Don’t criticise the critic

If you make something you enjoy a profession, you can be damn sure it is going to affect it. Just to be clear, I am not talking about cooking… my love affair with the stove top is still going strong. I am actually taking about my other (kind of fun) job writing about dating and restaurants for Grazia.

Everyone can understand the kind of fear a restaurant feels when a critic walks across the threshold and demands a selection of the finest dishes on the menu. If I was a restauranteur, no doubt i’d be petrified to have the likes of Jay Rayner or AA Gill swan in from the street and proceed to pick apart months and possibly years of hard work.

This is a little how I fear my Grazia column has made me to the men I date. Some cold and hardened critic, lining up dates and one by one massacring them as i do a bloody, rare Goodman’s steak. It is really quite a funny idea that I am considered (somewhat unnecessarily) as some sort of expert on the subject. Somewhere down the line I feel these men have got confused. I, like every other twenty-something woman, have no idea what I want. I think none of us do exactly, we only know what it is we absolutely don’t, but even then our minds are ever changing. The only thing is I think that having a platform to air my dating laundry on (however kind and anonymous these men may remain) may have been more of a hindrance than I would like to admit.

Londoners don’t ‘date’ like New Yorkers. It is not considered so acceptable to be hanging out (which is essentially what it is) with more than one person and I am frequently told this. I wonder if perhaps there is the assumption that dating equates with bed hopping?! In which case I would have to disappoint because that is certainly not my style. Tess Ward Chef and Food writer Grazia

I say this now, after most recent date (last night) with a man who proceeded to spend the entire evening asking me repetitively every question dating related, with a particular emphasis on what would happen if I met someone I liked and whether I would i have to give him the chop too… well clearly the answer to that is no. Mr date night dinner doesn’t have to change as frequently as he does. I just consider it a testament to being honest to my true self that I don’t unnecessarily drag out the inevitable and tempt bad karma.

The honest truth is that I wish everyone happiness in dating, life and in love. It is a mighty fun adventure, even when it doesn’t work out. I am just in it for the ride, wondering and whimsically musing with the written word on my experience and sharing it with others along the way. A relationship is not the end goal for me, even when you stand still with one person for a moment it is still a journey. I am just pursuing the magical dates and enjoyable experiences that make being young and alive so wonderful. I only hope that when i get to my zimmerframe I can look back and say I tried it all. That I loved and lived wholeheartedly with lots of delicious food and no regrets.

St Moritz Gourmet Trip and Jamie's Fifteen, Cornwall

However, on that note I feel it is time so say goodbye to DND and I am happy to announce that it will only be running until the end of this year. This is not because I don’t love it, but because it is time to bring the focus back to my real job as a cook and food writer… As of 2015, and my return from Bali, Grazia and I will pursuing other avenues. Thank you all for being such a wonderful audience and making it such a joy to share. This week’s column has already got 338,000 shares phroarrrr.

Anyway please do enjoy for now. You can click here for this week’s

  1. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of DND. It’s so much more fun than a traditional review. I think of it like food pairing with humans rather than wine, cheese or chocolate. 🙂 I guess as long as you are open and honest with the guys it’s a fantastic way to meet people – and discover places you might not normally visit alone. The idea of actually going out on proper dates is actually quite old fashioned and charming. I guess I’m a little bit envious!

    Good luck with whatever comes next for you. 🙂

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