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Holly Loftus
13th November 2023

Romantic castles open late for twilight walks, cosy pubs with roaring fires and live music, or breaking the ice over trying a new skill. There's plenty of ways to do a date night, and when the cold winter comes crashing in, we want to make sure you know where to head for romantic outings that are worth leaving the house for! With ideas to keep the costs down but the romance alight, here's where to head for your winter date night in Kent...

Balfour Winery: Winemakers’ Kitchen

A menu beautifully crafted to pair with Balfour’s award-winning wines. This brand-new experience will bring delicious seasonal produce from local producers so you and your date can wine and dine overlooking the very vines which inspired the dishes. It’s the ultimate dining experience for that foodie couple who love a delicious treat every now and then.

Ashford Designer Outlet 

With over 100 brands on site and up to 60% off RRP, date night doesn't have to break the bank thanks to Ashford Designer Outlet. Shopping, dinner, drinks is a classic formula for the ideal relaxed date night (we're thinking First Date vibes!) so head to one of their staple food chains like Pizza Express, Yo Sushi! and Nandos for a relaxing way to unwind after nabbing those bargains.

Wine and dine (in the Wine Garden)

We couldn’t not brag about our place as the Wine Garden of England when giving you the low down on our best date night ideas, could we?! With all these marvellous beverages – including non alcoholic – sitting on our doorstep, wine and dine a loved one this year at one of our vineyards. Head to Gusbourne Vineyard for an intimate Wine Lunch date in their stunning glass house overlooking the vines, Chapel Down for a tour and tasting for two, or Balfour Winery for one of their special event nights - including The Winemakers' Dinner or brilliant Dining Club Music Specials. 

Love under lights

Magical, yes, Instagrammable, most definitely – the light trails in the Kent are one to add to your list for the magical Christmas season. Walking hand in hand with a loved one at night while millions of lights twinkle around you, and food stalls and hot chocolate nearby has to be up there with the ultimate date night outing! Choose from the magical surroundings of Bedgebury Pinetum or the grand splendour of Leeds Castle illuminated.

Romance at the Castle

Home to the backdrop of an extremely famous courtship, Hever Castle, as they play host to a magical Christmas Lights experience from 4pm, when you can wrap up warm and enjoy a walk under the stars to explore the grounds. Witness the enchantment of the Castle, gardens and lake festooned with fabulous colours and twinkling lights, capturing the spirit of Christmas. Inside the Castle you will be met with beautiful traditionally decorated rooms, welcoming log fires and twinkling Christmas trees to cosy up under... this date night is certainly fit for royalty. 

Getaway together

For the ultimate romantic getaway, Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve offers some luxurious and unique options across its stunning 600-acre parkland. A magical night under the stars awaits you in the reserve’s 180-degree, panoramic bubble pod. A secluded natural sanctuary for those seeking a night away in nature, The Bubble creates an immersive experience where guests can enjoy the sounds of the safari from the private balcony, watching the glittering constellations. Imagine spending the night sleeping with the lions! Well you can do just that at Port Lympne's most luxurious retreat, Lion Lodge. This amazing experience offers you the chance to immerse yourselves in the lives of Kamari and Hasani, two truly majestic African lions.

For the feeling of the getaway on a smaller scale, a romantic dinner at their brand-new Bear Lodge Restaurant in the surroundings of the bear habitats is a must. This makes for the perfect Friday night date night with their delicious Curry Nights to add a little spice to your romantic evening...

Tunes & Tipples in Thanet

Margate has to make the list for coolest date night spots, with music venues and bars to get the drinks flowing and sparks flying. Cocktail night is always a good idea for a date night, so we suggest checking out The Glass Jar for cocktails with a seafront view, then why not head to GB Pizza, because let's face it, you can't go wrong with a pizza. If you and your date are feeling something a little more lively, then make your way to Cinque Port for live music and DJ sets or for a little wining and dining, Sete makes for the perfect romantic evening.

Venturing over to Ramsgate? Another foodie spot for your next date night is Marc Pierre Kitchen. With a menu boasting with home-made, and local produce featuring fresh local fish, seafood and free-range award-winning meats, trust us when we say you’re in for a delicious treat here – there’s a reason they won silver in the Taste of Kent Awards 2023.

No.42 Guesthouse Margate

No.42 Guesthouse in Margate is sprinkling the festive magic amongst the couples this winter with their brand-new festive packages and winter/Sunday roast menus at their restaurant, Pearly Cow. Indulge in a delicious feast of mouth-watering dishes, overlooking the beautiful Kent coastline with your special date – it doesn’t get more romantic than that! Fancy a Boxing Day outing? A little festive afternoon tea? Pearly Cow have answered your prayers with their incredible Boxing Day Afternoon Tea!

Why not spend the night? This boutique hotel reflects the town’s character with dreamy views across the bay and 21 Victorian-style bedrooms some with balconies, making for the perfect romantic stay in this popular seaside town. 

Cook and Connect

Tired of that ‘who’s cooking?’ conversation? A perfect alternative to the usual date night at Kent Cookery School means you’ll both be rolling up your sleeves and cooking fresh authentic recipes from scratch. With demonstrations by the tutor, you’ll be connecting and laughing while cooking up a storm together – book their Couples Cooking classes while you can! Psst, there won't be any arguing about who's doing the washing up!

Canterbury Date Night is Calling

Fancy heading into the city for your next date night? We’ve got the perfect combo for the foodie couple. Try the brand-new Pan Asian Restaurant and Bar, Sekkoya (trust us this screams date vibes!) at Riverside before heading to the Curzon to catch the latest films. Or if you’ve had your food and you’re after a tipple, The Foundry is ideal for a casual drink of gin and beer and a chit chat. More of a wine drinking kind of couple? We’ve got you covered. Corkk offer amazing wine tasting sessions or just simply head there for a drink of your favourite wine, and it would be rude to not have some cheese to go with it! For something a little more active we suggest taking to One Pound Land for an escape room in the towers - a great way to break the ice on a first date and test the competitive side of your partner.

For those looking for a cosy night away, treat your other half to a romantic getaway at The Pig at Bridge Place and choose from one of their luxurious bedrooms or venture out of the city to arrive at The Cave Hotel – the place to go for luxury, good vibes, and delicious food.

Leeds Castle Luxury Lakeside Lodges

Arriving just in time for winter, Leeds Castle are introducing new Lakeside Lodges to the grounds, creating a peaceful experience for their guests, with views overlooking the Great Water. The lodges will be boasting with modern amenities, providing a comfortable and charming stay with picturesque surroundings. If this isn't the perfect idea for a date night, then we don’t know what is!

Winter Date with Chapel Down

Just because we couldn’t leave out the wine-loving couples. But combine that with an amazing educational experience with Chapel Down, and you have the ultimate date on the table! This 3.5-hour experience consists of a tour of the estate from ground to glass and you learn about wine production and traditional methods, followed by an in-depth wine tasting, combined with a small selection of cheese and charcuterie. Sold? Oh yes.

Virtual Recreation

Looking for something fun and a little different? Virtual Recreation in Ashford will bring you just that with their amazing virtual reality experiences. Okay, so this may not be the most romantic way to treat your partner, but you’re guaranteed to have a fun time fighting zombies and walking the plank. Double date? Then why not try out the Free Roam Arena where you can play in teams in a shooting game or beat a virtual escape room!

Get the Drinks Flowing in Maidstone

Looking for a date night in Maidstone? The Black Horse Inn, nestled in the North Downs is a cosy pub that offers quality food, drink, and accommodation. Their menu is crafted using ingredients sourced from local suppliers, creating delicious seasonal dishes to be enjoyed by their guests. This is definitely one for the couple looking for a chilled, relaxed evening, surrounded by a warm and friendly atmosphere. The Harrow at Stockbury is another relaxing Kentish pub, loved by the locals and surrounded by the stunning countryside. Their menu also boasts with local produce suggesting a great spot for a hearty Kentish meal.

You’re feeling more of a cocktail vibe? We’ve got you. The Herbalist in Maidstone is the place to go for a cocktail, with a wide selection from your classic Daquiri to Herbalist Originals like their Rocket Lolly and Velvet Martini. Get the cocktails flowing and nibble on some food from their menu, or go for a full-on meal, you won’t regret it!

Keepers Cottages

Date night or date retreat? Let’s make it extra special and have a romantic getaway with Keeper’s Cottages. If you’re out and about in Deal, there’s some amazing cottages awaiting your arrival. Rosewood Cottage and Rogue’s Cottage both have a bright and colourful interior, with a log burner to add a cosy feel throughout. Both Rogue and Ollerton - a stunning double fronted Georgian house – are pet-friendly, so your four-legged friend can come along too!

One for those exploring the beautiful coastal town of Whitstable. With so much to discover, we’re not surprised you’d like to hang around and stay longer! Peace Cottage and West Cliff are two beautiful properties both with a log burner, private garden, and a stone’s throw away from the beach. Bring your furry friend too and explore the town, or why not make it a couples retreat as Peace Cottage sleeps 6 guests and West Cliff can host 8!

Travel with Southeastern

Why not head to your winter date night by train and travel sustainably with Southeastern? You can now grab an e-ticket, for a more convenient digital alternative to paper tickets.