Bill or Beak @ Voltaire, City
It’s hard not to feel a little Fifty Shades when, having descended the stairs deep below Blackfriars into Voltaire, you’re shown to your own private vault – with a barred door pulled to for privacy. Add to this the fact that you’re under a swish hotel and the champagne buckets are actually built into your table, and you’ll need only the right company to complete the picture.
Drinks wise it’s champagne or a bottle of wine (red if you’re late, rose if post work). Various cocktails are on offer so playfully bat back and forth with those for a while before settling into sharing mode with the bubbles – and a second bottle as and when. If you’re lucky enough to hit one of Voltaire’s food pop ups, don’t turn it down – Bill or Beak offered the fanciest of burgers (think duck with Vietnamese dressing and crispy shallots) and the best fries we’ve eaten.
Meet at the tube station (30 seconds walk) or by the river. It’s a small stairway so find it together and trot down merrily feeling instantly naughty. Definitely pre-book a vault, and either play it polite and sit opposite each other to start, or immediately settle in sofa side – you’ll be snogging in seconds. Personal docking stations sit in each vault so volunteer your Spotify at your peril, or be super smooth and prepare one especially. You’ll stay here for the evening, or longer if you get a room.
Blackfriars as a location feels slightly post work-esque, so get downstairs pronto.
5. It’s not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce. – Voltaire