Sunday, 3 November 2013

Winter Warmers

With the nights drawing in and the jumpers going on it's time for some winter warmer date suggestions!

Fancy a cosy date in the pub? Then may way suggest the lovely gem of a watering hole, The Bobbin in Clapham with its roaring open fire and delicious food.

The Bobbin

Or maybe you'd rather be outdoors? In which case a perfectly planned winter picnic would make a great date option for any occasion... just make sure you wrap up warm and remember that it gets dark early!

Wonderful all year round, but especially cosy in winter is the gorgeous and scrumptious Bleeding Heart Restaurant, nestled in a quiet courtyard at the end of a cobbled alley.


Friday, 28 June 2013

Summer in London

Wow - there is SO much going on in London this summer! We can't catch up with all the fantastic events we're hearing about... 

So, first things first, take a look at our latest newsletter which has some great suggestions for things to do in town this month - my favourite has got to be the giant fruit salad lake at Kew Gardens! You'll have to read the newsletter to know what on earth I'm talking about ;)

Below is just one of the great listings that we simply didn't have space for on the newsletter!

Do you fancy celebrating Swedish midsummer in the heart of London? Well hurry up and book your tickets to the Rekorderlig Midsummer House. Nestled deep in the heart of east London’s Victoria Park from 21st June to 5th July, a pop-up Swedish hideaway sits overlooking the lake where you can enjoy delicious Swedish cider, the Rekorderlig Summer Cocktail Collection and a Swedish BBQ.

Lastly, don't forget our fantastic competition to win tickets to an outdoor screening one of the following classic films, thanks to our friends at Pop Up Screens. Click here to enter...

Jaws, Top Gun or Romeo + Juliet

Have a great July - let's hope the sun comes out to play!

Miss Mary xxx

Friday, 24 May 2013

Night Fever, Night Fever...

Listen to the ground: there is movement all around. There is something goin' down and I can feel it.

On the waves of the air, there is dancin' out there. If it's somethin' we can share, we can steal it...


Future Cinema are bringing Saturday Night Fever to life, launching on Saturday 15th of June and running until the 7th of July. So grab a date, dust off your gliterball, dig out your flares and start loosening up those hips!

Future Cinema will transform the Troxy, an art deco cinema in East London, into the most shaking and happening disco club of the 70s, the 2001 Odyssey, creating a fever amongst young Brooklynites every Saturday night.  The Audience is the youth of Bay Bridge Brooklyn, looking for a place to dance, to party and to get loose on a Saturday night.

Future Cinema will create the most colourful, sexy, dance-fuelled night since Studio 54, bringing to life the retro vintage feel of the 70s, with a gritty and glitzy club world through disco balls, amazing DJs, dance-offs and secret scenes brought to life all around the audience.

If you've never been to one of Future Cinema's incredible live events then now is the time to start. They will literally bring the film to life around you!

For more information, including a list of dates and ticket prices, head over to our website...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Yes, it's that time of year again, so prepare yourselves for the 10th anniversary of the truly wonderful foodie event that is Taste of London (Regent's Park: 20th - 23rd June).

If you've never been before (what, never?), it's basically your opportunity to sample the finest offerings from London's top restaurants as well as try and buy from hundreds of amazing food and drink stalls, all whilst rubbing shoulders with culinary greats such as Michel Roux Jr and Raymond Blanc.

We just can't get enough of this festival and urge you to get it in the diary prontissimo. Whilst you're at it, you'd better enter our competition to win a pair of free tickets to the Friday evening session....

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Will Sparks Fly...

Fab little app we've just discovered from the folks at eHarmony that's going to keep Miss Mary well entertained this morning. Help to solve three different dating dilemas on their facebook page, and you could be in with a chance of winning £400 worth of Virgin Experience day gift cards - which, as it happens, would make a great date!

Nothing like giving your twopence worth on someone elses dating dilemas....

To enter simply follow this link and try your hand at a bit of agony aunt /uncle-ing (trust me, it's very therapeutic) - you never know, you might even learn something along the way?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Do Something this Spring!

All this sunshine is making us giddy with excitement over at GDG towers. It may only be 10 degrees, merely flirting with the teens, but it feels like summer to us!

So, with this new found energy and zest for life we thought we better do something about it. And what better than teaming up with our pals at to help them compile their brilliant list of 50 Must Do Spring Dates?

There are loads of inspired suggestions, from some of London's top movers and shakers, but if you want to cut to the chase and read our pearls of wisdom (who'd blame you?) then here's a bit of a taster. Click on the pictures below to get the full story...

A little slice of the country in the City...

The perfect Spring Break in West Sussex...

Spring in a glass? Sounds like a plan... 

So go on, do something different this Spring - you never know - London might surprise just you!

Miss Mary x

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

April in London

It's a wonderfully eclectic collection we bring to you this month - something for everyone we like to think... On that basis then, we are going to absolutely insist that you take part in at least one of these fabulous April events. We're sure you'll be a happier Londoner for it :)

So head over to the website to find out about hidden art galleries, an upside down purple cow and Shakespeare's Birthday Whirligig!

Also on our radar are...

Beagle - Housed in three Shoreditch railway arches, Beagle is expected to bring seasonal, British cooking - dishes unveiled so far include a whole wild sea bass with samphire and cucumber, pig’s head croquette with gribiche, and custard tart with poached rhubarb.  Restaurant opens April 8th at 397-400 Geffrye Street, E2 8HZ.

David Bowie is - There's still plenty of time to catch this popular exhibition at the V&A, including more than 60 of the great man's flamboyant stage costumes.  It runs until August 11th.

London Coffee Festival - This festival will feature pop-up roasteries, barista demos, coffee labs, festival food and live music across London from Shoreditch to Soho. Hosted at various venues, it runs from April 25th to 28th.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Spring Is On It's Way!

We're already feeling seriously enthusiastic about spring! These brief moments of sunshine are lifting our mood here at the GDG and getting us very excited about the next few months... London is simply stunning in the spring - so full of promise.

Whilst we're eagerly looking forward to spring, we're also feeling nostalgic towards last year. For our small team this past year has meant weddings and babies galore! I've been having a look through our archives and have dug out this piece that I wrote for the fabulous (and always cheerful!) Heart Home Magazine.

Although it's from a year ago all the suggestions are still relevant and perfect to get you inspired for spring in London.


Miss Mary xxx

p.s. there are also some great new bars and restaurants opening this spring (like Bird of Smithfield) so keep an eye out on this blog and the website for more details.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Mussel Men

Ooooh, I LIKE the sound of this. A pop up of Shetland mussels, skinny french fries and Italian wine…. mmmmmm! Coming to The Doodle Bar in Battersea this weekend for a Valentines special (14th - 17th Feb). The standard menu costs just £35 per couple and consists of a kilo of mussels and delicious skinny fries plus a bottle of Prosecco and your choice of either oysters or a desert to share. There's even a super lux Valentines version if you feel up to it. More's the point, take on Captain Bob in a thumb war contest, and you could win a Mussel Men t-shirt or extra mussels. Weird but rather wonderful!

Monday, 11 February 2013

The Decision Tree

Do you sometimes find the choice of restaurants in London a little overwhelming? I do! With all the options it's often easier to just go to the same old place that you're familiar with...

Well, the team at have come up with "decision tree" to help you find the perfect restaurant. It might just come in handy for this Valentine's Day?

Friday, 8 February 2013

Valentine's Picnic Hampers

We all dread the inevitable rush of booking a table, finding a card, and buying a present.  Let alone cooking a four course meal at home! This year we've got a suggestion which avoids all of the above and will earn you brownie points…

The clever team at picnic2u have have designed two special picnics which provide the ideal solution to Valentine's Day panics. Order one of their hampers and you'll have a delicious and romantic alternative to the last minute dinner in your local restaurant.

You can choose between their Luxury Valentine's Hamper or the specially designed Lovers Box - both have everything you might need for the perfect carpet picnic or romantic day out in the park. They're even throwing in a free bottle of wine for every hamper ordered over the Valentines weekend (subject to availability and whilst stocks last).

And now for the really good news… All GDG readers will get a further 10% off just by entering the following code at the checkout: GDGfeb2013

So, all you need to do is remember to turn up, and maybe bring a blanket!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Speeding down the Thames!

Speed Dating Anyone? Life jackets provided...

Fall in love in style this Valentine's day as you take to the river with London RIB Voyages, the most famous sightseeing speedboat/love-boat on the river Thames today!
Whether you're in love with your date or in love with London this is the ticket for you. Get the adrenalin pumping in your heart and soul as you skip across London’s wonderful waterways. Hear the stories of love, the tales of woe and see the beauty of our heritage soar around you with your very own beauty by your side ;)

Hold on to your loved one tight as you make your way through our darling city on route to Canary Wharf for this new and improved form of “speed dating.”

Comedian cupids (otherwise known as your tour guides) hop aboard for maximum fun and entertainment. See where the world's pop princess sleeps, Cameron courts his lady and the most loveable couple in British history (Del Boy & Rodney) ended up living once they made it big. Not to mention a quick salute to the king of romance, Mr Shakespeare himself, as you pass The Globe Theatre
Loved up couples receive a souvenir photo and a special valentines gift as a memento of this breathtaking experience. So...

Book now for a discounted couple rate of just £69 per couple (usually £84.00).

Call 0207 928 8933 now to reserve your seats or book online now. Toot toot.

p.s. We honestly can't recommend London Rib Voyages enough. Mention that you heard about them from us and they'll be extra nice to you… we promise!

Monday, 28 January 2013

It's Competition Time!

We've teamed up with the talented team at L'atelier des Chefs to bring you a great competition this month. W're giving away a pair of vouchers to one of their fantastic cookery classes in London.
If the idea of rustling up a romantic dinner for your other half this Valentine's Day fills you with dread, then might we suggest a trip to the lovely folk at L'atelier des Chefs?

Their cooking classes are designed to fit into the lives of busy Londoners, helping you to master some key cooking skills, or to learn how to deliver a delicious meal all within a time frame that suits you. If you've literally only got a lunch hour then one of their 30 minute classes would be perfect. But, if your boss is a little more relaxed then we'd recommend the 60 minute classes which take place at various times throughout the day, Monday to Saturday. Lasting just one hour, these classes are designed to inspire you with dishes that are easy to replicate at home, expanding your recipe repertoire as you pick up new culinary skills. All of which means… impressing your date/husband/wife/long-suffering mealtime companion!

This Valentine's Day we've got a pair of gift cards to give away to a lucky winner, allowing you and your date the opportunity to improve your culinary skills together!

Head over to our website for the full details… it's easy peasy to enter, all you'll have to do is tell us who you'd love to cook a romantic meal for!

p.s. the winner will be announced on Valentine's Day but the vouchers are valid for a year.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Valentine's at The Langham

Here at the Great Date Guide we obviously love Valentine's Day! So, we thought we'd share with you all the info we're being sent about special Valentine's events in London. We'll be keeping you updated as soon as we hear things, but first off, it's The Langham, London with it's incredible Valentine's afternoon tea...

Enjoy sugar, spice and all things nice in the dazzling Palm Court this Valentines from £42.50 per person. Their award winning Pastry Chef, Cherish Finden, has created something special to tantalise your taste buds including a Saint Valentine Macaroon, Puppy Love Cookie and more. These pictures have us swooning in the office - especially the heart shaped scones and macaroons!

Available on Valentine’s Day. 

p.s. If you fancy making a day, or even a weekend of it then The Langham also offers...

A Magic Rose cocktail in their bar, Artesian. Created by award-winning Head Bartender Alex Kratena, Magic Rose is Laurent-Perrier Rose Champagne poured over a raspberry, lychee and rose sorbet.  Available from 11th – 17th February and priced at £16. 

For dinner experience Roux at The Landau’s 7-course Valentine Day menu including Spit-roast fillet of aged Hereford beef with truffled hollandaise and Yorkshire rhubarb pavlova with coconut chantilly and alphonso mango dressing. Available Valentine’s Day only priced at £95 per person.

Stay ‘Happily Ever After’ and take the elevator home. Savour a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and Charbonnel et Walker pink Champagne truffles in your room, the perfect start to a romantic evening before enjoying a pre-dinner martini or aperitif in the glamorous Artesian, recently voted the ‘World’s Best Bar’. The Happily Ever After package includes a rose petal turndown, full English breakfast, a complimentary late check-out until 2pm plus a souvenir gift from The Langham Book Butler and is priced from £443 per room per night. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

What makes a great dinner date?

New Year's Resolution 1: Dinner out at least once a month.

Well we're over half way through January now, so it's clearly time for me to get booking if I'm not to break this one in the very first month. But it's got me thinking, how do you make a dinner date, well, great?

I've always found it quite hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about a restaurant that makes it work for dates. It sort of either has it or it hasn't, doesn't it? Think of your absolutely favourite dating spots, and I bet they're all totally different from each other. It's something about the 'vibe' that needs to be just right, and I've been trying to work out exactly how that's done...

1) Lighting & Decor: It's amazing how many restaurants look really quite terrible in the daylight, particularly some of the more 'industrial' themed spots. Given the right lighting however, almost any decoration can be given 'the vibe'. Warm, intelligent lighting, clever division of space (little alcoves work brilliantly for creating that dating atmosphere) and space between you and your neighbours are all pretty key. It's got to feel cosy and inviting yet still sleek and chic. Hard to do.

2) Food: Clearly this is pretty important. It's got to be good or really, what's the point? The very best date restaurants in my book are ones where the cuisine on offer enables an element of sharing, like tapas for instance. We love Wahaca for this kind of thing, or El Pirata DeTapas.

3) Drink: Cocktails. Cocktails are always a winner if you ask me. Pre or post-dinner, they add a sparkle of excitement to even the most boring of dates. Yes, a good cocktail menu is a must.

4) Hip factor: The old fashioned, smart, 'white table cloth' type of restaurant just doesn't tick the boxes for dates in my opinion, unless they really are particularly good, and even then I'd never choose one for a first or early days date. What you want is the kind of place that you walk into and feel instantly cooler for doing so. Ideally you want somewhere a little dressy, a little trendy and a little seductive. We love Eight Over Eight in Chelsea for this sort of atmosphere.

5) Service: Yes, we all want to be treated like a favoured local wherever we go. Some places pull this off brilliantly and the results really can be dramatic. It gives you that warm feeling of being wanted and valuable, just the sort of sentiment you need to conjure up on a date.

6) Loos: Nice loos are weirdly high up my list of importance when it comes to restaurants. Nice loos and flattering mirrors. Or is that just me…?!

Miss Mary x

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

What's on in January 2013

Yes, Christmas is over  and once again we find ourselves, with a hangover, in that grey grizzly month of January. But never fear, here at The Great Date Guide we've cherry picked some real corkers to lift your spirits this month, so break open that brand new diary and put some 'dates' in it!

We've got a full list over on the website (here) but one of our favourites for London this month has got to be the amazing new Cirque du Soleil show - Kooza!

The incredible Cirque Du Soleil returns this month with Kooza - an adrenaline rush of acrobatics in a zany kingdom! The new show tells the story of a melancholy loner finding his place in the world and marks a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil, combining two circus traditions - acrobatic performance and the art of clowning.

Kooza is set in an electrifying and exotic visual world full of surprises, thrills, chills and audacity. Whether you're a Cirque regular or have never been before, we guarantee you'll be amazed! 

Having started on Saturday it runs until the 10th Feb so grab some tickets before they're gone...

P.s. If one of your New Year's resolutions for 2013 was to be more adventurous (I know mine was!) then make your way to the inspiring Adventure Travel Show at Olympia. Tickets start at a budget friendly £8 and you can book them here.