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Original Dating Guide To London - Restaurants

Thursday August 6, 2015

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I know most of my knowledge is based around drinkeries but perhaps I’m becoming a little more refined as I age. Either way, check out these latest offerings.

The Fire Station
While Waterloo has never really been seen as a go to place for new bars, despite the presence of the Old Vic and some classic nearby staples, it’s still somewhere I’ll pop down to by default if nothing else takes my fancy. Y’know, just in case.

And so it was I stumbled across The Fire Station. The last time I was here it was a fairly average pub hewn from the shell of, you guessed it, a fire station.

So it was with glee I did a double take when wandering past a few months ago.
Deliciously indulgent burgers and hand stretched pizzas are the order of the day, the former utilising some surprising ingredients. And the bar do a great pitch at not-retro retro with liberal use of their smoking machine for cocktails.

Use words like ‘handmade’ and ‘funky’.

It’s not so much a diamond in the rough, more the newest diamond in a very nice window display.

The Fire Station
150 Waterloo Road

Balls & Co
Balls & Co sell balls. Meatballs. Five different types in fact. Plus quinoa. Meatballs and quinoa balls. I don’t know why that makes me giggle. So, six types of balls, five of them being meat balls. And they do it really well. I’m counting salmon as meat by the way.

Refined simplicity is the order of the day and there’s not a single piece of flat packed furniture in sight.

Choose your balls. Choose your sauce. Choose your sides. Eat. The shareability of the plates and the small range available mean food envy isn’t a problem and this simplicity is matched by the décor.

It’s almost as if Chef Bonny Turner turned to the rest of Soho, sighed and said, “It’s really simple. Let me show you.” It tastes awesome.

Balls & Co
58 Greek Street
W1d 3DY

Cuisson Popdown
When someone told me I could have Michelin level food without a mortgage I thought we were having a re-run of the time my best friend promised me a culinary birthday treat and then took me to Heston Blumenthal’s Little Chef near Popham on the A303 about 5  years ago.

Turns out you really can. More an interactive experience than a relaxed restaurant dinner, Popdown encourages diners to get up close and personal with chefs, even taking a hand in preparation.

For me, this is food heaven. Unfortunately I haven’t been yet but reports have been excellent. It’s classic French with a modernist twist all put together by the justifiably renowned Cuisson team.

As far as I’m concerned, because the wine is a fiver a glass and twenty quid a bottle it’s already a winner.

Only open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays it’s a set price of £39 which seems a bargain for a 4-7 courses plus cocktail where you can also swear directly at the chefs without worrying they will pee in your food. Well they still might but at least you’ll see them do it.

Oh and even though it’s pretty much a pop-up, it’s called popdown because you ‘pop’ down some stairs to get to it. I didn’t say they were any good at marketing.

15 Charles II Street (Piccadilly Circus)

Right, that’s me suitably stuffed, having convinced myself but no-one else I really do have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in town. I think I’ll stick to the drinks for the next one.

In the meantime you can always join us for a dating feast and find someone to accompany you to one of these fine eateries.  Click here and see you soon.



The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.