9 cerebral London date ideas (no small talk required!)

12th February 2014


Impress someone special and give your mind a workout at the same time – here are 9 date ideas that will take care of the small talk and banish those first -date nerves…

1. Read and swap books at The Carnaby Book Exchange

FREE: Monday – Saturday 8am-6pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm

Relax in an armchair and explore the vast expanses of fashion, travel, music, photography, design and history books in this free space. Take a book that you no longer want and take away another for free, then swap notes in one of the many coffee shops on Carnaby Street.

You can even charge your phone for up to 30 minutes – perfect if you’ve run out of battery just as you’re waiting for your date to arrive…

Sketch, Piccadilly

2. Have arty afternoon tea at Sketch

Relax away from the crowds with some of the best tea and a scones in London (it’s true – we’ve tasted it).

This arty restaurant is split into a gastro-brasserie designed by Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed, an eccentric parlour and a fairy-tale tea room. Even the UFO-themed toilets (pictured right) are out of this world

At £10.95 for tea and scones, Sketch is a little pricey, but when better to push the boat out than on a date?

With this much art around you, you’ll never run out of things to say. Visit the Sketch website for full times and menu.

3. See the old Roman ruins beneath The Guildhall Art Gallery

FREE: Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm Sunday 12pm-4pm


Underneath the Guildhall in the City of London lies the remains of London’s Roman Amphitheatre. Discovered in 1988, the stone remains have been transformed into an atmospheric dungeon underneath a tranquil free art gallery and courtyard.

Visit the City of London website for more details.

4. Indulge your curiosity at The Wellcome Collection

FREE: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm, Thursday 10am-10pm, Sunday 11am-6pm (cafe and bookshop opening times may differ – see website for details)


Known as ‘the free destination for the incurably curious’, the Wellcome Collection is a unique mix of art, culture and science in one free gallery, with a cafe and bookshop thrown in.

See their latest exhibitions and read their fascinating blog at the Wellcome Collection website.

5. See London by foot on a London Walks tour

£9 per person: see website for times

Bit nervous? Take the pressure off by starting your date with a guided walk around the lesser-travelled parts of the capital.

There are hundreds of walks on this website to choose from including tours around Jack the Ripper’s old haunts, hidden pubs, the old City and the Olympic Park. Each walk takes around two hours and there’s no need to book.

See the full list of London Walks at their website.

6. Have a play at The Science Museum


FREE (see website for exhibition prices): 10am-6pm – last admission 5:45pm

No list of cerebral date venues would be complete without mention of the Science Museum. Get off the beaten track to the fourth and fifth floors, where you’ll find a collection of medical memorabilia (and some peace and quiet), or head to the Launchpad for a go on the kind of toys you wish you had as a kid.

See a full list of exhibitions at the Science Museum website.

7. Join the circus at Circus Space

£69 per person: Saturdays 2.30pm-5.45pm

Not one for the faint-hearted – and not cheap either – but this surely has to be the most adventurous date idea ever. Still, probably a third or fourth-date idea this one…

Learn a range of circus skills in one exciting experience day at Circus Space in Hoxton. You’ll learn trapeze, tightwire, juggling and acrobatics in one afternoon, and the classes are suitable for complete beginners.

Visit the Circus Space website for more.

8. See some classical music with the London Contemporary Orchestra

The LCO has worked with Belle and Sebastian, Vivienne Westwood and have performed at Latitude, The Royal Opera House and Camden Roundhouse. On Sunday 23rd February you can see them play at Wapping Hydraulic Power Station and on Monday 17th March the Southbank Centre.

See their website for all forthcoming dates and ticket details.

9. Make a date with Agent Valentine on the London Underground

Agent_OrangeLite members £12.00, inclusive members £8.00: 14th February @ 7:00 pm

No plans on Friday the 14th? Why not join us for something a bit different on our London Underground treasure hunt and drinks?

A unique, exciting and challenging event as your team uses its skills to defeat opponents, find the Holy Grail and stay sober…

Come on your own or with a date – either way, you’ll leave with some new team buddies!

Grab your ticket now before they go!

Try Thinking Bob today