A guide curated by The Nudge
Royal Academy of Arts
Score points early on in the evening with a visit to the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly (open till 10pm on Fridays). Home to rotating exhibitions on everything from 17th century royal art collections to experimental, postwar American art, there’s plenty of talking points to help break the ice if it’s your first meeting. Of course, if you’re already well acquainted, you could always sign the whole family up to life drawing.
Apéritif hour is calling, so take a stroll down to the famous Dukes Bar - a former haunt of Bond author, Ian Fleming’s. In honour of his most famous character, the smartly attired barkeeps here will deftly serve you authentic Vesper martinis from a table-side trolley; or you can order a cognac to enjoy on their outdoor terrace as the sun goes down.
45 Jermyn Street
Ice positively crushed, it’s time to head out for dinner. 45 Jermyn Street is the understatedly elegant restaurant overseen by Fortnum & Mason, and the food is exactly as delicious as you'd expect. Continue the theme of table-side theatre with the caviar trolley - on which scrambled eggs are cooked before your eyes - or plump for the baked alaska, liberally doused with alcohol and set alight thrillingly close to your own eyebrows. It’s an order which screams ‘I am an adequately responsible person to be dating your precious son/daughter’.
Jermyn Street Theatre
From dinner theatre to actual theatre - head a little further down the street, down a set of stairs from a narrow doorway, and you’ll find the small but perfectly formed Jermyn Street Theatre. Covering everything from fringe productions to small-scale, off-West End performances, the boards here have been trodden by such esteemed actors as Imogen Stubbs and Michael Gambon - and you’re sure to catch something unusual and intimate.
Time for a nightcap, and there’s no cosier bar to round off your evening of impeccable and highly impressive choices than the American Bar at the Stafford Hotel. Tucked inside an inconspicuous courtyard, this eclectic snug filled with bizarre artefacts and paraphernalia is a St James’s classic - as are the cocktails. Raise a glass - you nailed this evening.