The Soulmates Team have knocked on doors, whispered passwords and generally searched the city for some real secret spots, perfect to add intrigue and mystery to a romantic date in London.
Here are our top picks to help you pull back the shroud on the underground world of hideaway date venues.
Downstairs at Machiya
A stone’s throw from London’s tourist epicentre, Piccadilly Circus, is Machiya. A canteen-style restaurant inspired by Japanese home cooking. The Restaurant itself is bright and white, typical of a Soho restaurant where service is quick and food is delicious. Lurking just downstairs is a gem of a cocktail bar. Cosy and compact, Downstairs at Machiya offers the delicious food from the busy upstairs restaurant, but in a relaxed atmosphere and with impeccable cocktails like the Mio Spritz and Okinawa Cooler. Focus on the fun element and take a date for a homely Japanese dinner, then whisk them downstairs for a cocktail or two.
A purse-friendly members bar, that really is hidden from view. Members pay a one-off fee of £35 and can expect comfy sofas, expertly made cocktails – from the Crescent Negroni to the deliciously smokey and aptly named Smoke On The Water – along with the fun of entering an entry code that changes every month. The team also make a range of their own mixers to accompany your spirit of choice; try the ‘Lavender’ with gin or ‘Fresh’ with vodka, which come at a reasonable £9 for a double. Open until an impressive 4am on a weekend and tucked away a stone’s throw from bustling King’s Cross, Keystone Crescent avoids the pretentiousness and overpricing of other members bars.
The Candlelight Club
Shrouded in secrecy, this could be considered London’s most glamorous bi-monthly pop-up. This time the event was held in the prestigious Great Hall in Leyton and has a full-on dandies and flappers dress code. Arranged over two rooms and lit entirely by candlelight, The Candlelight Club offers sultry Burlesque dancers, live swing bands and other eclectic acts. With dinner options available, alongside vintage cocktails and prosecco or Champagne by the bottle, this is suitable fare for all pockets and tastes.