London is one of the biggest cities in the world. So many people from all over the world, all creating one cultural hotspot that few cities around the world can replicate. So, if you’re looking for love, then you happen to be in a pretty good spot. There are plenty of speed dating events going on across London. So, no matter whether you’re looking for your first relationship or you’re looking for a rebound, there’s something on offer for everyone. So if you’re wondering where are the best places to go speed dating in London – this article has got you covered.
What is speed dating?
Speed dating is indeed the Formula 1 of the dating world, characterised by its fast-paced nature. Participants have a set amount of time, usually just a few minutes, to interact with a potential match before a signal indicates it’s time to switch partners. This format allows individuals to meet a large number of potential partners in a short period, making it efficient and dynamic. The idea is to create a first impression, gauge compatibility, and decide if there’s interest in a follow-up date. It’s a blend of excitement, anticipation, and, of course, a bit of nerves, as each round offers a new opportunity to connect with someone different.
Why London for speed dating?
London’s appeal for speed dating lies in its vibrant and diverse social scene, plus the number of people living there (your chances are much better at meeting someone than in a rural 50-people village for example). The city is a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds, and interests, making it an ideal place for such events. With an array of pubs, bars, and unique venues, each speed dating event in London can offer a different atmosphere and experience. From traditional English pubs offering a cosy and relaxed setting to trendy bars in areas like Shoreditch or Mayfair, which provide a more upscale experience, there’s something for every taste. Additionally, London’s fast-paced lifestyle aligns well with the quick and efficient nature of speed dating, catering to busy professionals and those eager to find romance amidst their hectic lives.
The best places for speed dating in London
DateInADash hosts a number of speed dating events for all ages, all across the city (and online). They also have other events, should speed dating not be your fancy. This ranges from singles parties to singles pub crawls to singles comedy. There are regular weekly events at bars across the city like Trapeze in Shoreditch or The Goat in Clapham. Tickets range between £10 and £20 per event, depending on the event in question.
SpeedDater is another company that hosts several speed dating events across the capital. They have multiple speed dating events a week and have specific events for queer dating. They also have wine-tasting events and host parties, like their Valentine’s Singles Party on the 16th of February at The Golden Bee in Shoreditch. Tickets for an event here are a little more expensive, generally in the range of £22 to £35.
Slow Dating offers something a little different from the other options on this list. At their events, you have four minutes to talk to each person, then there is a mingling session afterwards if you want to find out more about someone. They host events at five venues across the capital: Zebrano in Soho, Dirty Martini Minories in The City, London Cocktail Club in Clapham, Outpost in Stratford and All-Star Bowling in Holborn.
Available to all ages over 18 years, Cocktails and Conversations is a glamorous, sexy type of speed dating in London. It hosts different parties and events (not all are specifically speed dating, but are geared around meeting new people and making connections in London). Types of parties and events include 7 Deadly Sins Valentine’s Ball, Speed Dating and VIP After Party, Live Music and Dancing Night and so on. You typically have to be a member to go to most events, although they do offer some non-member tickets to most events but these are limited.
This is one for my fellow South Londoners. Original Dating, while based in Clapham, hosts speed dating events throughout the week in venues all across London. They have venues in Camden, Central London, Chiswick, Clapham Junction, Clerkenwell, Hammersmith, Islington, The City and Tooting. That means there’s something for everyone, no matter where you are in London. However, their lowest age range is 23-35, meaning that unless you’re a mature student, it might be one to try out post-university.
The best conversation starters for speed dating
When it comes to sparking a conversation in London, whether it’s at a social event, a speed dating session, or just in a casual setting, the key is to be intriguing and engaging. Moving away from the standard ‘what do you do?’ can open up a world of interesting dialogue. Here are some conversation starters that can lead to memorable exchanges:
- “What’s the most ridiculous way you’ve ever spent a weekend?” – This question is not only fun but also allows the person to share a unique story, potentially full of humour and unexpected twists.
- “Have you been to any interesting events or meetups in London recently?” – Given the city’s vibrant event scene, this question can reveal common interests or introduce you to new activities.
- “If you could only visit one more place in London for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?” – This question can uncover hidden gems in the city and also tell you a lot about the person’s preferences and personality.
- “What’s the most unusual hobby or activity you’ve tried in London?” – London’s diverse culture offers a plethora of unique experiences, making this question a gateway to fascinating stories and shared interests.
- “What’s a book or movie that changed your perspective, and why?” – This is a great way to delve into deeper, more meaningful topics, fostering a connection beyond surface-level chat.
3 do’s and don’ts of speed dating in London
Navigating the fast-paced world of speed dating in London requires a blend of charm, etiquette, and strategy. Here’s a quick guide to help you make the most of your speed dating experience.
- Be Yourself: Authenticity is key. People are drawn to genuine personalities, so let your true self shine through.
- Listen Actively: Pay attention to what your date is saying. Active listening shows that you’re interested and engaged in the conversation.
- Have Fun: Remember, speed dating is supposed to be a fun experience. Relax, enjoy the process, and don’t take it too seriously. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and maybe find a connection, not a high-pressure situation.
- Avoid Overindulging in Alcohol: While a bit of liquid courage might help ease the nerves, too much can be detrimental. Stay sober enough to make a good impression and remember your conversations.
- Don’t Ghost: If you’re not interested in a second date, it’s okay. However, if you’ve exchanged contact details, a polite message to say you’re not pursuing things further is courteous. Ghosting is not only impolite but also leaves the other person hanging.
- Respect Boundaries: Speed dating environments are safe spaces. Always respect personal boundaries and never make your date feel uncomfortable.
By following these simple do’s and don’ts, you’ll not only enjoy your speed dating experience but also increase your chances of a successful match. Remember, speed dating is as much about the experience as it is about the outcome. So, keep it classy, London!
Remember, the goal is to initiate a conversation that is both enjoyable and revealing, allowing both parties to connect and learn more about each other in an authentic and engaging way.
So, to answer the question, where are some of the best places to go speed dating in London? Well, these are just some of the best options. Of course, this is not an extensive list. But, as you can see, there are so many events going on across the capital for everyone, no matter their sexuality. Happy hunting!
Looking for some new options for a night out in the city? Check out this article for some of the best nights out in London for groups.
A student from University of Nottingham.