This Week’s Top Dates: Festivals, Flirty Shakespeare, Final Chances, And A Meat Feast

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Butler’s Wharf Blackout Dine in the Dark at the Thames Festival

This week is all about the packed, varied Thames Festival. If you’re looking for romance, our recommendation is to grab a table somewhere for the Butler’s Wharf Blackout – where various riverside restaurants will be turning off the lights from 8.30, so you can better enjoy the unspoilt views of the river in darkness. And perhaps impress your guest with the perfect mood lighting.

Last Chance: Fall in Love With Vermeer at the National Gallery

This National Gallery exhibition is subtitled The Art of Love and Leisure, so if you’re hoping to entertain an amorous art fan, you really should try to get tickets before it closes. Muted tones, repressed emotions, trembling musician’s fingers, stillness and silence that speaks volumes, it’s all here. If music be the food of love and so on…

See Shakespeare’s Classic Rom Com

Head to the Old Vic from this week to see an innovative version of Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by Mark Rylance and starring stage veterans James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave as the warring lovers Benedick and Beatrice, the age-factor here will surely provide a novel take on the much-loved classic.

Red Meat for a Red-Blooded Date

Dating a committed carnivore? You’re in luck this week: head to the huge barbeque, Meatopia, at Tobacco Dock on Saturday, and you may well find them falling head over heels in love with you. It’s an all-American concept: world-class chefs cooking prime cuts of meat over fires, plus live music, cold beer and aged spirits. Don’t miss the first London incarnation of this annual New York staple.

Raise Dopamine Levels at Stratford Rising

Finally for this week, show off your playful side to that new squeeze with a trip to Stratford Rising, a weekend festival taking place in Theatre Square, E15. You can either just kick back and watch Labyrinth and Jumanji, or show off your retro gaming skills and get involved in some remixed folk dancing.

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