My top five dates

Alix: So this is actually really hard, as we’ve been dating 2 years now and have been lucky to have some awesome dates. One of the things I love about dating Rob is we do a mix of nights in and nights out, free things and expensive things. London has so many activities to suit different tastes and budgets, so there is something available for everyone.

Here are my personal favourites:

1. Our second date 

So our first date was spent in London Bridge in the secret Breakfast Club tequila bar (Call me Mr Lucky) This was one of Rob’s top date places (I hope he’s not going to pretend he had never taken a girl there before) and I was impressed at the whole say a password and be taken downstairs through a fridge experience. So for our second date he decided to expand on the secret bar theme and organised a crawl across london to various secret bars, including Opium in Chinatown, Basement State and finishing at the secret bar at The Breakfast Club in Clapham. I was seriously impressed with the amount of effort he had gone to planning this and it was enough to guarantee a third date.

2. Last night of the proms

We happened to have a free flat on a Saturday night with all my housemates out so it made sense to take advantage of this with a night in. I mentioned I was quite keen to watch last night of the proms and for some inexplicable reason we decided to make a fort in the living room. We made use of the many high lamps in the living room and covered them in sheets and duvets to create a comfy den in which we ate dinner and drank wine. Completely childish and random but hey, that’s us.

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3. 6 Month Anniversary 

Yes, we celebrated 6 months. Mainly for an excuse to go out for a nice dinner. As much as we love having a night in (see above) we also love getting dressed up to enjoy a night out. So for 6 months rob booked Hawksmoor. We both got seriously dressed up and headed for cocktails at Be At One (we had been to one on our first date so this seemed appropriate). After espresso martinis (our favourite cocktail) we headed to Hawksmoor. I had never been before so let Rob order. We had beef carpaccio to start, steak and a side of truffle mac & cheese which was excellent. Rob told me to save room for dessert, so we headed to Basement State where he’d booked a table for drinks and dessert in a nod to our second date. All the food was incredible and the experience was wonderful.

4. Hip hop karaoke 

Rob took me to hip hop karaoke after we’d been dating a couple of months. For anyone that hasn’t been, you need to go, it’s a great night out. It takes place at The Social on Little Portland Street every Thursday and anyone can sign up to perform. Performances range from terrible (but no booing allowed) to insanely good, but we are more than happy to watch everyone else. The host, Bobby Champagne Junior is superb and it’s a great night out, one that I regularly recommend to friends. I was very impressed with Rob for taking me here, given he’s a city banker it wasn’t a place I expected him to choose, and was more impressed that he knew all the lyrics to all the songs performed. It was a great date and one we have repeated regularly.

5. Tapas night 

Our first holiday was a long weekend in Barcelona. Spain is one of my favourite countries, one of the big reasons for this is the food – I love the whole sharing eating style. Whilst in Barcelona we tried an incredible salad, made with a strong Spanish sheep milk cheese, thick balsamic syrup, tomatoes, walnuts, figs and spinach. The cheese is hidden in a pool at the bottom of the salad and the flavours go so well together. Rob and I vowed to make it when we got home. Typically for us, instead of just making a salad, we decided to make a whole range of tapas dishes to really recreate the experience. As well as the salad, we made ham and cheese croquettes, patatas bravas, padron peppers, honey red wine chorizo, broad beans and jamon, garlic aloli and just a couple of sides of bread, olives, meat and cheese. All washed down with tinto y lemon (a bit like sangria). It took some preparation, not to mention scouring London for the exact Spanish cheese, but it was all totally worth it. We had the most amazing feast – there was SO MUCH FOOD – but it was amazing and something we definitely plan to do again.

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…this totally just reminded me of the night we made three cheese and caramelised onion sourdough toasties for dinner and Nutella mascarpone brioche ones for dessert…must write about that soon!! SO GOOD

PS This makes it sound like Rob organises all our dates, which is totally not the case. Not really…

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