If you’re single and ready to mingle, there’s no doubt London is a great place to live. But with 32 boroughs to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start the hunt. So we’ve compiled a handy guide to the hottest spots to set up in the city if you want to increase your chances of loving thy neighbour.
Fit factor: It’s hardly a news flash that the east is full of hot young things with their trendy haircuts and alternative attire. However, the 2011 census found that it is also the borough with the fewest people registered as living in a couple – just 37.7% to be precise. Game on.
Make a date: If the thought of heading east floats your boat, there are plenty of places to go for those of you looking for love – or just a good time. London Fields is one of Hackney’s most popular parks.
With a heated outdoor pool, barbecue area and a wildflower meadow scheduled to open in July, it’s the perfect place to while away a few hours in the summer – and have a perv on fellow sunbathing hotties.
Seeing as you’re in London’s hipster hotspot, taking a date to your bog-standard restaurant or bar isn’t going to cut it – you’ll need to find the latest pop-up. Try Mussel Men at Brew For Two just off Mare Street for seafood, prosecco and a strawberry-smothered waffle to share (all sexy stuff, plus you can prove your physical prowess by challenging Mussel Men founder Captain Bob to a thumb war. It’s a thing).
Rent: In Hackney, love comes cheapish: average three-bed flatshare is around £650pm.
Southwark (London Bridge):
Fit factor: Brett Harding, managing director and co-founder of dating site Lovestruck, says: “London Bridge is currently the hottest spot for London’s singles.” This is based on the findings on Lovestruck’s Lovemap, which shows where single Londoners have ‘winked’ at each other from their smartphone app.
Make a date: Tom Backlog, manager of the London Bridge branch of the estate agents Hastings International, thinks the reason there is so much action in the area might be because many of its residents work long hours in the City.
Like a rolling-in-it man in a sharp suit or a high-flying woman who’s immaculately put together? This is the borough for you. It’s a top spot for a date, too. “From the Tate Modern museum and the Shard to one of the oldest inns in London, The George, and Borough Market, SE1 has it all,” Backlog says.
Rent: The area isn’t quite as attractive as the people working in it, so you can bag a deal – the average three-bed flatshare is around £583pm.
Fit factor: “The stereotype about Clapham being full of young Aussies and Kiwis is true,” says Richard Acosta, sales negotiator at estate agents Kinleigh Folkward & Hayward, “and I can see why they like it here. The area has good transport links and great nightlife.”
The borough of Lambeth, which also includes the areas around Brixton, boasts a massive 61.7 per cent of residents registered as not living as part of a couple. Locals live up to this suggestion of footloose and fancy-free, being typically laid-back and up for a laugh in Clapham’s cheap and cheerful bars and pubs.
Make a date: There are plenty of places to go if you’re on the pull, starting with the beloved meat market – and we use the term affectionately – Infernos. The Sun in Clapham’s Old Town is a favourite with locals and the sushi at Tsunami is sure to sweep your date away.
Rent: Save cash to splash on your heart’s desire – the average three-bed flatshare here is £599pm.
Fit factor: “Islington is one of the most popular areas to live in London,” says Chesterton Humberts estate agents associate Jonathan Rogers. “I imagine it’s a great place to be single; it’s full of young professionals and there are lots of great bars.”
With just 39.9% of residents living as a couple, it’s safe to say this is a wise move if you’re looking for love. The singletons may not sport as many rock ‘n’ roll creases as their eastern neighbours, but you’ll find like-minded souls up for a good time.
Make a date: The packed bars and eateries in Upper Street are a good start, or The Old Queen’s Head on Essex Road, a Grade II-listed pub with live indie music and cocktails. If you want a nice restaurant for a sophisticated date Frederick’s serves posh nosh and boasts a secluded garden to get romantic in.
Rent: Relationships are an investment – the average three-bed share is £715pm.
Image credit: Getty
Management Consultant, 25
“Head south of the river to Vauxhall and Brixton if you’re attracted to a toned torso.”
Production Manager, 24
“With all the rowing clubs and great pubs, Chiswick is the perfect place to find men in the summer.
Account Manager, 31
“St James’s Park is full of beautiful people in the summer and it’s a lovely place for a picnic date.”
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Photos: TNT; Getty