The Blue Boat, Hammersmith
You’ve done “that” walk across the bridge to Waterloo. The one that all the girls know is the guy’s excuse to stop and kiss them half way across once they’ve pointed out St Paul’s all lit up and you’ve marvelled at the skyline of London. Ever seen Hammersmith Bridge? Equally impressive, it marks a section of the river that is filled with good pubs but has lacked a more date-worthy dinner joint until recently. The Blue Boat has every base covered – cosy snugs with sofas and arm chairs, booth tables tucked behind the well-stocked bar, and an outdoor garden from which to watch the Thames flow by.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the range of food on offer here. The tuna tartare is a good starter, and the excellent selection of meaty mains (the lamb is to die for) are all of generous portions. No sharing plates here, it’s traditional – but stick with two courses and definitely go for a bottle of the Rose. Move onto a sofa seat afterwards if things are going well and hit up the Irish coffees, or Gin and Tonics if you’re lucky enough to get a warm evening and can move outside.
Meet there – whoever arrives first will be well looked after, and you can save the riverside walk for when you’re both fed and watered. Unless it’s dazzling sunshine, ask for one of the booth tables raised up behind the bar, they’re tucked away and feel just that little bit secretive. Casual flirtation is more than encouraged and the sophisticated feel of the dinner done properly (as opposed to non- committal drinks and a bite) will amp up the date factor further.
Probably best suited to spring/summer nights, otherwise the location is slightly out of the way.