A comprehensive list of all the best places in Nottingham for a first date

Because it’s officially cuffing season…


That dreaded time of year is upon us. You know the one. The weather is getting colder, it’s wet, it’s dark. It’s only natural that we all want to find that special someone. Someone to have cozy nights in with watching a film, or someone to do all the cute festive activities that are happening this time of year.

However, the idea of dating is honestly quite terrifying and although first dates can be nerve-wracking to say the least, they are also meant to be fun. Try not to take them too seriously, and just focus on having a laugh – if nothing else, they’ll make good stories to tell your housemates.

Between fears of being catfished through Hinge or Tinder, and curating that perfect outfit that will definitely secure a second date, picking the perfect place to go on a first date can seem like an overwhelming task. Nottingham has so many amazing places which can act as the backdrop to a wholesome first date. Here are all the best places to take your date on a first date:

Wollaton Park

Starting off strong, the first place in this guide is the infamous Wollaton Park. Now, I know what you’re thinking, this is a such a cliche. Be that as it may, in reality it is a really cute way to spend a first date in a low pressure environment.  It is the perfect excuse to wrap up in your coziest outfit and take a stroll up to Wollaton Hall. If you are lucky enough to spot Wollaton’s famous deer, this will create a memorable experience that you and your date can look back on fondly.

Fox Cafe

Another suggestion for a low pressure first date if you aren’t interested in sitting down for a long meal, is a coffee date. These are perfect if you are after something short and sweet, and are ideal for making quick escapes in the worst-case scenarios.

Fox Cafe is located on Pelham Street, a couple of minutes walk from the Lace Market Tram stop. It is a small, incredibly cute cafe with a range of delicious lunch options if you want to spend longer if it’s all going well. With its warm atmosphere, this place is sure to put any first date nerves to rest, as you will both be too preoccupied with the woodland themed decor.

Pizza Pilgrims

If your  idea of a  perfect first date is to visit a cool restaurant with good food and good company, then this is the place for you. Pizza Pilgrims is located on Carlton Street, again near the Lace Market Tram stop. This place specializes in Neapolitan pizzas, and its extensive menu is sure to please any date that you bring there. The retro vibes, Pizza and cocktails? What more could you ask for?

Pitcher and Piano

Pitcher and Piano is a restaurant set in an old church. Dark and Romantic, this place is perfect for a more sophisticated first date that is sure to impress. If you are after something more casual, it is possible to just grab drinks. However, the food is far too tempting to resist. Go for the small plates if you are in the mood to share – three small plates.   This is the perfect way to show your romantic side, and seem classy at the same time.

Pepper Rocks

A personal favourite of mine, Pepper Rocks is a small cocktail bar in the center of Nottingham that is a unique and relaxed place for a first date. The bar has three floors of comfy sofas, so hopefully you don’t mind getting up close and personal with whoever you take there. Happy hour means you can get a cocktails for £6 up until 10pm every night which is great if you are on a budget but still want to go out somewhere fun.

Penny Lane

Penny Lane is a popular first date location for a reason. A cocktail bar that also doubles as an arcade, this place is a surefire way of avoiding the typical first date small talk of “What degree do you do?” or even worse “what is your favourite colour?”. The arcade games are guaranteed to bring out both you and your date’s competitive side and the tension between the two of you as you battle it out on the air hockey game or the basketball hoops will be palpable – and this only makes it ten times more fun. You can’t go wrong…unless they are a sore loser.

Glory Holes

Another great first date spot for those of you with a competitive side, Glory Holes is certain to be a laugh for many. Being adults only mini golf, you and your date will have to navigate a variety of x-rated holes that will be sure to distract you from how badly you might be losing.

After navigating the first date jitters and the saucy scenery, reward your hard work with a pint or unique cocktail served at the bar. If the date is going well, there is also a photo booth opportunity which is always a cute idea.

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

In true cuffing season fashion, take your first date to something festive. This time of year is perfect, as Nottingham is home to a cute Christmas market. There are plenty of food stands for both starters, mains, and desserts – including a marshmallow stand where you and your date can toast your own. How Romantic!

Grab a mulled wine or a Baileys hot chocolate before cuddling up on the Ferris wheel to take in the view of the city; or if heights aren’t your thing, there’s ice skating too. This is the perfect excuse to hold hands – so you “don’t fall”.

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