This week is Valentine’s week, so the guys behind Viadot’s podcast ‘The Dot’, invited me to go on a few dates with them around London for their ‘Date Week’ episode.
Viadot is a great little app designed to help you get the most out of London by syncing up with your tastes and interests and keeping you up to date with what’s going on in the city.
Each week, Tim and Jake, from Viadot make it their mission to review the best places, events and things happening in the city to talk about on their weekly podcast show.
Basically they choose a theme and go on a jolly around the best city in the world! Doesn’t that sound fun?
So I was super excited to join them in time for Valentines!
You can hear our reviews of everywhere they took me in their efforts to find original and fun dates by clicking here.
But what listeners of the show won’t have heard are:
My Five Most ‘London’ kisses
As you may have heard on the show, for me, it is rarely the venue which maketh the date. I’m much more about that illusive ‘connection’, a feeling that is just right and being comfortable with the person I’m on the date with.
But as much as I’m a realist who claims to hate overly romantic settings and prefers to be friends with the guy I fall for first, dating in London can’t help but provide romantic backdrops. Whether they’ve made me cringe, or not, these are my favourites so far.
5 – Kissing at Kings Cross
A while back I had a series of ‘non-dates’ with someone who should have remained just friends. He was always in and out of town so Kings cross became a sort of exciting rendezvous spot.
I was single and down right using him as my ‘Backup Guy’, and he was using me in turn as his paperback or metro, to pass the time between work and home.
I’m not sure how many times we met up by I tried to keep things platonic until one day right there on the platform following champagne (for no good reason) he kissed me. I let him. Not because I wanted to but because I was taken by the setting, the champagne… the setting. Of course then he ruined it. He quoted Casablanca at me.
“Well we’ll always have Paris”
I realised how unoriginal the kiss was. It meant nothing. Other than the fact that I needed to stop seeing the ‘Backup Guy’ and find a guy to whom I meant more to than a paperback.
4 – Between Platforms at Tottenham Court Road
Back when this station was beautiful and covered in mosaics I was dating a cute and funny web designer. He’d taken me out to that ever so sinful ‘Cinema Date’ so there’d not been a whole lot of time to talk or build up to a kiss.
It was a second date and I’d just sat through The Wolf of Wallstreet. Brilliant, however, punctuated with simulated soft porn. Totally fine, I’m all for a little social awkwardness in the cinema but on a second date…
So after a hasty, post cinema weeknight drink, we both had to admit needing to go home. I thought somehow I had blown it. That, no kiss, would happen.
We needed to go in opposite ways on the central line so ended up hovering in the space between the platforms. 2 minutes until my tube. 4 until his.
1 minute until mine.
Just as I was about to utter my goodbye he suddenly pulled me close. I heard the sound of doors closing before I pulled away and had to run onto the tube.
The perfect public non public tube kiss.
3 – Alexandra Park
There are a few beautiful parks in London, which give you views down over the city. I used to be lucky enough to live by one. Somewhere around January. The month of regret. Of new starts, false hopes and diets. I was broke, but dating a personal trainer.
Not one to ever waste an opportunity one Sunday evening when he suggested a workout in the park I took him up on the offer. Throwing self-consciousness out the window and lycra leggings on we raced up to the hill, where shortly afterwards, I felt as though I was having an asthma attack!
I tried to put on a brave face in front of the professional but in the end my chest was so tight he had to carry me to a bench to recover.
When I finally regained lung functionality and my sense of humour we watch the clichés of all clichés. The sun disappearing over London.
I forgot my red-faced embarrassment as he leaned in to kiss me on the bench.
We ended the work out there and unfortunately the relationship followed suit, after we realised, our mutual interests didn’t stretch much further than his body.
2 – The Bus Stop Kiss
I’d achieved that almost impossible thing, a perfect first date. The guy was a tinder match, but had actually turned out to be better looking, and more interesting than his profile had given away. He was smart and funny and I felt as though I could listen to him all night.
I told him that I never kissed on first dates.
Well it’s like kissing a stranger really, isn’t it? A kiss on the cheek sure, maybe this is just me being old fashioned, but I prefer to wait until I know that I want to see that person again before I take the plunge.
I was explaining all of this as we lead onto that most awkward of awkward moments; the goodbye where you're unsure whether or not your date wants to kiss you and whether or not you want them to.
Was I an idiot? Did I have verbal diarrhea? Quite possibly, yes.
Because we stood there, end of the first date, at the bus stop waiting to say goodbye and me rambling on.
“I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to ruin everything now” he said and bravely and leant in.
It was the most imperfect kiss for the perfect date. And yes, he missed his bus.
1 – The Doorstep kiss Goodnight
Ok this kiss can happen anywhere in the world, but when I was a child I always imagined that I would live in London. I would live above a shop which would sell milk until 11pm and red busses would drive past my window.
I was dating a shy guy who worked in the city. We were maybe 5 or 6 dates deep, but as yet, he hadn’t kissed me.
I had given up on false lashes, lipstick, push up bras and little black dresses. The whole thing began to feel like wasted effort. I had resigned myself to the notion that we were just friends. Friends who flirted, and went on dates, but friends none the less.
One night he took me for a Chinese really close to his house. I agreed to go over to his side of town because I thought maybe he would invite me to his place. I thought perhaps I could settle this once and for all. Move things on or… move on.
After noodles and beer and him touching my leg for the thousandth time he claimed he was tired. I offered to go halves on the bill, and said I didn’t mind leaving, to which he shunned my cash but then also me.
He told me he had an early start and would show me where to get the bus from. The guy was a mixed signal. A gorgeous, but mixed signal, that I couldn’t waste my time on anymore. Feeling rejected I told him not to bother. I had Citymapper and I would find my own bus.
I walked out of the restaurant and into the rain.
With some annoyance I found that the bus stop was only minutes from his flat. I had little time to wait, so I sat in the bus shelter and took out my emergency book, trying to avoid eye contact with the world.
Then he rang me.
“What?” I snapped
“Can you cross the road to my flat?”
I was about to argue when he hung up. Curiosity got the better of me. I walked along the street and across the road where I spotted him waiting on his doorstep.
I reached him and before I could say or do anything, he pulled me to him and out of the rain.
We kissed for a long time. Busses came and went. People bought milk from the Londis next door and I got my first London ‘doorstep kiss goodnight’.