I would say I sit somewhere as a happy medium, I do like to push towards the upper end of my eating budget when dining out when entertaining, though I am adverse to your high turn over pub grub. For budget reasons my visits to the delightful Katherine in Reading prompted a visit to the chain pub, but these were friendly gatherings as opposed to a romantic liason.
Now with Mary and Philippa it was a different set up, both young ladies had their first two date meals at The Golden Ball in Ironbridge (where I also entertained Amy on her single visit to Telford) and the Fox at Chetwynd Aston, though I inverted the locations for the dates so it didn’t seem like rebound notions. The two venues have good quality food and a warm pub atmosphere so it was less intimidating for both parties.
Philippa’s dining out mentality was more down the chain company area, with Frankie and Benny’s, Brewer’s Fayre and Izzi’s being our frequent destinations. For our year anniversary I edged towards a nice but not too expensive restaurant not too far from her home in Irchester (a town the size of a postage stamp whose solitary claim to fame is that it is/was the hometown of Omar Williams, a performer in the adult industry and part time extra), to which after browsing the website she declared “that is a place we should go for our anniversary”… to which I pointed out it WAS our anniversary. She won out and we ended up going to the local Brewer’s Fayre which while it was adequate, lacked the panache I was aiming for with an anniversary dinner.
Mary, we eat out at interesting places a lot and some not so interesting places. Our routine was meal together then go to see a film. We went many places though for some reason we never graced the Mytton for food together, though we did separately