You and your bestie or beloved treat ya selves to some decent nosh with a table for two at one of London’s finest.  But, you can’t appreciate the liquorice and elderflower, never mind the fennel-laden roast scallop starter.

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The awkward greeting smooch, the toe-clenching repetitious repartee and the fact that he’s more interested in the bread basket than in the follically-challenged fugly opposite him: we’ve all sat in a bistro, bar or barista’s gaff next to a Grindr, Tinder or tinter-web date that’s had as much chance of taking off as jeggings did.


Perched in proximity to a virtual-meet date can be more entertaining than watching the Mitchells and Beales consume Christmas day together, but also somewhat distracting.  If you’re rendezvous-ing with a chum for a well-needed catch-up or you’re on your own ‘date-night’ – but end up more interested in the minutiae from the adjacent table re Hugo’s last failed relationship or Riccardo’s second-cousin-twice-removed’s rare species of fungus that’s housed itself on his plates-of-meat – your dining compadre can feel like you’ve swiped left on them.

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One of the many perks of living in the Old Smoke is the varied assortment of dwellers.  Experiencing a pigeon’s-eye view of two Londonites who can only identify each other from a few photos that have been more filtered than a bottle of sparkling San Pellegrino – trying to hash out a conversation when one of the party would rather be plucking their own nostril hair than be positioned opposite the other – it’s a Westminster win-win.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in situ of a Grindr Flop, the trick is not to disgruntle your fellow-feeder but to embrace the situation.


Here are The Gay UK’s suggestions for making the most of sitting in lug-shot of tedious Tinder talks, ghastly Grindr gatherettes and all online encounters without causing offence:

1. From time to time, involve your banquet buddy in the earwigging.

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Listening to a strained conversation about how Ukraine was pipped to the post by Marija Šerifović the formidable champion of the 52nd edition of Eurovision in 2007. This will not only give ya a wee chuckle but put you in good stead for the Jolly Cock’s midweek quiz night.

2. What a delightful distraction from your partner’s or pal’s tedious office politics.

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Glancing over at a boastful banker bang on about how big his bonuses are, boring the under-crackers off of the suffering supper hostage – watching any slight flicker brutally extinguished with every pompous profanity.

3. It’s great anecdote and nickname fodder.

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You’ll go down like a French prostitute at a Blackburn Rovers midfielder’s stag do with your titillating tinderitis tales. Not to mention: Archbishop of Laborious Banterbury, Queen – forgot to mention the gastric band – Kong and Benign-dick Cumberbatch – you’ll have ya buddies busting their abdominals.




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4. It will make you feel smug and better about your relationship, and your companionable silences.

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Observing a pair of app date-ees squirm over Boeuf Bourguignon as if they’re enduring deep-set molar extraction will make your relationship seem like a simple scale and polish.

5. Who needs Channel 4’s First Dates, when you’re in view of a live version that you can add your own scintillating commentary?

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Discreetly, slip in with ya own witticisms – move over Fred Sirieix.

Beats being perched on a bar stool at the Queen Vic.

About the author: Thabian Sutherland
I’ve lived in the Old Smoke since 1999 with a career in fashion, fitness and events. I discovered the joys of writing beginning of 2014. Since then I’ve been tapping digits to keys. Subjects include food, theatre, exhibitions, London life and other topics that tickle my taste-buds. Other publications include Timeout, Gay Times and So So Gay Magazine.