An A-Z of date ideas (in and around St Albans)

2018

Whether it’s a long-overdue date night without the kids, a first date or a double date with friends…we hope you find some inspiration here in our A-Z of date ideas, in and around St Albans.

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Admire some artwork at one of these St Albans based Art Galleries – Gallery Rouge, Whitewall Galleries, or Nude Tin Can. Try an adult art class, on Tuesday evenings, with Colour Me in Art School. Look for antiques at The Three Wise Monkeys antiques and vintage emporium – there’s also The Wildflower Café there for when you get antiqued out.

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Book a babysitter and just go somewhere, do something, anything(!) without the children – we use Sitters and have always been happy with the babysitters we’ve had. Go bowling…ok, sorry, for this one you’ll have to go further than St Albans (unless you’re interested in joining the Bowling Club based in Clarence Park). If you’re heading into London you’ve got All Star Lanes or in Watford you’re got Hollywood Bowl, open until 12.30am on the weekends. Do a breakfast date at the Street Café, George Street Canteen or The Smokehouse Deli. Buy fresh bread and visit Redbournbury Mill, a working mill with a little museum and bakery in a lovely riverside setting. (Read our review of a bread baking day here).  Go for burgers at Craft & Cleaver or The Meating Room.

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Turn up the heat with cooking lessons from The Cobbled Kitchen or go to a chocolate tasting / making event with The Choccie Drop. Have a cheeseboard at The Fleetville Larder (open late on Friday evenings). Make a curry together using spices and sauces from St Albans based Spice Shots. At weekends from April to September you can climb the St Albans Clock Tower or how about trying an adult indoor climbing session at Westminster Lodge.

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Go for drinks – if you’re a fan of cocktails, book a table at Suckerpunch or if wine is more your thing, head to The Bishops Cave. (And if you consume enough you might even be tempted to dance the night away at Havanas club!)  If you’d prefer that your drinks include those of a caffeinated or decaf variety then we’ve no shortage of coffee shops in St Albans – and if you want to show some support to smaller independents you’ve got Charlie’s on London Road, The Waddington Road Café in town or 50Nine by Clarence Park.

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Eat out…We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in St Albans (but it’s always best to book in advance). Some popular restaurants for date nights are Dylans on George Street, Prime on London Road, Lussmanns near the Cathedral, and Tabure or Saute Grill which are both Turkish restaurants in town. And if you’re looking for something different to tickle the ole taste-buds how about Crockers Chef’s Table in Tring: fine dining in a sociable and intimate setting with the Head Chef cooking in front of you. Or the Chappell and Caldwell Supper Club (you can read our review of it here). Or The Galvin at the Centurion Club regularly hold special evenings – cocktails, dinner and music on Thursdays and monthly wine dinners.

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Get creative together at a furniture painting workshop at Cositas. Plan a romantic night in cooking with fresh fruit and vegetables (and lots of other locally sourced products) from Carpenters Farm Shop. And if you can’t wait until you get home, then treat yourself to a bite to eat in their new Potting Shed Café. Book your place for a Foraging Walk and Feast with The Foragers at The Verulam Arms. Go to a festival, the Meraki Festival is back at Herts County Showground in August 2018.

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Play golf – we’re talking the light-hearted, anyone can play kind of golf here (although if you’re keen to learn how to play properly you can do lessons at Verulam Golf Club or Batchwood Golf Course). Anyway, back to fun golf…you’ll have to venture out of St Albans for this one – either hop on a train to Swingers Crazy Golf in the City or jump in the car to Watford to TopGolf, where the game is to score points by hitting micro-chipped golf balls at giant dartboard-like targets. Or dare to be scared on a ghost tour at The White Hart Hotel, the first Thursday of the month, £29 including a 3-course meal.

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Book into Trinder Hair to get a hair restyle before your date. Brunch at Hatch, hit the shops on Holywell HillCositas, Rock Pop Candy, and White Mint. If you want your hot dating to last longer, book an overnight stay at Torrington Hall. Or if you like your dates outdoors, how about a hike around Heartwood Forest and then warm up / cool down at the Heartwood Tea Rooms or The Rose and Crown Pub in Sandridge.

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Go for ice-cream at Darlish, the UK’s first Persian ice-cream parlour. Eat Italian food at Nonnos, Per Tutti or La Cosa Nostra. Or stock up on a taste of Italy with antipasti, lasagne or pizza dough from Buongiorno Italia and have yourself a romantic night in.

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Learn how to Jive Swing – Tuesday evenings at the Jubilee Centre, St Albans. If you like jazz, the Herts Jazz Club has recently moved to The Maltings Art Theatre, every Tuesday from 7.30pm.

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If you want to branch out from a Hertfordshire date night – jump on the train and indulge in one of the many great restaurants and bars around Kings Cross – read our blog post on Kings Cross eating and drinking here. Sing your heart out at karaoke – Fridays and Saturdays at The Jolly Sailor pub.

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Laugh at Comedy in the Crown, a weekly comedy club at The Crown Pub, usually Tuesday or Thursday evenings from 7.30pm. Go for a long, leisurely lunch at Thompson St Albans with a 3 course set menu, 2 glasses of wine, coffee and petit fours for £29.50 or St Villa do a 2 course set menu, for £10, midday-3pm.

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Listen to live music. St Albans Folk Music have a Folk Festival in June 2018, they also play folk music at The Robin Hood pub every Wednesday and monthly at the Maltings Art Theatre. The Hare and Hounds Pub host a monthly open mic night  or check out Lemon Rock to see what gigs and musicians are on at venues near you. Watch a movie in the salubrious surroundings of the Odyssey cinema. It’s really popular so make sure you book in advance. Sit downstairs for tables, swivel chairs and a bar to order your drinks and cheeseboard from.

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Get date-ready and have your nails done at The Salon Nail Boutique (and if you’re dating a man, send him up the road to the The Salon for Men for some grooming. Nature watch as you take a stroll around Verulamium park and lakes. Nibble on some culinary delights at one of St Albans newest restaurants – The Abbey or Loft.  

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Give open water swimming a go with Amanzi Open Water. Book tickets for an open air cinemaLuna Cinema at Highfields Park is showing The Greatest Showman on July 5th.

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If playing pool is your thing then how about the Raging Bull on the Verulam Industrial Estate; it’s the home of a Bingo Club, snooker tables, pool tables, a slot lounge and fully licensed bar open until 4am. Share a pudding (or get two!) at The Pudding Stop, open until 11pm at weekends. Hop on the train to Farringdon to play ping pong.

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Go to a quiz night – The Horn on Mondays, The Great Northern on Tuesdays, The White Hart Tap on Wednesdays. Go on a quadruple date to Social Darts or do an Escape Room experience.

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Relax at the Sopwell House Spa. Explore roman ruins at The Gorhambury Estate. Run together at the St Albans Park Run.

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See a show…take your pick from The Abbey Theatre, The Maltings Art Theatre or The Sandpit Theatre. And then you’ve also got the Alban Arena where you’ll find theatre productions, live music, dance, big name comedians. Or how about wrapping up warm for some indoor skiing at The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead – open until 10pm most evenings.

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If you like a beer how about a tasting at The Beer Shop on London Road. Or you could visit the Tap Room in Wheathampstead, home of Farr Brew Beer. The Tap Room is open every Saturday to buy and drink beer…or book onto one of their monthly brewery tours. Keeping with the tour theme, Puddingstone Distillery (in Tring) do a tour for gin lovers on Thursday evenings, which includes two cocktails from their Campfire Gin menu. And just to show we’re not just about the booze, how about a Tower Tour at St Albans Cathedral – tours take place during the day on Wednesday or Saturday. Go trampolining at Gravity Force. Drink tea at Kanuka Tea Shop. Go on a treasure hunt around St Albans.

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Go underwater and give scuba diving a go with St Albans Sub Aqua Club. Go camping but treat yourself to an upgrade with glamping at Home Farm in Elstree. Go along to the Ukulele Club together.

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Take a taxi to Frithsden Vineyard – for tours, tastings and wine ‘n’ dine events most weekends. If you’re in the area, you can visit the award-winning Alford Arms too. Or how about a Vegan meal at The Green Kitchen, on the last Friday of every month they offer a fixed price menu of either 2 / 3 courses for £18 / £25 from 7.30pm, book in advance. Or you could have a ‘takeaway’ meal cooked by Taste of Vietnam – fresh homemade Vietnamese food available to pick up (if pre-booked) every Friday night from 5pm to 8pm. If you want to step away from food and drink, then immerse yourself in some history instead with a visit to the Verulamium Museum.

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Go wine tasting – with Cellar Door Wines or ThirtyNine10. If spirits are more your thing, how about Whiskey tasting with Tomoka Spirits Boutique. Eat waffles at the aptly named Waffle House! Go on a St Albans Walking Tour or download a 7-mile circular walk from ifootpath which includes The Prae Wood Arms.

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X-rated…well I’ve not been myself (I just happen to know about it!) so I can’t actually comment on how x-rated things get but for those of you with an interest in swinging (the partner swapping variety that is) you could head to Radlett, where you’ll find the UK’s most established and popular swinging house party. Visit the Radlett Adult Parties website for more information – ***not one to look at using your work computer!!!!***

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Go on a St Albans pub crawl, being sure to stop off at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, which dates back to the 8th Century. And then soak up all the booze you’ve consumed with a Greek takeaway from YiaYia Kitchen & Grill.

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Go to London or Whipsnade Zoo and do the ‘‘Keeper For A Day‘ experience.

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Phew, done! There you have it, an A-Z of date ideas in and around St Albans. Do let me know if there’s something I’ve missed!

Happy dating. x

 

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