It happens. You meet someone on an app, or finally agree to go out with your colleague’s mate, and everything is going well for a while, until you slowly (or quickly) realise this person isn’t who you want to spend your life with, and it’s time to conduct your relationship exit interview. If you’re thinking this should maybe all happen in a restaurant (they’re good neutral places, plus you get to eat dinner), we’re here for you. Here are 11 restaurants you could feasibly break up with someone in.
There are only really two types of break-up: bad break-ups and sensationally bad break-ups. The latter is the kind that cause you to wander aimlessly about like a tourist with their location services turned off, and it’s for this temporarily earth shattering break-up that you want to go to The Southampton Arms. It’s a cosy old school boozer in Gospel Oak where a corner can be found, tears can be wept, and scotch eggs can be damply eaten. Best of all is that it’s bang opposite Hampstead Heath: London’s finest green space for pensive meandering.
It’s not that you’re scared of commitment. It’s that you’re absolutely fucking terrified of commitment. Seriously, the last time you even attempted to commit to new bedding, a series of Ikea workers had to wrap you in a fluffy rug until you calmed down. When you’ve once again made the mistake of being a prime dickhead and led someone on, take them to this entirely fun, but moody Soho bar. You can time the chat to the saxophone player’s live Ray Charles solo, and afterwards they can dance to a rendition of Howlin’ Wolf with a pint to feel better. Leave. Keep walking. You don’t like commitment, remember?
It was never going to work. They’re north, you’re south. They’re a ketchup person, you like HP. They won’t say how they voted and, well, you know what that means. Save yourself another trip across the river by meeting at Coal Rooms in Peckham instead. It’s the perfect place to break bad news for many reasons, the most obvious being that it’s connected to Peckham Rye station which makes for a very easy getaway. Plus, once the deed is done, you can ‘mourn’ (emphasis on the inverted commas there) by getting yourself a ‘Peckham Fatboy’ - potato hash covered in cheese and crispy onions with beef fat mayonnaise, and then be on your merry way.
Their online profile said that they had a ‘good sense of humour’, but they’re actually a banter tampon. Time to part ways with them over breakfast at the most entertaining restaurant in town, E. Pellicci. As you both settle into one of the best fry-ups in London and they lap up the high energy atmosphere, you can answer with the utmost honesty when the owner Nevio asks, “Are you two together?“. “Na, this is our break-up breakfast”. Yes, everyone will laugh - but hopefully your newly minted ex will realise you’re not joking.
You swiped right because they said they were a ‘sapiosexual’ on their online profile, but after a couple of dates, you realise that they are as thick as pig shit. Canova Hall is where to have a frank conversation about why they can no longer totally depend on your intelligence for their basic human survival. The drinks are strong, and the simple pizza and pasta menu hopefully won’t confuse your date before you explain - in layman’s - terms why you shouldn’t be together. Just don’t use the word layman in your conversation, they may think it’s a new word for sexytimes.
The Rail House Cafe is a fine place to extract someone from your life. It’s an any-occasion restaurant that is central and comfortable for any awkward encounters. The food is good, yet won’t leave too many lasting memories. And its location in Victoria leaves you various escape routes after you drop the bombshell that you can’t see them anymore because they use too many emojis in their text messages. Make sure you’re nice enough to pay for the cheesecake that you just ordered to share - you don’t want to come across as a complete and utter dick.
You’ve had the best of times. You’ve had the worst of times. You had that one time where you went to see Sherlock Gnomes alone because you just needed a minute (or 86) to yourself. Anyway it’s time to call time, and you want to do it right. You want outside space, you want almond croissants, and you want coffee. Popham’s in Hackney is your answer to all of these things. It’s a calming industrial-style bakery that oozes consideration, and also cheese out of their excellent pastries. And if that’s the only salty thing about the meet-up then you’ve done pretty well.
You’ve been dating a terribly nice person, but there’s just no spark between you. Well, from your point of view anyway. Aquavit is a lovely restaurant to break up with a very nice person. It serves very nice meatballs and some other lovely Nordic classics that keep everyone who goes there happy. After lovely conversation and the pleasant parting of ways, you can finally admit that you can never ever see yourself with someone who lives with 15 cats - no matter how bloody nice they are.
It’s all making sense now. The late nights. The missed calls. That time they said you couldn’t look at their phone because they’d been watching a sad video of a tiger and didn’t want it to upset you. Nope, it’s dumping ‘o’ clock friend, and this aptly named coffee spot in Bermondsey is not only loud enough for said dumping, but the name is quite literally, the final fuck you. The coffee here is actually pretty good and they’re open until 7pm so you can break up at your leisure. Bonus points if you manage to use the terrifying dolls head next to the till as a prop.
You’re not proud of your actions, but you ghosted a poor unsuspecting soul because you couldn’t be bothered to be an adult, and now they’re demanding a grown-up face to face. Giant Robot is an easy neutral location, with great food options and most importantly a big crowd. Because they’re not going to react well when you let them know that you’ve just started dating someone else.
So you never actually went on a proper dinner out with this person. Now’s probably not the time to start. Take them Nando’s Lime Street. It’s dark and small, so no one will see them cry into their chicken platter as you break the devastating news that you will no longer require their services as an extra in your love life. Added bonus is that you can always blame the peri-peri sauce for the tears.