Clerkenwell is the place to date when you’re 28 plus and keen to fall in love. Offering up St John’s Bread and Wine, Burger and Lobster and Giant
the restaurants in this area are aggressively meat focussed – a logical pattern considering Smithfield market is around the corner. And now we have delightfully carnivorous joint Foxlow, a newish offering from the men behind Hawksmoor.
Foxlow is the mufti day version of the high end steakhouse – gastro pub vibe, friendly neighbourhood crowd, affordable mains. It provides tick box dark lighting and expert cocktails necessary for a good date night. And should you dare to walk in on a Friday without a reservation, the host is unlikely to laugh in your face and turn you away – instead they park you at the bar for booze and clear a table for you ASAP.
This is casual dining so don’t feel the pressure to stick to three courses. After a Country Strong (rye, sherry, Aperol) at the bar, move to the table for a bottle of red. Pick at a shared starter of crispy peppered shrimp, then hit up the Rib-eye with Fennel, a steal at £16. High fives have to go to the Fried Chicken Sandwich with Green Slaw – the best we’ve had and, again, a steal at £10. Share some fries with chicken salt and a Ferrero Roche Pot for dessert.
Let’s face it guys, you’re already in love. It’s a Friday night and, instead of the usual Soho/Shoreditch drinks session, you just want to chill with this person over wine and decent food. Less bells and whistles, more deep chat and eating till dozy.
Meet at Old Street station and have a quick drink at the relaxed coffee-cum-wine joint Shoreditch Grind. Then do the 15 min walk towards Clerkenwell, enjoying the remarkably warm evening, arm around waist. Once you arrive, perch at the bar and knock knees as you sip on cocktails. Seated at your table, talk of holidays you’d like to take, future plans and aspirations. Open up, chill out and really get to know each other. When done eating, move your chair round the table to get real close and kiss. Then nuzzle till kicked out and part ways.
Get carried away and the bill easily fluctuates from £30 a head to £70.
3. Less sexy, more cosy. It’s already happened, and will happen again, but maybe not tonight.