Secrets to a Cheap Date in London

Secrets to a Cheap Date in London

The clue is in the title – Cheap Date, or grammatically for this sentence Cheap Dates.

I Am But A Poor Boy, nobody loves me…. well they won’t with that attitude – rich or poor – Get out and At ’em dear reader.

As a survivor of several hundred Tinder dates (experiences to be lived through and be endured more often than not) and as a man of a longstanding penurious disposition I have built up a mental list in my head of the best bars and restaurants to take your intended girl, boy, potential husband, wife, or parent to your unborn child to for a cheap date, or at least reasonably priced one.

If you are anything like me you’ll try and squeeze in as many dates as possible into a weekend, preferably in the summer as it makes life easier and much cheaper to suggest to your date a get together in a park (no snickering at the back, and if you like the sound of a park but want the bushes or a common there are sites and apps you can visit for that). You can head out with a bought bottle or 3 of booze and a packet of crisps and a Tesco’s sandwich (clearance section from the late night shop 12 hours before and stowed in the refrigerator).

Cheap Date London Lamppost

Sadly at the moment we are in the depths of winter – so the last few dates I’ve been on have consisted of Winter Wonderland (gawping at the prices mainly) and making one vile oversweet tiny cup of mulled wine last 2 hours. Sam Smith pubs are a blessing for the cheap date – particularly if your date is a bloke who likes beer or cider. There are plenty of them from The Citie of York to the Windsor Castle in Victoria and the Chandos on St Martin’s Lane. Another reasonable and central pub is The Red Lion in Crown Passage, St James and The Antelope or any pub with an open fire is wonderful for a first date.

Mayfair has a surprising number of places where one can spin out a glass of wine, it may have been an error but £4 a glass is something I’ve found in a few places, a number of them Greene King Pubs like the Kings Arms in Shepherd Market. Even in, by and large pricey, Charlotte St Vagabond Wines they had their excellent selection of help yourself by the glass options starting from a fiver.

When on a date always make sure your date buys the first round if you’re skint. Then you buy the second round and it’s more likely he will have to get a third round in before calling it a night. Another very cheap way of getting to know someone is just walking with them – not only in the park or obvious places like along the river at the South Bank, but also down Knightsbridge (window shopping opportunities) or up the Charing Cross Road (best not do that with me in tow or you Will lose me into a bookshop).

One of the more accidentally cheap dates of December was again in central London. I managed to leave my bankcard on the bar I was in with my date and only discovered this when I was about to pay for dinner (at the very cheap and cheerful French restaurant Zedel in Soho). On this occasion it was an accident, but I may try it again on purpose sometime, thought probably not, it would be bad form, there is a decency line you don’t want to cross, especially if your trying to get them into bed.

So….. now you know what a cheap date I am….any takers? Go on…. so long as you’re buying the first round…


For other places to take a date see the London Lamppost Team’s recommendations here.