A singles night fuelled by the food-Si i A


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Words: Jonathan Trew Photograph: Craig , U ..

‘\'()l' .-\Rli l.\'\'l'l'lil) to join a t'east ol‘ llot l)ates at Hadrian’s. You yyill haye a ditl’erent dinner date for starter. main course and tlc‘sxct'l.‘ I'L‘Lttls lltL‘ legend tilt the ltL‘itt'I-sltttpc‘tl inyitation.

l'il‘ty single men and 50 uttattached women were to assemhle. tningle and possihly tnate in 'l‘llL' Balmoral lltllL‘l‘S I'L‘L‘L‘ltlly t'cl'tlt'lilsltctl

restaurant in the heart ot‘ lidinhurgh. l5ine \yining and dining \yottld loosen inhihitions and hue or at least lttst \yould. hopet‘ully. rttn its course. This is \y hat is kttoyytt as a result with a capital R.

Spurious \y‘isdom has it that those who are unlucky at cards are lucky in lo\ e. l-‘olloyy ing a recent kicking at the poker tahle. thanks to Lucky l.ap.s. Nice Guy liddie and Stringhean. it seemed. hriet‘ly'. as though the odds might he in my layour \\ hen it came to al'lairs ot‘ the heart. Alter sey'eral months without men so much as a shift of a phone numher. the opportunity to haye dinner with three different women during one night looked like a hanquet to a stat‘ytng man.

I haye long resigned myself to the tact l atn hopeless at linding dates. | yyould sooner nail my tongue to a plank than try to chat up a stranger and on the l‘eyy disastrous occasions

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15 .,t

\yhen l haye chanced my arm. it \yould haye heen more pleasant for all concerned it I had gone tor the tongue/nail/plank intcrtace.

.\ly triends and colleagues knoyy me and tny had hahits (financial suicide. puhlic hlackouts and the unerring instinct to say the \yt‘ottg thing at the yyrong time) liar too \\ ell to eyer attetnpt to match tne up to anyone \\ ithin


our mtttual circles ot‘ acquaintance. While still not ready to \yalk the streets \yith a large placard saying ‘l)ate Me". I t‘eel as though tnany ol' the cony'entional ay'enues t'or linding a partner are closing to me. 'l'lius this exciting ltttikc‘tl pc‘l'lt‘c‘l. :\ll lllL‘ Iit‘L‘stttttL‘ l’lItlLtls necessary to ohtain a

date \\ottld he side—

stepped and l \yottld. in

L‘l‘l'L‘Cl. ltzt\L‘ lltt'L‘c lillCS

ztl lllL‘ L‘ltct't‘y.

.\'o\\. chatnpagnc always seems like a good idea. It lightens the heart and quickens the tongue. trees the spirit and encourages ti'iy'olity'. It also goes to my head taster than a t’erret up a trouser leg. In the hour or so leading up to our tirst course. Hadrian‘s yyas e\ccptionally' generous \yith the htthhly. Shakespeare reckoned that nine increased desire \yhile \ycakening performance. What he

, adrians

didn't mention \\as that it also makes you talk gihherish and this is the fatal hit the more you drink the more contident you hccome that you are talking the ahsolute truth “lien. in tact. the reyerse is true.

Since a gentleman neyer tells and l haye modest aspirations toyyards at least emulating the hehayiour ot‘ a gentleman. it \yould he ttnhecoming to offer details of each indiy idual try st \yith each dining partner. Since one of them \\as also a lawyer specialising in lihel. I am keeping my mouth lirme shttt. .-\|| three ot‘ my dining partners \y ere charming. intelligent attd interesting. lispecially the layyycr. Suffice to say. that while a perfectly pleasant time “as had hy all. we each kneyy that \y e had not met our respectiye lite-long soul mates.

Still. it‘ (’upid's arroyys gay e the a hody s\\ CHL‘ lllL‘ll ill lL‘Ltsl they spat‘ctl lllL' lltc‘ emharrassment \yhich they caused others. :\ female friend had clteatcd sonteyy hat and hrought along her hoyt‘riend. She t‘ound herselt syyopping secrets \yith a \yoman \y‘lto

lttltl liL‘L‘tt seated opposite ltL‘t' partner. 'lle \y'tts sesy.‘ said the \yoman pointing to my friend‘s hoyt‘riend. ‘.'\nd you know \yhat'.’ He seemed so keen that I don't think he or I \y ill he going home alone tonight.~

Being single has henelits.

Hadrian's is at The Balmoral Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh, 557 5000