Up to 400,000 of our readers live in Ealing in West London. Perhaps you are one of them. If so, where can you go on a date locally without having to head into central London?
A walk around the beautiful newly landscaped Walpole Park has to be top of this list. A picnic on the banks of the little lake and bridge, or just chilling on one of the benches by the larger lake is a romantic highlight. What’s more, there’s plenty of festivals such as the real ale festival or comedy festival over the summer. Look ahead for these events in advance since they can sell out early and are extremely popular! The comedy festival in particular draws in some big names and is a must.
Art Gallery Museum
Just by Walpole Park you’ll find the beautiful old residence and gardens of Pitzhanger Manor. During open hours it’s free to walk around the rooms and get a sense of what Ealing was like in times gone by. You can look out over the park from the back windows upstairs. There’s also an art gallery next door that has a variety of exhibitions running year round. It’s free entrance too. You’ll probably see most of the art gallery in 30 minutes and the house in another 30-45 minutes. The opening hours and further information is on the council’s official site here (external link).
If you want a relaxed drink or two then this is one area Ealing excels! The red lion down by the Ealing Film studios has a great history and good beers. It’s most famous for its connection to the famous film studios, with the walls adorned with photos of actors who used to visit. From time to time you can see current stars pop in for a pint. Out the back there’s great beer garden which has a cover for those rainy afternoons.
If the night is getting late but you are still having a good time then Crispins wine bar half way between the Ealing film studios and the Uxbridge Road often has a fun boozy atmosphere. There’s a piano for some tunes and inebriated singing and dancing. Not really sure this is the best option for a date, but it is the best late night option. Watch out for Friday or Saturday nights after midnight as it gets extremely busy and you’ll struggle just to find a seat.
The Castle Bar on the Uxbridge road is a good option for smokers. The outdoor heated area is as close to indoor as you can probably legally get! It’s a well-spaced area too, so you can grab a seat a little further away to feel comfortable talking openly and not have much bother from others.
Authentic Indian curry in Southall
Going for a curry in Southall is something else. Unless blessed with an Indian heritage, most of us have never tasted authentic Indian food like they eat in the subcontinent. So, forget ordering a chicken tikka masala at your traditional bring your own booze on brick lane and start pointing at random things on the menu in a vegetarian South Indian restaurant in Southall!
Upstairs at Marks and Spencer’s
As far as views over Ealing go this is arguably one of the best. If you go take all the elevators up to the top of Marks and Spencer’s on the Uxbridge Road in the centre of Ealing then you may be lucky enough to find a table by the window. Interesting views are not guaranteed, but some cheap coffee a microwave heated quiche are!
Apparently the largest amateur theatre in London the UK. They have regular shows with enthusiastic local actors. It can be hit and miss, but you have the bonus of staying away from the overly commercial West End and perhaps recognising some faces from about town! Read about their up and coming events (external link).
Flava’s bar and grill close to Walpole Park and Pitzhanger Manor is the place to go for Shisha. You can supplement with reasonably priced food and alcoholic drinks too. On a weekend night this turns into a bar/nightclub, so if you want a quiet date then you should plan for a weekday here.
Down the Uxbridge road near ‘The Gym’ and those fancy new high rise apartments you can find some of the best Iranian restaurants in London. Best stop reading this and start practicing your Farsi!