I run the website www.creativebusstop.com. It's a resource of all things London & Creative for Families, with stuff for Grown Up's too. Sign up today, you won't miss another bus (or post).
Published November 20th 2014
Please will you marry me, Pretty please?
1. Love Lane, EC2 : OK, I'll be honest with you, the history to the name of this street is a little, let's say, less than salubrious. There are rumours of all night parties (in the Middle Ages), sailors a plenty and sleepless nights. But, history is history, and if you happen to fall upon Love Lane with a sparkler in your pocket, you'd be crazy not to give it a go. You could then swing by St Pauls Cathedral, and whisper sweet nothings to each other about the best colours of napkins to have, which wedding favours are best, and how many of your in-laws really need to be invited to the big day.
2. Westminster Abbey, home to the Royal Wedding of Princess Diana & Charles, Prince William of Wales, and Catherine Middleton amongst many others, is a fine place to divert your date to and reveal those plans, on your way to feed the ducks in St James Park. When the choir boys have rejoiced in your news, you can impress with your knowledge that the Abbey is the resting place of Chaucer, Dickens, Hardy, Tennyson, Dr Johnson and Kipling as well as has memorials to the other greats (Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Brontė etc). You can also spot the graves of Handel and Sir Isaac Newton.
3. Speakers Corner, Hyde Park : Grab a cardboard box, yes really. Then jump on the tube to Marble Arch, (pretend you are helping your boss move house of course) and head to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. Stand on the box, make yourself known, and the rest is history, as they say.
4. The View on The Shard : Check the weather, Check their footwear, and Check they are definitely not Acrophobic. Fly up to floors 68, 69 and 72, and you will then be at almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in the capital, it offers visitors unparalleled 360-degree views for up to 40 miles. Once you have booked your tickets you will be able to choose the time of your visit and can enter The View up to 30 minutes from the time printed on your ticket, that just about give you enough time to finish a bottle of champagne, and call your Nan to share the news.
5. London's Oldest Pubs : One of these genuine British pubs could be a fine place to celebrate your winnings. How about at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street, or if you fancy combining it whilst a Covent Garden busker sings 'Love Me Tender...' you could pop into The Lamb and Flag whilst you're there. Both of these pubs will gladly muster up some pork scratchings, and a bottle of their finest vintage champers to give you some fuel to help you both along.
6. Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh, hangs in The National Gallery, and is one of a series of 4 masterpieces (the others are placed around the globe). It is a work of art known as a symbol of happiness, and one that Van Gogh was most proud of. It was painted during a rare period of happiness and anticipation, as Van Gogh was preparing for the arrival of his hero, the avant-garde painter Paul Gauguin, who was visiting him in the South of France. Why not grab yourself a sketch pad, and sketch your own proposal to your lover whilst you are there, whatever you do though don't fall into the same trap as Vincent whilst dealing with the wedding plans, and cut your ear off to distract yourself from the fun of it all.
7. Hampton Court Maze, you could take your date over to Hampton Court just up the Thames in East Moseley, and be situated in one of our most historic wife loving venues. It was the seat of Henry VIII of England during Tudor times. He is our most famous King, who only had 6 wives as he was a firm believer in the mantra 'if you don't ask you don't get'. Why not take your loved one for a walk around the beautiful gardens, The Chapel Royal, The Great Hall, and end up in the Maze. You have to enter separately and when you are reunited (take a Kendal's mint cake if your smart) it would be timely to ask the question. Not what time the last train leaves East Moseley of course... the other one.
8. Inner Temple Gardens, Temple. Inner Temple is one of the four Inns of Court around the Royal Courts of Justice. They may call members to the Bar and allow them to practice as barristers. I kid you not, the list of credits for members includes Bram Stoker, Chaucer, John Maynard Keynes, Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and English Nobleman, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. The beautiful gardens, immersed in floral, botanical and political history, are a haven in the middle of London's city. Make a note they have restricted open hours, usually between 12-2.30pm on weekdays. So if you like to hang around the rich and famous, fancy taking a selfie in the gardens that Bram Stoker mustered up the characters for his novel Dracula, and want to make the most important decision in your life (within ear shot of some of the most influential lawyers in the UK), then this is your place.
9. Ronnie Scotts, Frith Street, Soho. One of the oldest live music jazz clubs in the world, Ronnie's, is an institution. Open until 3am every morning (apart from Sundays), it simply is a very romantic and wonderful place to pop any question, although to be fair the live music can be quite loud, so you might want to text each other. I can't get enough of this place, and any person that arranged a date here, would be a special person as far as I was concerned.
10. Curzon Cinema, Mayfair & Soho. A grade II listed building with a penchant for art house film since its opening in 1934. There is no better date than going to the movies, and whilst I wouldn't advise asking anybody if they wanted to spend the rest of their lives in your arms, before a screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, after a movie, some popcorn and a cheeky glass of red you will stand a good chance of finding your way into most girls or boys hearts. You could sneak off for a pint and a packet of crisps at The Running Footman pub if you are in Mayfair, or The French House if you're in Soho, and if you're very proud of yourself after the evenings events, you could finish of with a panini and flat white in Bar Italia in Soho, a night most dreams are made of (or is that just me then?).