If you watch my vlogs on YouTube you’ll have seen this date location a couple of times; it’s local to where I live in East London and has been a favourite venue of mine for over ten years.
The history of the building dates back to the 1690’s and it honestly doesn’t look like it’s changed much since, which is one of the reasons I’m so utterly obsessed with this place. Brick walls, antique furniture, decrepit wallpaper, creaky, wooden flooring and the grandest hall with balcony enveloped in fairy lights – it’s simply gorgeous.
It’s also one of the oldest surviving music halls in the world which, to me, makes it even more magical.
The building was originally home to houses, shops and a pub until John Wilton came into the picture. In 1859 he built the Victorian Music Hall, his ambition being to provide a little West End glamour and entertainment to the working people of the East End, and I’m glad to say it’s still achieving that mission.
Wilton’s is my favourite place to take someone new to the area, who are interested in theatre or cinema. They host a spectacular range of live shows from Shakespeare, magic, live music, and even cockney sing alongs – you can count on all entertainment being really unique and quirky. It’ll end up definitely not your average date and therefore really memorable.
Two dates I’ve taken my boyfriend to at Wiltons have been a silent film screening accompanied by live musicians performing original and new score to the film and also an entirely improvised and eerie show by the Society of Strange which was impressive, smart and very spooky, using the audience’s suggestions for themes and characters.
They also have vintage fairs where you can listen to live swing music, shop at boutique stands in the hall and dance the night away.
If you’re not seeing a show, there’s still copious space to sit and drink/eat – they serve really delicious pizza and there are so many hidden rooms you can find to sit in!
I really bloody love Wiltons, it’s also my absolute dream wedding venue (you can read about my love of it in this VERY old blog post). They only release a very select few dates in the year it’s available for weddings though (to maintain it’s main use for shows and entertainment) so it’s a pain to book – trust me, I tried!
To bring a little vintage magic into your evening, Wilton’s is my top choice.
COST: Performances cost vary but is much more affordable than a west end show – tickets around £16!
LOCATION: 1 Graces Alley London, E1 8JB