London Lite Tuesday, 21 July 2009 19 hisTinkerbelle? POSH DATE Email your restaurant reviews to Buzzing: LEtranger is a foodie delight IM EMBROILED in a long-distance relationship with a guy from New York so whenever we visit one another, we make sure we pull out all stops and make every second count. So having heard that LEtranger (36 Gloucester Road, SW7, 020 7584 1118) was recently named Good Food Guide readers favourite London restaurant, it was a done deal. Our reservation was on a Sunday evening but the atmosphere was seriously buzzing. The staff were the perfect blend of friendly and helpful without being over-eager, recommended a great wine (a viognier) and brought us each a marinated salmon amuse-bouche while we were deciding what to order. We shared a starter of spring rolls -- tuna with coriander and crab with mint and tamarind -- which were crispy and delicately flavoured and then moved on to mains. I had the best caramelised black cod I have ever tasted and he had chicken breast stuffed with crab and mascarpone. Although we were keen to grab an early night, we thought it would be rude to skip dessert so we shared the amazing death by chocolate. It consisted of five mini versions of desserts on the menu (the chocolate fondant and passion fruit parfait were the best). The bill came to a bit over 100 but was well worth it. IZZY, SW3 -- but I think were similar in our choices of venue. We were pleased we were on a theatre date as there was a good mix of entertainment and time to get to know each other. I wasnt sure what to expect as I thought the show would be aimed at children but it turned out to be really good. For some of the airborne scenes the cast were on high wires and there was a really innovative set with video images of London projected on to the circular dome of the theatre, so it looked as if Peter Pan was really flying across the city. The story came to life fantastically well. We both like to try new things, be it at home or abroad -- we value our independence and like to get off the beaten track when travelling. Ive been to South America and we chatted a little about my trip. In fact we chatted so much and covered loads of ground -- Danielle is very easy to talk to. There were none of those awkward silences that you can sometimes get on dates. We certainly got on very well as friends and its possible that there was a bit of a romantic spark as well. We swapped numbers at the end of the night as it just came up quite naturally. I texted her the next day to check she got home okay and suggested going for a drink. Danielle seemed happy to accept. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is booking until 13 September. For more information, go to visitlondon. com/peterpan or call 0871 386 1122 INTERVIEW BY SHARON BRENNAN We werent gameforour safari dates Dont always trust first impressions Twosingletonsshare theirsearchforlovePlaying thefield T WELVE single girls. Twelve single boys. Three houses. Nine courses. Countless bottles of booze. One night. Hazy memories and the worlds worst hangover next day -- otherwise known as a Safari Dinner, the latest craze amongst the young, free and single in London. A casual way to meet new boys, three sets of girls lay on a three-course meal, while the boys move between houses, until the final group rendezvous in a drinking venue. Sounds simple? Not so much. The pressure of entertaining nearly broke me. We kicked off with the First Boys -- not hot but great fun (why is that always the rule?) -- a good ice-breaker. By the time they left we had plied them with enough tequila to knock out a Mexican. The Second Boys arrived after a whirlwind of clearing up and make-up reapplication. Slightly in awe, as these guys were genuine sex gods, we raised the bar with some parlour games -- the girls swapped clothes with the closest female and the boys were made to do press-ups. I orchestrated sitting next to the most eligible of the group and all was going well until I leant in with too much gusto during a neck kissing competition, my chair slipped and I landed on my back. Luckily Livvy caused a distraction by accidentally setting her hair on fire. Red of face and worse for wear, we welcomed the Third Boys with high hopes. But sadly they were behind on the boozing front and didnt jump at the chance to lick squirty cream off us. So it was with relief we leapt into the final cabs and joined the others. A sweaty dance floor awaited and, hopefully, the chance to lay our hands on the sex gods. But we were so excited to hear the other girls tales we ended up ignoring all 12 boys in favour of a good gossip. S OMETIMES, first dates are incredible. Her Facebook photos have failed to do her justice. She laughs (properly) at your well-worn anecdotes. You discover a mutual love for Flight Of The Conchords and Indonesian food. This column isnt about those. Its about the opposite. I met Rachel in the pub last week and we clicked (albeit drunkenly). So I approached date night feeling quietly confident. Id booked a table at a half-decent Italian and suggested drinks in a pub first. We met up, she looked hot, I bought a bottle of slightly-more-expensive- than-I-can-afford wine, and then... nothing. The easy chat from before was reduced to polite small talk. I couldnt think of one interesting thing to say. She obviously felt the same and checked her phone 73 times. The only thing that seemed to engage her was when, desperate for conversation, I said the barman reminded me of a tubby Russell Brand (he didnt). Rachel sighed and said: People always tell me l look like Jessica Alba, (she doesnt). As we soldiered on through the bottle, I decided to be bold and suggested we call it a night. Rachel looked surprised. I thought this was going okay? she asked. I instantly felt awful. I muttered something about an early start in the morning. This was a lesson in first impressions -- dont always trust them. After six beers, Id probably convince myself anyone was fun. And I refuse to go through the motions just to potentially see a hot girl naked. Particularly when, the very next day, I met someone who did laugh at my awful gags. And loves Flight Of The Conchords. Now Ive just got to figure out how to ask her out... ourforgame were made to do press-ups. I Romilly Chambers alwaysDont tellalwaysPeoplesaid:andsighed Charlie Parrish similarwerethinkIbut-- venue.ofchoicesourin wepleasedwereWe asdatetheatreaonwere ofmixgoodawasthere togettotimeandentertainment whatsurewasntIother.eachknow Showtime: things panned out well for Richard and Danielle on their date rapport on the date but it was still clear that we were both pleased to be there -- it was a lovely setting and gorgeous weather. After a relaxing over a glass or two of wine, we soon found lots to talk about. We both work in the City so we discussed our jobs and the funny things that happen in the office. We quickly moved on to what we get up to at the weekend. We both like to find new favourite bars and restaurants in London. On the whole, we tend to hang out in different parts of the capital -- Im more into Greenwich and Danielle likes north London and Clapham index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html