Date idea: Brunch at Shrimpy’s

Hello Lovestruckers! Bluffer’s are back, helping you plan the best London-based dates you possibly can. Unfortunately the flowing, fascinating and fabtastic conversation part is

Don't forget to bring your credit card.

Don’t forget to bring your credit card.

down to you. For this week’s date idea we’re championing the lost art of brunch. Just make sure you haven’t lost your appetite by overdoing it the night before…

To Shrimpy’s for brunch. The brunching hour (from about 10.30-11.30am) is too often ignored by the dating classes. This is a huge oversight. Meeting early means you can’t be consumed by pre-date jitters and what’s more, brunch is always the cheapest meal on the menu (meaning you can frequent fancy restaurants for a fraction of the cost, or cheap restaurants for next-to-nothing). And Bloody Marys and Bellini make pre-noon drinking very respectable. And who knows where things might lead with the rest of the day and night stretching before you?

Shrimpy’s is tucked away inside the uber-trendy King’s Cross Filling Station – really, an old petrol station now reinvented as an ‘art space, canalside gallery,restaurant and bar’. Imagine an American meeting a Mexican in a kitsch diner dressed up with white table cloths and scallop-edged place-mats and you’re halfway there. In a world overrun with exposed brick walls and so-laid-back-they-forgot-your-order waiters, Shrimpy’s attention to detail is well worth the slightly hefty price tag. And despite being a permanent pop-up (an exclusively modern oxymoron), you can actually book a table. Hallelujah. Down with ‘no reservation’ restaurants, the curse of all well planned dates, where you find yourself saying the dreaded words ‘Er, what shall we do now?’

Head to Kings Cross underground (Victoria, Piccadilly, Northern, Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City Lines), then take the yellow-pebble-brick road out of the station. When you hit the main road and Regents Canal, hang a right towards the silver corrugated-tin building. We know it sounds a little makeshift; it is a little makeshift until you make it inside. The toilets are also technically portaloos, but posh ones with hand soap and paper towels if that helps.

Brunch for two with coffee will cost you £25-30. Brunch for two with Bloody Mary’s (and let’s be honest, who’d choose caffeine over Tabasco?) will cost you £35-40. Also, another modern oddity, they only accept payment by credit or debit card. Don’t ask us why.

The big grey-brick building across the canal houses old classic Caravan KX and soon-to-be-a-classic Grain Store as well as the new Central St Martin’s campus. The first two being restaurants worth adding to your list of places to eat when you can afford it and the latter being a great place for people watching.

DON’T ASK ‘I only have cash, do you mind popping this one on your card?’

DO SAY ‘I used to love those foam shrimps and bananas when I was younger. Never could work out why those two foodstuffs went together though.’

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