Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Perfect Saturday

So I suppose it's just about possible that you guys see this whole dating thing differently to us girls - am I right?! Well, if that's case, perhaps we should hear it from the boys for a change? Welcome then, to the remarkable world of  'The City Gent', in this, his debut GDG blog post… 

Planning a day date can be pretty daunting. There's a hell of a lot at stake. You’ve asked your date to give up their entire day, so if it doesn’t work out, whether it’s because you’ve run out of conversation by lunch time or she just isn’t quite as enthusiastic about the London Transport Museum as you are, that’s one of her two precious free days wasted. If you really mess up, it could be game-over as far as your relationship, current or pending, is concerned. But where there’s risk there’s also opportunity. A day date gives you free reign to go out exploring, try something different and just enjoy spending time getting to know each other – sober (to begin with, at least). So I decided to back myself and booked my date in for a day in the city. All I told her was to meet me at Bond Street at 10am and that I would have her home by midnight.

First things first. Caffeine. I had to set the tone for the day – the usual Neros regular latte with an extra shot simply wouldn’t do. Postcard Teas, just around the corner from Bond Street station, did just the trick. It’s a serenely calm shop, serving lovingly prepared teas from all around the world on one long communal table. Tim, the owner, will take you through just about every tea in the shop - they even do ‘Tea School’ if you fancy adding an educational twist to your day, but that’s probably best reserved for more tea-obsessed amongst you.

Now you may think that those who shop on New Bond Street have more money than sense. But that’s not to stop you wandering down it, helping yourself to the free champagne that some shops have on offer and feeling what it’s like to try on a £700 Ralph Lauren jumper, or £3000 Burberry fur-lined coat. It’s just a bit of fun of course, so a quick word of warning - if you can’t find the tag, don’t ask for the price...

Before the urge to make a close-your-eyes-and-pretend-you-have-the-money purchase took hold, we escaped to the Royal Academy on Piccadilly. I can’t pretend that I was particularly impressed by the Degas exhibition they had on at the time, but my God they did a great lunch in the restaurant. It was worth suffering through the exhibition to tuck into their butternut squash and sage soup, followed by a poached salmon, crème fraiche and tarragon tart. We had the place practically to ourselves, which was surprising given how good the food was and magnificent the surroundings were.

We headed towards Green Park to try and fend off the inevitable post-lunch food coma with a decent walk towards the next stop on the itinerary, the Harvey Nichols Foodmarket in Knightsbridge (yes more food – you’ll see why in a second). The great thing about this place is that you have to go up a secret elevator to get to it on the fifth floor (ok, not secret, but it’s not obvious how to find it). They’ve got an
impressive deli counter where I picked up a few bits and pieces to cook for supper later in the evening and some cool gift foods to browse through, or nibble on if you’ve somehow rediscovered your appetite by then, which I had. 

So, onwards back to mine for supper (there’s a theme here) where I cooked something pretty simple - some aubergine, pancetta (from Harvey Nics) and mozzarella stacks, with sweet potato gratin. Just before watching a film on the sofa became irresistibly tempting, I put on my jacket. ‘I’ve got one more surprise for you,’ I said. We walked through the back streets of Chelsea to The Surprise on Christchurch Street for pudding and an aperitif. It’s a fantastic, cosy little pub, serving a vast range of small plates, a bit like a British tapas.

We hopped on a Boris bike and I took her back to hers on the stroke of midnight, as promised. I left the next morning with a whole cake tin full of brownie points, and a smile on my face.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Well that's a charming start on a lovely sunny day... Why not keep your unpleasant thoughts to yourself and allow each to their own?

  3. I hate to censor comments, but I'm also not keen on offensive ones...

  4. Oooh! What did they say?!?!

  5. All men should take note of this.. I simply couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday :-) Was she impressed though.. I'm dying to know how it went???