With more than 300,000 people living in the largest city in the East Midlands, there’s plenty of eligible singles to meet in the vicinity. The region has a rich, sociable and diverse heritage. But where should you take your new squeeze on that all-important first date? It’s your chance to impress so make it a good’ un. We have a varied range of suggestions for the 10 best first dates in Leicester, to get you off to a flying start.
First dates Leicester
#1 Coconut Beach Club
Ok, Leicester isn’t exactly the most exotic spot on the planet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some tropical fun right here in the city. Spend a night at Coconut Beach Club sipping on rum and Tiki cocktails. You’ll feel like you’ve had a mini-break in the Caribbean. It was formerly called Hakamou but is still found on Bowling Green Street. It’s open every Wednesday to Saturday night till late for some best first dates in Leicester.
#2 Après Lounge
Or if you’d prefer a holiday escape theme that’s more snow and slopes than sun and sand, choose Après Lounge. This bar is styled to feel like an alpine lodge, complete with wood panelling, a log fire and scenic mountain wallpaper. But with a dance floor and DJ, it’s also a great place to go if you want some lively nightlife and a clubby date with a difference.
#3 The National Space Centre
If you both fancy a more educational experience in the vein of The Big Bang Theory, then this one is sure to delight the science and Astro-geeks among you. A fascinating day out that’ll give you loads to talk about, you can explore the solar system at Sir Patrick Moore’s planetarium (the largest one in the UK), roam six galleries and discover space suits, rockets and meteorites. To avoid families, book one of the adult-only after-hours experiences. A date at the National Space Centre will be out of this world.
#4 Online speed dating in Leicester
If you don’t want a night on the razz or want to do some dating while the kids are in bed, you can speed date using your laptop, computer, smartphone or tablet. With video conferencing becoming an increasingly popular and convenient way to socialise, why not extend it to your love life? Then once you’ve found some matches via a virtual means, you can take them on a face to face date at one of these great venues.
#5 Knighton Park
The 78-acre park boasts a wildlife reserve, a wash, spinney and a sensory garden. Take in the peaceful sights and sounds with a gentle walk together. If you prefer a little more activity, you can hire a tennis court. Or grab an outdoor ping pong table for some healthy competition. There isn’t a cafe in the park itself. So pack a flask – or in summer, a hamper and some vino – as it’s an ideal lazy picnic spot.
Romantic things to do in Leicester
#6 Gelato Village
Since its inception in 2014, Gelato Village on St Martin’s Square has earned a reputation as one of the best places for ice cream in the area. The Italian cafe makes its sweet treats from Jersey cows’ whole milk. But you can also enjoy slow-cooked food, snacks and a mean espresso. If it’s nice weather you can set up your very first meet on the alfresco terrace, followed by some mouth-watering affogato, gelator or sorbet.
#7 Grand Union Canal
Another great option for getting outdoors and saving cash is to discover the city’s waterways. Leicester’s Grand Union canal offers fascinating towpath walks. Or you could hire bikes or kayaks for some more dynamic, active sightseeing. Depending on how long you have set aside for your date, this could be a brief 20-minute stroll. Or a full-day adventure for two.
#8 Vegan and veggie food at The Pantry
There’s been an increase in cafes serving vegan and veggie food in Leicester. Including this relatively new cute little deli and coffee shop. It’s centrally placed for a handy lunch break meet. And you can take away or eat in delights such as its popular vegan sausage roll, spiced cardamom cakes, pickled red cabbage and couscous buddha bowl.
Leicester date ideas
#9 Richard III Visitor Centre
Leicester hit the news in 2013 when the council, university and Richard III Society collectively found the English King’s remains under a city car park. The first monarch to be DNA tested, his incredible saga has been documented in this fascinating visitor centre. History buffs will love a few hours spent here and afterwards you can walk the 100 steps to Leicester cathedral, where Richard is buried. It’ll be a welcome change for those who don’t especially enjoy wining and dining on a first date.
#10 The Case
If you would like a dressy, fancy night out, order some bubbles and take a red leather booth at The Case’s Champagne Bar and Snug. The adjoining main restaurant is a grand affair with colonial decor, high fanned ceilings and period features in what was once a luggage factory, while large picture windows provide views of the old town. There are affordable set menus, an evening grazing menu, a light lunch with fizz and a full a la carte offer. The dishes are high end, created from fresh seasonal produce and the setting is conducive to elegant romance.
Have these venues and activities whetted your appetite for an enjoyable day and night out on the town? If so, try speed dating in Leicester to meet a mate. If you live in another part of the Midlands, you could sign up for online speed dating in Birmingham or head along to speed dating events in Solihull.