You’ve swiped, matched and exchanged your best jokes - now one of you has to suggest a date night!
But most of London’s dating spots are strangely unfit for purpose. They’re either so loud you have to shout into each other’s ear canals, or so quiet that any brief pause feels long enough to stream an entire Netflix show.
To give everyone a fighting chance, we’ve measured the acoustic performance of hundreds of venues across the city - from pubs and restaurants to bars and clubs. And we’re delighted to share the first ‘Mumbli Certified’ venues in London.
At these venues, we can guarantee sound levels that will actually allow you to hold a conversation (without the need for a megaphone) - whether it’s the first date or the 500th!
The Lobby Bar of the Ace Hotel Café is a versatile social hub. Artist Max Lamb was commissioned to produce the furniture, resulting in luxurious cocktail tables for private conversations and a 16-seat communal work table crafted from iron, oak and copper.
The partitioned spaces create chillout zones for a private (and audible!) chat on a comfy sofa and when you feel like switching it up, you can take in the exhibition space featuring work from local artists.
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As one of London’s top listening bars, and with several spaces across London, Spiritland is top of the charts for music lovers. Go to hear one of the best sound systems in the world playing the music of all genres and eras, from 50s jazz to deep electronica.
DJs spin here every evening and there are album launches and talks from well-known artists throughout their busy calendar. So, if you’re looking to impress a music-loving date, we’ve found the spot for you.
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Across the street from Spitalfield market, St. John Bread and Wine brings seasonal, homegrown ingredients to East London. Its traditional English menu is complete with crispy pig’s cheek and braised cuttlefish… our mouths are watering just thinking about it!
The wine list is taken just as seriously as the food, and aspiring sommeliers will enjoy the tasting evenings. Equally though, those with a sweet tooth will love browsing the bakery window - there really is something for every date!
Related article: The Role of Sound in Food
This seasonal English, modernist brasserie is presentationally perfect from the food to the decor. We recommend the fruity Shush Bag from the evening cocktail menu (but be sure to snap a photo first!).
Organise a date before midday to enjoy the buttermilk pancakes or, if you like a longer lie-in, try afternoon tea. Both are served against a backdrop of remote workers next to plentiful power points and WiFi. Great for a first date where you need to engineer an ‘emergency’ fast, but equally great for the 20th date where you’re looking for a location to jazz things up a bit!
Related article: Effects of Music on the Brain
Everyone can get on board with Mexican street food and Wahaca has all the tacos, tetelas and taquitos you could ask for.
It might not be the most indy spot, but their Shoreditch location knows the needs of the community it caters for; the cocktail bar is complete with a dartboard and foosball table, creating a lively social atmosphere perfect for a chilled-out (if perhaps a little competitive) date.
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Is your date a slow-cooked, smoked BBQ lover? If so, you’ll have to take them to Bodean’s. Buffalo wings, brisket and shrimp are all on the menu.
Sports fans will make the most of Bodean’s screens which play NBA, NFL and MLB during the day and tune in for the Premier League during the week. Book early for their yearly Super Bowl experience - a fabulous surprise date night for any sports fan.
Vegetarians looking for more than a couple of options will embrace Mildreds, which serve fresh, colourful, and international vegetarian food. But so will anyone who loves great flavours and an even greater atmosphere!
A mixture of individual and sharing tables surround an open kitchen, creating a real foodie vibe. If you’re struggling to pick from Mildreds’ delicious menu, the beetroot white bean burger and parsnip apple sausages are particularly good. Trust us, we’ve been there!
Date night is a great excuse to explore London’s hidden gems, and Mumbli Certified venues are there to make sure you get the perfect mix between new experiences and the guarantee of good acoustics. After all, there’s nothing worse than nodding and smiling when you have NO idea what your date just said to you.
We may not be able to guarantee good conversation, but at these venues, we can guarantee you’ll be able to hear it.