Today, I’m delighted to say that I am being joined on The Weddings Edit by the gorgeous Naomi Paul (far right), who is not only one of our wedding planners – but a real life crusader for love. In the first of her regular columns, she explores the perfect date. Watch this space for more!
It’s not often (even in my profession) that I’m able to find an outlet for my innermost romantic: yes, I plan dreamy nuptials all day long. But these are for the lucky ones who have found their ‘one’, have a diamond ring on their finger and are living their fantasies out creating their shared vision of the first day of the rest days of their lives. As a single girl in London, I believe that no matter how long you have been with your partner, fiancée or spouse, a little romance can go a long way and it is important in so much more than just weddings. I love love, and believe that deep down that everyone, even the most pragmatic of souls does too. In this new series I want to propose that romance is very much alive, find ways of encouraging it and hey, despite what even my sometimes cynical self might say, proving that it is more than just a fairy-tale ideal but a real, living breathing reality you too can tap into with my guides on everything from dates to impress and so much more…
Let’s begin at square one: the perfect date, or PD as I like to call it. Does it even exist? Emotionally, of course – but practically? For the inquisitive mind (guilty as charged), London presents all manner of possibilities. When Samuel Johnson wrote “He who is tired of London is tired of life” he was not perhaps, far off.
The CERN exhibition at the Science Museum was part of one such PD contender I encountered just a few weeks ago. Things weren’t looking good when a whole hour late, when the date partner in question who we shall call Bear (not Grylls, unfortunately) eventually arrives at Waterloo. I’m waiting under the huge clock, trying to calm my nerves by reading the paper… definitely time to panic, eventually his feet stop just under my nose, no words uttered so I have to look up. My heart’s pounding, speech becomes difficult, I gulp down deep breaths, and a lot of grinning on both sides ensues. So far, so good on the emotional front of a perfect date. Finally I am actually able to move so we make our way to South Ken for a dose of reality via a lovely Lebanese lunch.
One large plate of half touched food later (we were wrapped up in conversation) we move on to The Science Museum. As soon as I’m in the door, I’m instantly mesmerised. I find myself compelled to ask a barrage of nonsensical questions – one’s to which only Nasa might be able to consider the answers (Randall Munroe, if only – next date perhaps?). Anyhow, once inside CERN you realise you’ve entered a parallel universe: the world of physicists versus engineers, the unbelievable results their incredible, passionate minds conjoined are able to create. If romance is getting lost in someone else’s world then this had to be the epitome of it.
Finally, heads spinning we are politely escorted out of the museum – it is closing. We dawdle to Hyde Park to bask in the sunshine. By this time, he’s almost made up for atrocious navigational skills (again, no Bear Grylls) and being a whole hour late when there by the Serpentine, looking out over the water he nudges closer and kisses me. In that moment nothing else mattered, the world was put to rights. After a glass of wine (or two) at the Lido café, sat gazing out at the swans and pedalos on the lake, time stood still – but soon enough we were already late for dinner so tore ourselves away. No disappointment felt however, as we climbed up into our ‘tree house’ dinning platform for two in Bueno Sera at The Jam, superseded by a midnight walk and drinks at a glowing bar right on the river to finish.
The perfect date; almost impossible to achieve, but I’d say this represents a pretty awesome attempt. And the lesson therein is that for romance to work, it needs both your instincts and your intellect to be stimulated.