The Mulled Wine and Crumble Date at the Coal Vaults

Written by The Date Guy on . Posted in Alcohol, Cocktails, Date Genre, Date Venues, Dinner, Eating or Drinking, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, Price, Tottenham Court Road, £££: £25-£50

Coal Vaults Soho

£££

Soho disappoints the bastard in me. You want it to be all mobsters and prostitutes, all downstairs bookshops and clubs where young women in bowler hats sing Mein Herr. It should be possible to go out in Soho with a bad attitude and come back with a black eye and an STD but it isn't. I just want to end one night out in the gutter having been thrown there by a Russian doorman while my stripper girlfriend screams abuse at him. I just want to end one night out with my right eye closed shut from fighting, drinking in a shit hole basement bar, paying for shots with my last, crumbled, blood stained fiver. Such dreams are not made in Soho anymore. It has become the place you end up if you went to boarding school, but instead of taking a job at your father's bank, you grew a moustache and bought a camera. If you really want to experience Soho, head for Shoreditch, which begs the question, since crossrail, and Snog, and Byron, what is Soho for?

 

We all love Maison Bertaux, we all love the film club at the Soho hotel, we all know a few good bars and a few good coffee shops, but take away the filth and what has Soho become? At the unassuming entrance of the Coal Vaults I consider this question, and at the bottom of the stairs I find my answer.

The Lying about Gugelhupf Date at The Delaunay Counter

Written by The Date Guy on . Posted in Activity, Afternoon Tea, Cakes, Coffee, Date Genre, Date Venues, Eating or Drinking, Price, Relaxing, Temple, Travel, ££: £10-£25, £££: £25-£50

Gugelhupf at the Delaunay

££ to £££ (depending on how much you eat)

You find yourself in Aachen, West Germany. It's not a secret as such, you just didn't tell anyone you were going and any explanation as to why you are there makes it sound like you're having a breakdown; you woke up early, saw the name Aachen on the first page of the dictionary, and for lack of any plans, drove there. It's not an unremarkable place, but definitely an unusual choice for a six hundred mile round trip. The main thing that attracted you in the dictionary's two sentence definition were the words, thermal spa. Since Iceland I have really wanted to find a thermal spa closer to my flat. On arrival at Carolus Thermen I mention this to a German who looks at me like I'm an idiot.

 

HER: Oh yeah, because there are like no spas in Belgium.

The London Street Art Date in Brick Lane

Written by The Date Guy on . Posted in Aldgate East, Art, Coffee, Date Genre, Date Venues, Eating or Drinking, Price, Shoreditch High Street, Wandering, £: < £10

Street Art by Otto Schade

£

In forty years time nursing homes will be populated by grandmothers with slutty back tattoos, remembering the holiday they once had in Malia, when a club rep loved them for twenty minutes, before leaving their life with only a wet patch to remember them by. In a different nursing home the other end of town, a club rep looks at photos of his tanned younger self wondering what ever happened to that girl. He has no war stories, no medals to leave, just an iCloud full of drunken night out photos, which clicked through fast enough scan like a working class version of the 2010 John Lewis advert.  You read this today, tomorrow is next year, the day after you're dead. Art is permanent, you tell yourself, make art. You wake up in Brick Lane. You've looked at the street art there before, but you've never really looked. A picture of a girl picking radioactive flowers blows you away. By the time you tell someone about it, it could be gone. You go back the next day, and find twenty other pieces of street art you hadn't noticed before. A week later pictures appear and disappear. It's like the world's fastest evolving art gallery, except no one owns it, no one profits from it, it's just created for you to enjoy for a short time, before it's gone.

This is the simplest, cheapest date you will ever do, and it's a new favourite of mine. If I was ever to rewrite my free dates in London article, this would be top. It's a date that you can do any time of day, any day of the year. It's a date that you can do with someone you love, or someone you just want to be friends with, or even by yourself. In fact I recommend wherever you are, whatever you are up to, stop it right now and go to Brick Lane.

So, this date can just happen by accident, when meeting someone for a drink or coffee in the Brick Lane. However, it's better to set it up with the text,

The BBC Proms Date at The Royal Albert Hall

Written by The Date Guy on . Posted in Date Genre, Date Venues, Gigs, Kensington High Street, Price, South Kensington, Theatre, Watching, ££: £10-£25, £££: £25-£50, ££££: £50-£100, £££££: £100+

Royal Albert Hall Proms

££ to £££££ (depending on tickets)

 

It doesn't occur to me until the moment it starts, but for twelve years I have been listening to this piece of music. Every run, every bike ride, every bus journey, when I failed university, when I graduated, when I sold my first piece of writing, when my nan died, the first night in the flat I bought, the last night before I lost it, when I couldn't sleep, when I was scared, when I was lonely, that day in Trento, with her, the next day in Venice, all alone, in parks, in libraries, staring at blank screens, in crowded rooms, in empty ones. It doesn't occur to me until the moment it starts, but for twelve years, this piece has been part of the soundtrack of my life, always in the background, making things alright. And I've never heard it played live before.

 

The Alchemist in the Park Date Featuring Barts

Written by The Date Guy on . Posted in Activity, Cocktails, Date Genre, Date Venues, Eating or Drinking, Hyde Park Corner, Parks, Price, Relaxing, Sloane Square, South Kensington, Wandering, £££: £25-£50

Hyde Park Colour Effect

£££

Bumping into her is like walking into a room and unexpectedly finding your dad disposing of the corpse of his mistress. Five minutes ago you loved the world, now you believe in nothing. She is a sad song dressed in heels and red lipstick. She tells you your face looks older, are you sleeping okay? You should try chewing valerian root. The concerned insult is her forte. I spent our short relationship imagining all the eating disorders our children would have.

 

I found a great bar near you, Barts. You should go, you'd like it.

The Six Unbreakable Rules when Shopping with Men

Written by The Date Guy on . Posted in Dating Advice

Danbo Shopping

You know that thing you know about men, that we hate shopping? We don't, we are just better at it than women and so dislike the inferior experience created by our girlfriends. Many a lovely afternoon is wasted looking at the person you love turn into someone you don't, five minutes after they enter River Island. Whilst there are plenty of things to criticise men for, our attitude to shopping isn't one of them, this isn't our fault, and if you have ever found yourself on a shopping trip with a man who is hating the experience, then I guarantee you were breaking one, if not all, of the following rules. Please send this to the woman of the world, I really want to enjoy shopping with you people, you just make it so hard.

 

Rule One: Prioritise the Man Not the Shopping Trip

This is the key to everything. If the shopping trip is more important than spending time with the man you are with, then go by yourself. You want his opinion on a dress? Buy it, and take it back if he doesn't like it. The pattern that all shopping trips seem to fall into is that the business of buying things immediately becomes far more important than your boyfriend's happiness, and this is simply unacceptable in any balanced relationship.

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