Are you and your partner constantly stuck in the “where do you want to eat?” spiral?
Lucky for you, Christmas is fast approaching to change up your date-night routine and inspire some seasonal magic in your plans.
From the classic movie-moments to the unconventional, I’ve complied a list of the 16 best winter date ideas in London.
It’s time to deck those halls and make some new festive memories together!
1. Get your couples Christmas photo together
Address: 195, 197 King’s Rd, London SW3 5EQ
Phone number: 020 3301 0300
Every December, The Ivy Chelsea transforms into an influencer’s dream, decorating the entire build’s façade into a magical Christmas scene.
However, the good news is that anyone can get photos here.
This means you and your partner have the perfect backdrop readymade for your twee couples Christmas card photo.
Previous themes have included santa’s grotto, a gingerbread house, and a snowy winter wonderland.
From early December, you’ll see queues waiting on the busy pavement for a photo in front of the magical decorations.
But that means there’s plenty of willing visitors prepared to capture the perfect couple’s photo for you in exchange for a few moments of you snapping theirs afterwards.
Your gran will love getting the photo on a card!
It’s one of the best London Instagram spots for sure.
2. Sing carols under the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree
Address: Trafalgar Sq, London WC2N 5DN
Phone number: 020 7983 4750
For most Londoners, the appearance of the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square is a well-known sign that Christmas has begun.
The tree was donated by Norway to Great Britain as a sign of the country’s gratitude for their support in World War II.
It stands over 20 metres tall and is decked in lights against the background of Big Ben and The London Eye.
And recently, the tree has been accompanied by the Underbelly pop-up winter market in Trafalgar Square.
With small wooden stalls selling knick-knacks and, most importantly, mulled wine, the market is sure to get you in the festive spirit!
After perusing the stalls, grab a cup together and join the carol singers on the steps of Trafalgar Square.
Participation is encouraged by most choirs, and the lack of stage or microphones make for an intimate, magical moment under the lights of the looming Christmas tree.
Be sure to pop your loose change in their charity box – this is the season of goodwill, after all!
3. Dine in the Alpine
Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Yes, I included this on this list of the best winter date ideas in London just so I could make that rhyme.
But nonetheless, Jimmy’s Winter Lodge pop-up on Southbank should be a staple of your Christmas calendar.
Jimmy’s Pop-Ups are legendary in London for their transportive themes, magical decorations, and delicious food.
Since Jimmy Garcia started them in 2011, the business has gained quite a name for itself, and any new pop-up is eagerly awaited by Londoners.
And this year, we’re spoiled for choice!
Jimmy’s Pop-Ups has three amazing winter-themed spaces on offer across the capital: Chalet Barragiste at Somerset House, The Refuge at Winter Wonderland, and the tried-and-tested Jimmy’s Winter Lodge.
Any one of them would be a wonderful place to (mulled) wine and dine your partner.
But Jimmy’s Winter Lodge remains one of the cosiest seasonal spots.
Opposite the Southbank Winter Market on the edge of the Thames, this Alpine lodge has heated seating and fur blankets.
The festive scene is accompanied by fondue and mulled wine to really get you in the Christmas spirit!
This year, Jimmy’s promises some new twists on old favourites, so taste-test the Christmassy cocktails with your partner for a very merry date.
You’ll be able to convince yourself you’ve taken a holiday together to the Alps and be able to cosy down under a fur throw with hot cocktails.
4. Dream of an iced Christmas
Address: 13 Northcote Rd, London SW11 1NG and 194 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2ES
Phone number: 020 7924 5488 and 020 7727 8096
This is easily one of the most unique winter date ideas in London.
Show off your creative skills to your partner at the famous Biscuiteers.
Here they offer two hour Christmas-themed biscuit icing workshops in their Icing Café on Northcote Road or in Notting Hill.
With different Christmassy themed sessions – including Apres Ski, The Snowman, and Christmas Tree Decorations – you and your partner can spend a delightful couple of hours chatting over tea and biscuits while practising your piping skills.
5. Hit the beach
Address: Neverland, Wandsworth Bridge Rd, London SW6 2TY
Phone number: 020 3034 0293
No, you didn’t read that wrong.
In winter, Fulham Beach transforms into a Winterland, a magical pop-up that lives up to its name.
The Moose Bar has a huge choice of inventive drinks with punny Christmas names.
And the street food vendors offer a huge selection of date-night snacks, from pizza to fondue.
Moreover, there are arcade games that you can play together if you’re feeling competitive, including skittles, table tennis, and beer pong.
Or for a real exclusive experience, book the Alpine Lodge table for two and enjoy winter cocktails around the firepit.
With the live DJ in the background, this makes for one of the liveliest winter date ideas in London.
6. Watch Christmas films in the Winter Night Garden
You’ll enter through the Narnia-style wardrobe through to a corridor to trees before opening out to a giant cinema room, stunningly decorated.
Extend date night by getting there early to try some of the amazing street food in the covered courtyard.
I’ve got to say, the pizza is outstanding.
In the cinema room itself, there’s comfy sofa chairs to snuggle down on and a full calendar of Christmas films throughout the winter months.
With Home Alone, Elf, and The Holiday to pick from, you’ve got plenty of choice!
Surely Love Actually in the Winter Garden must be up there as one of the most romantic dates of all time?
7. Do Christmas karaoke
Address: 52 Poland St, London W1F 7NQ
Phone number: 020 7439 3660
As tickets will set you back £110 for two, this is one of the pricier winter date ideas in London.
However, it will certainly be one to remember with some real festive cheer.
Throughout December, you and your partner can give it your best belter with a private karaoke pod for two, bottomless bubbly, and Christmas-themed pizzas.
If you’re not both drunkenly duetting Fairytale of New York by the end, what are you doing?
8. Light it up at Kew Gardens
Phone number: 020 8332 5655
There’s nothing quite as special as Christmas at Kew.
It’s sold out every year for a reason!
As you arrive after dark, you’ll follow an illuminated path through the winding gardens of Kew, past exciting and mesmerising light displays.
Bundle up warm and grab a warm drink on your way round, to enjoy a slow walk with plenty of displays to discuss.
However, the famous Cathedral of Light is where the real magic happens.
This illuminated tunnel is a breath-taking installation of hundreds of individual golden lights formed into a long archway which you walk through.
Seeing your loved one with pink cheeks from the winter cold, surrounded by hundreds of twinkling lights is pretty breath-taking.
Trust me on this one, it’s not one to miss.
9. Check out a Christmas show
Christmas is the perfect time to sample the world-class shows London has to offer.
For a romantic, traditional evening, see The Nutcracker.
An enchanting Christmas ballet telling the story of magic, you and your partner don’t have to be ballet experts to enjoy it.
Eye up the twinkling jewelled costumes as the dancers catch the stage lights, or let the enchanting live orchestra transport you to a magical and romantic fantasy world.
The highlight of the show is the famous Dance of the Snowflakes, where an assemble of dancers create intricate snowflake designs on stage.
It sells out every year, so get tickets in advance or look out for official resales.
However, if ballet feels too highbrow, a reliable Christmas panto might be more your thing.
From November, you’ll see pantomimes advertised on the sides of every London bus, but it’s best to stick with the classic.
Dick Whittington, the jewel in the crown of panto-season, is playing at the New Wimbledon Theatre.
Get your “it’s behind you!”s at the ready for a night of a tomfoolery that’ll have you both chuckling all the way home.
10. Enjoy a Christmas afternoon tea
Address: 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR
Phone number: 020 7493 8181
While afternoon tea at The Ritz is always a good idea, there’s even more reason to try it over the festive season.
The famous Palm Court transforms into an Edwardian winter wonderland; the giant Christmas tree is hung with old and red ribbons, and ornate decorations trim the archways.
Moreover, there’s even a live Ritz choir ready to serenade you over your freshly made scones and mince pies with all your favourite carols.
Remember to get dressed up, as The Ritz has a strict dress code to make it feel even more special.
While it’s not for everyone at £85 per person (with a glass of champagne included), The Ritz Christmas Afternoon Tea is one of the most unique and magical winter date ideas in London.
11. Walk in a Winter Wonderland
Every Londoner will roll their eyes at the mention of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
I mean, there’s nothing romantic about queuing half an hour for a £6.
But stick with me here: for 2021, you must book your Winter Wonderland tickets in advance, which hopefully means no more insane queues to get in.
Even better, you can book your rides and attractions when purchasing your ticket.
The best date attraction has got to be The Giant Wheel.
No, this isn’t a budget London Eye, this is a brilliant way to view the glittering lights of Winter Wonderland from 70 meters up (£18 for two standard tickets).
Follow this up with a trip to Bar Ice, to step inside -10C (luckily provided with toasty jackets and gloves to keep you warm) and enjoy a free cocktail served in a pre-carved ice glass for £14 each.
Surrounded by ice, this will probably be the coolest date you go on (pun intended).
12. Experience a DJ on ice
Address: Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Phone number: 0333 320 2836
If you’re one of those cool couples who knows all the best music before everyone else, this will be one of the best winter date ideas in London for you.
Part-gig, part-ice-skating, these late-night sessions will have a live up-and-coming DJ or artist to soundtrack your skating under the kaleidoscopic coloured lights and forty-foot Christmas tree.
13. Attend a chocolate masterclass
Address: Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Show your loved one they make life sweeter with a winter Chocolate Masterclass from Hotel Chocolat.
Another unusual date idea from Somerset House, this session will be running every Thursday through December in collaboration with Hotel Chocolat.
This gives you plenty of opportunity to plan a date.
Over an hour, you’ll try a number of chocolatey delicacies (chocolate is meant to be an aphrodisiac, after all…) with a glass of fizz, as you meet chocolatiers and learn more about the process.
One of the best things to do in London at Christmas?
I think so!
14. Buy a Christmas tree together
We’ve all watched enough Christmas rom-coms to know that buying a Christmas tree together is probably the ultimate act of seasonal love.
And fake trees just don’t quite fit the brief here.
Venture out early on a Saturday in December to hit up the Christmas tree markets for that magical smell of fresh pine and a movie-magic moment of choosing the perfect tree together.
Luckily for you, there’s plenty of places to choose from in London.
But with over seven million trees going into landfill every year, London Christmas Tree Rental in Battersea will not only leave you with your perfect Christmas tree, but a feeling of smugness from helping the environment.
You give a £20 deposit on top of the price of your new green friend, which is refundable once it’s returned after the season.
Just don’t forget to water it!
After choosing your perfect tree, pick up some mince pies on the way back, and take it home for bedazzling.
Blast the Christmas tunes, and test your artistic skills with baubles and tinsel galore.
The only condition to this date is that one of you must walk home with the Christmas tree slung over your shoulder.
It’s the only way you can achieve the full cheesy Christmas rom-com effect!
15. Spend an afternoon by a roaring fire
Address: 22 Holly Mount, London NW3 6SG
Phone number: 020 7435 2892
It’s been said love can keep you warm through the cold winter days.
But you know what’s even better at it?
A roaring log fire in a cosy London pub.
What better way to spend an afternoon with the person you love, than hunkering down in a city boozer with a steaming mug of mulled wine?
There are a few to choose from, but one of the best has got to by The Holly Bush in Hampstead.
Tucked away down a quiet backstreet, you may have seen the pretty façade on many an Instagram.
But rest assured, the inside’s even better.
The Grade II-Listed building has higgledy-piggled staircases and low ceilings for the perfect Dickensian cosy mood.
Spend the morning on a brisk welly walk across Hampstead Heath, one of the most beautiful parks in London.
Afterwards, reward yourself by grabbing a cosy booth seat next to the fireplace, and settle in with some well-poured pints.
16. Go ice skating across the city
If there’s one thing London does well at Christmas, it’s popping up an ice rink left, right, and centre as soon as it starts getting a bit chilly.
And luckily for you, there are lots of potential destinations to skate hand-in-hand for a movie-moment date.
You’re bound to find the perfect spot to skate your way into the new year!
The Natural History Museum’s Ice Rink is one of the finest in the city.
Set against the backdrop of the historic stone museum, this has some of the best views to skate by.
Even if you’re Bambi-on-ice you can lean against the side and get the perfect wintery snap.
Across the city, the Tower of London Ice Rink is a solid favourite.
Skate under the turrets of the tower to coloured lights and enjoy a winter warmer in their pop-up tent afterwards.
Or if you’re after something a bit more modern, the Skylight Ice Rink has very different views at the top of Tobacco Dock.
The rooftop rink offers panoramic views of the city, and a heated apres-ski bar to steady your nerves after whizzing around the ice.
So there you have it: the 16 best winter date ideas in London!
It’s safe to say that London is ridiculously romantic during the festive period.
Which is great news for you, right?
There are plenty of winter date ideas in London to keep you going in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Now all that’s left to do is to grab your partner and get festive!