Blind date: ‘She’s uncomfortable with compliments, so only one: beautiful’

Raina on Tony

What were you hoping for?
A fun afternoon in Brighton, with good company and a decent meal.

First impressions?
Tall, smiley, generous, moustachioed and a sartorial wonder!

What did you talk about?
Work life, family life, cats, failing our O-levels. How we had both been involved in the world of foster care, which was a real surprise. Where we get our sense that we are valued now we have stopped doing paid work.

Most awkward moment?
A coughing fit when I tried to carry on talking with my mouth full, which we all know is not good manners.

Good table manners?
Excellent. Though there was a moment when I think he would have stolen the second chocolate truffle out of my hand if I hadn’t eaten it so quickly.

Best thing about Tony?
He brought me a flower!

Would you introduce Tony to your friends?
Yes, I think he’d get on with most of them.


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.

Describe Tony in three words.
Open, uncomplicated, humorous.

What do you think Tony made of you?
Chatty, quick to laugh, curious and possibly a bit cautious – except when I crossed the road on a green light.

Did you go on somewhere?
We went for a windy walk along the Brighton seafront. He suggested going to the pub, but a bottle of wine was more than enough for me in the middle of the day.

And … did you kiss?
Just a big farewell hug at the station.

If you could change one thing about the date, what would it be?
There would have been more chocolate truffles.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
Yes. We are planning a walk in a few weeks’ time when we’re both back from our travels.

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Raina and Tony on their date

Tony on Raina

What were you hoping for?
The internet warned me that blind dates are often unpleasant and unsuccessful, but I’ll always dream the impossible dream.

First impressions?
I immediately knew that everything would be OK. She has wonderful corkscrew hair with little blue highlights, like seams of Blue John, a very kind face and a generous smile.

What did you talk about?
The care system and caring for children. Finding value in retirement. Costumed darts fans. vitriol.

Most awkward moment?
Not the slightest trace of awkwardness.

Good table manners?
Didn’t slouch and chewed with mouth closed. Spat gristle discreetly into her hand before lobbing it across the restaurant. Impressive.

Best thing about Raina?
How can you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

Would you introduce Raina to your friends?
Absolutely, though not to Lance.

Describe Raina in three words.
She’s uncomfortable with compliments, so only one: beautiful.

What do you think Raina made of you?
You know that look on Elliott’s face when he first meets ET? Like that. But I think I won her over.

Did you go on somewhere?
Admired the milky afternoon sun from a windy bandstand, untroubled by murmurations.

And … did you kiss?
There is no easy answer to this question. And why the sudden ellipsis? What are you getting at?

If you could change one thing about the date, what would it be?
It would have been longer.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
We’re on it.

Raina and Tony ate at The Salt Room in Brighton. Fancy a blind date? Email


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