24 for 2024

Written by Florence Wilde

24 Date Ideas to Whet your Appetite…

The start of my year, as some of you may know, was spent in one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the entire world: New Zealand (before you ask, no, I do not plan on shutting up about it any time soon). It truly felt like I was on another planet. I didn’t hear about the world’s demise on a daily basis, I was consistently surrounded by crystal blue waters and postcard picture mountains, breathing in a fresh summer breeze on the South Island one week, to subtropical climes in the Bay of Islands another. Imagine this cheeky little Flo, most often in tight yoga shorts and a cheesy T-shirt, frolicking in the woods, kicking sand on the beach on Christmas Day, or relaxing by the pool in an itsy-bitsy bikini. Five weeks of road tripping with two girlfriends, switching off from the norms of life, and with superficial stimulation of the city turned down to a minimum. Leaving me, thus, with only the responsibility of having fun. Suffice to say, I had a pinch me moment every. single. day. After what can only be described as a trip of a lifetime, I returned to the bright lights of London, refreshed, revitalised, and ready to go on some spectacular dates! I am one incredibly inspired girlie, leading me to starting this blog and writing my first post:
24 Date Ideas for 2024: Part One.

So! What are these ideas you’ve got, Florence? Dear reader, my plan is to create a number of enticing visions for you. I’m going to outline date designs in London and beyond that have been buzzing around in my mind ever since my return to all things Flo. As I do this, you will discover 24 highlighted suggestions that may just tickle your fancy. You can take one entire date concept and run with it, or you can take one, two or a variation of the 24 suggestions, and create something for us that tickles way more than just our fancy. All in all, the ideas, whether that be restaurants, shows, hotels or speakeasies, will add up to 24. Don’t believe me? Read it and weep (all ideas highlighted with a link). Just kidding, don’t weep. In fact, let it motivate you to select one, or a combination of the ideas I have shared. So, my lover (to be), do read on, and enjoy part one of 24 for 2024.

1. Dorian Gray pictured at Raffles

My latest London hotel obsession is Raffles, situated in the oh so grand and rich with History, OWO. As it happens, the hotel is a quick hop, skip and a jump from the Theatre Royal Haymarket, which as of this month, is hosting a performance of Grandad Oscar Wilde’s classic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, for 14 weeks only. On top of that, the show stars a new lady crush of mine, Sarah Snook. If you aren’t familiar with that name, I encourage you to take some time out to watch the multi-award winning TV show, Succession (this is not one of the 24 date ideas, just a side note).

The Proposal: A 10 hour date or better yet, overnight delight, we begin in the Raffles Spy Bar to get acquainted and simmer down those excited butterflies in our stomachs. A martini for me, an old fashioned for you. Relaxing into each other’s company, we head on over to the Theatre for a matinee showing of Dorian Gray, where we find ourselves getting handsy with one another, tension building up in all the right ways. After a standing ovation, and with much to discuss, we then move on to the in-house restaurant, Mauro Colagreco, for either a 3-course √† la carte dinner, or the 5 course tasting menu, depending on our appetites (I am by this point ravenous for both gastronomy and you). As our delicious meal by the iconic chef begins to draw to a close, we breathe a sigh of relief knowing that our suite, thus alone time, is only a short walk through the hotel…

2. Secret London

Fancy yourself something less tourist-like and more best-kept locals secret? This London lady knows her way around some cool spots! Not every date needs to involve ticking off the most well-known ideas, and if you’re the kind of person who loves a bit of naughty London night life, then I know a little place that provides the tastiest of cocktails and silliest of dress up boxes (use of wigs, hats and feather bowers optional).

The Proposal: A 6 hour date to a 24 hour bubble of hedonism (can you tell I love a sleepover?). After lining our stomachs at Claude Bosi at Bibendum, allow me to lure you over to a little known Speakeasy Bar in Chelsea (the name of which I cannot share for security reasons, but count this as one of the 24 date ideas). Here, we sip on cocktails lavishly thrown together by the wicked bartenders, dance to the best music, and get playful! With the time flying by, we tipsily whisk ourselves back to the hotel, local favourites of mine being Kensington Hotel or The Mandarin Oriental. For those wanting to opt for the longer version of this date, imagine waking up together with the blissful memory of starting at Harrods Champagne Bar, indulging in a spot of shopping, dining at the above Michelin Star, Bibendum, and dancing at a spot reserved for those in-the-know. Not to mention what happened after we got back to the room…

3. Lie Back and Enjoy…

Lover of all things relaxation? In need of something more soothing for the soul? I’ve just the thing. With personalised treatments available for high performance lifestyles, Claridge’s has the perfect inner city Spa Escape. I’ve been told by those with personal experience, the newly renovated Spa is one to be indulged. As Claridge’s describes, ‘feel your soul lighten as you step inside, your senses heighten at the sound of flowing water, a visual play of light and shadow and energy-cleansing music.’. The breathtaking (and yet, breath-deepening) space was designed by interior architect, Andr√© Fu, who was inspired by his visits to traditional Japanese Temples in Kyoto (side note: definitely a bucket list destination for me!)

The Proposal: 4 – 8 hours (or again, we love an overnight). We begin with a quick drink in one of Claridge’s incredible bars, perhaps with a little snack to keep us fuelled. Soon, we head down to their signature oasis for an omakese-inspired bespoke massage. Taking our time post massage to enjoy the heated, electrolyte-rich swimming pool together, we eventually make our way out of the Spa and back into the real world, where we head straight to the hotel room, eager for that alone time we’ve been anticipating. If we have opted for a longer date, from here we can take ourselves off for a post-coital dinner, two nearby gastronomy targets being BiBi and The Twenty Two. It is then entirely our choice whether we head back to our room, or you let me show you some of Mayfair’s best bars, found along and around the iconic, Dover Street.

*Want to make it a longer date? Instead of meeting at Claridge’s Bar, we can start at the lesser known area but totally incredible, Dover Street Market, where fashion, art, and lifestyle meld seamlessly. Afterwards, heading to the Spa, and so on…

Suffice to say, your girl knows and loves London Town like the back of her elegant hand. Whether you have been inspired to specifically live out one of the above dates, or it has conjured up ideas of your own, I love nothing more than working together to create a 4 hour to whole weekend experience that feels truly worthwhile. Always, of course, carving out plenty of opportunity to enjoy our room or suite, too. I leave you for now, with three experiences that include 12 date ideas to consider. Stay tuned for part two of this blog post, that will offer the remaining ideas of the 24 I have promised. Next time, we will be escaping the city… got your passport ready?