Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Office Party

We've all been to them - cringeworthy in the extreme, but at the same time a bizarre bonding experience and rite of passage.

Well, think of all your embarrassing office party memories and imagine them turned in to experimental theatre where actors and cabaret stars are interspersed with audience members/office recruits and nobody knows what's real and what's scripted.  Think of it like being an extra in "The Office"!

We couldn't resist finding out more so sent our intrepid explorer, Em Bell, along to get all the gossip from The Office Party...

"The Office Party. We’ve all been to them before. Where everyone dresses up uncomfortably to mingle with people they don’t really know or like. Where people who never spoke a word in the office are suddenly snogging the married guy from accounts on the dance floor and puking down the stairs. It’s a time that most people like to forget. People drink through the pain of the event and this results in behaviour that should never be seen in public. Snogging, puking, sharing stories that should never be told… You know the drill. Well, grab all of that horrendous awkwardness and throw it into an evening at the Product Solutions HQ on North Road in Islington… "

Click here to read Em's full review. And, if you're brave enough, then click here to book tickets for the fantastic Office Party, which runs until December 17th. Just remember, you'll end up with one hell of a hangover!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Luxury Dating has Landed!

Think you've seen it all in the world of dating? Bored of speed dating, internet dating, underwater dating? (If that doesn't exist we really think it should…) Enter Quiverz, part of the Quintessentially group, and a dating site that we think will finally change the image of dating events.

The aim is to create super sophisticated singles events for discerning professionals, where you can hope not only to find romance, but also to make connections with other influential professionals. We like to think of it as the luxury version of your standard dating event - the 'Tesco's Finest' of the dating world, or perhaps 'Taste the Difference'...?!

December's events include their Christmas Party on 2nd December complete with cocktails, canapes, belly dancers, a flirtologist and music from their resident DJ and then on 7th December it's a wine tasting event at Morton's Club. What's more for you lucky GDG readers, Quiverz are offering 50% off for the first 6 months of your membership (use code mx6) - wow! Offer ends 10th December, so you'd better hurry…

To sum it up then, if your hopes of finding romance at this year's office Christmas party are low, may we suggest you sign up to Quiverz without delay and find out for yourself what a real party tastes like...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Win Tickets to Taste of Christmas!

Here at the Great Date Guide we love food and we LOVE Christmas so it's fair to say that Taste of Christmas is right up our street...

If you fancy spending the day tasting food from some of London's best restaurants and getting tips from the likes of Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Michel Roux Jr then you should definitely enter our competition!

Click here for all the details....

Good luck,

Miss Mary x

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dinner at Harrison's

Last month one of our lovely writers, Sally from Sally Serves It Up, popped over to Harrison's in Balham to sample its culinary delights... here's what she had to say about it:

"Harrison's is definitely considered one of the cooler haunts of Balham. The celebrity connection (it's co-owned by Sam Harrison - of Sam's Brasserie fame, and fish guru Rick Stein) means that you absolutely have to try it once. Perfect for first dates and old fashioned date nights alike, it provides the ideal balance of sleek date setting (note perfect dim lighting) with a more relaxing location than hectic central London. 

Start the evening off with a bang by ordering some of the Colchester Rock Oysters. There are show-stoppingly good. Alternatively, there's also a sharing board - perfect to have with your date. The crunchy fish and chips (boy) and smoked chicken salad (girl) tasted how they should but it was the well chosen and affordable wine list that was impressive – go for the South African De Wetshof Estate Chardonnay, it was fantastic. For pudding, share the Chocolate Marquise with hazelnut ice cream - indulgently good and worth every calorie..."

Click here for Sally's full review of Harrison's and, if you like the cut of her jib, then click here to go to her brilliant blog, Sally Serves It Up, which is full of fantastic recipes that are easy and inspirational all at the same time!

Thanks Sal,

Miss Mary xxx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

It's Skate o'Clock

Guess what, the first of London's outdoor ice rinks opens this week people, yes, THIS WEEK! It's the rink at the Natural History Museum (what a setting…) and it's open until 10pm every evening from 4th November. 

Head on down and try out your moves weeks before London's other rinks open (maybe a practice session before you take your date…?!). What's more there's a cosy bar serving mulled wine if you need some dutch courage before you take it on. 

We love November…


Monday, 17 October 2011

Weekend Film Club

Anyone else feeling decidedly 'un-ready' for autumn / winter? Much as I loved that gorgeous October heatwave, it's left me wanting more of the flip-flop and less of the Ugg boot. 

Still, Autumn it is, so to try and cheer myself up, I'm headed for the wonderful weekend film club at the Covent Garden Hotel. You get dinner (tick), you get a film (tick) and you get to do it all in SERIOUSLY stylish surroundings. I'm thinking of seeing 'The Skin I Live In', with Antonio Banderas… now there's something that's definitely still hot…  


Friday, 7 October 2011

London Cocktail Week

Cancel your plans, find yourself a date and tell the boss you're going to be late – London Cocktail Week is back!

London Cocktail Week is designed to encourage Londoners to try new things – taste different cocktails, visit bars they’ve never heard of and maybe even try their hand at cocktail making too. Sounds to us like the perfect recipe for an inspired date...  and frankly, it doesn't take much to persuade Miss Mary to have a cocktail or two!

Head over to our website to find out more about London Cocktail Week 2011.

Bottoms up!

Miss Mary x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

October in London!

Have you seen our guide to what's happening in London this month? Once you've got over the fact that it is October (where has this year gone?!?) there are loads of great things happening in London to get excited about. Our personal favourite? The Hampstead Heath Conker Championships of course!

Autumn colours in Richmond Park, London.

Let us know if you have any of your own great suggestions for things to do in London this October by commenting here or on the website.

For our full list of what's on in London during October please click here.


Monday, 3 October 2011

And the winner is…..

Dum da da dum dum dum dummmmmmm!

Huge congratulations to our lucky winner for snatching a fantastic dinner for two at the truly awesome Sam's Brasserie.

A big thank you to everyone who participated and if you didn't win this time, fear not, we've got plenty more fabulous competitions just around the corner. So, as always, keep your eyes glued to The Great Date Guide!


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

'Ultimate Attraction'

You may think you've got your flirting technique down to a fine art, but how good are you at reading the signs from your opposite number?! Well, if you could use a little help in that department, head on down to the gorgeous National History Museum for their evening masterclass on 30th September, where social anthropologist and flirting mastermind, Jean Smith, will teach you everything you need to know!

This will undoubtedly be an hysterical way to spend an evening. The team promise you'll learn how to recognise, and effectively utilise, signals given by men and women to display romantic interest, as well as teaching courting rituals, borrowed from our animal friends, to make yourself completely irresistible. You'll also get to meet a perfume expert, Odette Toilette, who will be talking about the science of smell and choosing the perfect scent.

So go on, take your date and have a real giggle - you might even learn something new!

The Ultimate Attraction Masterclass is being held at The Natural History Museum (Flett Theatre, Exhibition Road Entrance) at 7pm on Friday 30th September. Tickets are £30 for non members. For more information see

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Heart Home Magazine!

For all you design junkies out there today is a great day! A new online glossy called Heart Home Magazine has just launched... It's full of inspirational ideas, beautiful photo shoots and a fabulous little feature on great dates from the ever stylish Miss Mary herself!

Click here to go the magazine... the Great Date Guide is featured on page 150.

It's fabulous so enjoy!

Miss Mary x

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New Look Bar at Sam's Brasserie!

As of yesterday, Sam's Brasserie in Chiswick has a new bar - take a look at the pictures below to see what they've been up to over the past week...

... and don't forget, if you want to see the bar for yourself then you should enter our competition to win a meal for two (including a free bottle of wine) at Sam's Brasserie.  For full details of the competition click here.

But remember, you don't have to win our competition to go to Sam's Brasserie. Why not head down to the bar for a cocktail (or three) this weekend? Or maybe some brunch to soak up the excesses of the night before...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Sam's September Competition!

Autumn has definitely arrived so we thought we'd keep your spirits up by offering you the chance to win a meal for two at the wonderful Sam's Brasserie in Chiswick.

Always a firm favourite here at the Great Date Guide (partly because 5 first dates at Sam's have lead to engagements!) we were excited to hear that Sam and his team were re-vamping the bar... and what better way to celebrate the re-launch than with a competition?!?

Take a look below at the designs for the new bar area and click here for your chance to enter the competition.

The competition ends on the 30th September 2011... Good luck!

Miss Mary x

Monday, 5 September 2011

WGIRLS Charity Date Auction- Don’t Miss Out!

Anyone up for a fabulous singles party with your chance to bid for the date of your dreams?! Our friends from WGIRLS are here to tell you more about this fantastic charity event taking place on 8th September… We think it sounds HOT!

Looking for a fun way to socialize, meet people, and an effortless give back to charity? WGIRLS are gearing up for their first annual London date auction Thursday 8th September, 2011. 

WGIRLS will host Bid for Bliss date auction at the private members club Jalouse ( in the heart of Mayfair.  

The date auction is WGIRLS largest and most significant fundraising event of the year, and is expecting a fantastic evening with over 200 of London’s singles in attendance where fourteen bachelors and bachelorettes will be auctioned off for a fun, free date. All proceeds will be donated to Bliss (reg. charity no. 1002973), a brilliant organisation that supports babies born prematurely and their families.
Enjoy the ultimate night out with your mates, discounted drinks, hot music, and the opportunity to win raffle prizes and a date! Not only will winning bidders benefit from great company, they can select a free date activity donated by one of our fabulous London date partners (options include a wall-climbing session, a swing dancing lesson, dinner at Le Cercle, and a private doubles trapeze class to name a few), all whilst raising money for a very worthy cause.

Kick-off London Fashion Week with this one-of-a-kind event and buy your ticket today! 

Advance tickets are available online - £15 or Buy 4 and Get the 5th FREE!  Go to for further information or e-mail for ticket sales for groups greater than 10 people.

To get a better impression of the live auction, take a look at photos from last year’s New York City auction at

Friday, 2 September 2011

What's on in September

Apparently it's going to be 26 degrees in London today - could this be the start of an Indian Summer? Or at least an Indian Weekend?!?

Whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring we've got a brilliant guide to what's on in London during the month of September. From open air theatre and film festivals, to fantastic fireworks on the Thames and the chance to snoop around some of London's most beautiful private buildings…

So, we suggest that you pack sunglasses and an umbrella and click here to find out what's on in London this September!

P.s. Don't forget to let us know if you've got any great suggestions for things to do in London this month! Click here to get in touch...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

What's on in August

Wow - having just written our guide to what's on in London this August it's fair to say that there is no excuse to have an idle moment this month!

With at least 5 pop-up cinemas, Russian ballet, open air theatre, carnival and cabaret there is more than enough to keep the city buzzing all month long...

Take a look at the first 4 suggestions from our "What's on in August 2011" feature below, and check out the website for the full listing:

copyright: David Parry

1) Summer Screen at Somerset House (Somerset House: now until Aug 7th)
It's here at last and we're obsessed. Huge screen + beautiful setting + picnic + date = unbeatable romance. See our GDG review for more info.
2) Films on Fridges (Fish Island: July 27th - Aug 13th)
It does what it says on the tin! Films projected onto hundreds of old fridges next door to the site of the London 2012 Olympics. The line up is eccentrically sports-centric from Cool Runnings to Chariots of Fire.
3) The Marinsky Ballet (Covent Garden Opera House: now until Aug 13th)
50 years after their first appearance in the West the formerly named Leningrad State Kirov Ballet are back with a stunning programme of ballet. From the classic Swan Lake to the emotionally intense Anna Karenina this is a must see, and with tickets from as little as £8.50 no one can complain that ballet is an expensive date! Click here for our full review of the wonderful Royal Opera House.
4) Portobello Pop-Up (Westway freeway, Portobello:  Aug 4th - Aug 21st)
A fantastic non-profit microplex cinema digitally screened under the Westway. Films include the classic Withnail and I and Cinema Paradiso. Tickets are sold on the door and are just £4.00 - talk about a cheap date!

Click here for the full listing.

Have a fabulous August!

Miss Mary x

Thursday, 14 July 2011

GDG July Newsletter

In case you missed it here's a snippet of our fab July newsletter packed full of information on great things to do in London...

"Over the last couple of months London has seen new restaurants popping up with a frequency surpassed only by the NOTW's phone hacking allegations. We've forced ourselves to pick just three of our current favourites… Newish Pizza East on Portobello Road is perfect for a relaxed brunch date - it's a cliché but it's got a cool New York vibe going on and we love it! Pub wise The Devonshire Arms in Chiswick has just opened. Formerly under the care (!) of Gordon Ramsay it is now in the experienced hands of Nick Gibson of The Drapers Arms, Islington. It's an informal pub/restaurant with tasty British food curtesy of it's head chef hailing from The Deanstreet Townhouse in Soho. Finally, we're still loving the current trend for Spanish restaurants and the latest addition is José Pizzaro's eponymous tapas and sherry bar in Bermondsey - cosy and intimate, tapas is made for romance!"

We've got tips on what's hot in London this month, and suggestions on where to order delicious  hampers to give your picnic date the best chance of success!

Click here to read the newsletter in full...

Not on our mailing list? Then sign up here...

Miss Mary xxx

Thursday, 7 July 2011

For The Love of Life!

I meant to write this blog post a while ago but life got in the way...  It's a review of a FANTASTIC pop-up restaurant I went to in Clapham at the end of last month.  Keep your eye on the FTLOL website to see if/when they do another pop-up because it is well worth going.

For the Love of Life at Tony's has got to be one of the best meals out that I have had in a long time - and I go to a lot of restaurants!

They had made Tony's (a fantastic greasy spoon in it's own right) into a quirky and cosy little restaurant with fresh flowers, candles and mismatched cutlery and crockery on each table.

The staff were friendly and helpful, not to mention skilful in navigating their way around the tiny cafe! It was BYOB and they kept all the white wines in massive bucket on the counter but never needed to be reminded which bottle belonged to which table... 

The food was absolutely delicious. I started with asparagus with a deep fried soft boiled egg which was cooked to perfection (never a certainty with asparagus). There were lots of murmurs of "how do they do that?" relating to the fact that the egg was perfectly soft boiled on the inside and perfectly deep fried on the outside - too much for our booze addled brains to make sense of!

Next up was a delicious (and not too rich/filling) parpadelle with basil but the star of the show had to be the desert... 

My table all opted for the doughnut station. A sort of DIY doughnut extravaganza with giant syringes of melted chocolate, crème Anglaise and strawberry jam. Not only did the doughnuts melt in the mouth but the whole humour of the doughnut station captured the relaxed and unpretentious attitude of FTLOL at Tony's. The food, the service, the atmosphere were all fantastic but there was none of the gastro-snobbery you sometimes find at pop-ups. 

Their aim was clearly to make sure that we (the punters) had a fantastic evening. Mission accomplished!

If FTLOL decide to do another pop-up restaurant then the team at the GDG would suggest you book it ASAP. The delicious food and the great atmosphere are perfect for a date, and ladies, the brownie points you'd get for agreeing to take your date to a greasy spoon will go a long way!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Taste of London Winner!

About a month ago we ran a competition to win tickets to the Taste of London Festival in Regent's Park... the tickets were won by a lovely lady who took her man along for a date. Here's what she thought of it:

"Hi Miss Mary,

Thank you so much for the tickets. The festival was fantastic - even despite the pouring rain!

Having all the top London restaurants in one spot was quite overwhelming!

My boyfriend headed straight for the Gaucho tent for their signature steak, which was well worth the £5 (10 crowns). We then spent a good hour in one tent sampling wines from different wineries around the world.

I'd heard about Marcus Wareing (The Gilbert Scott) creating a pork pie, with proceeds going to the Action Against Hunger campaign. So we headed off there to try the pork pie and also managed to have a chat with Marcus Wareing himself! We then did a loop of the grounds, making sure to sample all the free foods and drinks being handed out (which there were plenty of!). We finished off the night sharing a bottle of champagne at the French Bubbles tent. It was such a great date night and we can't wait to go again next year!
Thanks again."

For those of you who didn't make it to Taste this year... make sure you put it in the diary for next year. It really is a great festival and, having been for the last 3 years, I can't recommend it enough!

Keep an eye out on the website, our Facebook page, Twitter and this Blog for more great competitions...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Brecon Beacons Mini Break

We've just listed a fantastic new boutique B&B in Wales on the website and couldn't wait to tell you all about it.

Danyfan is in the Brecon Beacons and is run by Emma and Stevie who go out of their way to make sure that your stay is enjoyable, comfortable, relaxing, tasty... the list goes on!

Here's a sneak peek of the feature from our website...

"Far away, in the Mountains of Wales, you’ll find Danyfan.  A small, boutique bed and breakfast, cradled in the Brecon Beacons with the most delicious food and magnificent views.

I say it’s far away – it actually takes about 3 hours from London, but it feels like another world.  If you want supper on the way somewhere nicer than Membury services, try the Foxhunter  – an award winning pub near Abergavenny.  From there it’s another 45minute drive to Danyfan. 

You’ll probably be offered gin and tonic on the terrace when you arrive (if it’s warm enough) or in front of the fire, before retiring to one of the three bedrooms. Ask for room 2 if you want a four poster bed, or room one for the best views.

Brecon is made for walking so pack your boots. On Saturday morning, after a hearty Welsh breakfast, take a walk up Penyfan (the highest mountain south of Snowdonia) and its neighbouring peaks, Corn Du and Cribyn.  On a clear day you can see the Bristol Channel, the Malvern Hills, Pembrokeshire – pretty much the whole world..."

Click here to read the rest of the feature on our website.

For some rural romance out of London we really can't recommend Danyfan enough.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Metro Garden Restaurant

"Within stumbling distance of Clapham Common tube, Metro’s entrance is modest and unassuming, giving no hint of the paradise hidden through its doors. Do not be fooled – I urge you to wander in and let the welcoming staff escort you to the garden delight out back. Forget a picnic blanket on the Common, Metro is the clear winner for al fresco dining in SW4.

Small tables with crisp white table-clothes are dotted around the beautiful garden with ambient music and twinkling lights to help set the mood. The garden itself is gorgeous but Metro are no fools when it comes to the Great British summer and are prepared for all-weather dining. There’s a covered section giving a lovely outdoors/indoors feel and my date and I were glad to be seated under shelter when rain set in during our visit (despite extensive checking of the weather forecast of course!).

The rain could not dampen our enjoyment however and it was a delight to be looked after by Fran and her team for the afternoon.  The staff cannot do enough for you and kept our glasses full and advised us knowledgeably when we struggled to choose from the menu. A small but perfectly formed wine list made it easy to pick a bottle and the Pinot Grigio went down a little too easily (the second bottle even more so!).

Our food came promptly and piping hot and was simply delicious. My date opted for the roast beef (it felt rude not to on a Sunday afternoon) and was most impressed by the laden plate when it arrived. There were delicious cuts of meat with all the trimmings, and so plentiful was the food he even didn’t seem to mind when I stole a mouthful or two which is always a sign of generous portions..."

Click here to read the rest of this review and to see how our Bad Date Blogger (this time enjoying a Good Date!) enjoyed the rest of her date at Metro Garden Restaurant.

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Quirky New Find...

On Wednesday night I discovered a hidden gem of a pub in Fulham. I was on my way to see the Fleet Foxes at Hammersmith Apollo (in case you were wondering yes, they were amazing!) and my boyfriend suggested we pop in to The Pear Tree first for a bite to eat...

Now, I haven't actually written the blog post yet... but I couldn't resist posting a couple of pictures of this fabulous new find! It's tucked away down a very random residential street, but don't be put off, it's worth the walk!

If you haven't got plans for this sunny weekend I would seriously recommend heading over to The Pear Tree and relaxing in their stylishly scruffy garden. The food is delicious, the decor is quirky and the staff are charming. I can't think of a better place to spend a sunny afternoon, and maybe evening...?

14 Margravine Road
London W6 8HJ 
Tel: 0207 381 1787

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Great Date Guide needs you!

Here at The Great Date Guide we want to make the website everything that YOU'D like it to be. We want it to be fun to look at, easy to use and of course most importantly, we want to make sure you're getting what you want from it.

To help us in our quest, we'd be eternally grateful if you could complete this VERY quick survey to let us know your thoughts.

Click HERE to answer the survey.

There are only 10 short questions, so we reckon it will take you approx 2 minutes*
(*slightly longer if you're using a dial up connection from Antarctica, if you only type with one finger or if you get distracted mid task by some hot totty strolling past…)

As a thank you, you'll be automatically entered into our fantastic Taste of London competition to win a pair of free tickets to the Friday night session. Take a look at the competition page on the website for more info, but if you answer our survey and send us an email with your contact details, you'll be entered automatically.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A date at Aubin Cinema

Miss Mary went on a truly great date last week and loved every minute of it. Partly because the thrill of going to Shoreditch, for a girl from Battersea, still feels like one big adventure...

If I'm honest, I think this is a pretty perfect date! I met my date at Liverpool Street Station and ambled up to Shoreditch via the cobbled streets of Spitalfields, past the quirky Dennis Severs House (for our next date perhaps?) and on up to Redchurch Street. We timed it just right (i.e. half an hour before they close the kitchens) and so were able to grab a drink on the fab roof terrace at the Boundary. If you're not allowed up, or you're out of season then head to Albion, the ground floor cafe at the Boundary, for a quick drink and a bite to eat.
Aubin Aubin
Aubin Cinema is then a short stumble (depending on how much wine you've had!) from the Boundary. We picked up our tickets and headed down to the basement where we found a cute retro bar and and a couple of very trendy, very helpful members of staff! We were just in time to grab another dink which we took into the cinema itself - yes, this is one of those proper cinemas where the wine goes with you! Once inside we were struck by how cosy and intimate the cinema was and by the overwhelming comfort and romance of the velvet seats! We've got to recommend the two seater sofas which, complete with tartan blanket, provide the perfect place to snuggle up with your date. 
Even the loos at Aubin are stylish, stocked with delicious Cowshed products from the Soho House group (of which Aubin is a part)...
As the films usually start quite late (around 9.15pm) I'm guessing (like me!) you're going to have the munchies when you resurface up on the pavement. So, I have the perfect solution: head to The Beigel Bake on Brick Lane, a legendary 24 hour bakery which serves the finest salt beef bagels in all of London!
Oh and if you too live in Battersea, then let me tell you that the marvelous 344 bus goes all the way there and back - easy!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

…And the winner is…

So, we have our lucky winners for the fabulous Big Tomato Company mug competition!

We had such fun looking through all your entries for a modern 'his and hers' mug pair - may we say that you are all geniuses?! 

Some of our favourites were 'Breadwinner & Spendthrift', 'Bro & Ho' and 'Stud & Stud-ette'. 

The winning entry has been chosen by Big Tomato Company themselves, so a big round of applause to our lucky winner with their brilliant entry, 'Other half & Better half'. 

The runners up prizes go to:

'Bonnie & Clyde'
'Beauty & Beast'
'Always right & Always wrong'

We'll be in touch with the winners directly, but congratulations again and a huge thank you to all who entered.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in London

London is full to bursting with fantastic restaurants and bars. To help you narrow down the options, here's a list of ten of the finest romantic restaurants  (in no particular order!) that London has to offer, courtesy of the experts at Bon Vivant...

Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden, WC2  Often described as an oasis in the heart of Covent Garden and revered for its acclaimed wine list, Clos Maggiore, with its muted lighting and open log fire, epitomises the ethos of a romantic restaurant for many.

Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, Knightsbridge, SW1  Since striking out alone from Gordon Ramsay Holdings, Marcus Wareing’s cooking has flourished even further and his eponymous restaurant presents haute cuisine at its finest. The service and food are impeccable, but it’s the dark and seductive décor that gives it the edge, making it irresistible for every true romantic.

Club Gascon, Clerkenwell, EC1  Club Gascon is the Michelin starred jewel in Pascal Aussignac’s mini Empire including Le Cercle and a number of other Gascon incarnations. Situated near Smithfield Market, Club Gascon highlights the cuisine of southwest France, with a large focus on foie gras, and is great for grown-up romance.

Lamberts, Balham, SW12  Lamberts is an intimate local restaurant in Balham, offering unassuming and traditional cuisine, with a great focus on traceable and sustainable produce. The stylish, contemporary décor and the atmospheric lighting make this an ideal restaurant for a first date.

Bleeding Heart, Clerkenwell, EC1  With a rustic look to match its location and history, the Bleeding Heart offers traditional French fare in a welcoming and intimate setting, which is great for couples, and has an award-winning wine list to match.

Odette’s, Primrose Hill, NW1  Odette’s has been a Primrose Hill institution for decades, but is now under the reign of Bryn Williams, winner of the Great British Menu television series. The mood is dark and seductive in the downstairs restaurant and if you ask for one of the booths, you’ll feel like you have your own private cavern for two. The restaurant is next to Primrose Hill, a perfect spot for a romantic stroll after dinner.

Scott’s, Mayfair, W1  From the moment the doorman wearing a bowler hat greets and escorts you into the dining room and you see the fabulously ornate oyster bar, you know you’re in for a treat, and the food, service and ambience deliver just that. Scott’s is upscale, glamorous and sexy - perfect for a night out with your loved one.

Rhodes 24, The City, EC2  Located in the heart of the City, Rhodes 24 is on the 24th floor of Tower 42 and has sublime views of London, which is ideal for gazing into the distance with your loved one. It’s also worth having a drink at Vertigo 42’s champagne bar on the 42nd floor of the building before dinner.

Roussillon, Pimlico, SW1  Roussillon is well known for its accomplished classic French cuisine using the finest British produce, which thoroughly deserves its Michelin star. The atmosphere is intimate and understated – perfect for an elegant date.

Trinity, Clapham, SW4  Trinity is situated in the heart of Clapham Old Town and is considered one of the best local restaurants in London, illustrating affordable fine dining with a sleek, modern vibe, with just the right amount of romance.

For lots more fabulous romantic date ideas just take a look at the "romance" section on the website by clicking here...

Our thanks for this list goes to...
Bon Vivant is a bespoke concierge and lifestyle management service based in London with global coverage. To access their services for £100 per month or £1,000 per annum, visit their website at, their blog at or follow them on Twitter at @BonVivantLiving

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

You'd be a mug not to enter...

You've only got a few days left to enter our fantastic Big Tomato Mug competition! 

For your chance to win up to 6 gorgeous English Eccentric mugs (either of your own design or from the existing range) simply tell us what you'd like to see on a pair of modern 'his and hers' mugs. 

We've had lots of really great suggestions but we still need more, and with the main prize of six mugs in addition to a pair of mugs each for three runners up, you've got a great chance of winning.

See the website for more information on how to enter, and good luck!

(Competition closes at midnight, April 29th 2011)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Happy Easter

Yes, Happy Easter to you all from the team at The Great Date Guide, and what a fabulous weekend it looks like it's going to be! Whilst Easter may traditionally be a family time, we say you've got four whole days of holiday so share yourself around and squeeze in that bank holiday date!

If you're in London for the weekend, why not check out our guide to the best picnic spots (we're thinking lazy afternoon in the sun, tartan rug, hamper, a bottle of fizz…) or London's best roof terraces?

Whatever you're up to, enjoy!

Miss Mary xxx

Friday, 15 April 2011


We've got not one but TWO fabulous competitions on the go at the moment, so hurry along to The Great Date Guide and scoop up some fantastic prizes!

With wedding memorabilia (aka tat) now flooding our high streets, we figured we'd like to come up with some rather better quality William and Kate inspired memorabilia. So, to be in with the chance of winning the fabulous prize of your choice of 6 fantastic Big Tomato mugs, we're asking you to tell us what you'd like to see on a pair of modern 'his and hers' mugs!

Head to our website for details on how to enter…

"Step aboard the love boat for the stories they didn't want you to hear, see the sights they visited themselves and feel part of the on-going city celebrations"

With their brilliantly ridiculous Will and Kate Royal RIB Ride, London RIB Voyages are offering you the chance to take a fun, exhilarating and regal trip through central London… and we've got a free pair of tickets to give away! (Redeemable from Monday 25th April until Friday 6th May 2011)

Simply send us an email, tweet or facebook post with the words 'I would like to win a Royal RIB Ride' by midnight on Wednesday 20th April 2011 for your chance to win. See the website for more information.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Wedding Fever

April has dawned, the sun is shining and royal wedding fever is all around us. Hooray for a really great reason to get out and enjoy our wonderful London with a healthy dose of good old fashioned national pride and flag waving to boot. Sounds perfect to us!

To get fully involved in the whole shebang (and lets face it, these events don’t come around every day…) how about a specially themed trip with our old friends London RIB Voyages? Yes it’s true, even The Thames has succumbed to the Royal Romance and London RIB Voyages are there to immerse you fully in it (not literally we hasten to add…). More’s the point, they’re offering Great Date Guide fans a special 10% discount!

“Step aboard the love boat for the stories they didn’t want you to hear, see the sights they visited themselves and feel part of the on-going city celebrations.”

Visit for more information and remember to quote The Great Date Guide when booking for your 10% discount.

PS… watch this space… we also have one pair of Will and Kate’s Royal RIB Ride tickets to give away - competition details coming soon!

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Day We Got Engaged!

"Before I begin, I must confess I can take no credit for this rather inspired itinerary of great London dating hotspots. This marvelous medley was collated by my then boyfriend (and since fiancé!) Jim, who handpicked each and every one as part of his grand plan to woo me into being his wife." Hannah.

It all began the night before my 30th Birthday. I was instructed to arrive at Green Park tube-station on Piccadilly at 6pm on the dot and to bring with me an overnight bag complete with regulation ‘smart’ outfit. Without going into too many gushy details, what followed was the most fantabulous 36 hours of my life, after which I didn’t need much persuading to say ‘I Do’.

So, this is what we did...

A Room at the Ritz: I love old school glamour and the Ritz on Piccadilly has to be one of the best places in the world to experience this. We stayed in a gorgeous suite with a giant comfy bed, huge marble bathroom complete with our own little living room. The best bit about staying in such a legendary establishment is the brilliant level of service you experience – to me, this was returning at the end of the night to find the sheets turned down and our slippers delicately lined up by the side of the bed!

Supper at Scotts: after a few cheeky martini’s in the Ritz’s Ravoli Bar it was off to Scotts on Mount Street, my FAVOURITE restaurant in the world. I thoroughly recommend booking seats at the bar for, as well as being superb spots to people watch, they seem to have the best availability too. Traditionally a fish restaurant, all the food at Scotts is fantastic - my favourite indulgence being the Bannockburn rib steak with béarnaise sauce & chips followed by classic treacle pud & vanilla custard. Despite being one of the best restaurants in London, Scotts is not at all stuffy - the friendly staff and art deco interior speak of a style & sophistication of times gone by creating a really special atmosphere.

Drinks in the Ritz Casino: end the night with a cheeky night-cap and (in our case) a rather disastrous round of roulette in the members only Ritz Casino, sneakily hidden in the beautifully ornate series of rooms in the basement of the hotel. Guests of the hotel can apply for free membership of the ‘Ritz Club’ which allows you to return and enjoy this exclusive part of the hotel for a full year! 

Breakfast in the Ritz Dining Room: waking up in our giant bed in the Ritz was not a bad way to start my first day as a fully paid up member of the 30’s club and breakfast in the wonderfully opulent dining room was the icing on the (birthday) cake. It was here, over perfectly poached eggs that Jim dropped to one knee and asked me to become Mrs Needham... After screeching ‘YES!”, floods of tears (from me) and a few cheesy photos ensued before we headed off into the sunshine to mull over our new status in the stripy deckchairs of Green Park.

Lunch at Cecconi’s: a few hours and a number of excited phone calls later saw us heading to Cecconi’s for yet more indulgence. A little slice of Italy in the heart of Mayfair, this is an uber glam proper old school family run affair serving up fabulous food 7 days a week. Supping fizz and gorging on fresh spaghetti was certainly a pretty nice way to celebrate the start of a new exciting chapter. 

Prancing round Piccadilly: after a slap up lunch, the obligatory potter round the jewelers of Bond Street followed.. Tiffany’s (pah..), Boodles (brilliant service and gorgeous diamonds  - thank you Tilly!), Cartier and De Beers.  To finish up, Milkshakes in The Parlor at Fortnum and Mason marked the perfect end to the perfect day. One I will most certainly remember for a very long time to come. 

Hannah runs This is Your Kingdom, an insider’s guide to lovely local things to see and do. 


If you would like to find out more about TiYK’s quest to ‘bring local back’ and be in with a chance of winning a weekend 'glamping' in style in a luxury dome courtesy of the lovely fforest  make sure you take a peek at the site and enter their brilliant writing competition

To enter, simply tell them in under 250 words about your favourite local place to 'eat, drink, walk, think, potter, ponder, snuggle, shop or sleep.' Even if you don’t win, each lovely entry will be featured on the site with an accreditation to the author and a link to their website!  All entries must be received by midnight on 15 April 2011.