JC London Eats #5: Dining at the First Dates Restaurant!

December 9, 2015

first dates 1It was recently our second anniversary with my amazing boyfriend Paul! As our anniversary falls right in between my birthday, Christmas and then his birthday, we like to keep it a low key affair, and spend some quality time together. In the morning, Paul gave me a card saying that we were off to dinner that night somewhere which meant a lot to us, but where exactly was a surprise!

I wracked my mind all afternoon as to where we were going, maybe back to the Sky Garden? When we arrived at St Pauls, I was still unsure of where we were. It was only when we walked across the square, that suddenly everything looked a lot more familiar! We were off for dinner at the Paternoster Chop House, where the channel 4 show, First Dates is set.

First Dates the show, is exactly as it sounds, they match people up and send them on a blind date. They head to the restaurant where they usually meet each other at the bar then go through and eat. If you’ve ever seen the show, they usually end up talking more about their pasts than anything else. Many of them seem to be coming out of a long-term relationship, which must be why it can be easy for them to slip into conversations about an ex-partner or ex-spouse, which usually happens on the show. Although, Experts say this can be an easy way to ensure that they won’t get called back for that second date. Contestants should make sure that they are letting go of what hasn’t worked in their past relationships too because there is a reason that those relationships are over. However, some people do find love on this show when they enter the restaurant.

These restaurants must have fantastic Restaurant inventory management to work with TV companies. My friend told me that because of their high-quality experience and well-balanced accounts these restaurants could work with TV companies for a while. They set the whole restaurant up with cameras and you get to spy and watch how it goes. It is not only entertaining, but also heart warming when they end up together. This is probably one of the only shows which Paul and I always make sure we watch together!

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So as soon as I figured out we were heading to the chop house, I was very excited – especially as the food always looked amazing on the show! As we were running slightly late, we went straight to the table – I was starving.

As the name suggests – a chop house usually focuses on meat and fish, serving it simply with a variety of sides. We took our seats and had a look around – Paul was convinced it looked exactly like it does on the TV, I was slightly confused. Obviously my spatial awareness isn’t the best as in my mind everything was flipped over, and it is definitely smaller when you see it in person! We started with drinks, a beer for Paul and a Sloe Gin Fizz for me which was divine, tall and full of blueberries.

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We sprung for starters as we are working through a Hotel Chocolat mountain at home at the moment, Paul went for the Endive, Sweet Potato, Bacon and Goats Cheese salad which he thoroughly enjoyed. I got a bite and really liked it as well, the goats cheese was strong but creamy mixing with the bitter leaf. I went with my staple, smoked salmon and soda bread. The smoked salmon was covered in capers and red onion, along with a lemon. It was melt in the mouth delicious and obviously very fresh. The soda bread went with it well, dense and crumbly. I do wish it had a cream cheese component with it, but it was lovely all the same!

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For mains, we of course, had to go for steak! They had a few options, rump, sirloin, bavette and chateaubriand. We both sprang for the rump steak with peppercorn sauce. I’m really into peppercorn sauce at the moment, it is so spicy and full of flavour. This was a particularly good one, full of peppercorns but also creamy and rich. The steak itself was cooked to perfection, tender and juicy – it was definitely an enjoyable meal. We had a side of chips and spinach which were good but nothing out of the ordinary.

After those two delicious courses, we were definitely stuffed! Everything was so perfectly prepared and presented; they undoubtedly will have been using equipment of the highest quality (I wondered if they perhaps sourced this from sites like this one – www.nellaonline.com). We spent a little while finishing our drinks and pretending we were on our First Date before having a wander around St Pauls. There are so many Christmas trees up in that area, I think I counted about 10 from one spot alone. It definitely had a festive air. I took a few snaps, trying to get use to the new phone camera before we headed home.

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I definitely recommend Paternoster if you are a fan of First Dates, they also do a pretty reasonably priced lunch menu as well if you are in the area.

Are you a fan of First Dates?

JC xx

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