Hugh and Charlie

Blind date: Hugh and Charlie

This week: Two vibrant, bright young things, with a devil-may-care attitude and the whole night in front of them, right? Well, no. If you’ve got some wet paint, go and sit in front of that for a few hours for a bigger thrill.

Read what happened on the date

If you stayed awake long enough, let’s look at the all-important questions:

Table manners and awkward moments

Regretting ordering a last glass of cava isn’t something you do in your twenties, on a date that sounded as polite as a post office queue in the Home Counties – it’s best left to bawdy grandmas who flash vicars at christenings or captains of industry who hire Shingy. Regrets are like cardigans and gout – you shouldn’t have them at 24.

I’m with Charlie on the whole “list of questions” thing – nobody wants to feel like they’re at a job interview when on a date. However Charlie does go on to say that Hugh might have found her a bit intimidating, but doesn’t say why, so I’m guessing she gave him more than a withering look as he sipped that terminal glass of cava.

Luckily, Hugh gets his own back by slating Charlie for having her phone on the table – you can’t really blame her for tweeting during dinner, Hugh; you sound pretty dreary – and also dips his spoon into her dessert. If anybody even thought about sharing my pudding on a date, I would a) take it as read that they wanted to have sex with me and b) kill them stone dead for their rudeness. This is why I was single for so long.

On the whole, two nice young people but the only fizz to the date seemed to be in that fateful. Last. Glass. Of. Cava.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

Update: Josh talks back

Blind date: Josh and Rob

Eagle-eyed viewers may remember all the way back to yesterday’s Guardian Blind Date when Rob and Josh went to what sounds like a very dreadful cocktail bar and had an even more dreadful time.

Following my review of the date – which if I’m honest didn’t look too favourably on either of them, but such is the nature of putting yourself out there – Josh (right) got in touch to say his actual answers were edited and made him sound a lot harsher than he actually was. Interesting.

There was a particularly zinging answer to the “awkward moments” question which I couldn’t wait to hear the real story behind:


You’d be forgiven for thinking that the date was an acidic hotbed of vitriol, with endless eye-rolling and a bitchy putdown served with every margarita. But what Josh actually said was:

Were there any awkward moments?
When he said ‘This article better be published after all I’ve been through’. Didn’t really make me feel top of the world.

You can see the original, published answers in this recap of the date on the Guardian website. In the interests of balance,  here are Josh’s full responses to the questions he was asked. Warning: if you enjoyed Josh being a wonderfully unsympathetic bitch in the original article, it’s not your day – he seems OK.

Before the date, what were you hoping for?
Someone to have a laugh with, have some drinks, enjoy the company of a total stranger in a cool bar.

What were your first impressions?
Not my type at all, but that could be a good thing! Blind dates should be a nice way to get out of your comfort zone.

What did you talk about?
His job, the pop up restaurant and how we weren’t allowed to call the cocktails cocktails. They are ‘infusions’ apparently.

Were there any awkward moments?
When he said ‘This article better be published after all I’ve been through’. Didn’t really make me feel top of the world.

Good table manners?
Perfectly acceptable it was rather dark though!

Best thing about Rob?
Knows what he wants out of life.

Would you feel happy introducing him to your friends?
Honestly, not really. I think we move in different crowds.

How would you describe Rob in three words?
Northern, driven, carnivore.

What do you think he made of you?
I was probably a little annoying with my nervous joking. And I gossiped with the bar staff about the venue at the start so he might have felt I was ignoring him. Sorry about that.

Did you go on somewhere?

And… did you kiss?
No we didn’t.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
That the restaurant served wine. I needed a non infused drink.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
I’m afraid not, I don’t think we were looking for the same things

In fairness to the journalist compiling answers, the column seems to have a very strict, low word count – but Josh’s unedited answers put a new spin on things, don’t they?  Worth remembering if you’re planning on some Guardian Blind Date stardom yourself…

If you have been on a Guardian Blind Date and would like to tell me how it really went, do get in touch.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

Rob and Josh

Blind date: Josh and Rob

Read what happened on the date

I’m never any good at guessing people’s ages – that David Gandy is under 40 never ceases to astound me – but these two guys are in their twenties, apparently. I think we know how this one’s going to go, but let’s get the formalities over with.

Table manners: Rob and Josh

I can definitely see where Rob is coming from on this one – Sunday dinners are a delightful thing, when done right. Having lived in London for well over a decade, I can vouch for the fact that decent roasts are hard to find, so perhaps Josh has been eating the wrong Sunday dinners.

Disagreeing over food is never a good start, as people take their eating habits quite seriously, and a mismatch over what to have for dinner can point to catastrophe in other areas. I once spent much of a date berating celeriac to a man I didn’t fancy, but who I knew liked celeriac. I’m guessing Josh saw an ideal opportunity to let Rob know he was not for him: “I hate what you eat, and you are what you eat. So I hate you.” Quite clever, really.

It’s with Josh that things get really interesting. And by interesting, I mean we’ve go from gentle hints of a mismatch to dashing vats of acid in the face of romance. Although Rob does make it pretty clear early on the two weren’t matched, Josh gets there straight away with a withering “Not my type at all” on question number two.

And as for his awkward moment? Calling someone out for wanting to be in a magazine when you yourself have applied to do the very same seems a little bit off, but I suppose we get the picture. If you would rather your date was all about being on a date, there are other sections of the Guardian that can help you hook up with a legion of cardigan wearers taking ukulele classes and looking for love.

Perhaps Josh had a sudden flash of realisation that this was actually going into a magazine and he’d better make himself look as dignified as possible.

With those dull-as-dishwater answers to the all-important “table manners” questions, neither of them really pulled it off. But, hey, at least they made it into a magazine.

UPDATE: Josh got in touch to say his answers had been unfavourably edited – and he may have a point. Read his full, unabridged answers in this follow-up post.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

Marc and Sarah

Blind date Marc and Sarah

Read what happened on the date

These two look like pretty good eggs, don’t they? Sarah seems one of those people who would agree to water your plants while you were on holiday and actually do it, and Marc would probably offer his seat on the Tube to a pregnant lady (although it would turn out to be merely an overweight person and he’d get all embarrassed).

Right, to the nitty-gritty:


I’m into these two. Anybody who tries to get a free bottle of wine out of an arsey waiter (and they went to Kettners in Soho, so I know exactly what these waiters will be like) is fine by me.

Oysters are, of course, an aphrodisiac. This has always confused me, as they taste a bit like manflu and look most unfortunate, plus it is impossible to look sexy as you shovel them down your throat hoping desperately that you won’t have to taste them. What’s the point?

Two solid answers to the table manners question, with not an impeccable in sight. All the signs are good. As you read on, you start to think we could be in hat-buying territory – with Marc even scoring Sarah a 10 – until the very end, when Sarah drops an “As friends, yeah” to the question about meeting up again. This being the Guardian Blind Date column, which is not remotely inquisitive, they don’t ask why, instead leaving Sarah’s answer hanging there, like a bogey on a bride in a wedding photo.

Reading between the lines: Marc spat out his second oyster or made a joke about sex while he was choking on a third. Sarah quickly started to sober up and the waitress ruthlessly withheld the wine she so desperately needed. And that’s what clinched it.

Photograph: James Drew Turner; Frantzesco Kangari for the Guardian

Daniel and Nathalie

What happened on the date

Sometimes to work out what happened on a date, all you need to do is look at the photo. I don’t know whether the shoot happens afterward, or the photographers gets them to do a variety of poses which include “mardy” and “when will this hell end?”, but sometimes the main image sums everything up perfectly. Anyway, to business:

If you were to take Daniel’s comments in isolation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he is flinging some serious shade his date’s way. The pair went to Lanes of London, which is an incredibly posh place you would take your granny for afternoon tea. Nathalie – no word on whether she’s French or just has parents who fancied making life difficult for her at school – ate chips with her hands. In Mayfair. So subversive. Either way, he avoided “impeccable”, so full marks to Daniel.

Nathalie’s dreary answer of “perfect” is a crushing disappointment, made all the more bland when compared with her fantastic awkward moments answer. I’m not sure how or why they got around to talking about biological clocks on a first date in a snootsville restaurant in one of the richest parts of London, but you can practically feel Daniel’s panic fizz off the page. Poor Nathalie was so exhausted from talking her date down from the ceiling that she forgot what his table manners were even like.

While essentially they got on, some marvellous buzzwords like “opinionated”, “Hollyoaks”, “sarcastic” suggest Daniel felt Nathalie wasn’t for him. 

Nathalie’s zinger at the end pretty much confirms it. When asked “Would you meet again?”, she throws back: “By accident”. Ouch.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

Harry and Rosey


What happened on the date


An exciting deviation from the norm in an attempt to add content to the worst question of the entire column. Effort appreciated, but the use of “textbook” makes me feel a bit ill.

And sharing food is a prelude to sex and they didn’t actually do that – so no. Unless your hands are planning to wander far and wide, keep them off your date’s plate.

Especially with cheese, the least sexy food since polenta.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

Joe and Adam


What happened on the date


A rare consecutive same-sex date sees the participants attempt diplomacy in what was clearly a glorified worm-eating contest.

Take a tip from these guys: when eating ramen and it goes horribly wrong – as this evidently did – just agree on what you’re going to say before it goes in a national newspaper.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

A weekly roast of the splendid, stupid or sexless things said by participants in the Guardian Blind Date column.

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