The most recent and marmite-ish of popular apps, Tinder has transformed our dating lives. Love it or hate it, you’re either on it for the ‘lols’ or secretly marvelling at those who are. It’s been dubbed the “dating app of the 21st century, but the flood of heartwarming stories of Tinder-based romance make the benefits of giving it a go undeniable. If you do plan to step into this brave new world of internet-assisted dating, it’s generally a good idea to take your date somewhere that’s nice and busy, but also intimate and tasteful. Fortunately, Oxford has no shortage of those, and the following all come with a hearty recommendation:
- The Four Candles
Wetherspoons is a classic. The alcohol is reliably cheap, there are always people around, and snobbery about the general quality of the pubs can be a good ice-breaker; “It’s a bit rubbish here, but that’s student life for you, isn’t it?”…You get the idea. The Four Candles provides ample opportunity for people-watching, which can be the perfect antidote for those awkward pauses. Spoons rarely disappoints, since expectations are never very high to begin with.
- Waterstone’s Café
‘Café W.’ is worth it just for the potential conversations it sets up; “So, what are you reading right now? What authors are you into?” etc, etc. Centrally set, it looks out over the Sainsbury’s/Tesco flurry on St. Giles, and is perfect for grabbing a quick drink with your favourite match. The lack of alcohol available means this one is not for the faint-hearted, but it has a phenomenal location and a lovely ambience. One for a more laid-back date.
Ice-cream can make for the perfect date, and G&D’s is a much-loved provider of same; the St. Aldate’s branch is a particularly good spot. The place clearly employs some sort of mad genius wizard, given that they have found a way to combine ice cream and hot chocolate into one drink, so who knows, maybe some of that magic will rub off on your date. Plus, you can easily escape, ice-cream in hand, if things get awkward or the chemistry is lacking.
- The Bear
Often called “the cutest pub in Oxford”, The Bear often seems to be actively hiding from potential customers, hidden as it is down two back-alleys and behind a large wall. But The Bear is a lovely, relaxed and intimate setting for a date. Plus, like all Oxford pubs, it once played a vital part in an episode of Inspector Morse, so that’s a potential conversation-starter right there.
Oxford– busy, compact and teeming with interesting people– is perfect for Tinder dating, so fire up your phone and get swiping! Dismiss your inhibitions, hop aboard the ‘try new things’ bus, and give the newest version of dating a go!
PHOT/ Chris Gold