We are addicted to watching First Dates on Channel 4 at the moment. Its a really easy to watch programme with plenty of laughs and aaah moments. Shortly before Christmas when Millie went down to London for England trials, we found ourselves with an extremely rare child free night – in London!
Mr C came up with the suggestion of going to the First Dates restaurant if we could get in. Straight onto Google and we discovered it was called Paternoster Chophouse. We knew it right by St Paul’s Cathedral as they always show it when people arrive at the restaurant. We checked out their prices and online booking system and we were in – 9.45Pm so a bit later than we would like, but it was only 2 nights before and we were CHILD FREE, so nothing to stop us.
We arrived really early (Its not a concept I’m familiar with after 13 years of motherhood) but could not find the restaurant for ages. The programme shows people getting in taxis as they leave but I suspect we are supposed to think they are right out side of the restaurant. Eventually we found Paternoster and the courtyard from which Fred the Maitre D watches people walk towards the restaurant. The courtyard was absolutely stunning and really quiet – I can imagine that business has gone through the roof since First Dates was aired.
Inside there were loads of people but no Fred. That has been one of the most common questions we’ve been asked, Are any of the members of staff the same as on the show? No, but they wear the same uniforms.
Dress code was mixed – Some people had gone for serious killer heels as if they were actually on the show, others had gone for smart casual – Pretty much anything goes.
It was a really friendly atmosphere and people are welcome to just come in for a drink – You may notice the table in the picture above. This is not there on the show but it was a centre piece in the ‘real’ restaurant. The bar area was really busy when we first arrived but after only a few minutes, the famous 2 chairs that the dates always meet at became free. It would have been rude not to sit on them, wouldn’t it? (Shhh don’t tell them we weren’t actually on a date but have been married for nearly 16 years!) (Pictures are really grainy – I took them on my phone and had drunk a fair few cocktails by this point)
So what about the food? Err, I only took one picture – Our starter, Prawns and Marie Rose Sauce. The prawns were really really cold! We shared a Chateaubriand for our main meal which was delicious – We did spot that the tables don’t have tablecloths like on the show though 🙁
I visited the ladies loos and resisted the urge to ring my mum and tell her my date was hot. We didn’t bother with dessert (nothing on the menu we fancied) but enjoyed a couple of bottles of House Red. We were nearly the last ones in there eating but there was still plenty of activity at the bar.
All in all, a great night, with lovely company and something to tell the teenager when she is raising her eyes about us being sooo uncool!