Hannah Drake

The Year of Alphabet Dates: A

MarriageHannah DrakeComment

Inspired by our good friends Emily and Oli, we decided to shake things up in 2019 when it comes to date night. In 2018, we’ve devoted (almost) every Wednesday night to our marriage with a standing weekly date night. With both of us having unlimited cinema cards, we often went to see a movie and sneaked in popcorn we made at home. Sometimes we would have a movie night at our house, play games, or just simply unplug from all of our technology for a while. Occasionally we would step out of our routine and do something different. But this year, we’re determined to embrace some good old fashioned scheduled spontaneity!

The idea is so simple: Plan a date night that corresponds with each letter. It can be interpreted however you want and I think we’ll mix things up throughout the alphabet. What I mean is, you can choose an activity, a food, a city or other travel destination, a type of food, etc. that starts with that letter. Or you can even do all three! Our hope is to get through all 26 letters in order this year, but we’ll see how it goes. We'll do our best!

Each post, I’ll recap our date a bit and share other ideas for that letter just in case you’re not in to the same activities as us. I’ll include foods to eat and places in the UK and Colorado you can visit. (I thought about doing the whole of the US, but that’s just too big and I know Colorado a lot better.)

That brings us to date number one: A!

My first choice for this date was axe throwing, which is exactly copying our friends who did it for their first date as well, but Luke didn’t think it would be good for his hip, so we chose something else together.

Instead, we went to the arcade. Though Luke did suggest that we go to an arcade in Aberdeen and eat asparagus. We originally weren’t going to include any food on our date this month, but the arcade was right next to an American diner so what choice did we have?!

We went to a “leisure centre” in Birmingham that has a bunch of restaurants, a cinema, and some other activities like adventure golf, a kid’s party place, bowling, and probably more. There was an arcade in the bowling alley, but it didn’t offer tickets and Luke was disappointed that it wasn’t what he remembered. But before we started playing any games, I spotted one upstairs and when we went to check it out, it was exactly what he was thinking.

We each loaded a card with 80 tokens to use and we used them all within an hour. It was so much fun! I honestly think we both could have played another hour at least. They also had bumper cars in the back, which didn’t give tickets, but was a lot of fun. We were the only two driving at the time and it was intense. There were a couple of times when we just went to opposite sides and drove straight at each other for a head-on collision. By the end of it, I wasn’t even sitting on the correct (right) side of the car! Ha!

In the end, we won 902 tickets between the two of us. (We didn’t keep them separate to see who got more, which is surprising considering how competitive we are, but I would guess Luke.) We browsed the available prizes—and there were some good ones—but nothing for our winnings that we wanted. We’d definitely be back though! (We were able to load them all onto one card to use again.)

We weren’t originally going to eat as part of our date, but there was an American diner, Tinsletown, right next to the arcade so it seemed like kismet. Since it was lunchtime, we decided to indulge. We’ve been doing a bit of a cleanse—basically cutting alcohol, sweets, breads, and pasta—but we decided these dates don’t count. So a burger, shake, and fries for lunch it is!

Our friends keep track of their dates in a cute little notebook she found from Paperchase that has the alphabet on the cover in white letters. They fill in the letters as they go and then review each date inside. We might just need to steal all their ideas before our B date…


  • go to an arcade - It’s even more fun if it’s one where you collect tickets!

  • try axe throwing

  • visit an art gallery or an art museum

  • take an art class

  • have afternoon tea - It can be expensive, but you can also make your own at home. You need scones (with clotted cream and jam), finger sandwiches, and little desserts.

  • stay at an Airbnb

  • go to an Arsenal game - Luke is a huge fan so I had to include it.

  • go apple picking - It’s definitely seasonal. September is the best time to go.

  • try archery

  • adopt a pet or visit/volunteer at an animal shelter - Usually you can’t do a one off volunteer, but it would be cool to start, right? If you’re not able to adopt at the time, you can at least visit.

  • visit an aquarium

  • play adventure golf - I would call it mini golf, but I’ve seen it called adventure golf plenty, so I’m including it.

  • try aerial yoga - You know, do yoga in the air wrapped up in fabric suspended from the ceiling!

  • take an aerobics class - Bonus points if you get decked out like an extra in a Jane Fonda video!


  • American food - I’m only including this because we did it. If you do it, you have to go for classic American food and not try to make pizza American. Think burgers or BBQ. Or save that for the next date.

  • Asian food - I was against this one because it seems to broad! You’ll see that I’ve included more specific break downs (like Chinese food, Thai food, etc.) later on.

  • Appetisers - Make a whole meal out of your favourite apps!

  • A restaurants/bars - Does your favourite restaurant or bar start with an A? Or what about a spot you’ve been dying to try, but just haven’t found the time yet?


  • Aberdeen, Scotland

  • Aspen, Colorado


Header Photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.