Gelupo, Soho

The Ice-Cream Date, recommended by The Date Guy

The Vibe

Once in a while it’s nice to ease off the booze-riddled drinks dates and sit down dinners. If it’s an inappropriate time of the day to be drinking, you have a meeting tomorrow or you’re trying to conceal what is fast becoming a medical problem, suggest an ice-cream date. It’s got that sickly sweet, pseudo-childish thing going for it that usually wins you points for novelty and character. It also takes the pressure off the kiss or bedroom efforts as only the bold or foolish will dive in for a snog by the icy counters of a gelateria- for chrissakes there are kids around. Gelupo is as you would expect a trendy Soho ice cream joint to be: minimalist, a haven of pastels and shiny aluminium tubs, white tiles, white straws, splashes of baby blue. It smells and looks like childhood, albeit one filled with poncy-flavoured ice-creams, diet-conscious frozen yogurts and an alarming amount of adults in the store.

The Order

Flavour-wise, I am yet to find a gelato joint where the best options aren’t pistachio or hazelnut- classy choices that are rarely as sickly as choc choc chip or caramel after the first few bites. Gelato’s are denser than ice-creams and therefore quite filling so opt for two scoops max. If you want to play the adventurous card go for the pine nut and fennel seed or the avocado and honey, but you will be winning ‘adventure’ points at the detriment of enjoying simple pleasures. And

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don’t you dare order a smoothie or a frozen yogurt, this isn’t a post-workout gossip or a matey catch up. Sorbets are borderline, you’ll have to judge yourself if you can carry it off.

The Game

Providing the weather is adequate, there’s nothing better than a long walk around Soho. Meet at Gelupo just as it is starting to get dark and spend the early evening wandering down side streets, checking out restaurant menus and interspersing observational comments with personal subjects. There’s something about strolling that seems to permit more existential (or hippyish) chats so let loose on your life musings, grand plans and romantic notions. Providing the backdrop holds (and you don’t end up in Tottenham Court Road) you’ll both be gripped. Finish your tubs (licking a cone may be too awkward or coquettish at this point) and let the gent dispose of them, after which point the lady can hang off his arm for the remainder of the stroll. When you’ve walked enough and you’re conveniently at a station, call time on the date. Turn to face them, tell them how delightful it was and leave a lingering kiss on their lips. Hopefully the sweet taste will remain and you’ve retained some of the childish innocence of the occasion.

The Faults

There’s no opportunity for Dutch courage and it’s hard to see where to take this date afterwards. Best option is to cut losses and put in the next one.

Sex Factor

1. The only thing you’ll be eating ice-cream off is your spoon.

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