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Girls Night Out – A Guide for the Ladies

Posted on: July 11, 2013

Ladies Guide

The FoodVerdicts Summer Guide – Ladies Edition

Whether it’s a first date, a celebratory dinner, or a “Girls Night Out” – ladies, here are ideas for drinking and eating around London, whatever the occasion.

Meet for a drinkNot quite on dinner terms yet with your date? Meet for a drink and test his conversational skills at the Artesian, recent winner of “World’s Best Bars” and impossibly gorgeous. For added views, try the Boundary hotel. The rooftop bar has an all-weather pergola roof, and you can snuggle up for warmth under blankets …

Drinks successful, but not yet ready for those long, pining gazes across a 2-top? Sitting cheek by jowl at a bar takes off pressure while putting you closer to each other (yep, that good ol’ hand-on-knee move …) For Spanish nibbling, try Barrafina (tip: check the queue beforehand on the webcam). We keep returning to Bocca di Lupo’s bar – blogger Hugh Wright says it’s known as a “popular and impressive date destination as for its exceptionally good food” – especially if combined with a post-dinner blood orange granita at next-door Gelupo. Or try and grab that infamous double bar stool at Spuntino for some extra closeness.

First Date

Does a tete-a-tete sound a little intimidating? Why don’t you, err, do something together then. Enjoy a movie and graze on more than the usual popcorn at The Lounge at Odeon Whiteleys, where Marina O’Loughlin was “squirming and sniggering like teenagers on a first date”; if things go well, top it up with a post-movie glass of bubbly at Cafe Anglais. Too sedate? Beat him in table tennis at Bounce; if he’s a gracious loser, share a pizza afterwards; if not, run off (you’ll likely be in sneakers, natch).

Girls Night OutKiller heels on and ready for a Girl’s Night Out? Peruvian cuisine has taken London by storm; try Coya for a dark seductive look, or one of the high tables at Ceviche for Soho bonhomie. For stylish white-jacket service without the stuffiness, head to Shrimpy’s – which Marina O’Loughlin described as “a game gal who’ll brighten the dullest day. Fun, sometimes, is just what it’s all about”. There!

It’s not all party – for when you just need to get stuff done, nothing beats a power breakfast spot. Covent Garden is the place to go – enjoy the pastry while you talk the dough at The Delaunay (from valedictorian restaurateurs Corbin & King, of The Wolseley fame) or at recent NYC import, Balthazar. Pressed for time? They both have take-away counters.

We don’t know why (yes we do – sweets!), but Afternoon Tea always delights our female readers. Read our special feature on the best spots. Bonus tip: For a glimpse into a Japanese tea ceremony, try Chaya Teahouse.

Just need to chatter away with your BFF? We recommend hidden gems Rooftop Cafe and adorable Honey & Co (even cynic AA Gill praised “the huge dollop of home-made love”); or place yourself firmly at The Modern Pantry‘s cake-laden communal table.

Wow FactorDress to impress for a glam night out at these places with a Wow Factor. For buzzy chic, head to Cecconi’s (always full, never dull) or Dean Street Town House (tip: rooms available upstairs). More romantic? No one charms like the Galvins; head to La Chapelle for a sweeping dome setting, or to Galvin at Windows for stunning views.

Special OccasionBirthday or anniversary, or any excuse really for a celebration? London is rich with Special Occasion restaurants. The Ledbury, a critic favourite, will swoon the most spoiled gourmet – Lisa Markwell was taken to “dizzying new heights”. For a pinch of Primrose Hill chic, head to prettily wallpapered Odette’s (and with a bit of luck, you’ll dine next to La Moss). Chelsea spot Medlar manages to pair feminine interior design (we love the bright green banquets) with an affordable Michelin-starred kitchen.

RomanticBucolic views onto the Thames, walks in nearby Richmond Park, and just the two of you … for a romantic escape only a tube ride away, book yourself into the Bingham.


Hot VenueManhattanites refer to them as “Discos with Food”. You may not end up dancing in the aisles, but Hot Venues will guarantee you’ll have a blast – whether you’re with the girls, or flirtatiously mingling (or both, as the evening progresses). New York import SushiSamba combines killer views and thumping, Latin soundtrack (tip: nibble away, but focus on the cocktails). And finally, John Salt’s ground floor pairs smoky food with smoking heat.


For more ideas, check out our “Girls Night Out” occasion page.


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