Friday, May 4, 2012

How to choose the right restaurant for your date

Choosing the right restaurant for your date – particularly if you are a new couple – can feel like a task full of pitfalls. Here are a few pointers to help you get under way.

What does your date eat?
It’s seemingly a simple question, but it’s easy to get so wrapped up in finding the right place that you can forget you’re about to go on a date with a strict vegetarian or someone who has a nut allergy. Check things like this first if you’re the one booking, and maybe fish for subtle hints about the type of food they like.

Think outside the box
It’s easy to return to the same chain restaurants again and again because you know the menus back-to-front – but the likelihood is that your date does too.  Try looking for somewhere that doesn’t immediately spring to mind, or a restaurant with an unusual theme.

Check for reviews
There are many user-built websites available that offer constantly-updated reviews for eateries up and down the country. Try a web search for your area or any particular restaurants you had in mind and see what other people have to say about them.

Cosy – but not too cosy
It’s nice to eat somewhere that allows the two of you to get close and hear one another without having to raise your voice over other customers. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have to whisper to avoid the ears of a neighbouring table. If unsure, visit first to get a sense of the room.

Don’t stray too far from your comfort zone
It’s natural that you want to impress, but try to avoid picking an excessively elaborate place. Complicated wine lists, expensive tableware and over-attentive waiting staff could leave you feeling more unsettled than you’d like. It’s better to opt for a nice place you’re familiar and happy with over a high-end venue you may come to regret choosing.

Look for a bargain
Finally, have a look round to see if there are any restaurants where your credit cards can save you money on your meal. You can compare credit cards online, and find out the benefits of using particular ones to find limited-time offers at top venues around the country, such as those available from American Express.

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