match. At Brawn, I always order oysters to start, anchovies with rosemary oil, gougères if they’re available, one of the amazing pastas (my favourite is the morel) and a tiramisu. Add a bottle of Els Jelipins and we’re all set. If you’re going on a first date, book somewhere with great drinks and small plates to share. Bar Swift in Soho has great cocktails and a live band, while Bubala down the road is vibey.”

Visit LegareLondon.com


Paul Winch-Furniss

Ryan Chetiyawardana

Mr Lyan

“I love hotel bars at places like The Connaught or Claridge’s as they feel so special. There’s also something wonderful about somewhere you can laugh and get lost in the moment. Brutto is a favourite as it’s cosy and intimate but super relaxed – they love and care about what they do, and that’s something wonderful to bask in on a date. You get your own space, but the atmosphere of the room is great. It has low lighting, and the team are so welcoming that it allows you to get lost in your date knowing the details are only going to help the mood. The beauty of the menu is that you can share a load of plates without it ever getting too heavy. The cocktails are great too, as is the wine list. For me, it’s a martini or a negroni to start, a glass of champagne for my wife, and some red wine to share.”

Follow @MrLyan

Dan Martensen

It’s Bagels

“My go-to spot in London is my wife’s favourite restaurant, 28 Church Row, a little tapas joint in a basement on a lovely street in Hampstead. It’s quiet, cosy, candlelit and tiny. There’s a small cave with a table for groups but we normally go as just the two of us. The food and wine is spectacular. We have different tastes, but somehow manage without any issue. Clare likes to get the classics – boquerones, croquetas, padron peppers – while I love pig cheeks and the incredible salads. There’s an excellent selection of natural wines and we’re always happy with the waiter’s recommendation. That said, first dates are good opportunities to test out someone’s character. If they’re happy with a date at Wing Tai (the restaurant at Wing Yip in Cricklewood) for dim sum and crispy duck, they’re definitely worth a second date. For a livelier evening, I’d recommend a trip to The Cow in Notting Hill. Nothing like washing down the greatest fish stew on earth with a pint of lager.”

Visit ItsBagels.com

Crispin Somerville

Harts Group

Jugemu is a little Japanese spot on Winnett Street. The head chef Yuya is a classically trained sushi chef and such a talent. You just sit back and ask him to feed you whatever he likes, and you know the food is going to be epic. Sitting at the bar always feels romantic; it’s a bit cramped but the experience is just brilliant. I like to order a lot of sashimi and nigiri – just go with Yuya’s recommendations – and a few cups of sake.”

Visit HartsGroup.co.uk

Jolene, Newington Green
Jolene, Newington Green

Ms Patricia Niven


Richard Gladwin

Local & Wild

Lisboeta by Nuno Mendes is bar dining at its finest. With its sharing dishes, it’s perfect on a date – you can have a giggle in the laidback restaurant and try lots of different things together. I like to order a range of little dishes like oysters, salads and veggie plates to share. Pair them with the bar’s signature cocktails, plus bubbles and wine – no red unless that’s what they’re into!”

Visit GladwinBrothers.com

Pritesh Mody

World of Zing

“I’m a massive fan of Barrafina. There’s a few of them dotted around London, each with a lively vibe and the best Spanish food in town. Sit at one of the kitchen counter tables for plenty of visual action while you sip on a dry sherry and work your way through the menu. It’s basically like having dinner and a show – the perfect ice breaker. In fact, following a disappointing start to a meal at another restaurant recently, my wife and I paid for starters and continued the rest of the evening at a conveniently located Barrafina next door. I always order croquettas, the legendary oozy-centre tortilla, pan con tomate and gambas. I love a dry sherry alongside the heavily seasoned Spanish dishes. The restaurants are all centrally located so we’ll often head out for more drinks after, ideally to Swift or Soho House. For a really special evening, we love a night at The Standard hotel. I’m a sucker for a view and the cocktails at Sweeties (its top-floor bar) are properly innovative, while the food at Decimo is also incredible. And, of course, grab a room at the end of the night.”

Follow @LuvFoodLuvDrink

David Farber

Porte Noire

“I’d recommend Shochu Lounge in the basement of Roka Charlotte Street. It has a comfortable yet dark and intimate vibe – with great cocktails. For a first date, I’d order a few light dishes like ceviche and sushi. I’d also go for a champagne cocktail – something with a bit of hibiscus that’s light and fresh. For a blow-the-budget date, you can’t go wrong at Kitchen Table, also on Charlotte Street. The food is stunning but the restaurant still manages to feel informal. For a more casual spot, I love Petersham Nurseries in Richmond for a brunch date.”

Visit PorteNoire.co.uk

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at [email protected].