So you’ve found a handsome fella out in the club or via Grindr/Tinder, but where do you go for that all-important first date?
The Sun, Clapham Common
The Sun does a mean Sunday roast and a tasty Bloody Mary. It boasts a fun mixed gay/straight crowd of Claphamites. If things go well, head over to The Two Brewers, just a stone's throw away. Just make sure drag queen Sandra doesn’t get hold of him…
South Bank Dining
Offering wholesome British food in a relaxed setting, Canteen is a good starting place for a first date, and the perfect location for a romantic stroll around the South Bank afterwards. For those with a sturdier wallet, the nearby Skylon restaurant offers excellent views of the Thames. Benugo, inside the BFI, is another great place to take a boy. Comfy sofas invite snuggling, and with so much going on around you at the BFI, it’s perfect for finding out what he’s into. We mean films, obvs.
If the weather is nice, why not date al fresco? This gay hub of greenery is perfect for a picnic, with a Tesco Metro ‘round the corner for supplies. It’s also home to the first ever ‘cottage'. Well you did ask.
Broadway Market, London Fields
From Vietnamese coffee and street food, to vintage clothes and records, Broadway Market is a gay hipster paradise. The perfect spot to browse around and find out what kind of vintage makes his eyes light up.
Watch the Kings Cross Steelers
If bars and restaurants aren't your thing, head over to East Ham RFC to watch a home game by London's gay rugby team, the Kings Cross Steelers. It's aways a winning day out, regardless of the score, with a fun, friendly and inclusive crowd. Check out their Facebook page for info on fixtures and other events.
Balans Cafe, Soho
Smaller and brighter than its big bro up the road, this café on Old Compton Street serves a mean brunch, with the whole gay world passing by. Handy if your homo bro is more boo-hoo than BoHo.
George & Dragon, Shoreditch
Find out your date’s quirks at this unique little gay pub. With Fruli Strawberry Beer on tap, and a vast menagerie of exotic décor, including a horse head that appears to sings along to the music, you won’t be stuck for conversation.
Alice House, West Hampstead
The Alice House oozes comfort and warmth, with exposed lighting and kitsch reclaimed school furniture. Chat over a pair of jam jar cocktails made with real jam, and share the best, fresh, warm, jumbo scotch egg you’re likely to find. It has a sister venue over in Queen's Park.
Long White Cloud, Hackney Road
This treasure-trove of New Zealand flavours has regular exhibitions from local artists, with gorgeous gluten-free options (the lemon brownie deserves a Michelin Star). Plenty of cosy tables for two, epic coffee and very gay-friendly.
Paramount, West End
Impress your date with the awesome views from Paramount, at the top of the Centre Point tower. Swanky cocktails, a tasty game-inspired menu, and romantic low lighting create a recipe for a winning first date, though be sure to book ahead. The observation deck is perfect for that first kiss…
By Danny Hilton