Make A Date For Dinner At Hyde Park Corner
First date; two little words that have the power to reduce even the toughest of us into nervous puddles of sweat. Whether you're young or old, a first date or even a 2nd or third can be awkward – exhilarating, yes, but awkward.
These are our top three tips to keep top of mind for your next first date.
Location, Location, Location
Believe it or not, location matters. The setting you pick determines how your date will go. Be sure to choose a neutral, stress-free location where you can concentrate on getting to know each other and determining how well you connect.
The last thing you want to do is go to a fancy restaurant and find out that there's just no "spark", and it won't work all before you've finished your appetisers. In this case, the remainder of the meal is out of your hands and sure to be pretty uncomfortable.
Suggest visiting a neighbourhood bar or a trendy new coffee shop in place of dinner and a movie. Without feeling obligated to dress up or eat costly food, the relaxed atmosphere provides a suitable setting for having stimulating conversations.
If you've been on one or two dates before and you already know what activities your date enjoys, you may want to choose a restaurant or activity reflecting this. Take them somewhere a little more upmarket than the local cafe on a third or fourth date – a date like this indicates that you value them and feel the relationship may be going somewhere.
Not sure where to go in and around Hyde Park? Luckily, Hyde Park Corner has some of the best restaurants in Johannesburg, perfect for any date:
Try Something Out Of The Box
Forget the ordinary type of grill restaurant in Johannesburg; this is nothing like that.
Embark on a unique sensory awakening at Kol Izakhaya. Sip and savour a menu fueled by the art of cooking over coals, a flavour profile present in all of their mouthwatering creations and fragrances.
Immerse yourself in coal-mastery theatre, sushi artistry, and masterful mixology for a truly gastronomic experience, bite after bite and sip after sip.
Ready your chopsticks for authentic Mandarin cuisine; choose classic favourites like sweet and sour pork or an array of dim sum, or step outside the box and try gong bao duck. Top it off with one of Red Chamber's simply sinful desserts.
Have Dinner Somewhere Whimsical And Romantic
Step out onto the streets of Paris, under twinkled lights, with the smells of freshly baked croissants swirling above at Le Parc by Tasha's. South Africa's little slice of faux-France feels as if it's been plucked from the pages of a romance novel.
Le Parc is a one-of-a-kind, world-within-a-world combining the feel of Parisian-styled cafès and flower markets with patissêrie delights and delicious plates.
Sip a glass of wine and tuck into one of 55 mouthwatering new dishes imaginatively crafted with a contemporary twist on traditional French classics.
Something Sophisticated And Bookwormy
Savour sophisticated elegance at Olives & Plates in Hyde Park Corner. From crystal-cut glasses to deliciously well-thought-out plates and breathtaking views, it makes for an unmatched dining experience trifecta.
Nestled amongst a thousand books' pages and famous for its alfresco table and cocktail bar, Olives & Plates is a first date must-try.
Or Keep It Slightly More Casual
Sticking with the "no frills" agenda, keep your first date simple with authentic Asian cuisine. Stick to the substantial classic offering or get adventurous, order a few plates of something you haven't tried before, and share. The friendly service, inviting atmosphere and flavour sensation that is So Yum make this a great first or second date must-try. They also happen to have some of the best takeaways in Sandton.
Keep The Conversation Flowing
The most nerve-wracking element of going on a first date is trying to have an interesting conversation with someone you hardly know, especially if you're quiet or have social anxiety. Oftentimes an awkward silence may occur, and trying to figure out what to say or do next can be paralysing.
Make sure to arm yourself with a few interesting talking points if this happens. Things like:
Have you always known you wanted to do X?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
What snack could you simply never live without?
They may seem silly, but talking points like these may just break the ice and keep the conversation ball rolling.
According to studies, women, in particular, are more drawn to dates who start up lively discussions that demonstrate their intelligence, culture, and curiosity. If your date happens to be of a feminine nature, be sure to keep this in mind.
Be Aware of Your Body Language
Sometimes, our nerves get the better of us, and your words may be saying one thing, but your body language and facial expressions are saying another. Oftentimes your body language and facial expressions may actually speak louder than words.
It's important to be conscious of your body language but somehow still act naturally and avoid looking like a robot. It sounds like an impossible task and really intimidating, but luckily it only requires noticing and slightly altering known negative body language. For instance:
Don't fold your arms if you want to hear what your date has to say. Crossing your arms makes you seem closed off, disinterested and unapproachable. Instead, relax your arms into your lap or rest them on the table, face them with your head cocked and make eye contact. These nonverbal cues let your date know that you are interested in hearing more from them.
When all is said and done, the first, second, third and even fourth dates are difficult to navigate. All you can do is be authentic and allow things to naturally progress – sometimes that progression leads to something more, and other times, it leads to parting ways. Compatibility is everything, and it's not something you can control, but you can prepare and hope for the best. If you're looking for something more relaxed, grab some coffee and pancakes and have an early casual date at our favorite breakfast spots.