Date Ideas

Dating on a Budget

Having a tight budget can be a real obstacle to meeting that special someone when you’re on the dating scene. From setting up a date in the first place to finding affordable things to do with your partner when you do meet them, money can be a real issue to matchmaking.

Romantic Getaways in the UK

You don’t need to go jetsetting around the world to have a romantic weekend away with someone special. Online dating is renowned for being a great way to meet the perfect match, but once you move past the online flirting and first date then you’ll want to waste no time in getting closer with free dating in the UK. So to help take your relationship to the next level, why not plan a show-stopping idea for a romantic (/dirty) weekend away? Here are 5 top ideas around the country.


1. The Lake District

If it was good enough for the romantic poets then it’s good enough for our FreeAndSingle community. The Lake District is a beautiful place for a weekend away, with pretty cottages, cool camping spots and even glamping offering plenty of places to stay with that sizzling new partner. Long walks with a pub at the end are a great way to get to know one another if you’re the down-to-earth sort.


2. London

On the other hand, if bright lights and city sights get you more excited, then London really is an impressive destination for a weekend away. Stay in a swanky hotel and see a show on the West End… then continue the evening with cocktails at the Shard or a night on the town. Oh, and during the day you’ll be spoilt for choice with tourist attractions and cafes!


3. Norfolk Broads

For something a bit quirky, a weekend on a long boat in the Norfolk Broads is a really unique date idea with plenty to see and do. Explore the waterways of this stunning county and get cosy in your boat on an evening, as you spend some time alone on the waters getting to know one another. And you’re guaranteed to have a laugh trying to moor up and board the boat after a drink or two.


4. Cornwall

Make waves with your date by heading away for a weekend on the sunny coast of Cornwall. This gorgeous coastline is great for any thrill-seekers and sporty couples who love being out on the water, and when the sun sets you’ll find plenty of good pubs, bars and places to stay.

5. Stratford-Upon-Avon

Take a step back in time and relax in the beautiful market town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. The birthplace of Shakespeare has long been renowned as a hotspot for romantic getaways in the UK, and you can easily spend the weekend rowing on the river, dining in historic buildings and learning a little history along the way. Memorise some Shakespeare and impress them with your knowledge when you arrive!


After the initial excitement and mystery of flirting with someone online and setting up that big first date, online dating can often lead to sweet success stories. So if you’re starting to get serious with a man or woman who you’ve met in the FreeAndSingle community, why not think about whisking them away for the weekend to one of these romantic getaways in the UK?


Photo Credit: Katharine Hunter

We were sad to leave Australia after all the fun dates we found in Melbourne, however here at FreeAndSingle we’ve had a fantastic fortnight roaming the Yorkshire Dales in the UK. We’ve found everything from bistros to country pubs, and the winner has now been announced. In case you missed any of the restaurants along the way, let’s have a look over the Top 10 Yorkshire restaurants for dates restaurants.  Click on the links to read the reviews in full and comment below to tell us what you think!


10. Greenhead House, Sheffield

A charming old building on the outskirts of Sheffield, this family-run restaurant warmed our cockles with its traditional approach to good food and great service. A perfect example of how Yorkshire can get hospitality spot on.


9. The Anvil Inn, Scarborough

Offering a gastro twist on pub grub that makes it perfect for Yorkshire dates, this old blacksmith shop has come a long way from its meagre beginnings. The perfect end to a day at the beach, stay in the B&B for a wonderfully romantic weekend away.


8. The Orchid, Harrogate

Modern Asian cuisine in an intimate setting makes The Orchid a perfect setting for a romantic evening in Harrogate. Renowned for being one of the best places to eat in this spa town, be sure to book in advance for a special occasion.


7. Oxo’s on the Mount

Just outside of York this five star hotel and restaurant is an exquisite place for a date in Yorkshire if you really want to treat that special someone.


6. Ditto, Whitby

Whisk yourselves to the seaside for a great day out in Yorkshire and top it off with a date at Ditto. Offering divine food at unbelievable value, there’s no wonder that this little restaurant is packed throughout the year.


Yorkshire Restaurants

Top 10 Yorkshire Date Restaurants


5. Salvo’s, Leeds

Italian food is full of passion, so Salvo’s is a safe bet for a date whether it’s your first meeting or an anniversary. Popular with visitors and locals alike, you’ll always get a good feed here and a great atmosphere.


4. The Angel Inn, Hetton

Take a road trip through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales to discover this gem of a restaurant. Choose to dine in the restaurant or the more informal bar area to shape your perfect date, whatever the occasion.


3. Kendall’s Bistro, Leeds

This quirky independent bistro in the heart of the city is a unique place for a date in Leeds. Serving delicious French cuisine in a relaxed and comforting setting, you’ll soon feel at home tucking into great food and drink.


2. The Box Tree, Ilkley

Although it might be a little expensive for a first date, who can argue with a Michelin star when it comes to fine dining? For a truly memorable Yorkshire date, this antique-laden restaurant is a top choice.


1. Bettys, Harrogate

An unusual but winning choice for a date in Yorkshire, Bettys Harrogate really shines through as a unique place to take someone special. Whether visiting for breakfast, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, it gets it right every time and that’s why we just had to award it with #1 in our countdown.

So that’s a wrap! What do you think of our Top 10, would you do it differently? If so, let us know and feel free to comment below.

Want to try out some of these restaurants but need to find a date first? FreeAndSingle is a 100% free dating website! Sign up today and get connected.



115 & 107 Otley Road



West Yorkshire



Good place to take a date:


Having opened its doors to Headingley close to 40 years ago, this family-run restaurant is well-established as a favourite spot for Yorkshire dates in Leeds.  Head out of the city centre to this thriving suburb and feel as though you’re amongst friends in Salvo’s. Perhaps a little too busy to be intimate, it’s nevertheless a fun spot for a meal on a Friday night if you love good Italian fare. The staff are happy to throw in a few personal touches for a special occasion if you let them know, such as birthday desserts or champagne on ice. As a result, it’s more than just your average pizzeria if you want to enjoy your favourite cuisine somewhere that does it with class.


Good place to meet for a first date:


You know next to nothing about them except that you want your first date in Yorkshire to go well. Then Salvo’s is a great bet. With classic Italian dishes done well, amicable staff to make things run smoothly, and a lively atmosphere to warm things up, this restaurant has all the ingredients of a recipe for success. Visit on an evening for a vibrant and vivacious date, or play it cool with a lunchtime booking if you want to suss them out without going all out. The family focus of the restaurant makes it stylish without being stuffy, and you won’t have to worry about finding something on the menu as Italian food is a winner every time.


Salvo's Leeds

Salvo’s Leeds


Average age:

Find a healthy mix of diners at Salvo’s whenever you time your visit. Families, couples and friends all intersperse to create a welcoming atmosphere that’s without pretence. There’s always a birthday or anniversary being celebrated in Salvo’s, but equally you won’t feel out of place turning up after work for an informal meal either.


Time of review:

If you’ve planned a last minute Yorkshire date don’t worry, Salvo’s keeps a few tables aside every night for walk-ins to maintain that casual feel to the place that makes it so popular. Open for lunch and dinner throughout the week, it welcomes you with open arms to its warm embrace of Italian food and drink.


Average cost of a meal and a drink:

Expect to pay around £10 for pasta or pizza, or a little more if you want something a bit more adventurous to satisfy your appetite. At £17.50 for 3 courses the early bird menu is great value, and to escape the string of chain restaurants from the city centre it’s certainly worth the price to avoid being predictable.


Type of cuisine:

Even the fussiest of foodies will find something to smile about on the menu at Salvo’s. Traditional pizzas and pastas sit happily alongside confit of duck and fillet of sea bream. Teamed with a fruity Italian wine you’ll experience a taste sensation that will hopefully match your conversation on a date to this restaurant.


Final word:

For the food, drink, service and atmosphere, there’s little to disagree on for a Leeds date in Salvo’s. It might not be the most adventurous option for a date in Yorkshire, but who’s to say that’s a bad thing? With decades of experience in doing Italian food right, you won’t go far wrong if you bring your lover girl or boy here for a feast.



26 Skinner Street


YO21 3AJ


Good place to take a date:


A trip to the seaside doesn’t have to translate to fish and chips, and if you want a more sophisticated way to round off your visit to Whitby, Ditto fits the bills. Recently under new management, this quaint little restaurant looks humble from the outside, but the locals know otherwise. Intimate and personal, Ditto easily creates a romantic atmosphere for a Yorkshire date if you can manage to get a table. Unhurried service with a smile helps to tailor a special occasion, that the succulent dishes only serve to enhance. A little gem in a Yorkshire coastal town that isn’t renowned for being refined, it’s a perfect way to add a little class to your day trip to Whitby.



Good place to meet for a first date:


There are few better ways to get to know someone than a day at the seaside. From walks on the beach to slots in the amusements, it’s a light-hearted way to spend a weekend for a Yorkshire date. So after you’ve worked up an appetite on the blustery pier, charm them with this enchanting little restaurant. Ditto presents impressive dishes in a setting that is totally unpretentious and personal. In fact, it feels more like home than a top-rated restaurant, and should make you feel at ease as you delve into conversation and hearty dishes. The only problem is that you might have to ask them on a date a few weeks before you want to visit, as this small but incredibly popular restaurant tends to be fully booked around the clock! Perhaps a booking to gamble on in the hope that a second date comes onto the cards…


Ditto, Whitby

Ditto, Whitby


Average age:

Romance is the dish of the day at Ditto, so whether you’re a pair of young lovers or have a love that’s lasted through the ages, it’s a top choice for Whitby dates. Dress up if you like but don’t feel embarrassed to come in from the cold after a long day exploring the Yorkshire coastline, for the cherry on the top of your date.


Time of review:

Not only because of the size of the restaurant, you’re unlikely to get a table for two on a whim at Ditto. Open Tuesday to Saturday on evenings only, it has a loyal customer base that intertwines with the visitors coming to the area to keep the atmosphere fresh and welcoming. Book a table early evening as a perfect way to round off your Whitby visit before heading home… or back to the hotel.


Average cost of a meal and a drink:

At three courses for £30 you really can’t argue with the prices at Ditto. You might even be able to stretch to a pot of Yorkshire tea for a few pounds extra. Ditto serves quality dishes at a fraction of the prices that you’d find in London and even places such as York, Leeds and Harrogate, making it an affordable option for Yorkshire dates for big occasions and tenuous first dates.


Type of cuisine:

Ditto is true to its roots and indulges in a fair representation of fish dishes on the menu, but without placing the focus exclusively on seafood. Tarte tatin, braised pork belly and cheese soufflé are just some of the other delightful dishes available at Ditto. And make sure you leave room for dessert, and show your sweet side with some of the indulgent treats to finish your meal.


Final word:

Find a perfect excuse to spend the whole day with your date by a visit to Whitby topped with a meal at Ditto. Beautiful food in an unimposing setting, you’ll feel right at home as you tuck into great food and even better conversation in this intimate restaurant. And you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when the bill comes too!

The Box Tree


35-37 Box Street

LS29 9DR


Good place to take a date:


You don’t have to go to the cities to find Michelin star dining. The Box Tree is a lavishly appealing place for a Yorkshire date if you want an experience to treasure. Ilkley is a bit of a haven for antique and gift shops, so it only seems fitting that its star attraction is garnished with oldy-worldy furniture and artwork that make it so atmospheric. Enjoy faultless silver service as you dine like a star with that special spark in your life in comfy chairs in the charming restaurant. You won’t be able to resist taking a few snaps of the food to remember the occasion, and you’ll hopefully clinch the deal with your date too!


Good place to meet for a first date:


If money is no object or you really need to pull out all of the stops for a show-stopping first date in Yorkshire, The Box Tree is the winning ticket. Michelin star quality with effortless ease, you won’t feel uncomfortable as you’re waited on hand and foot by the amicable staff. Find plenty of cause for conversation as you admire the antiques, the presentation of the food… and perhaps even each other. You’ll want a second date together just to marvel at the magnificence of the first!


The Box Tree

The Box Tree


Average age:

Budget is more of a determining factor than age for Yorkshire dates at The Box Tree, and if you want to make the most of the Michelin star experience then you don’t want to be scraping the barrel of a tight budget. This is definitely a spot for wearing your Sunday best, so make a real effort to sparkle as bright as the cutlery on a visit to this fancy restaurant.


Time of review:

Open from Tuesday to Saturday for dinner and Friday to Sunday for lunch, The Box Tree is an incredibly romantic restaurant for an evening meal but can also be a highlight of the weekend if you want a sublime lunch date. Book ahead, because you’ll look like a royal fool if you walk in to a Michelin star restaurant without a reservation…


Average cost of a meal and a drink:

For the real Michelin experience, sample the Menu Gourmand that, with wine, costs just over £100 per head. A hefty price, but an unforgettable culinary treat if you can afford to shell out for something sensational. However if you want to see what fine dining is all about without breaking the bank, the 3 course daily menu is much more reasonable at £30 for lunch, £40 for dinner.


Type of cuisine:

Any restaurant that pairs its menu with a sommelier’s choice surely knows what they’re talking about. Advanced creations such as celeriac and truffle foam show that The Box Tree is cutting edge in the kitchen. However the overall feel of the menu isn’t showy, and irresistible options such as loin of lamb and strawberries with champagne bring the restaurant back down to earth for the average diner.


Final word:

Showing the world just what Yorkshire is capable of, The Box Tree makes a stunning spot for an Ilkley date. Be sure to wait until pay day, but when you visit you won’t be disappointed.