The way to my heart is most definitely through my stomach. As the Spice Girls once said- if you wanna be my lover, you better get with my insatiable need to go to more restaurants. So, in what I can only fairly describe as the least subtle hint I have ever dropped to my fella, I’ve whipped up a little guide of places that are perfect food-focused dates.
Step one of this date is to get brunchy boozed up. One of my all time favourite restaurants in London is Kurobuta Marble Arch- specifically for their incredible weekend brunch. With live acoustic singers doling out ‘No Diggity’ and Kiwi waiters making sure your glass is never less than half empty, it’s cool, chilled out, and the food will impress your discerning date (a.k.a. me)
Though I’m not entirely sure what makes this a ‘brunch’- no eggs or avo in sight- you will LOVE the all you can eat sushi, DIY ramen and robata grill dishes. Stock up and drink up for your allotted table time, then sprawl out and walk the ten-fifteen minutes down to Hyde Park for long walks by the lake and maybe an unbearably coupley Instagram or two.
So what if it’s a Tuesday night- there’s no excuse for shoddy dating. Fortunately for you, there is no end to the number of restaurants hustling to get diners in for the quiet nights. That means more bang for your buck and more money for cocktails.
I like to take advantage of this for the upmarket spots. Places like Les 110 de Taillevent, Theo Randall at the Intercontinental, Alain Ducasse and Beneres all pop up on the Star Deals section of Book a Table, with best availability early weekdays. Use these cheeky deals to experience the fine dining, Michelin starred side of things on a budget- and make it one of your more interesting Tuesdays.
Out of town date
Nothing quite beats day trips as a romantic way to spend your afternoon. Hop on a train and head to a trusty country pub for a bottle,roast dinner, cheese board, and boardgames.
Some of my favourite places to do this are the Chesil Rectory and Black Boy in Winchester, almost any place in the South Downs but particularly Lewes, and possibly my favourite gastropub of all time, The Pointer, Brill.
I contend that the best way to spend a lunch date is in a market. Stop for lunch at one then shmooze yourselves samples and pick up trinkets, get dessert in another place, drinks in another. My personal favourite is Brixton Market, but Maltby St, Borough, Brick Lane and Spitalfields are all wonderful.
There’s a lot to be said for the kind of date night you can walk home from. No taxi fare, planning or long tube journeys required.
One of the many great saving graces London has is that almost every suburby bit has a street on it with a smattering of good, dependable restaurants and a decent pub or bar. I’m a stone’s throw from a great Goan place and a smashing little Turkish place, with a ‘hip’ cocktail bar and a scatter of pubs with great gins on. Slick some lippy on and make a night of it.
Classic date night
The stomach may be the way to my heat, but the way to my good books is dinner and drinks on a Saturday night.
Pick out a cool restaurant in town- I recently have loved Blanchette, Boro Bistro, Tom’s Kitchen St Katherine Docks, Hoppers. Round it off with a great cocktail or wine bar- big hitters for me being WC Clapham, Cahoots, 68 and Boston, and anywhere on a rooftop.
Pick me up at six!