1 | London in the Sky (above)
If ever there was such a thing as a wow-factor, London in the Sky must epitomize it; from 12th – 21st September, you can dine in an open-air glass restaurant suspended 100 feet up in the air. Gastronomy in the style of David Blaine? Top marks for originality.
To level with you, this isn’t exactly a cheap date; though there are breakfast and lunch options, dinner tots up to £250 per person. However, some of London’s finest chefs are providing the food, harping from restaurants including The Modern Pantry, Benares, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Alyn Williams at The Westbury. And you get a glass of champagne on arrival to settle any vertiginous jitters.
As you can imagine, tickets are selling out first but, if you fancy pushing the boat out, you’ve still got time. If it's a surprise, best check she doesn't suffer from vertigo first.
12th-21st September, www.eventsinthesky.co.uk
2 | Nothing Compares to Havana
A more manageable pop-up might be the Cuban revelry that you’ll find at Kettner’s this weekend, where tickets are from £18 a pop. The restaurant (a dependable dinner option to keep in mind anyway) has teamed up with Havana Club rum, to put on a lively party up in the private apartments each evening.
You’ll be treated to rum-tastings and Cuban food pairings, with cocktails, music, videos and all sorts to take you through the history of Havana Club, and how it’s made. There is no hearsay on whether dancing’s involved, but who can resist a good Mojito? Just make sure you both like rum before you dredge out that old panama hat.
10th-13th September, tickets available here: billetto.co.uk
3 | Radio Rooftop, at ME London
Given the weather forecast is good, al fresco occasions are to be savoured (and always go down incredibly well). The Radio Rooftop Bar at ME London, on The Strand, is a slick yet not-too-pricey bar that sits nicely in the middle of all the London landmarks.
It has a particularly moreish tapas menu on the go that includes seared tuna with black olive tapenade, and dates wrapped in pancetta and filled with the cheese. Reservations all require a minimum spend, so this is really more of a rock-up kind of affair (no forward planning required), and since weekends can get busy, this is an ideal weekday perk.
ME London, 336-337 Strand, London, WC2R 1HA, www.melia.com
4 | Basement Sate
This subterranean Soho site used to house a bar called The Player, which everyone raved about. Well that’s gone (sorry) and, at the beginning of September, Basement Sate opened. A cocktail bar that specializes in desserts, it serves as an imaginative after-dinner option, if not pure novelty value.
But that’s not to say it’s trite; the pastry chef used to work for Gordon Ramsay and the cocktail list is tastefully kept down to a mere 12 options. Many of these are based on classic recipes, though they do throw in the odd curve ball, like seaweed, because well, you know. To combat the sugary theme, the dimly lit surroundings are formed of brick walls, green leather seats and copper table-tops, making it quite the underground drinking den.
8 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 8HN, www.basementsate.com