Bonnie Gull, Fitzrovia

  • DATE #128
  • Written by Ben Wilson (Guest Author)
  • 6 years ago
Bonnie Gull restaurant, london
Seaside romance

The Vibe

If seafood is your thing then look no further than Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, a nostalgic restaurant born from a Hackney pop-up (sure), just perfect for a date. As soon as you walk in you know you’re not going to be disappointed, by the food that is (I can’t predict your date). The decor is fresh and mariner-like, the walls littered with sea memorabilia, ropes, shells, a chalked map of the United Kingdom displaying where their latest catch was caught and- my personal favourite – framed first editions of ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ by Ernest Hemingway (what a book). Bonnie Gull transports you back in time to a faraway shoreline on the British Isles where you can indulge in sublime oysters and succulent fish. The tables are intimate and candlelit; it feels very romantic indeed. With that in mind, perhaps think twice about going here for a first date, unless coming on strong is your thing. The service is good too, it’s gentle- you almost feel like you’re the only diners, but in a good way. Book now.

The Order

White wine with the main, it is seafood after all. Go for some of the aptly named cocktails to start such as the Bonnie Lass – vodka and elderflower. Whilst sipping on the cocktails get your first food order in. I’ve never had oysters before Bonnie Gull, and they were hard to ignore when beautifully displayed in an ice-filled treasure chest hanging above the bar. Go for the Mersea Rocks oysters but be sure to order more than one, they’re very moorish. They make a great appetiser, and an Instagramers dream dish, treasure chest et al. As a starter go for something small (the mains are huge), maybe the scallops or mussels, both excellent. You can try each other’s, perhaps hoping that’s not all you’ll be sharing. For main, the fish and chips are good but if you want to appear a little more grown-up in front of your date, the fish pie is just as savvy a choice. Skip dessert and end with another cocktail.

The Game

Book the table for 8.30 and head to the brilliant pub next door The Crown and Sceptre for pre-drinks. Wet your whistle with some fine ales, or share a bottle of wine and prepare yourself for the evening ahead. If it’s early on in the relationship, drink away those nerves before you get to the table, no room for awkwardness in Bonnie Gull, why ruin the experience. Take the evening real slow, bask in each other’s conversational glow, and let the oysters and cocktails do their thing. Stay there till it closes, giving off the impression that you would stay longer with them if you could. By the time you’re kicked out, hopefully you will have plucked up enough courage to go in for a kiss. Then hail a cab and the rest is up to you. I can see myself coming back on a Sunday repeat date, a little worse for wear, to take in some more oysters and relive the night- you could lose a whole afternoon in here.

The Faults

You can’t sail away into the moonlight after dinner, just step back out onto the pavements.

Sex Factor

4. If oysters can’t help you, nothing can.

Photo credit: Helen Cathcart


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