Gin & Jazz, Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane
Oh this is a real gem, a hidden treasure in the crown of the frantic search for a novel yet fun-yet-romantic-but-not-too-much, date. Any evening in a luxury Park Lane hotel is going to be a little special, yet the fancy free element of a night of live jazz music fuelled with gin cocktails is almost fool proof – no pressure. With a pre-set schedule with roughly monthly shows, you’ll be able to book in ahead of time and wow your date with your forethought and imagination.
Hotel bars are ace at snacks – you’ll find olives, crisps and nuts on your table – a little touch, yet it makes all the difference. The main game however is the cocktails (served by glamorous waitresses who glide about in dresses and perfect lipstick) – it’s testament to the fact that you’re in a five star hotel that the ‘Poor Man’s Punch’ is served with Hendricks gin. Those who like clean fresh tastes will love the Prudence made with Sipsmith Gin, basil and citrus – or perhaps mix things up with the Black ‘Berry’ Market which provocatively mixes Whitley Neil with Sipsmith Sloe Gin. Eeeek.
Once you are sure that they’re worthy of this special night, arrange a quick, early dinner somewhere close by to line your stomachs. The shows don’t start until 9pm so get something inside you before you head over and take your seats. Bar snacks are available and the Tuna Tartare is a winner so you won’t go hungry however make sure you focus on several rounds of cocktails as the music whisks you both away. There’s usually a brief interval, an excellent time to make your move, then sit holding hands for the entire second half – old fashioned romance done well.
If you wanted to go gung ho on the conversation, the music is a bit of a distraction. But really?!