The Best Bars for a First Date in London

There are many decisions when it comes to a first date…what to wear, what to talk about, where to go? The pressure is on! Here is our pick of the best bars for a first date in London to take the stress out of the occasion, leaving you to concentrate on the conversation flow and securing date number two.

10 Cases

10 Cases is a small, unpretentious Bistrot with wine as its main focus. The restaurant and wine bar only ever buys 10 cases of red wine and 10 cases of white wine so there are always new wines to try.

10 Cases restaurant in Covent Garden

Everything’s by the bottle, carafe or glass and once the cases are gone, they’re gone.

With reasonably prices, good location and French bistrot style decor, the place is a great option for a first date.

The Punch Room

London Edition, Fitzrovia

The understated glamour of The Punch Room, hidden at the back of the London Edition, makes for an intimate and cosy first date.

The Punch Room London Edition

Impress your date with your insider knowledge when it comes to this discreet, oak panelled room and its punch menu, but be sure to book in advance.

The Coburg Bar

The Connaught, Mayfair

If you are looking to impress your date, look no further than The Coburg Bar in one of London’s hotel greats: The Connaught.

The Coburg Bar at The Connaught

The warm and homely atmosphere will do wonders for settling first date nerves and if you need a little more to relax, the cocktail menu is impressive, showcasing the finest drinks throughout history.

Aqua Shard

London Bridge

Pull out all the stops and take your date up to the glamorous atrium bar at Aqua Shard.

Aqua Shard

This enchanting bar makes for a romantic setting, especially at night, when you and your date can admire London’s landmark monuments glinting below with a glass of Champagne in hand.

The Gilbert Scott

Kings Cross

Impress your date at the elegant Gilbert Scott, one of the best cocktail bars in London. This grand bar has a magnificent bell chandelier and ornate décor and there is an excellent cocktail menu to match.

The Gilbert Scott

Make your way through the innovative concoctions and see where the evening takes you, Paris is but a train ride away…

Dukes Bar

Dukes Hotel, St James’s

The legendary Dukes Bar lends itself very well to a first date; timeless and intimate, this place is traditional and arguably serves the world’s best Martini.

Dukes Bar London

You will feel as though you have entered the world of James Bond and rightly so, Ian Fleming used to frequent Dukes Bar and apparently this is where James Bond’s Vesper Martini originated.


The Langham

Artesian is a sleek and sexy bar that will add a little West End glamour to your date with its luxurious interiors and renowned cocktails.

Artesian at The Langham

Recently voted the world’s best bar, Artesian boasts 50 types of run and experimental cocktails that can only be found here.

The Luggage Room


The Luggage Room is a discreet speakeasy in Mayfair; the modern stylish décor, great cocktails and warm and intimate ambiance will really impress that first date.

The Luggage Room

Expect soft leather, dark woods and impeccable service that is both friendly and laidback and will put you at ease so you can make the best first impression.

Scarfes Bar

Rosewood London, High Holborn

Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London, which opened in October last year, is a snug and cosy choice for a first date.

Scarfes Bar Rosewood London

Grab a comfortable wing-back by the roaring fire and make your way through the great cocktail list in this stylish and homely bar.

The daily live music makes Scarfes Bar one of the best bars for a first date in London.

Blind Pig

The Blind Pig, on the first floor of Social Eating House in Soho, is a smart vintage cocktail bar serving attractive cocktails courtesy of resident mixologist Gareth Evans.

The decor is retro, but not kitsch with lovely touches including an antique mirrored ceiling, copper-topped bar and charmingly mismatched wooden furniture. The tongue-in-cheek cocktail menu serves up an array of fun cocktails such as a Slap ’n’ Pickle (gin, brandy and pickle brine), Kindergarten Cup (incorporating ‘Skittles-washed Ketel One’), and Robin Hood, Quince of Thieves? (brandy, quince liqueur, mead).

The bar also serves an array of tempting bites and jars, such as duck fat chips, pork rillettes and smoked mackerel pâté.

Joyeux Bordel

Joyeux Bordel is an intimate, bijou, subterranean cocktail bar found on a Shoreditch side street and a perfect place for a first date.

Joyeux Bordel cocktail bar

Founded by the Experimental Group that also has bars and restaurants in Paris, New York, London and Ibiza, Joyeux Bordel offers a menu of cocktails with twists on classics, punches and an extensive champagne list.

Try the ‘Something Italian’ – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Cynar, Amaro Ciociaro, Fresh Lime, ginger syrup & soda’; and ‘Tommy’s Cut’ – Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Agaze Syrup, fresh lime, Sweet Vermouth & Pink Grapefruit.

Mark’s Bar Soho

Mark’s Bar is located in the basement of Mark Hix’s Soho restaurant and serves some great cocktails alongside some delicious bar snacks.

Mark's Bar Soho

The bar has a warm, clubby and retro feel with Damien Hirst fish dangling from the ceiling, butter-smooth mahogany leather sofas, low zinc bar, tin panels and bar billiards table. The drinks are delectable and superbly crafted.

Dandelyan Bar

Dandelyan is the ground floor cocktail bar at the Mondrian Sea Containers hotel on the South Bank.

The bar has a prime Thames-side spot with views of the river and St Paul’s – a perfect first date location.

Dandelyan Bar at the Mondrian London

The bar is glamorous, luxurious and the drinks are taken seriously.

The cocktail menu is divided into four sections: Faith, Lust, Currency and Rock ‘n’ Roll, plus Dandelyan “classics” from old menus and “Booze-less” cocktails that are alcohol free.

Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

Compangnie des Vins Surnaturals is a great first date option for wine lovers.

Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

With jazz standards playing in the background and the interiors of a glamorous Parisian boudoir, it’s a chic, civilised spot to graze and sample an exceptional drop or two with a selection of 500+ wines available by the glass.


Take your date to one of the five buzzy Vinoteca wine bars if you want to show off your inner oenologist.

Vinoteca City

With a choice of nearly 285 wines this is the place to sample new and unique flavours and if your date finds one they love, why not treat them to a bottle to take home from the wine shop?

Note: Nobody has paid to be featured or offered anything free to be included. These are our own thoughts on the best venues for first dates in London.

The Best First Date Bars

If you liked this feature on the best bars for a first date in London, read some of our other bar guides including speakeasy bars and the the best hotel bars in London.

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