Every week on 30 Dates I aim to inspire with some new ideas for dates around London.
Enoteca Turi, Putney
An Italian restaurant like no other, perched just beside Putney Bridge, this traditional Italian restaurant is certainly not your bog standard pizza and pasta offering. In fact, I didn’t spot one pizza on the menu. Dishes are created with inspiration from different Italian areas, and everything is plated exquisitely. Despite being on Putney High Street, don’t mistake this for a High Street chain. Hand’s down the most upmarket Italian I’ve ever eaten at. The restaurant is romantic and homely. A good choice for an anniversary dinner … followed by a walk down the river maybe?
CIRCUS, Covent Garden
I was rather jealous at Christmas, when the Rugby Boy’s workplace chose CIRCUS for their Christmas Party venue. It’s a spot I’d been wanting to try for some time, though I only made it there last week. And I really wasn’t disappointed. The restaurant is famous for its entertainment (between courses acrobats and circus performers will perform breath-taking 5-10 minute acts on a long marble table top (which you can choose to dine at). However it was the food that knocked me for six. The lobster tempura is genuinely one of the yummiest things I’ve ever eaten, and neither myself, nor the Rugby Boy, were disappointed by any of the things we selected from the sharing-style Asian-inspired menu.
White Water Rafting with Legacy 300 and Virgin Experience Days
Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to Lee Valley White Water Centre, by Virgin Experience Days and Legacy 300, to check out their new ‘Tough Rudder’ days – white water rafting under the guidance of Olympian Tim Baillie – C2 canoeing gold medallist from the London 2012 games.
The day involved a Q&A session and pep talk from Tim, a pre-rafting photo with him and his gold medal, and then an hour rafting on the Olympic white water course. It was genuinely such a fun day – Tim was really approachable, and his talk about preparing for the Games, and the race itself was really interesting and inspiring. And then the white water rafting itself was a LOT of fun.
I’ve rafted before, but never on a man-made course, and what I quickly realised was that, with the added safety of lifeguards, and the ability to stay in sections of the course far longer than you would on a river, rather than trying to stay in the boat (like I had on rivers abroad) the guide wanted to see how close he could get us to coming out of the boat. We spent an hour throwing ourselves around the boat, desperately trying to stay out of the water, and not flip the boat over (something we did twice!), and it was such a fun way to spend an afternoon. The safety at the centre is top knotch, and whenever one of us did come out of the boat, the lifeguards and ‘river’ guides were so authorative and switched on, that it wasn’t scary at all.
I LOVE this as a date idea, because it was such a fun shared experience, and I really felt like I got to know the guys in the boat really well. It’s hard not to feel closer to someone when you’re being thrown in their lap every 10 seconds, and clinging on together to desperately stay in the boat! I also think it would be a great singles event – because the Lee Valley Centre has a really cool deck for drinks and a BBQ after the rafting.