Contributed by Alexandra Geddes:
Since having children, I have found that the first thing in life that gives when I’m tired is spending quality time with Mr. G. He’s my best friend and my rock, and I find it sad sometimes that we never get time just to chat about nothing and while away the hours doing something inane like we used to (for example, watching box sets of 24 back to back into the early hours). So, we have made a point of finding time, and childcare, to have a date night every two weeks. We started off doing it weekly, but almost found it was becoming a chore rather than a treat, and hard to stick to. So, now, we recruit a willing grandma (the promise of a bottle of wine in the fridge and a take away works pretty well!) and get out a couple of times a month. Here are some of the things that we have enjoyed doing recently…
Dinner at Frantoio, Kings Road
This innocuous little Italian restaurant on the King’s Road looks a bit run of the mill from the outside, but it is a real gem of a restaurant. Incredible food (with lots of choice), delicious wines, a fun ambiance and wonderful service make it feel like a real treat, but without demanding a blow dry and high heels (that always used to be a thrill, how times have changed!). If you go on a Thursday you may be lucky enough to get a table visit from the in house magician, who is really rather good (I still can’t figure out how he made quite so many bunnies appear in my hand). The hand carved Parma ham is mind blowing, as is the venison ragu with homemade parpadelle. I am hungry just thinking about it!
An Evening in the Park, Fulham Palace
I love attending outdoor events in the summer. Despite this years dreadful weather, I am British enough to not be put off. Fulham Palace are hosting some wonderful events in the coming months, and they have never disappointed me in the past. Evenings of Jazz, HMS Pinafore (take a picnic and you could be at Glyndebourne, without the long drive!) and movies on the lawn of a wonderful mixture of films, from Casablanca to The Artist, promise a romantic evening for you and your partner. Take a jam jar or two filled with tea lights (or a hurricane lantern if you are really posh), and picnic hamper (Pain Quotidian sell a good selection if you can’t face yet another round of sandwich making), a bottle of your favourite tipple and a rug (and a raincoat, just in case). You could always have dinner on the terrace, if you are feeling less adventurous.
Time to Wine, Vagabond Wines, Vanston Place
If you like a glass of wine or two (err, that would be me!), then how about an evening of wine tasting and cheese nibbling?! Vagabond, offer an incredible selection of wines and hugely informative and fun wine tasting events in their shop. They have a fantastic range of tastings, from total beginners to region specific, they cater to all types of wine drinkers, even those new to it. Light nibbles are provided to prevent getting too pie eyed, but if you fancy something a bit more substantial, Del Aziz is just next door.
Foodie Heaven at the Harwood Arms
If you love food, the Harwood Arms is possibly the best dining experience in and around Fulham. With a cosy atmosphere and the most incredible food (locally sourced and seasonal), you will struggle not to enjoy a romantic evening here. I’m not goiung to lie, getting a reservation can be a challenge, but be patient and you will be rewarded with unusual yet delicious food, service that is second to none and a really interesting wine list. As the first and only pub in London to be awarded a Michelin Star, you know you’ll be in good hands, but without the stuffiness of some restaurants. Tuesday night is pub quiz night, so it can get loud and noisy, but is really fun if you like to impress with your knowledge (Mr. G is neither impressed or knowledgeable about such things, so we tend to avoid Tuesdays!)
Alexandra Geddes lives in Fulham and is mum to 1 year old Ophelia (Fifi for short) and expecting a little boy in August. She writes the blog Lashes and Little Ones, as well as a column for the Hammersmith and Fulham Chronicle which is all about being a mum, beauty and lots of other things along the way.