Blind date: ‘She ate a whole sea bass with her fingers’

Ben on Fiona

What were you hoping for?
A fun night.

First impressions?
Very hot. Loved the flares, and she had some good chat with the photographer. She was joking around and laughing about it all.

What did you talk about?
Food, music and how we’re both just doing this for clout.

Any awkward moments?
See my next answer (but I ended up being quite impressed).

Good table manners?
She didn’t use her cutlery. Which was odd, because she had the sea bass.

Best thing about Fiona?
She can eat a whole sea bass without cutlery. If that doesn’t impress you, then I don’t know what will.

Would you introduce her to your friends?
Yes. Although they would probably cut me out of the group, as they’d like her more.

Describe Fiona in three words?
Intelligent, attractive, funny.

What do you think she made of you?
She thought I was in the army because I had a dodgy haircut.

Did you go on somewhere?
We went to another bar and then Ronnie Scott’s in Soho. I kept saying how much I love tequila, so when I went to the bathroom she ordered us a couple of shots. Game on. Everything’s a bit hazy after that.

If it weren’t for social distancing, would you have kissed?
I’d have definitely tried.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I wish I’d ordered the sea bass so I could learn how to eat like a glorious caveman.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
We’ve got a strip poker Zoom date scheduled for next Thursday.

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Blind date is Guardian Weekend magazine’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 Guardian Weekend 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

Fiona on Ben

What were you hoping for?
Good craic! Either on the date itself, or at least subsequently, when I debriefed my housemates.

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First impressions?
Very large, was glad to have worn my tall boots. Slightly suspect haircut.

What did you talk about?
Diving, masonry, the population of Istanbul (not 30 million).

Any awkward moments?
He took his contact lenses out at the table, presumably tired of viewing me in HD.

Good table manners?
Impeccable. Ordered an impressive array of condiments, which I rate.

Best thing about Ben?
See above. Also very convincing Northern Irish accent.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
Why not? He’s very easygoing.

Describe Ben in three words?
Laddish but warm.

What do you think he made of you?
Crumpled and flustered, but hopefully in a charming sort of way.

Did you go on somewhere?
Multiple places. Our restaurant closed at 8pm, so we had to formulate a game plan very quickly.

If it weren’t for social distancing, would you have kissed?

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I’d have ironed my shirt, and arrived on time.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
If we ever crossed paths in a hostel in south-east Asia, I’d buy him a drink.

Ben and Fiona ate at The Gentlemen Baristas Pop Up, London WC2. They were photographed separately for this image. Fancy a blind date? Email



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