Couple dating

5 ideal first date bars with restaurants in walking distance

First dates are never the easiest thing in the world and choosing the right place to go can be all important when you are trying to get to know someone. Whether it is that person you have been chasing for a while who has agreed to go on a date or a Tinder match that you want to impress, picking the right place matters. The last thing you need is loud chart music, disco lights and dance floors when you are looking to have an intimate conversation; fortunately we have compiled a list of five impressive first date bars and pubs that strategically have great places to eat in walking distance as well, should the mood take you.

Drinks at: Haycock & Tailbar

Haycock & Tailbar

Northampton’s very own speakeasy styled cocktail and dining room is a first date haven, with the dark, sophisticated setting and low background music all helping to set a romantic mood. Haycock & Tailbar’s secret entrance will immediately make an impression and provide conversation fodder whilst sipping a few classic cocktails will help settle any nerves.

Eat at: Marmaris

Marmaris Turkish BBQ

Being in the heart of the cultural quarter, there is no end of places to eat – including Haycock & Tailbar themselves. However if you’re looking for a change of scenery, we suggest taking a stroll up the road from the cocktail room to Marmaris. The small Turkish restaurant can be found on St Giles Street on the corner of Fish street and is truly a hidden gem. Its homely, informal décor is full of character and the freshly cooked, mouth-watering BBQ is some of the best you will find in the town.

Walking time: 3 minutes

Drinks at: Corkers Champagne & Cocktail Lounge

Corkers Northampton

Found at the top of the Wellingborough Road, Corkers is arguably one of Northampton’s classiest bars – it even has a piano which is played on special nights to really help create an air of sophistication. Its suave interior is ideal for a first date and the bar has a great selection of both cocktails and champagnes for you both to sip away on. Let the laid back music and bubbles help set the mood whilst you work your charm.

Eat at: Thai Emerald

Thai Emerald Northampton

Mem-Saab is a fine Indian restaurant connected to Corkers but we would instead suggest taking a short walk down the Wellingborough Road and paying the Thai Emerald a visit. They offer one of the most authentic experiences to be found in the town, with a beautiful interior that includes hand-carved furniture, water features, tropical plants and of course delicious Thai dishes. Grab a couple of plates to share and finish the night on a high.

Walking time: 5 minutes

Drinks at: Bar Hygge


The dark, elegant new craft beer bar is part of the Royal & Derngate and offers an extensive range of craft beers from all over the world. Filled with cosy, candle lit tables for two, Bar Hygge seems like it was made for first dates. With over 20 craft beers on the menu, you can have fun experimenting and tasting various tipples together whilst the table service means you spend less time at the bar and more time with your date.

Eat at: Haycock & Tailbar

Contest winners

Yes, Haycock & Tailbar have made a second appearance on the list. All the reasons we stated above regarding the interior and the cocktails still stand, however, the bar truly shines as a first date food location. Open and serving food till late, the cocktail and dining room offers a large range of exotic meats to try. We suggest sharing something unique like an Ostrich, Kangaroo or Alligator steak with your date to help ensure you won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Cooking on the hot rocks also lets you find out that all important information of how they have their meat – and allows you to make a hasty escape if they cook it well-done.

Walking time: 3 minutes

Drinks at: The Garibaldi Hotel

The Garibaldi Main room

Looking for something a little bit more alternative to the dark and sultry bar scene? The Garibaldi Hotel may be exactly what you are looking for; especially if you have a date that appreciates that wonderful golden nectar of the Gods. Northampton’s original craft beer pub offers a fun, informal setting to enjoy each other’s company and one of the most impressive ranges of beer on tap in Northampton. Grab a pint of something wonderful, play on some of the old skool arcade games and chat the night away in their leather chairs.

Eat at: The Charles Bradlaugh

The Charles Bradlaugh Northampton Burger

Located a short walk up the road from the Garibaldi Hotel is the Charles Bradlaugh, one of the few venues in 2015 to achieve the coveted five star burger status. The pub’s kitchen does some of the best burgers and ribs in Northampton – although we would recommend forgoing the ribs when in first date territory. Think about splitting a banana split as well to end the evening on a sweet note.

Walking time: 2 minutes

Drinks at: Old House Pub and Kitchen

The Orangery at Old House Northampton

One of the most stylish pubs found on the Wellingborough Road, the Old House offers an impressive selection of beers, wines and cocktails. There are various nooks and crannies found throughout the bar where you can enjoy an intimate chat, especially in warmer months where the orangery is the ideal location to sip prosecco and make passing comments about the weather. Fridays and Saturdays are busy from the early evening onwards, so we suggest saving it as weekday destination for dates.

Eat at: Bread & Pullet

Bread & Pullet Restaurant Northampton Inside

A short distance away is the newly opened Bread & Pullet, serving up a range of tasty, English tapas. Tapas is pretty much the ideal first date cuisine, encouraging sharing and conversation. The proudly British dishes are delicious and the relaxed, informal setting means the only thing you need to worry about is if you have anything stuck in your teeth.

Walking time: 1 minute

Have any great first date locations gents should know of? Let us know in the comments below.