Sam’s Perspective on our First Date “Venue”

Time has flown and it almost weirds me out that Sam and I have been together for almost half a decade. Late summer 2010 doesn’t seem that long ago, right? Heading to work the other day, I walked past the site of our first date and I was pretty surprised to realise how much time had passed.

So I asked Sam about that first date location- and you, lovely, readers, can read it below. I must admit, he makes me out to be some kind of party pooper. I’m not as much of a wet blanket as he claims (although it’s true that I said I was drinking gin and tonic when it was actually water with lime.) 

first date
Here’s an actual photo from that day. So young. So unsure about each other.

The first time I took Amanda out we went on a pub crawl around central London. What a romantic I am, right? It was actually a double-date with a girl that she was studying with and my best friend from school. 

We showed up to the first place early, feeling very pleased with ourselves as we awaited the arrival of two very attractive American girls. We sipped our pints, then finished our pints, then ordered some more pints. They were late. Inexcusably late. We had all but given up hope and had resigned ourselves to a night just the two of us, when in they walked.

I mainly drink in a group of pubs run by a brewery called Samuel Smith’s. Now, you might argue that it’s because I’m a skinflint (the price of drinks is a little bit cheaper than the extortion one experiences at other pubs), but it’s mainly because I like the beer, the buildings themselves are almost untouched with original features (a ‘proper’ pub, if you like), and if you know where to look there is always one within walking distance.

A decade ago I mapped out a route, gathered some friends together and The Sammy Smiths Pub Crawl was born. There are 18 nice pubs (plus a few grottier ones that we tend to avoid) all within five minutes walk of each other bunched down little roads and hidden away from the main busy drags of central London. The way it worked is that we would do a half pint in each and see how far we got! These were some of my favourite days: the perfect opportunity to get a big group of people together, have a good old time, and have a nice walk into the bargain.

Amanda isn’t one for pub crawls really. She’ll join in, for sure, but she’s far too classy and well brought up. On our first date she had a couple of dainty drinks but then began persuading the barmen to make glasses of tap water look like gin and tonics. A great ploy – I didn’t work it out for ages!

Do you have any rituals with your friend groups that match the Sammy Smith’s?

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