Forgot to book a table four years in advance? Bring the romance home with these Deliveroo/takeaway-ready spots
Dramatically arm-sweep the contents of your kitchen table to the floor: it’s sexy sharing-plate time! Fill your surfaces with tapas from Spanish heroes Brindisa, not least their paprika octopus; relieve House of Ho of its snow crab dumplings, “shaking beef” and other top Vietnamese bites.
Play this while eating: Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain and Tennille, as the cutesy play fight for the final croquetas de jamon starts to turn all Conor McGregor
There’s more to seductive seafood than slurping up a tower of oysters. We’re talking the zingy raw bar from Peruvian powerhouse Ceviche; a crackin’ lobster and chips slap-up from Randall & Aubin; or an extravagant, I’m-on-hands-and-knees-for-forgetting-a-card King’s Seafood Platter from Caviar House & Prunier.
Play this while eating: The Ship Song by Nick Cave. First because it’s blissful, and second because the next best nautical love song is Rock Lobster. Ain’t no one got time for that.
A round of applause to your housemate Gareth who, judging by the smears on his door handle, believed the M&S melt-in-the-middle chocolate pots you bought were his. While you send him another strongly worded WhatsApp message with one hand, use your other to dial in a Banoffee Paella from cronut creators Dominique Ansel Bakery; discover what delicious artery damage a “Biskie” can do with Cutter & Squidge; or enlist the help of Hummingbird Bakery for cupcake-a-geddon.
Play this while eating: Love Hurts by Nazareth, as your stubborn refusal to loosen your belt buckle cuts the blood flow to your legs
You’ve watched more than enough First Dates to know that there ain’t no romancin’ like some full-strength French-style romancin’. Bar Boulud (just reopened) is the one-stop shop to channelling your inner “Bald guy from the little desk by the door”. Think coq au vin, huge charcuterie platters, and onion soup on your lap without so much as shedding a stinging tear onto your chopping board.
Play this while eating: Whack on Jacques Brel, and start with Ne Me Quitte Pas. He did it for Sinatra, Simone and Bowie. Just don’t tell anyone he’s Belgian!!!1!
Listen to Old Uncle Hyde and make use of Lina Stores’ DIY Risotto For Two kit (£45) – it contains Arborio risotto rice, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, dried Italian porcinis, and white truffle oil for a real date impresser, with chocolates and a little visit from Old Aunty Fun Juice in the form of a bottle of Prosecco, too.
Play this while eating: Four easy words: Gladiator, Score, Hans, Zimmer. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.