If you’re dating a girl you think is a particularly classy one and a bit of a keeper you might decide to take her to a restaurant for a date. The type of restaurant you go for means a lot so don’t go for the cheap option and try to pick something that is personal to you as a couple. For example, if she’s a jeans and converse type girl go for a local restaurant with a live band and a laid back atmosphere and a dress code to match. If she’s a girl who loves getting dressed up take her to a fancy Italian where the clientele make an effort, there’s lots of fairy lights and a sophisticated atmosphere. Obviously to be dating either of these kinds of girls means you’re likely to be similar to her so go with your gut instincts.
Make reservations and ask the host what time would be best where there will be an atmosphere but it won’t be too loud and go for a table either by a window, in a booth or in the corner so you don’t feel on display. There’s nothing worse than going to an empty restaurant with someone you don’t know very well and trying to make conversation with everyone hearing every word you say. Call or text ahead so she knows what time you’re coming and that it’s definitely still on. Dress smarter than usual so she knows you’ve made an effort and don’t be late in meeting her or picking her up.
Let her pick the wine and pretend not to notice the prices. The general rule for wines is white for fish dishes, chicken and pork and red for red meat and tomato sauces. Don’t try and pronounce anything you’re not sure of, just point and when the waiter asks who would like to try it let the lady go first. Try not to pick anything messy like spaghetti or ribs or anything that’s going to get stuck in your teeth and use your napkin like your mum always told you (not tucked into your collar though). Now probably isn’t the time to talk about any food allergies so don’t go for something completely new such as oysters as you don’t want to spend the whole meal staring at your plate of octopus wishing you’d chosen your usual steak.
After the meal leave a generous tip so she knows you’re not a complete cheapskate and drive her home. If the date has been a roaring success you can give yourself a pat on the back and know that every date from this point onwards is going to be infinitely better. If it didn’t go quite so brilliantly at least you got a nice meal out of it.
Claire Bowden gives her dating tips and recommends browsing www.loveyourwine.co.uk for date number two on the sofa.