Every week, as I learn more about London, I share some of my Date Ideas and Experiences with you …
Happenstance, St. Pauls
First off … I LOVE the name of this bar / restaurant! It literally means a ‘chance occurrence’ … which the hopeless romantic adores!
The Happenstance is a stone’s throw from the beautiful Cathedral. Like it’s sister, The Anthologist, the restaurant is part bustling City bar, part laid-back restaurant. I went on a date there on a Friday evening, and the bar area was absolutely buzzing. My date and I pushed our way through the crowds, to the restaurant, which is on a raised floor at the back of the bar, and the atmosphere was completely different. Quiet, low-key, and yet elegant, we relaxed immediately, and both commented on what a great date location it was. The menu was the same as The Anthologist. We opted for sharing platters to start – I highly recommend the Borough Markets charcuterie platter – and then happened upon Surf & Turf – my two favourites.
Because of it’s location, it proved a perfect spot for a Friday night date. Central, with beautiful views of the dome on entry, and yet quiet enough that you could get away with a last minute reservation.
I’ve always been a great advocate of active dating … But I have one word of advice for a Bikram yoga date … and that is DON’T!
Bikram is sweaty. It’s a 90 minute class in 42 degree heat. No one looks hot doing Bikram, because you’re too hot! And then there’s the actual yoga element! Even the most accomplished of yogis probably doesn’t want their date starting upside down at their bum, or scrutinising every wobble.
I went to Bikram with a male friend … and that honestly was bad enough. I spent most of the time trying to stop myself giggling at how inflexible he was, and the rest of the time, suddenly noticing how unattractive I really looked.
Some things in life have a purpose – and the purpose of Bikram yoga is to improve your own strength and flexibility. You shouldn’t be worried about how attractive you look, or how accomplished you look, whilst you’re in the class.
Impress your date with you Bikram skills in the bedroom, not in the classroom! 😉
The Alwyne Castle, Islington
If the sunshine returns, with the promised Indian summer, and you’re looking for a Beer Garden to drink in, on a more casual date, try the Alwyne Castle. A stone’s throw from the Highbury & Islington Overground Station, the outdoor area is beautiful, and there’s heaps of space.
The Island Grill, Lancaster London Hotel
My top recommendation this week is The Island Grill. Tucked away in The Lancaster London, just paces from Lancaster Gate Tube, the restaurant is the perfect spot for a low-key, but impressive dinner. With subdued lighting, and quiet corners, it makes for a perfect date venue. The staff were really attentive, and everything we ate there was incredible.
We ordered Black Olive Fougasse, to dip in Humous and Babba Ganoush to start. I always think, you can tell a lot about a restaurant from the bread, and the Fougasse was some of the best bread I’ve tasted for a long time! (Not counting the bread I made last weekend at the bread-making date, obviously! 😉 )
I’m quite a recent steak convert, and so I opted for the 10 oz Sirloin with peppercorn sauce … When it arrived, I couldn’t believe how enormous it was! My date ended up eating half of it, on top of the seared scallops he had to start, and his own main – Roast Rump of Lamb!
I finished off my dinner with Banoffee Cheesecake – the perfect combination of two of my favourite desserts!
The meal was really affordable – all the mains were under £20, and the garlic mashed potato was literally to die for.
I’m becoming a really big fan trying out restaurants in London hotels. I think the service is often a lot better, the restaurants are quieter, and the atmosphere is intimate, yet impressive, with nice little touches like impeccable bathrooms.
I will definitely be going back … soon!!! 🙂
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx