Blind date: ‘I was so nervous, I bombarded him with questions when I arrived’

Zander on Rachel


What were you hoping for?
To meet someone nice and intelligent for a good meal and conversation.

First impressions?
Smiley and friendly. I felt instantly at ease. She was spot on time, too.

What did you talk about?
Unexpected local connections. Favourite TV shows. Career paths. Places we’ve been in France. How Novak Djokovic is obviously the best tennis player …

Most awkward moment?
None. No awkward silences, which is always good.

Good table manners?
Perfect. We shared a pudding, which was excellent.

Best thing about Rachel?
She’s really easy to get on with and we always had something to talk about. She has a lovely smile and her work is incredible. She’s clearly super clever.

Would you introduce Rachel to your friends?
Absolutely. I think they’d get on well.

Describe Rachel in three words.
Friendly, kind, pretty.

What do you think Rachel made of you?
I hope she thought I was funny and well presented. This was the first blind date either of us had been on and I think we both had a good time.

Did you go on somewhere?
Yes, we had a cocktail in a nice bar nearby. Then I walked her home.

And … did you kiss?
No, we didn’t.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I’d order some side dishes with our mains, as the food was all excellent.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
We have a number of overlapping interests. We discussed a nearby Japanese restaurant I’d like to introduce her to, so we’ll see.


Fancy a blind date?


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?
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?
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?
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

Thank you for your feedback.

Rachel on Zander


What were you hoping for?
A fun evening meeting someone new – and at the least a good story to tell.

First impressions?
He seemed really relaxed and warm, which was a relief – I was nervous!

What did you talk about?
Our shared love of the First Dates TV show. Bob Mortimer. The best ramen in Oxford. Mountains. Djokovic v Nadal (I was in Nadal’s corner).

Most awkward moment?
I think I bombarded him with questions when I first arrived. (Did I mention I was nervous?)

Good table manners?
Yes, far better than mine – we even shared a pud without any animosity.

Best thing about Zander?
His love for his craft. It was great to hear him talk about watchmaking (and inspect the very impressive handmade watch he was wearing).

Would you introduce Zander to your friends?
I think they’re probably a little different, but he has lots of interesting stories I’m sure they’d enjoy!

Describe Zander in three words.
Talkative, adventurous, lively.

What do you think Zander made of you?
Hopefully that I was interesting (and not too boring when I said I wasn’t keen on going skydiving).

Did you go on somewhere?
We went for cocktails in a fancy hotel bar. And he walked me home, which was very nice of him.

And … did you kiss?
No gossip to report!

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
Maybe to have gone somewhere a bit more chilled for the drink (the hotel bar was far fancier than my usual haunts).

Marks out of 10?
7. I had a lovely evening, but I don’t think there was a romantic connection.

Would you meet again?
As friends, yes – we’ve talked about getting some ramen soon.

Zander and Rachel ate at No.1 Ship Street in Oxford. Fancy a blind date? Email