Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or picking out somewhere to head for a first date, Ronnie Scott’s is a good bet.
This isn’t, as you’d be forgiven for expecting, because it’s a world-renowned jazz club.
Nor is it because it offers dinner, drinks and entertainment all in one place (removing the need to source 3 different venues).
And nor is it for its proximity to several other Soho gems, including Karaoke Box and Little Italy (should the need for an “after-party” arise).
Ronnie Scott’s is the place for lovers (and “hopefully lovers”) mainly because of its no talking rule.
When the music’s playing, there’s nothing to do but listen to it and gaze lovingly at your companion over the soft glow of your candlelit table. Which means, for first dates, no awkward small talk and, for couples, no secondhand conversation or – perhaps more likely – arguments.
It’s the perfect date.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, Ronnie Scott’s is something of a rare, authentic slice of old Soho, dotted with low-lit cabaret tables, velvety booths and jazz legends adorning the ruby red walls. The intimate stage here plays host to at least two shows a night, every night – and has been graced by some of the genre’s greats, as well as up-and-coming artists.
Back to that dinner – the food here is no afterthought. While the suave strains of the sax caress your eardrums, your tastebuds will be equally well looked-after with the likes of Scottish lobster; Gressingham duck breast (with a duck leg ‘bonbon’); saffron risotto with truffle, squash and parmesan; and – if you’re feeling plush – caviar.
Arrive in time for the late late show at 11pm (1am Friday and Saturday), and you can still score small plates, like guinea fowl and smoked pancetta croquettes; salted padrón peppers and jamón Ibérico. You’ll need the sustenance if you’re planning to hit the dancefloor upstairs – open from 6pm-3am most nights – where live musicians blast out everything from Latin and flamenco to funk and soul.
And of course, like all the best plans, it’ll feel completely spontaneous.
Mainly because you can’t talk about it.
Credit: The Nudge
Here are some recommended venues within walking distance of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club