The Lucky Pig, Fulham
As you step in from the bustle of North End Road, your eyes need a moment to acclimatise to the oasis of The Lucky Pig. Marbled flooring meets exposed brickwork and cocktails aplenty are being shaken at the bar. Elsewhere, live music tinkles away in the background, velvet chesterfields add a luxurious touch and a wood panelled private dining room lies in wait. A day to night venue catering to a myriad whims and fancies: you can eat lunch here and stay for the rest of the day getting sloshed on delicious bottles of Clarence River white or pop by for a quick Sunday lunch and a ‘Tomatini’ – the Lucky version of a Bloody Mary with a citrus twist.
Either start yourselves off with a coupe of champagne or with one of the playfully named cocktails such as the Lawless Old Fashioned for him and a Charleston Spritzer for her (a cheeky take on Aperol Spritz using raspberry infused Vermouth) and then move swiftly onto a lovely bottle of wine from the excellent list. The food is a big draw at The Lucky Pig and if you have a foodie on your hands, they should be grinning from ear to ear after a late meal here. We tried the scallops to start and the sea bream and a steak for main course and we were not disappointed. Everything was cooked very well and presented beautifully. The offerings are rich and sumptuous so not recommended for those on a beach diet or for fans of health food. The desserts are positively scandalous but oh-so-worth it. We’re talking chocolate ganache served with salted caramel fudge and burnt orange shortbread. Hummina-hummina.
Opt for the Sunday lunch approach: it’s a little more casual and there’s plenty of time to chat, get to know one another better and linger if you wish to. Book a table but meet at the bar. Order a celebratory glass of bubbly to kick off proceedings. Enjoy each other’s slight nervousness as you settle into the date. Try out a compliment or two. When you are full of beef and roast potatoes cooked in dripping, like two little piglets, one of you suggest a stroll to walk off the calories. Head south for the river, join Cheyne Walk and make your way to the stunning surroundings of the Chelsea Physic Garden (open March to October) and be sure to be there before 5.30pm as last entry is 30 minutes before closing time at 6pm. Your date will be bowled over by the sights and smells and perhaps just about ready for a coffee. Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s going great.
Can get busy and perhaps a little rowdy on the busier nights of the week but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on the vibe you’re going for.