One of my housemates has just discovered Tinder and by discover, I mean actually decided to use it rather than just drunkenly lament about his lack of a love life.
Having been out of the game for some time, he asked me for some first date ideas and I decided to share my wisdom in a post.
And no the title does not mean I have been on eight, great dates recently. The last blind date (i.e. met out when blind drunk and agreed to meet up with a few weeks later, sober) I went on ended in a message saying “Oh but I do love your perfume…” Let’s not even go there, but needless to say I am rather off dating at the moment. But there is nothing as fun as a good first date, the prep, that calming G&T, the first conversation and the initial awkwardness…(ARGH)
Oh and there is always the risk that this will happen:
Anyway first impressions are hugely important on a first date so here are some of the best places in Bristol to take a date whether it’s first, blind, second or sultana-like.
The pub is the perfect first date. There’s no pressure, there is the added calming influence of alcohol, and it’s one you can easily get out of. The phone rings…
“Oh no, my housemate’s locked out/fallen over/broken down”
or in my case, more likely, has super-glued a boot to her hand (actually happened)
1st pub of choice
Gallimaufry, Gloucester Road
Whilst it can get busy on the weekend, it does have a very date like atmosphere and looks like you have thought carefully without being too intense or fancy. No-one likes a try hard.
2. Ice skating in Clifton
OK this is quite a cringe date but some girls like that romantic-stuff so I think this could be a good one. Particularly as it’s very seasonal and Clifton has a lot of great pubs (see point 1)
Pros- It is pretty much obligatory hand-holding, clinging on for dear life and touching, so this is probably better as a second or third date.
Definitely spotted a dark corner for said touching :P.
Cons- Falling flat on your face is never pretty
Embrace your inner child. Going to a zoo must be one of the best dates out there and Bristol’s is very cute particularly around the seal area. Perfect for monkeying around whilst watching the Gorillas.
Or you could do the Aquarium, but not everyone’s into fish and it does always remind me of Chandler and the shark porn.
4. St Nicholas Market
Perfect for a lunch date. I have a phobia of eating on dates, but for normal people, St Nic’s has the best little stalls including amazing falafel, really cosy Middle Eastern restaurant and Pieminister.
5. Walk on the Downs
Nothing like a spot of fresh air and a romantic walk across the downs (weather dependent). There are two ice cream van stops and some woodland for goat spotting if you are feeling more adventurous. Season dependent you could also be really cute/weird and pick berries (sloe gin, yes please).
Despite being a big fan of this date, I suggest only doing it with people you know. This was the scene of my tinder date with the crazy guy. The one who as we walked past a couple said, Aren’t they a good couple? We’d make a really good couple… and tried to hold my hand within 3 minutes of meeting me. He’s also the one that called me a cold English b****. Pretty sure that was nothing to do with our date location though and a lot to do with meeting him on Tinder :P.
6. Something on the Harbour
From the M-shed with the human-skin book (check it out) and dressing up potential, to the great bars like the Arnolfini and the Olive shed, the harbour is a great place for a date. Avoid the pitcher and piano side and head over the river or along by the Thekla, to the Apple.
7. Bath Christmas Market
It may be a train ride away but it’s worth it. Much more romantic than the B&Q sheds of the “German Christmas” market in Broadmead and with cheaper wine too! Even if you’re not on a date, it’s a great shopping trip. Usually some carol singers to add to the seasonal atmosphere and there’s no way this won’t be a successful date.
8. Bristol Museum
Top of Park Street, for a quirky date, go to my favourite museum in Bristol. Pick out your house on the Bristol maps upstairs, head for the taxidermy at the back (poor tiger shot by George V) or get spooked by the Egyptian mummy in the exhibit.
Roar… making no comments about stuffing 😛
And some bad dates, guaranteed non-action
1. The cinema- Unless you have no sense of dignity and are going to get up to some serious PDAs, then the cinema is just about the most boring date you can commit to. First of all, you have to decide on a film you both like, which means it’s highly likely you’ll be stuck watching some horrific car-chase type film or some cringe chic flick that would be much better with your friends.
Alanis Morisette might disagree as she suggests in You Oughta Know, some other things you can do in the cinema…
Shoes… need I say more.
Although you have to love the Lanes for any other occasion
I love shopping in Bristol but sometimes heading to Broadmead just reminds me of everything that is bad about the human race. Think of the Black Friday sales mayhem and just avoid it. You can go for a coffee on the Harbour at The Watershed or anywhere else in Bristol.
My player-housemate often frequents Bar Chocolat in Clifton, so look out for the smooth guy spouting charm and marshmallows….