1. DON’T suggest meeting at a swanky bar that is not only prohibitively expensive but also attached to a restaurant.
2. If he arrives, says “I’m starving, shall we get some food here” DON’T say “Yes” if you’ve never been to the restaurant before.
3. If the menu arrives and you can tell that it’s going to be expensive, DO say “I know a great little restaurant round here”. You’ve been working in the area for more than a decade. You know where to go to eat.
4. DON’T think “oh its going to be amazing food”. If a bottle of wine is £25 and the soup is £9, it adds a layer of anxiety that one just doesn’t need. Big prices are no guarantee of food quality.
4. This holds regardless of whether or not the chap works in finance, has told you that he owns several properties, and when asked what he likes about London replies “the tax breaks for the wealthy”. DON’T assume that it won’t all become nerve-wracking when the £9 soup arrives, spoonless.
5. If he pronounces the £9 soup inedible, DON’T stare at it thinking “what a waste of £9”.
6. DON’T say “I’ll have your £9 soup as well then, my £8.50 salad was tiny”.
7. If he says he was born near Elsinore, DON’T tell him how many times you’ve seen Hamlet and DON’T describe each production in detail and DON’T say “can we see Hamlet at the castle together when we know each other better”.
8. DON’T ask for a limoncello when it costs £8.50 (didn’t do this but Wanted To).
9. DON’T ask for another glass of wine when it costs £9 (was only my second glass).
10. When he tells you he plays tennis at Queens don’t tell a long story about your visit with your Mum in the summer.
11. DON’T tell stories involving your parents on a first date. You are now a thirty five year old adult.
Anyway: Hamlet has been texting today so he must’ve had fun despite all that.
Just waiting for MediaChap at his Club. Is very quiet here and full of elderly people…