Unfortunately, whilst Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and the other big-name apps can get you a date, it’s then up to you to figure the rest of it out.
Where do you find good places to go that don’t cost too much? How can you be sure you won’t spend ages queuing for a table? How do you follow up a good first date and hopefully get a second one?
That’s where these apps come in.
Here are ten apps that weren’t created for dating, but which will make your dating life a lot easier.
Tired of standing around when the restaurant doesn’t have a table? Download WalkUp and go have a coffee, browse the shops or do whatever you want instead of queuing.
Look for the WalkUp sticker in a restaurant window and give your mobile number to the server. You’ll be placed in a digital queue for the next free table and the restaurant will text you when it’s ready. Perfect.
2. Tube Exits
How many times have you taken the wrong exit out of a London station and ended up wandering around in the opposite direction to where you needed to be (possibly leaving your date stranded at the other exit)?
With Tube Exits, you can quickly check the correct exit to take to end up on the right street.
So simple, but so useful!
3. Best Coffee
If you’re sick of Starbucks, download Best Coffee. This app has useful information about thousands of cafes in London and is updated with info about the latest new spots every single week.
You can filter by preferences (such as non-dairy, baby changing facilities, pet-friendly, outdoor seating and more) and see detailed reviews and product information at a glance.
The free version allows you to search for cafes in your region, whilst the paid version (which costs £2.99 for one year – about the price of a cup of coffee) gives you full access to all reviews, as well as exclusive promotions and auto-updates about new cafes opening up.
Price: FREE for basic search, £2.99 per year for premium
Easily swipe through London’s top bar recommendations with Dusk – an app featured in Time Out, Business Insider and more (and with a near perfect app store score from users).
You can see which places are open, where the nearest tube station is and how long it’ll take to get to the bar – plus the ‘meet here’ function makes it easy to plan your dates with the touch of a button.
The selection of bars featured is fairly small – but you can get free drinks at different bars every day of the week, which surely makes it worth a download.
Catching one of London’s big name theatre productions can be pretty pricey. Luckily, London has a vibrant independent theatre scene with some amazing performances, if you know where to look.
Stagedoor is London’s most comprehensive guide to theatre, with thousands of audience and critic reviews. You’ll get personalised recommendations and special discounts on ticket prices – all for free.
6. Familonet / Family Locator
Familonet / Family Locator is a simple location sharing app with great reviews from users.
The app may be aimed at families, but it can also be a useful tool to let your friends and family track your location in real-time and see your ETAs, so that they know you’re safe when you’re out on dates. With the premium feature (£2.33 / month) you can also send alerts to your contacts when you need help.
If you’re already in a relationship, you could also use it to locate each other when you’re making your way separately to your favourite date spots.
Lastly, you can chat within the app, so there’s no need to switch to another messaging app to send updates.
Price: FREE for basic tracking, £2.33 / month for premium
7. Safe And The City
Another common safety concern about dating is that it often requires you to navigate through the city at night.
Safe And The City is a London-based app which works like a regular map app, except with safety as the key factor. Others can report incidents for the benefit of other app users and you can receive alerts about specific routes where the police have reported crimes.
See where the nearest police stations, fire stations and hospitals are, as well as designated ‘safe sites’ (like friendly shops).
Raft is designed for couples and close friends to share a calendar, create events and keep track of each others’ schedules.
Import events directly from Facebook, Outlook and a handful of other platforms, coordinate details and arrange everything in a user-friendly and attractive layout.
A great app for busy couples in London to sync up their lives.
Want to follow up that date in a cute and memorable way? Huggg allows you to buy small gifts from local vendors – like a coffee, flowers, doughnuts or cinema tickets – and send a pickup code to anyone in your contacts (even if they don’t have the app). All they have to do is show the code when they pick it up.
10. The Pub Finder
The Pub Finder does just what it says on the tin: input your location and find hundreds of pubs in your area.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) NOTICE
If you’re planning to go out in London, please keep yourself and others as safe as possible by following social distancing rules, wearing a face mask / face covering, carrying hand sanitiser and/or washing hands frequently, and following any further safety procedures required by the venue or location you’re visiting.