On Saturday two of the blog’s Experimental Daters – Blonde Ambition & The Dapper Gent – met up for a blind date of sorts … I won’t go into detail as they both will, however it’s time to see how the blog’s first Experimental Date went, with write-ups from both parties!
Ladies first … it’s over to Blonde Ambition!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
The Twelve Hour Date
Miss Twenty-Nine contacted me a couple of weeks ago to see if I would consider going on a date with the Dapper Gent. I was sceptical and asked if the poor fellow knew what he was letting himself in for… had he read my blog? Miss Twenty-Nine said he had, and apparently he thought he sounded like my perfect date. I responded saying I would meet him to see if he lived up to his credentials. The characteristics listed on my blog were never meant to be easily achievable (hence the challenge) so this guy’s claims intrigued me.
Exchanging numbers, I chatted to the Dapper Gent over the next few days. He said he’d come pick me up and drop me home after the date. I claimed there was no need in London… there’s a thing called the Tube (I suspected he just wanted to show off his car). He asked if he could have me all afternoon on the Saturday. I said I would keep my afternoon free. He wouldn’t allow me to know what he had planned (man of mystery), just that the first part may get a little windy and to wear flat shoes (absolute nightmare for a girl who is more comfortable tottering about in towering heels).
While he may have been unhappy to reveal any details about the date itself, he did inform me that he was growing a moustache for Movember. Cringe. Not only was I going to be meeting up with a complete stranger, he would be sporting some dodgy facial hair. I think Movember is a great cause (don’t get me wrong), it’s just not ideal for women in date situations.
Prior to the date, he asked me if I’m good at baking. If he’d read my profile properly, he would have seen it was the first thing I listed under my hobbies. I’m a pro-baker. Curious to know if there was anything I would like to learn how to bake, I said I would be quite keen to learn how to bake a Townie… a brownie inside a tart (thanks to ‘Mr I Love You’ who introduced me to the concept).
Over the course of the next few days, the Dapper Gent kept upping the dating ante… he said he had two date options. Option one would finish at 20.30, the other at midnight. Which option did I want to pick? Knowing nothing of the activities he had planned, I said I didn’t mind. Flip a coin… heads (option one), tails (option two). I doubt he ever tossed the coin. Instead he simply picked the longer option. This is how the twelve hour date happened.
I said it was a risky strategy; he may get bored after the first twelve minutes.
With details being finalised, I asked if I was allowed to know where we were meeting. He said he’d post a riddle on Twitter for me and the readers to figure out.
Little did he know that I’m extremely good at solving riddles and I didn’t require any assistance; I instantly knew where he was referring to… the London Eye.
I also guessed that we’d be doing something on the river (as the London Eye isn’t known for being a particularly windy date activity).
With the time and place set for the date, I didn’t really expect to hear from him anymore until we met up. Instead, I received text messages like the one below.
I hate text messages like these.
Number One: they’re mundane and not at all natural… in real life conversation, you would never ask someone how their day is going.
Number Two: he made a silly spelling mistake. Yes, I am that judgemental. However, he should have known better. Unlike him, I have my own dating blog which highlights these dating no-no’s.
He also thought it’d be funny to play me at my own game and wait a couple of days to respond to one of my text messages. An instant black mark went against his name. Never attempt to play me at my own games because you don’t stand a chance of winning.
When he texted to check to see if we were still okay for the date the next day (less than twenty-four hours before it was due to start), I tried to cancel. Normally, if a guy had sent me those pedestrian type of text messages and then waited days to respond, he wouldn’t have stood a chance. In fact, I had tried to cancel due to having been off work that week with a virus (the idea of being cold on the river didn’t appeal) and neither did spending anytime with the Dapper Gent.
Luckily for the Dapper Gent, he had Miss Twenty-Nine fighting his corner… plus he had the whole day planned so I felt like I couldn’t cancel.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the best start to a date. He knew I didn’t want to be there.
However, we quickly got over the ‘I tried to cancel the date’ issue.
Meeting at the London Eye, he revealed that we would be going on a London RIB Voyage down the river. Having lived on the river since moving to London (let’s not mention those regrettable three months spent in Clapham South), I absolutely love any activity which involves being on the water. Grabbing a quick coffee beforehand, we did the normal small talk before heading down the pier to be supplied with extra layers and a lifejacket. As a cox, I knew the procedure and required no assistance with my jacket. I was just thankful that ‘Mr Summer Fling’ no longer worked for the company (I may have neglected to mention in my previous posts that he is a sailor).
Boarding the RIB, I took the outward facing seat. Big mistake. I got drenched as we bombed down the river. My perfectly applied make up was nonexistence within moments of being on the river. Normally when out on a launch with my rowing club, I don’t have any make-up on so it’s not an issue. Refusing to worry about mascara running down my face, I sat back and enjoyed the experience. With cheesy music playing, we didn’t have to make conversation – perfect planning on his part. I was able to point out my old apartment and office building to the Dapper Gent as the RIB swung around in Canary Wharf. After a rather humorous sightseeing tour on the way back to Waterloo Bridge, we disembarked and heading to the nearest tube.
Slowly thawing, we navigated our way to Finchley where the Dapper Gent had organised a private bakery lesson. He made out it was a massive surprise. He failed to predict that I might have an excellent memory which recalled him quizzing me on what I’d like to learn to bake. Arriving early, we had time to grab a quick coffee. I will give this to the Dapper Gent, he kept me well supplied in coffee… as a complete and utter addict; I do have a daily quota I need to get through in order to function.
Departing the coffee shop, he relied on his GPS to direct us to Rachel’s Kitchen. As an army officer, I thought he would have basic map reading skills… apparently not. Spending five minutes “orientating” the map on his phone (basically spinning his phone around in the palm of his hand), we walked back on ourselves until we found the correct road.
Entering Rachel’s Kitchen, she explained what we would be doing. I was excited to finally learn how to bake a Townie. She was so lovely, plying us with tea and coffee and slowly talking us through the steps. It was a rather unusual date idea but it definitely earnt the Dapper Gent some brownie (or should I say Townie) points. As Dapper Gent doesn’t have a sweet tooth, I was allowed to lick out all the mixing bowls… such an attractive first date look. I also scoffed a load of the butterscotch which we made. Not my normal dating etiquette, I assure you.
While we had been baking, I discovered a little bit more about the Dapper Gent. He’s a professionally trained chef and went on a baking course. Not that he uses either of them with a live-in chef back home who is on hand to fulfil any of his culinary desires at the drop of a hat. I asked him why he had wanted to learn how to cook. He claimed that when he gets married, he wants to be able to cook for his wife. Most women would be swooning by this moment. As a natural born cynic, I retorted, what if she wants to be in charge of the cooking?! He countered that she would still deserve a night off. I still wasn’t convinced. Most guys dread the idea of marriage, let alone go on a cookery course in preparation. While women may have attended etiquette lessons in the hope of ensnaring a husband; it would appear Dapper has turned the table on this archaic ritual and is the very definition of the ‘modern man’.
Unfortunately for Dapper, his baking skills were no match for mine. I may not be professionally trained (and I rarely even get the chance to practice anymore) but I still managed to completely outshine him in the pastry stakes.
Departing Rachel’s with a pile of goodies, I was feeling a lot more relaxed (it may have been a result of all the sugar). It turns out baking is a good ice-breaker… definitely something I would consider doing on future dates.
We had planned to grab a bite to eat locally after leaving Rachel’s. However, we were once again reliant upon the Dapper Gent’s sense of direction. Getting completely lost on the way to the restaurant, I suggested we headed over to Notting Hill.
(Dapper had finally filled me in on the last part of the date while at Rachel’s. It’s in Notting Hill was his first clue; followed by… you can sit and have a drink while doing this activity. I soon guessed it was a trip to the Electric cinema. )
Luckily for Dapper, I knew my way around Portobello so I direct us to the row of restaurants close to the Electric. It was starting to rain when we passed a cosy restaurant called ‘The Portobello Organic Kitchen’. Finally, the date had some spontaneity… we were no longer tied down by Dapper’s plans and chose this venue for dinner. Both selecting fish and chips of the menu, we wolfed down our food. Hours wandering around London had obviously done wonders for our appetite.
With the film due to start, we made our way up the road to the Electric – where we discovered Dapper had accidently booked tickets for the wrong day. The show was sold out. Waiting at the box office we had to hope someone didn’t show. Fortunately, the guy at the box office took pity on us and allowed us to have the house seats. The Electric cinema is an experience like no other… placing my glass of Baileys on the side table, I reached into the footstall for the cashmere blanket and prepared myself for the film to start. The only problem with seeing a film at an independent cinema is the lack of choice. We were forced to watch The Counsellor, a typical blokeish film and not something I would have chosen to watch (especially considering the rubbish reviews). However, I was just thankfully to be able to put my feet up and have a drink after a tiring day traipsing all over London.
Somehow managing to stay awake throughout what has to be one of the worst films I’ve seen in recent years, I was relieved when the credits began to roll. This is when Dapper leant over and said, “That has to be one of the worst films I’ve seen”. Thank god, I might have questioned his taste if he thought the film was good.
Catching the tube home, we had to switch lines halfway through the journey. Waiting on the platform, we were informed we’d missed the last tube so were forced to get a taxi (Dapper Gent doesn’t do night buses). I’ll also say this for the Dapper Gent, he ensured I got home safely, dropping me at my door and giving me a box of Townies as a takeaway token of our date. If only all dates gave me baked goods as a parting gift…
- Experimental Dater Number Seven – Blonde Ambition (30blinddates.wordpress.com)
- MARRIAGE – The Wedding Date Challenge (Blonde Ambition) (30blinddates.wordpress.com)
- FEAR – The Ghost Tour (Dapper Gent) (30blinddates.wordpress.com)
- Experimental Dater Twenty-One – The Dapper Gent (30blinddates.wordpress.com)