Blind date: ‘There was a slight mix-up between Drake and Francis Drake’

·4 min read

Tom, 30, teacher, meets Claire, 36, manager

Tom on Claire

What were you hoping for?
A fun chance to meet someone new.

First impressions?
Friendly, polite, warm.

What did you talk about?
Political engagement and why people should vote. Bake Off and MasterChef. Christmas music. The tribulations of flat-sharing.

Any awkward moments?
The police did walk past our photo shoot – I found that pretty awkward!

Good table manners?

Best thing about Claire?
How multitalented she is – good at baking, music, photography, cooking, flowers and more. She is a very accomplished person.

Would you introduce her to your friends?
Yes, they would think she’s great.

Blind date is Saturday’s dating column: every week, two strangers are paired up for dinner and drinks, and then spill the beans to us, answering a set of questions. This runs, with a photograph we take of each dater before the date, in Saturday magazine (in the UK) and online at every Saturday. It’s been running since 2009 – you can read all about how we put it together here.

What questions will I be asked?
We ask about age, location, occupation, hobbies, interests and the type of person you are looking to meet. If you do not think these questions cover everything you would like to know, tell us what’s on your mind.

Can I choose who I match with?
No, it’s a blind date! But we do ask you a bit about your interests, preferences, etc – the more you tell us, the better the match is likely to be.

Can I pick the photograph?
No, but don't worry: we'll choose the nicest ones.

What personal details will appear?
Your first name, job and age.

How should I answer?
Honestly but respectfully. Be mindful of how it will read to your date, and that Blind date reaches a large audience, in print and online.

Will I see the other person’s answers?
No. We may edit yours and theirs for a range of reasons, including length, and we may ask you for more details.

Will you find me The One?
We’ll try! Marriage! Babies!

Can I do it in my home town?
Only if it’s in the UK. Many of our applicants live in London, but we would love to hear from people living elsewhere.

How to apply

Describe Claire in three words?
Talented, interesting, knowledgeable.

What do you think she made of you?
I genuinely don’t know – perhaps that I talked too much.

Did you go on somewhere?
Alas, no.

And … did you kiss?
See above.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
I might have pretended to like sport a little bit more.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
As friends, absolutely!

Claire on Tom

What were you hoping for?
Good food and good conversation. And the hopeless romantic in me was secretly hoping for a knight in shining armour.

First impressions?
Tall, friendly, keen to order an aperitif.

What did you talk about?
Food. MasterChef, Bake Off. Devon. The trials and tribulations of a London flatshare. Voter apathy.

Any awkward moments?
There was a slight mix-up between Drake and Francis Drake …

Good table manners?
Great until we got to dessert … Fingers shouldn’t be used in the absence of a fork.

Best thing about Tom?
Easy to talk to.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
Yes, I think so. He’d be a great guest at a Sunday pub lunch.

Describe Tom in three words?
A true gent – he walked me to the bus stop.

What do you think he made of you?
That I’m massively into food and a big fan of an evening class. And perhaps also that I’m rather a quick drinker?!

Did you go on somewhere?
It was a chilly Monday evening and time to head home.

And … did you kiss?
Sadly no smooching. There wasn’t a spark.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
That I’d made a note of the white wine – Italian, crisp and delish.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?

Claire and Tom ate at Lina Stores, Greek Street, London W1. Fancy a blind date? Email

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting