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Ten Hot Spots for a First Date With A Vampire in London: a Guest post + INT giveaway from Tracey Sinclair!

Hi, I’m Cassandra Bick and I run Dark Dates, a dating agency with a difference. We specialise in matching the tall, dark and fangy with those who are willing to take their romance with a little more bite – but if you do snare yourself an immortal partner, where’s the ideal place for that first date? Here are my Top Ten suggestions…

1. Smithfield

The office of Dark Dates is based in the historic area of Smithfield, which has been the centre of the London meat trade for centuries, and is now home to the beautiful Smithfield Meat Market (or, to give it its proper name, London Central Markets) which is nearly 150 years old. While strolling through a meat market is probably not your idea of fun, you can walk through the middle of the structure (without having to look at any dead animals!), and then have dinner in one of the lovely bars and restaurants overlooking the building – many of whom source their meat from the market, which is why the area has a reputation for some of the best steaks in London. Oops, did I say steaks? 

2. The Globe 
An older vampire will feel right at home in this recreation of Shakespeare’s theatre, which hosts open air shows throughout the summer. Seats (and cushions!) are available but if you’re feeling hardy and don’t mind standing, you can mingle with the groundlings for that proper historic experience. 

3. The Café in the Crypt at St Martin’s In 
the Fields

  Vampires love nothing more than a nice crypt, so why not check out this lovely building right in the heart of tourist London, mere moments from Trafalgar Square? In the evenings the crypt hosts gigs, so you can take in great music in one of the most atmospheric venues in town. 

4. Volupte

 If you’re feeling a bit risqué, this burlesque cabaret club in the heart of the City offers an evening of sexy fun – and it’s dark enough to get up to all sorts of mischief! 

5. Old Vic Tunnels
The tunnels under Waterloo Station have been transformed into a performance space, and regularly host site-specific productions. What better place to take a vampire than an underground show?

6. Wilton’s Music Hall
The world’s oldest surviving Grand Music Hall is not only a fantastic theatre, but is home to a lovely little bar/café, where you can also get in on some cinematic history: the venue is often used as a film set, including for Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. I can’t promise you’ll bump into Robert Downey Jr or Jude Law, though, sorry.

7. Southwark Playhouse
Tucked down a side street a few minutes’ walk from London Bridge Station, this is another venue that uses railway tunnels as a performance space, and has established a reputation as one of the most original theatres in London. As a plus, its shabby-chic bar will make you feel like you’ve just stepped into a speakeasy – handy for an older date…

8. The South Bank
There are few lovelier sights in London than the South Bank at night, especially in winter, when it is transformed into a festive wonderland. Walk from the London Eye to the Tate Modern and take in spectacular views across the river, and there are plenty of opportunities to eat or drink in the many venues along the way.

9. Paternoster Square
Yhis is a relatively a new development, built in the shadow of the historic St Paul’s Cathedral , so why not pop into one of the bars or restaurants next to one of London’s most recognised buildings, or do some late night shopping in One New Change? Only do take care, I have it on good authority it’s a serious vampire stamping ground around there… 

10. Christ Church Greyfriars
While you’re in the area, if you fancy some outdoor romance, why not sit a spell in the lovely flower garden in remains of this bombed out church just across the road from St Paul’s. The perfect place for an evening picnic – try not to let the fact that it used to be a graveyard put you off. After all, you’re never too far from the dead, or the undead, in London…
(image source)

 Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant.  A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. A keen blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now dipping a toe in the digital self-publishing world with her new urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates. 

All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…

Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.

Tracey, thank you so much for such a wonderful post. I've never heard of most of these places, and next time I'm in London, I'll make a point to visit at least few of them!

Tracey also graciously agreed to give away a PDF copy of her book to ONE winner.
Giveaway is open to all and ends 28th July 2012.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Andra said...

In Venice, Italy, on a gondola. ;)

Blodeuedd said...

Wow that must be the most creepy café I have ever seen

Thrifty Gal said...

Andra - if only! I would love to go to Venice....

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Smithfield first :) fun post!

Ellie said...

OMG I want the walls of Volupte! Gorgeous!

Teresa Thompson said...

I would like to choose all but start with Smithfield.
Teresa Thompson

Denise Z said...

I would pick the South Bank, although all of these photos are absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. Dark Dates looks like a hoot and I am looking forward to reading it :)

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