The Orange, Pimlico

9 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.

L’ETO, South Kensington

1 year ago

The Vibe

Brompton Road has seriously upped its gastronomic game of late. You can find good coffee, cuisines of all nations, fancy pants restaurants and many excellent dating hot spots. LEto cleverly bridges the gap between cafe and restaurant, plucking the best from both worlds and coming up with an offering that can lend itself to whatever date night you’d like.

The Order

As in their Belgravia branch, LEto Brompton Road offers a full dinner menu extending far beyond the plentiful Ottolenghi style salads that are spread out alluringly in the window. Start with the Crab Avocado Salad and progress to Seabass Ravioli in Lobster Bisque whilst discussing how long ago the summer seems. Like a kid in a candy shop, you can head up to the counter and choose your dessert – an excellent indicator of taste in a date.

The Game

Adaptable and easy, LEto can be as big or as small a part of your evening as you wish. As welcoming and pleasant for an early evening coffee and cake as it is for a full three course dinner, it’s the ideal place if you want to leave your plans open. Book ahead if you can to avoid queuing on the street – less South Ken, more Soho. Nightcaps elsewhere could work well – we recommend Ramusake.

The Faults

There’s a vague coffee shop feel at times, yet it’s perfect for informal chatter

Sex Factor

2.

Pont St, Belgraves Hotel, Belgravia

1 year ago

The Vibe

Whilst hotel bars are to die for, hotel restaurants can be hit and miss. Pont St claims to be a neighbourhood restaurant at heart, and all we can say is: lucky neighbours. This place is definitely in the hotel restaurant hit list – the food is truly outstanding, the venue elegant yet cosy and the good looking staff make this the ultimate dating hot spot.

The Order

Go for the crudités to start- Gizzi Erskine digs them and they’re more like a farmer’s market on a plate than your standard carrots and hummus. Guys, don’t panic – you will get full and you can both swiftly move on to Slow Roast Pork Belly or the Belgraves Bespoke burger (yes, truffle mayonnaise really does exist). Desserts are divine – the panna cotta totally melts in the mouth. Start with a glass of champagne and move on to a bottle of the Malbec.

The Game

You don’t need a game plan when you’re in a place like Pont St. Meet at the bar with your table already booked (reserve ahead, thank god it’s not Soho). Take your seats after a Gin and Tonic perched on stools and get cosy in the booth style banquettes. Flirt outrageously knowing there’s a hotel just floors above you. Choose to go home or to stay, anything is possible.

The Faults

The address is Chesham Place, not Pont Street – act like a local and let your date know in advance.

Sex Factor

4. Faultless and effortless, leaving the two of you to focus on your evening.

Humble Grape, Battersea

1 year ago

The Vibe

Walls and walls of wine. Wine on the shelves. Wine in displays. If a distant sonic wave shattered all the glass in here you would drown in wine. Good glassware. The red glasses are slightly larger than the white – as it should be. Most of the wines are ordered directly from the producers so the waiters have inherited some good stories. Stories bring us closer together. Close together is good for dates.

The Order

Order the sharing platter. The meats, cheeses, breads and terrines are delicious and they will fill you up.
On wine, Humble Grape demands preferences. You will be asked what you normally drink to gauge your palate and if you say, “Oh I normally just get the house white” you are history. Try to remember the name of a wine and a characterising adjective.

If I tell you what to order, you’ll lose all the fun. The waiters are very knowledgeable and passionate so let them tell their stories. They will be happy to bring out a couple of tasting glasses each. Choose one of these options. If you request a third, your date will think you’re too picky.

The Game

Sharing and sampling. Two of the sexiest things you can do on a date. Both create intimacy, but both have to be handled with care. Men, ask your date which parts of the platter she enjoys and give her more of her share of that. Dividing up the plate exactly in half is almost as bad as splitting the bill.

Offer your date a taste of your wine. She should politely reciprocate. Do not put them on the spot and ask them to pick out flavour notes. That is not sexy. That is pompous.

As you continue to give and take, taste and share; the room should start getting a little hotter until…”Oh no there’s no tube station nearby. Maybe we should share a cab?”

The Faults

There’s no tube station nearby.

Sex Factor

4. Tastings are sexy dates. Sample some wine and you sample each other.

Iddu, South Kensington

2 years ago

The Vibe

The whole of London is on holiday and you and your date are left working. Get over it, this is excellent news for dating. You can get tables at Chiltern, rock up at no reservations hot spots, and bag a table outside Iddu to sip at an Aperol Spritz. A Sicilian restaurant, this cosy spot also caters for those who don’t want to indulge in pasta and “peasant” style husks of rustic bread – hell, they’ve got kale, quinoa and coffee made out of barley.

The Order

Your first drink is sorted and a couple of those will have you feeling flirty. Once you’re inside (tables are brilliantly placed and music is soft), settle down for a whole host of starters – the burrata and prosciutto, the tuna tartare, the showstopping courgette flower….. If you’re hungry, share a Granita for dessert – the pistachio is to die for and down one of their home roasted espressos to fuel you for the next chapter.

The Game

Sit under the orange and white striped awning and match your drink to the interiors with a deliciously Summer like Aperol Spritz. Order some olives and a bread basket if you’re peckish (don’t panic, the sourdough is seven grain). Move inside when dusk sets in and the beautiful staff flit about lighting candles. Share everything – forkfuls of flavour and all fresh and light. Stay here all evening – unless you’re feeling wild and want to hit Boujis round the corner.

The Faults

Ever so slightly tucked away, but you’ll be thankful when you realise it means the museum tourists won’t find it.

Sex Factor

4.

 

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