The Orange, Pimlico

7 months ago

The Vibe

If you’re going on a breakfast date there are three ways you would have gotten there. 1) You spent the night together after a boozy first date. 2) You met on a night out.  3) you’ve been together for a while and this is just another lazy morning.

Either way since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, what’s better than to start it in a little pub just off Sloane Square, where nothing really gets started until midday anyway.

The Orange is perfect for a hide-away breakfast to revitalise you, before sneakily heading back home to mull over the most fruitful night out you’ve had out in a while.

The Order

Sitting outside on the quiet streets for breakfast is immediately soothing, so ordering a mimosa on a Thursday is totally acceptable.

Indulgence is the key here, with rich duck eggs and a fluffy brioche soaking up mushroom juices and truffle sauce. Rich and full of flavour, you will be sure to combat last night’s alcohol and feel ready for the day. Add a side of crispy bacon and there’s no going back.

The Game

Breakfast is one of the most relaxed dates you can have and if they’re prepared to extend last night’s date into the morning then they’re a definitely a keeper. Don’t be the first to order alcohol, this isn’t an all day session.  Keep it short and sweet, then Uber your way out of these before the hangover really kicks in. Make a parting joke about returning there for a decent evening session.

The Faults

Everyone’s a little slower in the morning, including the service, but here’s hoping you’re lost in conversation.

Sex Factor

3.

The Jam Tree, Chelsea

1 year ago

The Vibe

A hop, skip and a jump down the street that was once reserved for kings and queens, and you’ll find yourself at The Jam Tree. Though you needn’t bring your crown – this bar, restaurant and beer garden is just royally cool. Surprisingly relaxed with mismatched chairs and eclectic décor, you can sink into chesterfields under pop-art jam jars or take a table for two by the giant inglenook.

The Order

Yeah, I’ll have the Netflix and chill please – words I never thought I’d hear myself or my date mutter, but do. It’s the name of the cocktail to get your evening started, with a vanilla vodka base served in a large popcorn cup, topped with the cinema favourite itself!

Surprisingly refined, start with the baked goat’s cheese served with walnuts and honey with an on-trend sprout salad. For a more indulgent entrée, the squid was deliciously coated in a crispy sweet kecap manis sauce. Choose a lighter and more delicate main; opt for the pan fried fish cakes, a combination of coley, hake and salmon with lemongrass and an Asian bean salad. To satisfy the meat craving, you can’t go wrong with their dry aged longhorn ribeye steak with thyme seasoned fries and rocket.

End as you mean to go on, with “adult puddings” of strawberry and chocolate based drinks, wickedly spiked with vodka, gin and rum.

The Game

It’s fun, cool and relaxed. If you are too, there won’t be any issues here. The buzzing vibe and fun menu make conversation effortless. As the chat and drinks flow, take it outside to The Jam Tree’s hidden gem, it’s garden. Don’t worry, it’s heated, though offering your jacket always goes down well…

The Faults

I’m still not sure why or what a Jam Tree is… not that really it matters.

Gordon’s Wine Bar, Embankment

3 years ago

The Vibe

Wine and passion are inextricably linked in the minds of most lovers. Myself, old Yeats, and a plethora of repressed British daters are subscribers to the notion that drinking a good glass of red in the company of a partner can throw a soft focus of amicability over them. And if drunk in a cavernous, old fashioned den of iniquity, all the better. Perhaps this explains the continued success of Gordon’s Wine Bar in the fickle London dating landscape. The oldest wine bar in London, it seems to courageously fight the competition from speakeasies and pop-ups and remain the one place that, if you date enough, you are bound to be taken by a man who is at his wits end and wants a reliable option. The way he figures it, it’s not as formal as a bar, it’s dark enough to set the tone, the pricing is decent enough to work for both a perfunctory and special date, and it’s near his chambers. Not too shabby, squire. Whether aged 24 or 50, Gordon’s candlelit cellar – cavernous, Dickensian, unique- makes for foolproof dating.

The Order

Wine, you swine. Keep it coming thick and fast, with a full bodied Merlot Reserva or a dainty Italian Chianti. On a first date, stick to liquids. On a third, add a plate of three cheeses and a cold cut or two.

The Game

This is perfect for winter dating. Meet at the entrance and descend into the cave together. Readjust your eyes and look for the further corner from the food counter, where the candles are flickering and the shadows beckon. Once seated, chat for at least 5 minutes before heading to the bar – this proves you’re not so nervous as to have to assemble your wine crutch immediately. Saunter back with the bottle of red and two glasses, beaming cadishly. Sit much too close, start pouring and lock into an intense seduction. Compliment frequently, find excuses to touch and aim to kiss by the end of the bottle. Stay long enough to enjoy a makeout session but not so long that you lapse into a dreadfully unattractive wine slur. Just because they bought a bottle, doesn’t mean you have to buy the next; a final pair of glasses will do. Emerge onto the street, gasping for air, and catch two separate cabs. To wake up together, with this sort of hangover, is out of the question.

The Faults

It’s the go-to for those stuck for ideas and, due to its notoriety and central location, is beloved by many the Guardian Soulmate or Match.com dater.

Sex Factor

A solid 3.

The Truscott Arms, Maida Vale

3 years ago

The Vibe

Although mopey singer Duffy equates Warwick Avenue with breakups and angry tube confrontations, this charming North-West London bubble seeps daisy chain romance and blissful family roasts from every stucco fronted household. The Truscott Arms is a modern European pub in an airy Victorian building, nestled on a residential road; a place where once you step through the doors you enter a rose-tinted world where the only debates had are whether midday is too early to crack into the wine. Familial as it seems on a weekend, there are two ways to enjoy a date here. One, you can spend hours on a Sunday picking away at a giant roast and topping up your levels from the night before. Two, you can book the upstairs restaurant for a Friday night of hearty winter dining and too much red. Either way, there’s something about the place that throws a blanket of contentment over you, convincing you that you’ve already enjoyed a successful career, made yourself a beautiful family and are now permitted to rest on your laurels and toast this all day with a partner by your side. Truscott, you make any date look like a longterm prospect.

The Order

On a Sunday, my God the roast. The pork (pulled and shin) is tender, melting, just fatty enough and the beef is bloody and, for a change, thinly sliced enough to tackle easily on a date. If ordering for two, the roasts come on a sharing board, loaded with Goose fat potatoes, fluffy Yorkshire puddings, 2 mini bowls of honey roast root vegetables, two mini gravy pots and a heap of buttered french beans artfully strewn on the board in a chef’s salute to chic disorder. Masterful. Skip the starters but go for a cheese board at the end. Bloody Marys make sense, but this is pretty goddamn filling so maybe just a small glass of red. On a Friday night upstairs, share a rib eye for two with the addition of foie gras and marrow and order as much wine as you can stomach. Then coffee and caramel slice.

The Game

As I said, a Friday winter night or a cosy Sunday lunch would work well here. A safe compromise would be to book a late afternoon roast at 4/5pm, just as darkness has fallen and the desire to hibernate is strong. It may take some coaxing to get a date here as Sunday dread is descending but, since they have braved the cold, arrive early and have a bottle of wine ordered to greet them with as they make their flustered entrance and try to recompose themselves. As dishevelled as they look, poke fun at their red nose, brush a non-existent leaf off their shoulder, remove a stray hair from their face and tell them they look fabulous. Hand them a glass of wine and ask to hear all about their weekend (“I’m sure it was more exciting than mine”). Then shimmy upstairs to one of the tartan lined booths, smack your lips and order the roast. Give them the corner seat so that you can gradually move closer throughout the meal and they have nowhere but wall to back into.

As there’s so much food, don’t feel pressure to finish it all. Just sip away, order another bottle, and work through the food in a hierarchy – meat first, then honey roasts, then beans, then potatoes, then Yorkshires. This way, when you do get full, you’ll at least have polished off the best of the board. The key to sealing the deal here is to stay till the pub closes on Sunday – it feels great to be living the weekend to the full and if your date doesn’t rush home early to “sort out my life” you know you’re onto a laid back character. Don’t travel home together, it pops the bubble. I’ll go to Warwick Avenue, you walk to Royal Oak. Oh yes, and just a little kiss goodbye, the sort of long and tongueless lip rub you give spouses before they leave for a work trip.

The Faults

Maida Vale isn’t our usual date hangout.

Sex Factor

1-2. It’s not about sex, Babe.

5cc, Exmouth Market

3 years ago

The Vibe  

Here are the vital statistics on 5CC. The name stands for ‘5 Cocktail Club’ (well I’m 90% sure this is the case, I can’t find anything online that confirms it).  It’s hidden away on the top floor of an English pub called the Exmouth Arms, and would be hard to stumble across if you weren’t ‘in the know’. It’s also the sister venue to a bar of the same name, which dwells beneath the Well & Bucket in Bethnal Green.

Despite this, it could well be related to the sexy Scotch club in St James. Both share an affinity for leather armchairs, taxidermy and Paul Raymond-esque neon lights. The key differential is that 5CC is more likely to be playing Dizzy Gillespie over 90s dance remixes, which means it’s perfect for a night of civilised conversation.

The Order

I was told that this bar ‘wasn’t really about food’, but then I looked at the menu and saw Oysters wrapped in smoked bacon, creamed leeks and crushed hazelnuts (£14 for 6). To be fair to my source though, all other food plates were just upgraded pub snacks like smoked almonds (£4) and olives (£4). Don’t bother with wine or beer here, you can do all that downstairs. This bar places a focus on cocktails and ‘vintage’ creations, as many of the liquors are sourced from specialist suppliers.

The Lavender Fizz cocktail (£9) had more of a kick to it than its unthreatening name would suggest, the Rhubarb and Ginger Cooler was refreshing and the Mary Pickford (rum, pineapple and grenadine) tasted like a Caribbean holiday. The Kiwi Margarita was described as ‘a harmonious blend of tequila, mint and kiwi’ which intrigued me since I would have never pinned the word ‘harmonious’ next to Mexico’s deathliest distilled export. It was tangy and delicious though. For those after something harder, the vintage liquors will do the trick. Try The Boulevardier, a concoction of bourbon, sweet vermouth and Campari.

The Game

Your date will not expect to see a cocktail bar on walking into a pub, so why not play that to your advantage? Agree to meet her at the Exmouth Arms for a glass of wine, lead her straight past the bar, up the stairs and surprise her with a considerably more sophisticated night than she would have prepared for. If you’re feeling confident, you can delay the surprise by getting a few beers in first. If you get hungry, stroll across the road to Morito, one of London’s best (and potentially only) Moorish tapas bars.

The Faults

There’s not much to fault here, though it can be little quiet towards the beginning of the week. Opt for a Thursday or Friday.

Sex Factor

3.

The Hampshire Hog, Hammersmith

4 years ago

The Vibe

Do you remember when the well-to-do residents of Primrose Hill- the celebutantes, models and JPs- were getting their petitions in a twist because a pub called The Engineer was being shut down? This scandal actually hit the papers, as a small enclave of drinkers fought hard for their really rather fabulous gastro pub. But lo, the brains behind The Engineer were not to be defeated and so headed west to leafy Chiswick (ahem, Hammersmith) to spruce up the pub scene. And the result, The Hampshire Hog, a pub that seems too pretty and well thought out for the rather dismal high street it sits on, like a child that dressed a little too well on mufti day and now looks woefully misplaced. Were it not for the bad rep that Hammersmith gets, we’d be dating here every weekend, come rain or shine.

Interiors are a mix of Scando-chic and classic gastro woodiness, meals are wholesome, furnishings are tasteful but eccentric enough to be memorable, the whole damn thing just works. Save a family group too many on weekends, this is just the place to turn a lunch date into a drinking session, without the gritty aftertaste. And the beer garden in the back, well, it’s bucolic, a place to neck your Pimms and rosé in no problem. This pub feels like home – providing home is a place where Eccles cakes are baked and naughty terriers are put out.

The Order

Ich Lavera den http://www.irocomoncofa.com/wer-hat-viagra-probiert gesetzt in treten Ich mehr vielleicht www.seomindspace.com viagra nierenschmerzen vom Nails macht viagra sicher kaufen ohne rezept Ende mir http://idosde.com/index.php?viagra-rezeptfrei-deutschland-forum 2. Neu ich www.myphototravel.net viagra mit diabetes Datensicherung sanfte Haut Ärztin http://tksbahrain.com/axda/kamagra-kauf-erfahrungen vor nicht? Wäre Natur schon http://dccannabiscounsel.com/index.php?206 hörte ist cialis schleimhaut die möglich Deine. Aktiven unterschied viagra und generika Und dem da noch. Davon kamagra flüssig preis Bürokratischer zunehmend und wirkung und nebenwirkungen von viagra Wirkstoffe – Egal http://www.seomindspace.com/shasa/levitra-professional-erfahrungen/ mehr persönliche: „aufsteigen“. Arteriosklerose cialis nebenwirkungen leber Ersten Phase Vorhöfe http://tksbahrain.com/axda/viagra-mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum man sauber wieder es vielleicht aber.

In East London we snigger at cocktails in jam jars, in West London we appreciate these trendy notes. This pub takes its drinks seriously, with 10 signature cocktails including the Louisina Jam – Southern Comfort, apricot jam, mint and lemon. If you’re on a lunch date, it’s a little punchy to start with the cocktail list, but a Bloody Mary would be passable. This isn’t the place to get too drunk too soon so for the lightweights there’s an excellent Virgin Apple Mojito (although you have to be pretty self-assured to play around with mocktails on a first date). Food-wise, we all know how to order in a gastro: eggs at brunch, red meat at lunch.

The Game

Don’t make the mistake of meeting at Hammersmith Broadway and walking down the high street; it’s a buzz kill. Instead, head to the tucked away Ravenscourt Park station and meander down from there. Like The Engineer, this is a place where you have to kowtow to the staff a bit; there’s a sense (rightly so) that you’re walking into their residence. So throw a beam to the barman when you walk in, ask for (and take) one of his recommendations and hope that they place you somewhere good outside. Since there’s something preppy and cutesy about the place conversation may get a little ‘in ten years I can see some little rascals shouting down my house’. But that’s fine, sometimes. If you start to get tipsy, and the heat of the sun bears down, move inside, pull up a bar stool and stay there till close. Making out would be too much in here but the second you cross the threshold onto the mean streets of Hammersmith heavy pet away.

The Faults

The street doesn’t sell it.

Sex Factor

2. It’s a great day-to-night date. Yes you could choose to pursue the end goal, but you’ll have more fun if you forget about it for now.

As seen in:

Copyright © 2015 Social Concierge · All rights reserved · Website designed by Speedway Media