The Skinhead Bridget Jones Guide to Dates

So here I am. After having broken up with my long term boyfriend, eaten double my body weight in Ben & Jerry’s and shaven all my hair off; I’m dating again. Hurrah! I’m like a modern day, gay, skinhead Bridget Jones. Success? I think so.

But when it comes to dating in London there is one thing that scares me more than anything. The words “you pick where we’re going.” As a native Londoner, people expect me to know cool places. They don’t imagine me frantically running through Morden (Google it) high-street trying to catch the tube. They see me as someone who knows what he’s doing. Well I don’t. Fortunately, I’ve found myself a nice enough chap who I actually want to take out. Unfortunately, he said these words exactly.

So here I am. Frantically scrawling through Time Out London, looking for interesting date ideas that don’t involve me blowing all my wages. Exactly like a modern day, gay, skinhead Bridget Jones. Success? Well, for all of you guys. Because here at the top 5 dating ideas that I think London has to offer.

1 – The Coffee Date

Once, when I was lucky enough to get to “you pick where we’re going” first, a nice American chap took me to Clerkenwell for coffee at The Workshop. Usually coffee means awkwardly stumbling in to a Costa and paying for some overpriced and badly made brown liquid. The Workshop however is much, much better. Firstly it’s inexpensive, with drinks and food ranging from just a couple of pounds. Secondly, unlike other coffee shops, its seating is isolated and far apart, rather than cramped together in one corner of the room. Perfect for getting chatting over a hot drink and getting to know a person a little better. Especially if you spill it on them. As I did.

2 – The Instagram Date

Want to impress someone with your arty credentials? We’re all secretly East London cool kids at heart, so you probably do. Leighton House Museum in Chelsea is one of the weirdest and most spectacular museums in London. Basically it’s a dead guy’s house. But what a dead guy he was. A collector of fine art from all over the world, his small house nestled in Kensington has nothing less than a palatial feel inside. Your friends can be jealous as you snap (heavily filtered) Islamic tiles and bubbling indoor fountains. Also your pockets won’t lose out to much; a student ticket is just £3.

3 – The View

If you want a spectacular view of London but aren’t quite up to climbing the disgrace that is The Shard, head over to The Tate Modern. The restaurant on top of the gallery provides a stunning panoramic view of London. Okay, so this is another Instagram date. This one comes with good food however, and the chance to say “my favourite view is this one” whilst staring at your partner. Warning, they probably will jump the balcony shortly after.

4 – The slightly pricey, I-want-to-impress-you 5th date

So it’s come to the awkward moment when you’ve done coffee, you’ve done a meal and you’ve done some other things too. And now you really want to impress them. What do you do? You want to seem intellectual, maybe a little bit cultural, maybe even a little bit interested in them. Well, head to Leicester Square for an evening of theatre frolics. The cut price ticket booth situated just down the road from McDonalds provides a good selection of not-yet-sold tickets on the day of the performance. Head down early to snatch up the good seats.

5 – The Freebie

Okay so this one happens but once a year, however I think it’s a pretty rad date. If you’re a music lover, apply for the iTunes Festival and you could have a free pair of tickets to see acts such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry or Haim. Last year I managed to see Lana Del Rey with a friend and it went down rather well. Unfortunately she was female so by well I meant it ended with me raiding the reduced aisles of Morrison’s for yoghurts…

Leighton House. Photo: europanostra on Flickr
Leighton House. Photo: europanostra on Flickr

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