London Love Stories: Oliver Bradley and Katie Shaw

Jobs: PR and Partnerships Manager at Flash Pack, and stylist 

Ages: Oliver is 31, Katie is 29 

Live: Hackney 

Length of time together: Eight years 

Status: Official 

The meet-cute

Oliver: We’re both from Bath originally, and in 2010 we were back at home with our parents for Christmas whilst university was on break. Every year, a nightclub called Moles hosts a festive cheese night, so we met on Christmas Eve to the backdrop of sticky floors, cheap drinks and Wham! We made vague plans on the dance floor to meet back in London, but when I got home I realised we hadn’t swapped numbers. I went to bed thinking of different ways to get in contact her, but when I woke up on Christmas Day, Katie had found me on Facebook and sent me a message with her phone number. 

The first date

Katie: Oli seemed to think I knew east London really well, but I’d only been living there a couple of months, so didn’t actually know any good places. I took him to a random pub I’d seen a few days before. It was a proper East End boozer, but I thought it might look like I was taking him somewhere cool that no one knew about. It was pretty weird inside, but we drank snakebite and he ended up asking me out again the next night, much to my surprise. 

Moving in

Katie: I actually moved myself into Oli’s flat after we’d known each other for about five months. It was the summer holiday and the lease on my apartment had run out. It was only for a few months until the start of the term, but neither of us had a job or uni, so we spent every day together. I remember making and eating a lot of banoffee pie. We moved in together — officially — after four years together. 

Date nights

Oliver: I’m an old-school romantic so my idea of a great date is dinner and a movie. We’ve made a tradition of going to Primeur in Stoke Newington for every birthday or anniversary, otherwise we tend to keep it quite local. We love Jolene, Towpath cafe and Trullo, and Rio Cinema and Hackney Picturehouse. 


Katie: We always have an early London Christmas together in mid-December before we go home to our families. We call it “mini Christmas” because we buy as many of those ridiculous frozen mini festive foods as possible. We put on Nat King Cole and the fake TV fire and make New Year’s cards for our friends and family. It started out as a joke, but it’s become a pretty perfect ritual.

Feline festive 

Katie: We don’t do huge Christmas gifts because we always gift ourselves with a big adventure at the end of November: that in-between stage where London is a bit grey, but before it gets cosy and festive. This year we went to Nicaragua. In terms of actual presents, Oli has told me he’ll get me a cat for Christmas every year. Nine years later and I’m still waiting. 

Triple celebrations

Oliver: Because both families are from Bath we essentially get a triple Christmas Day. It’s like the Vicar of Dibley. We both celebrate at home separately with our families in the morning. Then I walk over to Katie’s in the afternoon for round two. Then Katie comes back with me for the final feast and a nightcap. After Christmas we usually go down to Devon with my family for an ice-cold Boxing Day swim. 

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