5 Great First Date Venues In Birmingham

Birmingham has a population of over 1.2 million people and it is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the UK! Which is great news is you’re looking for love in the city. In fact, in 2017 Birmingham was voted the best place to find ‘the one’ in the UK.

As part of this study, it was deemed one of the greatest places to be a single person, because Brummies are the least likely people to lie about themselves when trying to find a partner. Something which is refreshing in this competitive dating world where everyone feels the need to lie about themselves to feel good in this post-Tinder swiping culture.

And not only is Birmingham the place to find love, but it also offers an incredible range of venues where you can get to know one another. With everything from Michelin-star restaurants to Victorian gin parlours, you’re sure to find the perfect place for your date night. To help get you inspired, here are five of our favourite first date venues in Birmingham for you to consider.

1. Laurent Perrier Champagne bar at The Cube

Dating in Birmingham gives you plenty of choice for classy venues, but if it’s complete sophistication and beautiful views over Birmingham that you’re looking for, look no further than Laurent Perrier Champagne Bar. Here, you’ll spend your night along side Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in Birmingham’s iconic landmark, The Cube. 

2. Purnell’s 

Another great first date venue in Birmingham is the Michelin-starred Purnell’s Restaurant, headed up by Michelin-star chef, Glynn Purnell. This glamorous restaurant is right in the centre of Birmingham and you can enjoy an evening of fine dining, innovative cooking and gourmet adventures. Later, why not leave the dining area and head over to the bar for some after-dinner cocktails. 

3. The Orange Tree  

If a rustic country pub is more your style, the award-winning Orange Tree in Solihull offers an exquisite menu including steaks, salads and seafood. The charming and relaxed atmosphere could be the perfect location for a more casual (but equally delicious) dining experience.

4. Lasan Indian Restaurant and Cocktail bar

Lasan has an incredible vibe that’s difficult to resist. Here you can soak up the fun and playful atmosphere as you enjoy delicious Indian food, alongside a cold beer or cocktail. Often referred to as one of the best Indian restaurants in the whole of the UK, this could be the perfect place to begin your love story – especially if you’ve both got a penchant for Indian cuisine.

5. The Bracebridge

Birmingham is a busy city and sometimes it can be nicer to escape the hustle and bustle, especially when you’re trying to get to know someone. Set in the beautiful Sutton Park, The Bracebridge is a relaxed restaurant on the edge of the beautiful Bracebridge Pool. If you’re planning a date on a sunny afternoon, this could be the perfect first date venue in Birmingham for you.

If you’re dating in Birmingham but you’re struggling to find the time to make a real connection with anyone, why not let us help! As a dating agency in Birmingham, we are here to do the hard work for you. We will get to know you and what you’re looking for in a partner, so we can match you with like-minded individuals. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help.


Ready to take the leap? Why you should make 29th February the day you sign up to find love

Have you heard of Bachelor’s Day? This old Irish tradition states that every four years on the 29th February, the 366th day of the year, it’s time we turn the traditional proposal on its head as women are encouraged get down on one knee and pop the question. Yep, that’s right, Bachelor’s Day is a chance for the ladies to propose to their partner and as this year is a leap year, there could be lots of men out there about to have the most romantic night of their lives. 

But if you’re not in a relationship right now (or if you could use a little luck of the Irish) why not make this Bachelor’s Day the day you choose to sign up for love instead. You never know, by 2024 you might be planning your big proposal! But if you’re still not sure you’re ready to take the leap, here’s just three reasons why you should. 

1. Love can wait… but why should it? 

There is no better time like the present to take the leap and sign up for love. You never know, this time next year could be congratulating yourself on one of the best decisions you ever made. So don’t keep putting it off or praying that you’re going to find love at the end of the rainbow, go for it this Bachelor’s Day and start being proactive about your dating life. 

2. It’s time to choose meaningful connections

Don’t be just another name on a dating app. By signing up with dating agencies like Ignite, you can meet people you will have a genuine connection with. Thanks to our expert team of matchmakers you could be matched with like-minded individuals, people who share your interests and ambitions. 

3. Find a service that suits you 

Thanks to the plethora of dating shows and apps out there, the dating world is increasingly becoming a form of entertainment rather than a genuine way to meet a potential partner. The good news is, not every channel is as saturated as Tinder or ‘Take Me Out’ and by choosing the right service you’ll hugely increase your chances of finding the right person for you. 

But even better than that, you’ll actually enjoy the experience of doing so, not swiping through hundreds of profiles a night or trying to cram a 15 minute coffee date with someone you met on the tube, into your busy schedule. Looking for love can be fun if you let it, you just need to find the service that best suits your lifestyle. 

So why not get a head start on next Bachelor’s Day and sign up for love this February 29th – after all, they only come along once every four years! So make it a special day. Make it the day you said yes to love.

At Ignite Dating, we pride ourselves on the support we offer to our clients from the moment you sign up to our services and throughout your dating journey, so you can feel totally supported every step of the way. If you’d like to know more about how we can help this Bachelor’s Day, get in touch today.


15 Ideas For Memorable First Dates

When it comes to first date ideas, the easiest option is usually to arrange to meet at your favourite pub or bar, and enjoy a bit of liquid courage while you get to know one another. Problem is, these dates are a dime a dozen (you’ve probably been on a few yourself) and if you really want to impress your date and get to know more about them, it’s a better idea to think outside the box.

The good news is, if you’ve been working with a dating agency or you’ve been messaging your date a lot beforehand, you’ll probably already have a pretty good idea of what they do and don’t like. After all, if the two of you have been matched together you’re probably interested in similar things. So using what you already know about them to your advantage, you can plan a first date that they’ll never forget.

But if you’re feeling stuck for ideas, don’t text them directions to your local Pizza Express just yet! We’ve put together a list of 15 fun and memorable first date ideas that are sure to bag you a second meeting.

1. Hit it off at Junkyard Golf

You’ve probably enjoyed a round of crazy golf in the past, but now you can take your golfing skills to a whole new level with Junkyard Golf. With multiple locations around the UK including in London, Manchester and Leeds, the courses are made up of junk (as the name suggests) like cars, bathtubs and old fairground equipment. And if you’re still not sold on the idea, you can enjoy a selection of beers or cocktails as you make your way around the course – this may, or may not, improve your game!

2. Get lost at an art gallery

If you’ve got a good eye for art and you love nothing more than wandering galleries in your spare time, then turn this into the perfect first date opportunity. Just be sure that your date has similar tastes and appreciates fine art just as much as you, otherwise you might find they quickly become disinterested!!

3. Cook up a storm together

Think Matt Damon and Minnie Driver swapping Pickles in Good Will Hunting, Julia Roberts being fed strawberries and champagne in Pretty Woman and of course, the unforgettable spaghetti scene from Lady and The Tramp. It’s true, food really is the way to our hearts. So what better way to spend a first date than creating something delicious together at one of the many cookery schools across the country. Plus, you can use this opportunity to get to know more about their favourite foods and whether they’re a dab hand in the kitchen… or not as the case may be.

4. Fall for each other at abseiling

An ideal date for thrill-seekers and something very different from your usual dinner and drinks, why not arrange to go abseiling on your first date? Whether you choose an inside venue or you want to take it one step further and abseil cliff faces or waterfalls, there are plenty of locations around the UK to choose from. So you’ll be able to find the perfect place for you and your date.

5. Get cosy at the (outdoor) cinema

A drive-in movie has been a classic first date since back in the 50s. Admittedly it didn’t go so well for Danny Zuko in Grease, but done right this can make for a very cosy first date. Sit back in your deckchairs or take your own picnic blanket, snacks and a bottle of fizz to relax with as you watch the movie.

6. Keep calm and do some yoga

Is your date an enthusiastic yogi? If you’re both fond of practising yoga, then why not find your zen together on a relaxing first date. Sign yourselves up to a class and you can show off your tree pose while they impress you with their inner warrior.

7. Take them for a bike ride

If you and your upcoming date both love the great outdoors, then why not enjoy a bike ride together – Great British weather permitting of course. You could take a picnic with you, stop for lunch or grab a drink at your favourite pub along the way. This gives you plenty of opportunities to stop, refresh and get to know more about one another.

8. Find yourself a quirky brewery

Unique craft beers and flavoursome ales have become very popular recently, with quirky microbreweries seeming to pop up on every corner. But these breweries aren’t just for the bearded hipsters among us, the cosy atmosphere and variety of taps to try make for a great first date – if they’re into beer of course! Just be sure to check that with them first.

9. Get creative at a pottery class

If Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze haven’t already sold you on the romantic art of pottery, then why not try it for yourself? Whether you’re throwing some pots or just decorating some ceramics, this can be a really fun and memorable way to get to know someone. And you don’t really have to sit behind each other!

10. Play to win at the arcade

Who hasn’t spent a great evening at the arcade as a child, playing Pac Man or Space Invaders, challenging your friends to the Dance Mat or playing endless games of air hockey? Apart from being a memorable first date, this can also be a great way to have fun, leave the stress of adult life behind and spend the night recapturing your youth.

11. Sing it loud at a karaoke bar

Karaoke dates can go one of two ways, because much like Marmite, you’re either a Karaoke lover or hater – so choose this date with caution. But if you’ve been working closely with your dating agency or you’ve conversed a lot with your future date, you may already know enough about them to know that they’d love a night on the mic.

Just make sure you warm up your vocal cords and practise your favourite song to ensure you make a good impression. Either that or make sure your rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Wonderwall or the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’ is so energetic that they’ll be able to look past those bum notes.

12. Get them hooked at the aquarium

Fish. Not always the first thing you think of when you’re planning a romantic date, but the aquarium can make for a surprisingly charming evening. You can take a slow stroll around looking at some of the most weird and wonderful creatures the ocean has to offer and this can be the perfect location if you know your date loves animals.

13. Stroll along the beach

If you live near the coast, or you’re within driving/travelling distance, a romantic walk along the beach can be the perfect way to set the mood. And after, why not follow it up with one of Britain’s best loved traditions and grab yourself some fish and chips, or perhaps stop at a nearby pub for some delicious pub grub.

14. Dance the night away

Always been a little bit jealous of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey? Well, the undeniable romance and chemistry that comes from dancing together can be yours too. Start your love story with a salsa lesson or try your hand at the Tango. But just be sure that your date loves to move as much as you do, because dancing can be a bit full on otherwise. Memorable – yes – but not for everyone, so just be sure you know enough about them to know that this is something they’d enjoy.

Alternatively, you could arrange to go dancing in a less formal situation, perhaps have a few drinks before hitting a club for a night of dancing. Just make sure you’re both wearing the right shoes!

15. Choose a hilarious team name at your local pub quiz

Want to impress them with your general knowledge? Then why not arrange to go to the quiz night at your local pub. These can be a really fun way of getting to know each other while having a laugh and a few drinks. Just be sure you don’t get too competitive!

Thinking of quirky and memorable first date ideas is much easier when you know more about the person you’re meeting with. At Ignite Dating, we take our time to get to know you, so we can ensure we match you with like-minded individuals who share similar interests. If you’d like to know more about our services, get in touch today.


Dating in London is hard – here are 6 tips for dating in the capital

With a population of around 8.9 million people, you’d think finding love in London would be like shooting fish in a barrel, although much more romantic and with (hopefully) fewer fish involved.

But the truth is, dating in London is hard. The crowded, bustling city is the perfect metaphor for our busy lives. Lives that don’t leave a lot of spare time for hanging around romantic bars or flirting with strangers in coffee shops.

Not to mention if you smile at someone on the tube you’re more likely to be deemed a crazy person than a potential partner.

But this doesn’t mean you should give up hope! With so many eligible individuals in the capital, here are our top tips for finding love in London.

1. Use a dating agency

There are quite literally millions of people in London on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, and you certainly won’t struggle to find a single individual looking for love (or at least a hookup) nearby.

But if you actually find the time to sit and use these apps, you might also find this shallow approach to dating rarely ends in a meaningful connection.

Using dating agencies like Ignite, however, you’ll work closely with a dedicated matchmaker who will connect you with like-minded individuals with the same lifestyle and aspirations as you.

2. Choose the right first date venue

London is a big city and it’s home to thousands of award-winning restaurants, quirky pubs and unique experiences, which sounds like it should be ideal but can actually make choosing a first date venue even harder.

Firstly, Activity or dinner? Highbrow or low key? Then think about your location and theirs, and choose a venue that works for you both. Plus, you’ll want to take them somewhere memorable.

Armed with this knowledge you can choose a date night that you know they’re going to love.

3. Always make sure you’ve booked

If you’ve arranged to go out on a date, it’s probably a good idea to book a table or tickets to avoid disappointment. This is particularly true if you’re going out in the city on the weekend when restaurants and bars can become full to capacity.

4. Try to ditch crowded places

As we said, London is a busy city! So finding a quiet venue can feel like hard work. But do your best to choose a relaxed atmosphere and don’t arrange to meet your date somewhere too crowded or noisy. Shouting at each other from half an inch away isn’t the ideal way to get to know each other!

5. Avoid public transport if possible

Public transport is the perfect way to get across the city. Problem is, fighting for the tube or sitting on a crowded bus can really take the romance out of a date, so give yourself time to get there. Even better, try to choose venues within walking distance or treat your date to an Uber instead! This will make for a much more relaxed date, free from fumbling with your Oyster card or waiting on crowded train platforms.

6. Make the time for yourself and your date

Last but certainly not least, we understand that dating in London is hard, so you do need to make time for this aspect of your personal life. If you often find yourself working long hours late into the evening, make sure that you give yourself extra time on date nights to get ready and feel relaxed.

The likelihood is you’ll find someone who just like you, has to carve out time in a busy schedule, so be forgiving if you’re struggling to find a time that suits you both and be willing to be a little flexible.

If you’re looking for love in London, choosing a dating agency like Ignite Dating could be the key to finding happiness. Your dedicated matchmaker will work closely with you to help you find the perfect match.


Top 5 First Date Venues in Manchester

Are you looking for love in your city? Maybe you’ve signed up to the latest dating apps, you’re looking to join a dating agency in Manchester or you’re just about ready to hire a giant billboard in the city centre like (the very creative) Mark Rofe did. For many, finding love in this bustling city can feel like searching for that proverbial needle in a haystack.

Yet in 2018 it was revealed that Manchester had the highest concentration of single people in the UK, of which, 51% had been single for as long as 10 years. And unless cupid has been putting in some serious overtime since then, it’s fair to assume that this is still the case. So in theory, there’s plenty of eligible people looking for love in Manchester.

Perhaps, but we understand that finding the perfect match isn’t as simple as swiping right on your smartphone. So when you do have a date lined up, especially if it’s your first date, it’s natural that you want to make a great first impression.

The good news is, Manchester is the perfect place to get to know a new partner, from Salford Quays to Didsbury, it is full of classy restaurants and chic bars for every taste and mood. If you’ve got a first date coming up soon, these five restaurants should be top of your list for first date venues in Manchester (and if things go well, perhaps over time you’ll get to try them all!).

1. 20 Stories

20 Stories Restaurant is located on the 19th floor of the iconic No.1 Spinningfields. The glamorous restaurant and rooftop terrace make this the perfect place to gaze out over the twinkling Manchester skyline. Plus the delicious menu, featuring locally sourced ingredients, aims to showcase the best the Northwest has to offer.

2. Asha’s

Championing traditional Indian cuisine, Asha’s is another delicious Central Manchester venue for you to consider for your date. Founded by Bollywood legend, Asha Bhosle, with the glamour to match, you can guarantee this will be the best Indian dining experience you’ve ever had (outside of India, of course).

3. Yu

The best part about using a dating agency in Manchester to help you find your perfect match is that you can get to know more about your date before you meet with them. So if you know for a fact that they love Chinese food, then take them a little way out of town to Yu, Alderley Edge – they will not be disappointed! The perfect blend between traditional recipes and modern cooking, you and your date can enjoy an unforgettable fine dining experience.

4. Rosso

When it comes to choosing first date venues in Manchester, they don’t get much more opulent than Rosso. The Italian restaurant boasts that it is the city’s ‘most luxurious and sought after dining experience’. The unique style of the Grade-II listed building, as well as the long list of fine wines and Italian dishes steeped in tradition, are a sure-fire way to make a good impression on your date! 

5. Adam Reid at The French

Last but certainly not least, another great dinner destination for dating in Manchester is Adam Reid at The French. A delightfully traditional British menu of hearty comfort food, with a Northwest twist. The restaurant can be found at the Midland Hotel and the luxurious interiors marry perfectly with creative culinary talents of Adam Reid for a truly romantic date.

If you’re looking for a partner in Manchester, working with a dedicated matchmaker could be the key to finding love. At Ignite Dating, we take our time to get to know you, so we can handpick the perfect potential matches. Get in touch to find out more. 


Dating after divorce

If the last time you were active in the dating scene you were dancing to Mr. Loverman, sipping Archers & Lemonade whilst making eyes at the cute guy across the bar, then the bad news is that the dating scene has changed. With people working longer hours, and the advent of the internet, we no longer socialise the way we used to.

Divorce rates dropped substantially in 2018, but there were still over 90,000 couples making the decision to go it alone. After taking time to heal, focusing on the children and exhausting your friends ‘single friends’ list, how do you go about meeting the one, second time around?

Most people turn to online apps. Quick, easy and disposable, but is that what you want and
even then, is it for real? A cheeky ‘wink’ in your coffee break most of the time it’s great.

But online dating comes with risks. There were over 4,500 reports of romance fraud in 2018, accumulating losses of over £50,000,000, and those are worrying statistics when trying to keep safe. Common sense and gut instinct is key – if someone is reluctant to talk on the

After taking time to heal, focusing on the children and exhausting your friends ‘single friends’ list, how do you go about meeting the one, second time around?


telephone or meet, then they probably aren’t who they say they are.

If online dating isn’t for you, then offline agencies may well work, and more and more professional people are turning to use them.

A good agency will take time to get to know you and what you’re looking for, and as members are interviewed and ID hecked, you can be confident that matches are serious.

At the top end of offline service is head hunting a dedicated professional working with you to find the one. It costs more but is great for people who know what they are looking for and the rewards can be spectacular. You can be as prescriptive as you want; from height and build, to salary and education, or simply types and characteristics – head-hunters excel at using all sources to find your match.

Unfortunately, your first date probably won’t be your last and it is harder as you get older to find the one. Try to be open minded and if you really aren’t sure after the first date, then always have a second one. Whatever is the right forum for you, enjoy and embrace the exciting journey that you are on.

Credit: QueenBee magazine