During these cold days and even colder nights, there is no better image than sitting down with a glass of red wine, a beautiful partner by your side, under cashmere blankets on the couch in front of the fire. Most people must put in a lot of work before getting to this point. So, with only a few weeks left until Christmas, what better time could we start laying the groundwork?
Whether it’s a first date this winter or just “date night” in a long-term relationship, the key is to plan. Note: Don’t ever go to your “regular” restaurant. Contrary to popular belief, your date will not be impressed if the maitre d’ greets you by your first name, shows you to “your table,” or offers you “the usual” wine.
This means she’s another person you’ve dated before in a long line of people you’ve dated. She wants to feel special and know that this night has been planned around everything he already likes about her.
Perfect Winter Date Ideas
Whether you’re looking to take your Bumble date out, your long-term lover, or even your gal-pals, here’s where to head for the perfect Winter date:
1. Skate at the Museum of Natural History
This is probably the most famous ice rink in London, but if it’s been on your list of things to do in London, you’d better get your skates on because this winter is your last chance to see it. Yes, the skating rink at the Natural History Museum will close for good in January 2022 after being there for 16 years.
Run circles around your date on the ice in front of that beautiful building (BarChick likes beautiful buildings), and try not to end up on your back. Take a picture of yourself with the Christmas tree in the background, and then warm up in the Cafe Bar. With a steaming hot toddy, you should feel warmer.
2. Take a class on how to cook
Cooking classes are a great way to spend a date because you can work together and eat something tasty. If you’re in London, we highly recommend the Waitrose Cookery School and Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School, which are suitable for beginners and experienced cooks alike.
In the winter, their courses cover warm, colourful foods like Mexican street food, Thai feasts, and Bombay café favourites to keep the nights at bay. Google is where you can look for cooking schools near you.
3. The Winter Night Garden – Backyard Cinema
Cinema dates are typically a reasonably dull idea. Were you in a dark room by yourself for two hours? Not us, no. This is a very different movie date than going to the Backyard Cinema. Step through the wardrobe into Wandsworth’s magical forest, where you can watch your favourite movies repeatedly.
You and your date can cuddle up in the bean bags and watch musicals, cult classics, and Christmas favourites. You can connect over your shared love for The Greatest Showman.
4. Swimming in the Sky
We don’t think it’s enjoyable to take off your clothes and go for a swim on a first date or to take off your clothes and put on your bikini in freezing London weather. However, Hampton Pool is opening its lido for a few winter sessions. And there’s a catch: you’ll be swimming under the stars. If you can forget that you’re almost naked in December in front of your date, it’s pretty romantic.
5. Queen of Hoxton
Are you late for something significant? The Queen of Hearts probably won’t be happy. But maybe your date will forgive you if you take them on an adventure to Wonderland at this super-cool East London rooftop. Given that it already had its makeover way back in winter 2021, it’s now merrier than ever. There’s much to find down this rabbit hole, including great signature drinks, delicious food, and bubbling shisha pipes. Sounds like our kind of tea party.
6. London’s Enchanted Woodland
Even though the nights are getting longer, don’t go straight home to curl up under your duvet. Instead, go to Syon Park and check out their Enchanted Woodland. The 600-year-old gardens will be lit by a beautiful light show that will lead you and your date around the lakes. It’s magical, and you can bet it will make you want to sneak a kiss…
7. Pick & Cheese
It comes right to you on a moving belt. Seven Dials Market is the first place in the world to have a restaurant with a cheese conveyor belt, and it is AWESOME. Sit down on a stool and watch as 25 types of cheese from all over the UK slowly parade in front of you. Each is served with its condiment (like Stilton with a chocolate and oat cookie or Burwash Rose with a pistachio and orange flapjack), and there’s a menu of small producer wines to go with them. If you try all of them, you’ll feel very sophisticated…or sick!. 8. See a show this winter
There’s no doubt that the weather will be awful this winter, so why not have a good time at one of London’s holiday plays? Walk through the air with your loved one as you glide into Peacock Theatre to see The Snowman, or get sloshed with your friends at Sh*t Faced Showtime: A Christmas Carol and watch the classic story of Scrooge and his favourite spirits come to life.
9. Circolo Popolare
Even if you haven’t been here yet, you can see photos of it on Instagram. Fairy lights and plants are on the ceiling, like a nice cave. The food is excellent—Carbona is served from a giant cheese wheel, and cocktails are served in martini glasses. .
Even though reservations are available, getting one is about as likely as Kanye West is modest, and the line is usually around the block. But we don’t think you’ll stay out there long if you go here on a cold night. And while you wait, you can always get close to keep warm.
10. See a show of Christmas lights
Across the country, many stately homes and gardens have started putting up Christmas light displays. It’s a magical walk through their grounds with lots of Instagram-worthy spots. Grab a cup of mulled wine and walk around the neighbourhood. Then go to the pub to warm up.
11. Basement Hideaways
Show us a date who isn’t impressed by a secret bar under a staircase, and we’ll show you a liar (and tell you to keep swiping until you find someone better). This gem of a basement bar in Fitzrovia is a stylish tribute to risqué, retro India. You and your date will feel at home while you drink a few of their Rajdoot Martinis and get to know each other better.
12. The Battersea Power Station
Get on your magic carpet and go to the Winter Village at Battersea Power Station. Expect twinkling festoon lights, Christmas trees, cosy wooden alpine huts, and many food and drink stands with holiday themes. Prepare the mince pies!
13. The Vault
We always fall for it. This is the secret bar you’ll want to keep to yourself. It’s right in the middle of Soho. Go to Milroy’s, London’s oldest whisky shop, and tell them you’re going to The Vault. You’ll be told to go to a bookcase, open it, and go down a dark, narrow, neon-lit staircase into a whisky-filled speakeasy.
14. Go to an indoor rock climbing
Once it gets cold and dark, you can’t do much outside, so find something to do inside that will challenge you and teach you something new. This is a great time to go rock climbing—use Google to find an indoor wall near you. Did you know that adrenaline also brings people together?
15. Shop for a good cause
The best places to find ugly Christmas sweaters are vintage, second-hand, and charity shops. See who can dress the other person crazily. The loser has to buy at least one piece of clothing and wear it for the rest of the day.
16. Sip some coffee and eat some cake
Everything’s better with cake. Whether you’re on an awkward first date, want to reignite a romantic spark, or need a place to heal a broken heart, London is full of artisanal roasters and a few slices of sugar to save the day.
17. Jimmy’s Winter Lodge
Jimmy’s Winter Lodge is in a great spot on Southbank, so you can look across the river without feeling sick. Get warm in this rustic and heated Chalet Alpine Bar, which has a great menu of winter warmers like hot apple Mojitos and Hot Toddys. Downstairs, the Lodge Grill serves delicious food to take away, like burgers and steaks.
Planning that long-awaited triple or quad date with a group of people who are all in love? Jimmy’s waterside snow globes are back this winter and ready to take over your Instagram and feed your reunion.
These clear globes are an excellent place for 6–10 people to hang out together. Order the new star of the menu, a sharer steak served on a hot stone, or stick with the tried-and-true fondue with lots of meats and sourdough bread for dipping. Just remember: double-dipping should be saved for after dinner.
18. Hawksmoor Spitalfields
You can only go wrong if you bring a vegan on a date to this place. This is, without a doubt, the best place in London to get great beef, but it’s the cocktail bar that ups the stakes.
A few old drinks with a bad rep, like the Pina Colada, Harvey Wallbanger, and Pink Squirrel, have been given the Hawksmoor mad scientist twist. Slide into one of the hot booths, eat some fantastic bar snacks, and be open to trying new things.
19. Terraces for Winter
Dress to impress and warm up in style on one of London’s many holiday terraces this winter. It’s very romantic to cuddle up with your date under a faux-fur blanket or roast marshmallows over an open fire under the stars.
20. Winter Cinema
A classic date idea, going to the movies is safe and boring. Who wants to sit awkwardly next to someone they just met for two hours in silence? Visit one of London’s pop-up holiday movie theatres to add a spark to your night.
Put on your faux-fur coats and look through the wardrobe door at Backyard Cinema’s The Winter Night Garden, or cuddle up in your wooden hut at The Berkeley’s rooftop garden with blankets, fleece rugs, and hot water bottles while watching your favourite Christmas movies on a big screen.
At-Home Date Ideas for Winter
21. Make a Fort
Pillow forts aren’t just for kids. Take the cushions off the couch, build a great hiding place, and then put a blanket on top. Bring in some torches, snacks, a deck of cards, and spiked hot chocolate. Try something different and spend the night there. You might have even more fun than in your bedroom.
22. Night at the movies and mulled wine
Wrap yourself in blankets, and watch a movie together. So simple but sweet. If you want to go all out, buy a projector and set it up against a white wall or screen. Then, put as many blankets and pillows as you can find around you. It changes what it means to “just watch Netflix and chill.”
23. Spend a Night in the Dark
Try a whole date night where you pretend the power is out and only use candles. First of all, candlelight makes everyone’s skin look great. Second, you’ll only be able to eat things you cook with a candle, like toasting marshmallows or melting a fondue. Third, you won’t have your phones or TV to distract you. Instead, you can play a board game, talk to each other, and plan your future.
24. Set up a place for hot chocolate
Make some hot chocolate and then look through your cabinets or go to the store for all the delicious toppings: a can of squirty cream, crushed-up cookies, chocolate chips, Minstrels, marshmallows, caramel sauce, and candy canes. Go crazy! Whoever can fit the most toppings on their pizza wins.
25. DIY a Spa Day
This is a free date idea if you have a sheet mask, a bath bomb, and massage oil at home. It’s cheap, even if you have to go to Superdrug. A spa day at home is all about being pampered and taking it easy. For a romantic night in, take a bath together or trade massages.
26. Party in the living room
Too cold outside to go out? The best way to picnic is inside. Put a warm rug on the floor, turn on a classic Christmas movie (The Holiday or Home Alone are our favourites), crack open a bottle of wine, and order some takeout. It’s fun, inexpensive, and romantic.
27. Hold a competition to make gingerbread houses
Each person gets a gingerbread house kit. You can buy a ready-made set from Biscuiteers or use this cookie cutter set to make and bake your own. You each get the same things to decorate with, like icing, candies, strawberry laces, Smarties, etc., and you have 15 minutes to make your masterpiece. In the end, the truth comes out! Do this as a double date; each couple can choose a winner from the other team.
Winter is the most romantic time of the year when all you want to do is cuddle up with your partner and enjoy many romantic winter date ideas, like watching a good movie on the couch or drinking mulled wine on an ice rink.
Whether it’s your first date or your 500th, these winter date ideas are fun ways to spend time with your partner. Let’s face it; life is not like a romantic comedy.
Is London fun when it’s cold?
One reason to go to London in the winter is that there are so many things to do inside. There are a lot of free museums in the city that anyone can visit. If you get cold walking around, go into one of our recommended places above.
What do couples do on a date when it’s cold?
Depending on your interests, you can opt for a classic winter activity like ice skating, sledging, or skiing or try something new, like indoor rock climbing, a salsa dance class, or pasta making.
What are London’s winter months?
Winter months in the UK, and when it will naturally be the coldest are December – February.