Impeccable Table Manners

Ant and Jamie


This pair claim to be a management consultant and an advertising account manager respectively, but I have the distinct feeling I have been chugged by at least one of them in Covent Garden. By that coffee shop that used to have a picture of a cheese and ham croissant on its sign, but didn’t actually sell them. Anyway, read what happened on the date before I take a closer look.

Jamie | Ant
What did you talk about?
Ant’s Monopoly tactics, his spell in a street dancing crew, new year’s resolutions.
Hawaii, Movember, dancing, my bad sense of humour, Mum’s homemade Christmas jumpers.

Sometimes I don’t pay enough attention to the above question because I am so excited about getting to the table manners answers, but today I lingered and I am glad I did.

When the daters don’t venture the same conversation topics, I always assume it is because one of them wasn’t listening – or neither were. Here we can see that at least three of Ant’s conversation topics – well, the ones he remembers – are about himself. And two of Jamie’s are definitely about Ant. Ant-heavy. The only thing that should be Ant-heavy is Antmusic by Adam and the Ants. Because that’s the general idea. Onward.

Any awkward moments?
The (very lovely) owner of the restaurant was keen to check on us after every course to see how the food was… and how the date was going.
I told a joke. I stopped trying after that.

Good table manners?
Considering we both had pasta, full marks.

First rate.

Oh, Ant. Told a joke that crashed and burned – never tell jokes on a date, FYI – and then lands us with what is really an “impeccable” in disguise. First rate.


Jamie highlights a problem that other Guardian Blind Daters have had, which is fellow diners or, much worse, restaurant staff trying to build up their part and get a line in the column. I realise they’re giving the dinner away for free but being asked how the date is going continually is not, I have found thanks to friends who like to text, conducive to romance.

I’m not sure about the pasta comment because pasta isn’t really difficult to eat unless you weren’t introduced to cutlery until your late teens or perhaps grew up in a satellite town without a Bella Pasta. Maybe our daters are actually cats and don’t have opposable thumbs. Who knows.

The rest of the date goes smoothly. They get on, go to a couple of different pubs, rue meeting in Fulham etc, and the evening limps to its natural conclusion. Although this is a little odd:

Did you go on somewhere?
To an Irish pub, which shut, followed by another pub.
To the pub for a swift one.
Would you introduce her to your friends?
Yes. I bumped into a friend while we were on the tube after the date, so felt compelled.

According to Ant, they went to two pubs and travelled back on the Tube together. Jamie, however, insists they went only for a swift one. Either Jamie is the kind of lady who considers three pints a swift one – which would make her one of my favourite Blind Daters ever – or she actually switched places with someone else and sent this doppelgänger on the final drink and Tube ride into the middle of the Friendzone. Jamie, we must be told.*

Anyway, it all ended on the best of terms: a courteous 7 from Jamie and the vaguest of vague answers to whether she’ll see him again. (“If I’m in the area”, basically. Excellent.)

First-rate Ant gallantly marks Jamie an 8, as is only polite, and answers the final question with the reply no child wants to hear when they’re in the sweet shop pawing a bag of Skittles and tugging at Mum or Dad’s sleeve: “We’ll see”.

I have a feeling we won’t.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

* Thanks to Quick HR for spotting this potentially life-changing discrepancy.

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