100 Wardour, Soho
Where 100 Wardour now sits was once a two floor emporium of Soho drunkeness called Floridita. It was the kind of place you remembered by anecdote rather than any tangible sense of what it looked or tasted like. The new invention place though, it’s a genuine looker from the quality kings D&D London (behind Bluebird, Skylon).
Pad down a winding staircase and end up in an expansive room built for either romance or swagging nights out. To your left, impeccable 20 something women sip Champagne, on your right, it’s Coupleville, straight ahead, men prop up the bar. In any other Central London joint, this could be cheesy. But it’s not, thanks to slick interiors, perfect lighting and not enough lingering space at the bar to accommodate liquid diners. I like this place because it reminds me why it’s nice to make an effort on dates – dress up, drink up, pay up and kiss at the door.
The starters are small plates so go for 3-4 on a date. The best thing we ate was yellowtail ceviche and octopus with a divine x dressing. The robata items are two sticks a plate so ideal picks for a light start to things.
For mains, share a meat and a fish dish – the giant prawns have a sauce so buttery and sweet, we actually dragged our lamb cutlets around the plate hoping to scoop up the remnants. Perhaps a move to avoid on dates.
Dessert is a peak – salted caramel profiteroles and a molton chocolate mound with caremelised pecans that silenced my companion, who also felt the need to share with the dates either side of us. For drinks, start with a Margarita, then onto a decent bottle of red.
Brunch Dates – The Saturday brunch here is a bit of a big, boozy deal. £15 for unlimited Prosecco or Bloody Marys and £18.95 for 2 divine courses. A good start to an all day and night date.
Plan to meet at the bottom of the stairs by the bar. Shed all outerwear upstairs so you can make the descent like a slick character in a movie. Lock eyes and signal to the host that you’re ready to be seated. Say yes to the cocktail list and then order off menu. Commence the flirt extremely early on – you don’t want to be out romanced by your neighbours.
Share everything, finish nothing. Then ask the couple next to you to watch your table as you go for fresh air and a kiss after dessert, then return for a final glass of red. If there’s any room at all, cab to Blind Spot at St Martin’s Lane Hotel for a nightcap.
If you could guarantee a space at the bar after the meal, you would stay till closing. Also you will need to give your table back but that’s life (London)
Solid 5. More of a 3rd date place.