Blind date: ‘I guessed she was 10 years younger but she thought I was older than I am’

Penny on Matt


What were you hoping for?
Lively conversation with an attractive, astute man whose family is central to his life.

First impressions?
A good head of hair and a friendly smile.

What did you talk about?
Creativity. His work in design and my art. Matt’s house renovation. The ins and outs of families. Health and exercise routines.

Any awkward moments?
Both being baffled by a sweetly incomprehensible waiter describing the desserts.

Good table manners?
Impeccable. And he let me try his acorn cake.

Best thing about Matt?
Thoughtful and a good listener.

Would you introduce him to your friends?
I am sure Matt would get on with most people, particularly creative ones.

Describe Matt in three words?
Creative, kind, good humoured.

What do you think he made of you?
Fast-talking, an adoring mum and youthful for my age!

Did you go on somewhere?
No. We were going home to opposite sides of London.

And … did you kiss?
No – we had a friendly hug.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
To have felt more of a romantic spark with someone at a similar life stage.

Marks out of 10?
8, for an interesting conversation over good food.

Would you meet again?
We might do a gallery to continue the art conversation.

Penny and Matt on their date at at HIDE restaurant.
Penny and Matt on their date at at HIDE restaurant.

Want to be in 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?
We 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?
No, 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?
Honestly 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

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Matt on Penny

Matt. Blind Date

What were you hoping for?
Good company, good food and wine and pleasant surrounds, which we got.

First impressions?
Confident, with a nice smile.

What did you talk about?
Children. Penny’s work in foreign countries. Losses we’ve experienced. Shared interests in walking in the countryside and by the sea. Running. Cycling. Painting. My house renovation. Yoga v Pilates.

Any awkward moments?
I guessed her to be 10 years younger than she actually is; Penny thought I was a few years older than I am. I think I managed to laugh it off.

Good table manners?
Extremely good, and relaxed with it. Her choice of wine was sound, too.

Best thing about Penny?
Her high cheekbones, strong nose line and hair – when she came back from the bathroom, I think she’d brushed it out and it shimmered.

Would you introduce her to your friends?

Describe Penny in three words?
Youthful, resilient, intelligent.

What do you think she made of you?
Difficult to tell.

Did you go on somewhere?
No, it didn’t feel like that, but we spent a long time in the restaurant.

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And … did you kiss?
Only on the cheek, but that felt nice!

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
A bit more time for a drink together at the bar before the meal.

Marks out of 10?

Would you meet again?
We swapped numbers and agreed to meet at a gallery, or if she has an exhibition of her own paintings.

Penny and Matt ate at HIDE, London W1. Fancy a blind date? Email