Blind date: ‘My heart sank when he said, “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”’


Niko on Alya

What were you hoping for?
To meet an interesting person to have good conversation and great food.

First impressions?
Alya had great style and presence. We had a drink at the bar first to get over the surrealness of the experience.

What did you talk about?
Having multiple homes and histories, and living in Berlin. I got some good advice on product management and may have waxed (too) poetic about traditional music.

Most awkward moment?
The blue cheese took me on a journey. I spaced out for almost a full minute.

Good table manners?
Fantastic – we shared every plate. Each cocktail was sprayed with a special, unique aroma right before drinking.

Best thing about Alya?
She’s almost an official polyglot. I appreciate anyone who can see the world from multiple perspectives.

Would you introduce Alya to your friends?
They might like her more than they like me!

Describe Alya in three words.
Driven, smart, gorgeous.

What do you think Alya made of you?
I hope she found me a worthwhile conversation partner.

Did you go on somewhere?
We were the last to leave the restaurant, but decided to part ways there.

And … did you kiss?
A gentleman wouldn’t tell, but I’m not a gentleman. The vibes were more friendly than romantic.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
Each course came with a paired drink. I should have skipped a round or two.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
As friends – we certainly had a lot to talk about.

skip past newsletter promotion


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.


Alya on Niko

What were you hoping for?
To feel a spark and a nice meal. But I’d have settled for a sexy man, on a horse, with a bottle of Old Spice.

First impressions?
My heart sank when he opened with, “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven”. It doesn’t roll off the tongue in German.

What did you talk about?
Working in tech and our shared love of remote work flexibility. Our respective identity crises. What we’d reveal here.

Most awkward moment?
When he told me to think of him when I went to the toilet (I hope as a joke).

Good table manners?
Very. He did nearly drool over the food, but you can’t blame him for that!

Best thing about Niko?
I liked his morals. Also, his music side-hustle sounded pretty cool.

Would you introduce Niko to your friends?
They don’t have much in common.

Describe Niko in three words.
Hairy (think Viking), foodie, reflective.

What do you think Niko made of you?
A bit disappointed that I don’t read this column as religiously as he does.

Did you go on somewhere?
He’d bought tickets for an event at the planetarium later that night … awfully romantic, but I’d literally just met him.

And … did you kiss?
Nope. That possibility went up in smoke after he had a cigarette.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
That we’d stuck to just one type of alcohol … we stumbled out.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
I don’t think so. Unless I find out he really is a famous musician.

Niko and Alya ate at Kink, Schönhauser Allee 176, 10119 Berlin. Fancy a blind date? Email