“When you’re on the beach, anything goes” or so says the suave Italian owner of this new Fulham hotspot, Spiaggia. Book in advance and you’ll find a beach towel marking your table, super-sized sunglasses adorn one of the walls, and downstairs there’s a sunken cove waiting to be discovered with private cinema space and beach styled bar. Newly opened, this place is set to sizzle well before the sunshine arrives.
It’s small plates so ideal date food. You’ll feel a little as though you’re having a beach picnic, or are perched in the shade avoiding the Mediterranean sun. Go for the fresh Calamari from the Piattini, before sharing a selection of Italian flatbreads, and the chargrilled skewers. The Frutti di Mare pasta is divine, as is the chargrilled Spring Chicken – but sharing is caring so split them up. The wine list here is adventurous and bold so ask for recommendations and try some of their new Sicilian labels.
The perfect after work spot if you both live near Fulham. It’s minutes from the tube station so meet for an early drink and then totally play this one by ear. First dates work brilliantly here – the design is an immediate talking point and the food doesn’t mean you need to commit to a full on dinner. If, however, a “little plate of Arancini to keep you going” turns into three bottles down, there are cosy spots downstairs and the music vamps up to create a buzz that’ll welcome you to stay the evening. Let yourself escape to the long days of summer and forget about the fact that you’re not returning to your villa later.
Too gimmicky for some? Oh come on, lighten up.