Planning a loved-up getaway in London? You could have a swanky dinner up the Shard or a whirl on the London Eye but that’s just a little bit predictable, isn’t it (and we know you’re cooler than that)?
We’d recommend giving Stratford a shot. From quirky food spots to swan pedalos, this East London hotspot is jam-packed with fun and unusual things to do with your other half. Check out our round up of the best date ideas in the area…
Tuck into a feast at Barge East
Believe the hype – Barge East is beyond cool! A firm TripAdvisor favourite since it opened in 2018, the story of this restaurant and bar is just as cute as the 114 year old Dutch barge that it’s based in. This unique and independent eatery is run by three childhood friends, who once dreamed of being pirates.
The food is Michelin star-worthy if you ask us. Perfect for a date, the dishes are all designed for sharing. The menu is ever-changing and inspired by Ryan, the chef’s, time cooking on private yachts around the world. But seriously, whatever you try is guaranteed to be downright delicious.
Above deck this place is a total suntrap with a lively vibe. And below, in the cosy heart of the boat, it’s intimate and decked out (pun intended!) in industrial style with reclaimed materials. If you’re feeling fancy why not push the boat out (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) and hire the Captain’s Cabin to hide away with your beau?
Explore the Olympic Park…by swan…
Starry-eyed strolls are so last season, it’s all about swanning around by pedal power during the summertime at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. If you’re looking for a date with a difference, try hiring a swan pedalo from the pontoon next to the London Aquatics Centre and get ready for one heck of a ride around the waterways of this iconic park.
There are six kilometres of rivers and canals to make a splash in and loads of landmarks to keep your eyes out for, like the Acerlormittal Orbit and the Olympic Rings. As if you weren’t already channelling your inner child, why not pack a picnic of sweets to take the fun factor up another notch and make it a date to remember?
Bowl over your bae at All Star Lanes
There’s nothing like a cheeky bit of competition to get a date off to a good start! If you and your other half have a competitive streak we’d recommend hitting up All Star Lanes, the luxury bowling alley in Westfield Shopping Centre.
Expect retro charm, bowling ‘til late and dangerously good cocktails brought to your lane (a recipe for true romance if you ask us). Try the sharers section of the cocktail menu – Love Potion No.9 should do the trick! Insider tip: be sure to book online and in advance for the best prices. And now the good news, it’s just a 15 minutes stumble back to Roomzzz London Stratford.
Abseil the Arcelormittal Orbit
Are you a pair of adrenalin junkies? Then your romantic break in London Stratford just won’t be complete without abseiling from Anish Kapoor’s DNA-like sculpture (ok, can you tell we’re not scientists?). It’s a dizzying 80 meter free-fall, making it the highest in the UK!
You’ll harness up at the bottom, take a lift to the top, run through the safety stuff and then comes the nail biting moment of stepping off the platform! Not to worry, the instructors are awesome and will put you totally at ease. On the exhilarating journey down, you’ll be blown away by the unparalleled views over London. It’s a pricey activity but completely unforgettable!
Grab brunch at The Breakfast Club
We won’t be offended if you want to skip our Grab & Go Breakfast for a loved-up brunch date at The Breakfast Club in Hackney Wick. These guys understand breakfast on a spiritual level and it’s served up until 12pm so you don’t even need to rush out of bed.
You can’t go far wrong when it comes to your order – choose from their classics, pancake stacks, sandwiches, bowls or benedicts. But our favourite has got to be the pancakes – the bacon stack is ridiculously tasty. And, by the way, you’ve got to drown that tower of fluffy goodness in maple syrup.
The interior is on point if you ask us so don’t forget to take a few snaps for the ‘Gram! We’re talking crazy wall paper, big plastic cactuses, industrial touches and the kind of chairs you sat on at school. If it’s a nice day, have a walk along the canal afterwards, you’re right next to it after all.
Try roof top crazy golf at Roof East
Now we know you probably don’t want to make a habit of hanging out in abandoned car parks but we think you’ll be able to make an exception for Roof East. A sea of local cool cats sat in striped deck chairs and an explosion of colour, this quirky event space is pretty much a playground for adults. There’s three bars, street food, bowling, batting cages, crazy golf and more. And it’s just ten minutes from Roomzzz.
It’s the crazy golf that we’re seriously into – country garden themed of course darling! Make sure to take a cute couples selfie in the golf buggy that’s been wrapped in flower garlands too. And don’t forget, you’re on a roof top so you can always blame the wind if things are going badly for you.
Enjoy a night at the theatre
The award winning Stratford East Theatre is right on our doorstep and it’s absolutely the place to go if you’re both into the arts. Loads of their productions transfer to the West End because they’re that good! In fact, the theatre has a history of creating outstanding shows, with the original and renowned productions of ‘Oh, What a Lovely War!’ and ‘A Taste of Honey’ under their belt.
Think reimagined classics, hard-hitting new works, musicals and the odd bit of drag bingo thrown in for good measure. Check out what’s on, here. And when your eyes aren’t glued to the stage, take a moment to ogle the fancy and (pretty much) original Victorian interior.
Outdoor cinema at Pitch
Curl up in bean bags or get snug on a pastel coloured picnic bench for a night of outdoor cinema at Pitch. This place is retro cool to a tee and the hottest place around when the sun’s out. We’re talking an open air terrace with a buzzing vibe, just eight minutes’ walk from Roomzzz.
Pitch have got a thing for cult hits and classic films so expect showings of stuff like Pulp Fiction, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Truman Show. At the bar there’s local beer (they’re supplied by the award-winning Signature Brew) and Tiki-style cocktails. And if you’re lucky you might also catch a DJ set or some live music.
Boom! Your ultimate romantic break is sorted but how about a place to stay? Well, we’ve already thought about that for you too…