London Lite Tuesday, 1 September 2009 19 my matine idol? POSH DATE Email your restaurant reviews to love@thelondonlite.co.uk IM ALWAYS on the lookout for new restaurants to try and when I heard the five-star Athenaeum (224 Piccadilly, W1, 020 7499 3464) had just had a revamp I decided to give it a whirl. I met my date in the super-stylish bar -- all low-slung red velvet seating with vintage-style touches -- for a cocktail. We then went through to the opulent restaurant, designed so each table nestles around or in a booth so it feels very private. The dates crab starter (12) was beautifully presented, while my mushroom with Stilton was almost a work of art (9). We washed it down with a rather nice bottle of chablis. I ordered the organic free-range chicken (18) for my main course, while my date had the lemon sole (25), which she pronounced delicious. I was particularly impressed with her side order of chunky, hand-cut chips. For dessert we moved into the garden room -- a smart lounge which faces on to a green- lit wall lined with exotic plants. Not a garden exactly, but it was a nice touch. I ordered summer pudding while the date had home-made ice cream. The bars extensive list of whiskies proved to be a real talking point -- one was 150 for a double and the waitress told us that a certain regular often comes in to treat himself to a couple. We stuck to the wine but if I win the Lottery Ill return to try the Scotch! JAMES, E17 a long chat about music and our tastes. I was interested in her travelling tales and we talked a little about food, too. Natalies never skied before and is more into summer holidays, whereas Im definitely a winter person and love snowboarding. Morocco is one of her favourite countries and she has recently done a tour of Europe taking in Spain, Italy and France. We talked about Italy a bit as weve both been there. Natalie has been living in London for two years but hadnt been to lots of the places I talked about. I dont think shes really into big clubs -- I get the impression that her crowd is more into bars and restaurants, so she hasnt had the opportunity to go. Im not a mad clubber or anything though, I just pick one or two nights a month to go to. We didnt really have that much in common, apart from the fact were both into live music, however, conversation was still very easy. I dont know if we fancied each other. I generally need to meet someone a few times before I know if I like them in that way. I didnt give out any vibes and I didnt feel any from her. I didnt flirt with Natalie as its just not my style the first time I meet a girl. I wouldnt mind seeing her again as we had lots to talk about but I dont know yet if there is anything more there than friendship. She is a lovely girl, very entertaining and good company so I suppose well just have to wait and see what happens... Arrange your own private showing at Soho Screening Rooms, 14 Darblay Street, W1 (020 7437 1771) from 25 an hour plus cost for movie, which varies. (500) Days Of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, is released nationwide tomorrow. Mon Plaisir, 21 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, WC2 (020 7836 7243). See monplaisir.co.uk. INTERVIEW BY SHARON BRENNAN Mr Paris, so slick but it did the trick Adatewith mybeautiful mysteryfan Twosingletonsshare theirsearchforlovePlaying thefield I DONT think there is any such thing as a perfect date -- it obviously depends on the person. But, along with a bit of good old- fashioned chivalry, there are a few key ways to impress most girls. And on my long-awaited date with Mr Paris, he nailed it. He suggested meeting in the afternoon -- a classic ploy to ensure an escape route if its not going well. Handy because I have to admit, even after all my preparation and anticipation, I was a bit nervous that I wouldnt fancy him any more. We met at Hampstead Tube, he was slightly late, on purpose. Very sensible -- its a genius idea to keep a girl waiting, just for a little bit, so that despite plans to act cool and nonchalant she will show how pleased she is to see you when you finally arrive. I was. He took me to a lovely pub where we would later be able to see the sunset (romantic and sweet) and managed to find the last table with free seats -- obviously sheer luck but its always good to make a girl feel like the date is an unplanned adventure thats going perfectly. He was as funny as I remembered but, better still, he laughed at my jokes -- remember girls like that, too. One drink turned into two, which turned into going on somewhere for dinner. Naturally he just happened to have made a booking in advance, on the off chance we might be hungry. But it worked because it made me feel like he had been looking forward to the date as much as me. We went on to a jazz bar -- I usually hate jazz but its always a good idea to take a girl out of her comfort zone. And we had a great time, although I think it was more to do with his company than the music. Of course Im realistic -- he has all the signs of a full-time dating pro -- but it worked and I think I like him. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER.COM/ROMILLY_LITE O NE of the unexpected bonuses of writing this column has been receiving emails from total strangers. Why perfectly nice people do this I dont know, but Ive had a few girls track me down on Facebook or Twitter and theyve been, well, fairly complimentary. Yes -- Im amazed too. I wrote them off as cyber-loons, just grateful someone was swelling my Twitter following, but then a message popped into my Facebook inbox last week. Emma emphasised she wasnt a psycho, and her email was sweet and funny. A quick scan of her pics confirmed she was hot, so I decided to reply and we arranged to meet up. Now, Ive been on blind dates, Ive asked out pretty girls on trains and will happily talk to strangers, but I still couldnt help feel anxious on the way to the bar. I shouldnt have. Within minutes of sitting down, we were chatting freely and I began teasing her about being a scary -- if very pretty -- online stalker. Being only 20 and heading back to Wales for her final year of university in a few months (which made me suddenly very aware Im now closer to 30 than my teens) also oddly removed any pressure, as I know deep down it probably wont turn too serious. I cant see myself down the student union for a snakebite dancing to the Baywatch theme somehow. Still I enjoyed myself thoroughly -- a nice, easy-going date with a hot girl is just what you need sometimes. Only, I wouldnt recommend the way I finished the date -- by falling up some steps youd hardly describe as steep with a full wine glass in hand. Well, online stalker or not, its always good to leave them with a good impression, eh? FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER.COM/CHARLIE_LITE soParis,Mr trickthedid Heperfectly.goingthatsadventure Romilly Chambers beautifulmy strangers.totalfromemails Why perfectly nice people do this I stalker. Being only 20 and heading Charlie Parrish Intimate: Athenaeum is very stylish In the picture: Kevin and Natalie chat over a glass of champagne at their screening. Have your own private showing at the Darblay Street cinema, inset 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.html36.html37.html38.html39.html