Whilst more and more couples are meeting online these days, singles’ events are as popular as ever – and if you live in London, you have options every night of the week.
Events can last all evening or be as short as 45 minutes, so in the time it takes to buy groceries or watch a movie, you could be meeting dozens of new people!
But is it worth it? And how can you choose an event that will suit you?
Singles’ events might be for you if…
- You find that attraction can be difficult to measure without physical interaction (voice, body language and even scent can play a huge role in how you feel about a potential match)
- Writing/reading profiles isn’t your thing – some people prefer to make a first impression in person
- You want to meet people in real life, but you want to be proactive about it (rather than waiting around for a chance meeting at the bar / gym / uni etc.)
- … or perhaps none of that applies, but you just haven’t tried it before and each want to see what it’s about
All of these are great reasons to give it a go!
Everyone is different, so no one event will be good for everyone. Here’s our list of the most regular types of singles’ events in London – from pop quiz pub nights to elegant wine tasting – and what to expect at each one.
- Classic Speed Dating
- Singles’ Wine Tasting
- Silent Singles’ Nights
- Chocolate Masterclass Speed Dating
- Blindfold / In The Dark Speed Dating
- Vegan Speed Dating
- Singles’ Game Nights
- Singles’ Pub Quizes
- ‘Dangerous Date Nights’ with My Friend Charlie
- Singles’ Fitness Classes
1. Classic Speed Dating
If quirky themes aren’t your thing – or if you’re new to this and just want to see if it’s for you – a regular speed dating event is a good place to start.
Classic speed dating nights are normally hosted in cocktail bars, last 1 – 2 hours and often follow a familiar format:
- Couples are seated two a table and get about 4 minutes together to chat, ask questions and get to know each other – then everyone rotates. If it’s an event with a mix of genders, normally girls stay seated whilst guys move around the room
- You discreetly write on a card who you’re interested in seeing again and then give the card to the event organiser
- There’s usually time to mingle afterwards, but it’s up to you if you want to stay
- You get your matches by email 24 – 48 hours later
Speed dating events are generally split into age ranges like 18 – 35, 35+, over 50s and so on. The organisers will usually try to achieve a 50/50 split of men and women (unless you’re going to an LGBTQ event).
Where can I find classic speed dating events in London?
Almost every speed dating company will do some version of the original speed dating format, so you’ve got plenty of choice with this one.
A few of London’s best-known speed dating companies include:
2. Singles’ Wine Tasting
Everybody has a different attitude about wine. Some people take it seriously, others not so seriously, but you’ll be surprised by how people’s different personalities emerge when asked to critique something.
This is part of what makes a wine tasting event such a good option for singles to meet. Plus, you’re learning a new skill (kinda) which is great for building rapport with someone you like.
You’ll leave armed with some new knowledge, and hopefully with a match or two as well.
Where can I find singles’ wine tasting events in London?
3. Silent Singles’ Nights
Always get tongue-tied on a first date? At a silent singles’ event, you won’t have to say a word (at least not to begin with). In fact, there’s strictly no talking allowed.
So how does that work?
Normally, you’ll play interactive games and/or engage in some sessions of ‘eye gazing’… if you feel a connection with someone, you’re free to speak to each other after the main event.
Where can I find silent singles’ events in London?
I could only find one place that does these events, which is Shhh… Dating.
4. Chocolate Masterclass Speed Dating
Chocolate is supposedly an aphrodisiac, but whether or not you believe that, the amazing aromas of melted chocolate and resulting sugar rush should put you in a good mood.
Although these events tend to be fairly basic in terms of skills learned (you won’t be learning how to make chocolate from scratch, in most cases) there’s something romantic, relaxing and playful about chocolate tasting that creates the right atmosphere for meeting people.
Where can I go for a singles’ chocolate masterclass in London?
Original Dating runs chocolate speed dating events at Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Vaults, where you can enjoy chocolate wine in the softly-lit space and learn all about the different kinds of chocolate (whilst sampling each one, of course).
5. Blindfolded / In The Dark Speed Dating
I’ve written before about Dans Le Noir, the Clerkenwell restaurant where you eat completely in the dark.
The concept there is that all your senses besides sight get stronger when you can’t see.
It’s a similar idea here, except that in this case you’ll be concentrating mainly on your date’s voice and verbal mannerisms. These are not to be underestimated – voice is one of the most important aspects of attraction.
It might not be for everyone, but if you’re feeling brave why not give it a go?
Where can I find blindfolded / in the dark speed dating in London?
SpeedDater runs blindfold dating where you’ll spend 1 hour in the dark and spend 5 minutes talking to each person. Their launch event received very good reviews and it’s now a staple.
Date In A Dash runs speed dating in the dark events, with the aim of helping singles to discover to what extent physical attraction and looks play in developing chemistry with another person. Go along and discover for yourself!
6. Vegan Speed Dating
If you’re a vegan Londoner looking for someone who shares your love of plant-based food, vegan speed dating is an obvious choice. But what is it, exactly?
Things will be done differently depending on the event organisers, but it’s worth noting that generally the event itself won’t be food-based – you’ll meet in places that cater to vegans, but things will work more or less like regular speed dating.
(If what you’re looking for IS a food-based event, try a vegan tasting tour!).
Where can I go for vegan speed dating in London?
Original Dating hosts vegan speed dating events at the Coach and Horses in Soho and The Frog Hoxton – two of a handful of newly vegan and vegetarian pubs springing up across the city.
SpeedDater occasionally runs vegan speed dating events for 24-40 year-olds, which follow the familiar format. Keep track of these on their EventBrite page (these aren’t always advertised on their main website)
7. Singles’ Game Nights
You might not have played Twister or Scrabble for years, but a singles’ night will give you a new reason to take those old boxes out of the attic and brush up your skills. Or don’t – losing is fun too.
What’s the point of playing games at a singles’ event?
One reason is that it gives you something to interact with, which is great if you tend to feel ‘frozen’ or awkward when you meet a new person. It helps to have something to do whilst you talk!
Where can I go for singles’ game nights in London?
- Smudged Lipstick do a ‘Dirty Scrabble Night‘
- Original Dating do a Cards Against Humanity speed dating night
- Date In A Dash do their ‘play dates’ – board game themed speed dating in Clapham
8. Singles’ Pub Quiz
If you feel most at home in your local pub, why not go to a singles’ pub quiz and impress other single Londoners with your general knowledge?
These can be a good option for those who prefer to meet others in a group rather than one-on-one. For example, Original Dating’s quiz nights work by rotating groups of 3-4 (girls stay seated, whilst the guys move in groups around the tables between each round). If you feel most relaxed in this type of environment, it’s a great advantage!
Where can I find singles’ pub quizzes in London?
Speed Dater – their Quiz Nights take place in a cosy and chic venue (The Driver in King’s Cross) and last two hours, following the same group rotation pattern.
Original Dating – see above!
9. ‘Dangerous Date Nights’ with My Friend Charlie
If board games are too tame for you, why not try one of My Friend Charlie’s ‘Dangerous Date Nights’, where you’ll try your skill at axe throwing?
You won’t really be in grave danger, of course; you’ll be in a specialised environment (Whistle Punks – a venue actually dedicated to axe-throwing) and there are instructors on hand to make sure everything is done safely. You’ll learn various throwing techniques and finish off with a trip to the pub where you can continue to mingle with the other singles.
If you meet someone you like, you can match with them and message via your MFC account – easy!
10. Singles’ Fitness Classes
If the gym is your thing, why not find someone who shares your passion for it at a singles’ fitness class?
Combining romance with a fitness class might seem like an odd combination for some people – after all, when you’re sweating it out, do you really feel at your most date-ready? But then again, most people have had the experience of wanting to talk to someone at the gym and not approaching because they don’t want to be rude (usually a good idea). Here, you’re allowed to say hi!
Where can I find singles’ fitness classes in London?
Right Path Fitness has ‘Date-ercise’ classes every Thursday where you can train for 45 minutes in a circuit-style session, followed by healthy snacks (included in the £25 ticket price)
Creative Wellness offer singles’ yoga classes in a relaxing, fun session. There’s plenty of physical interaction with the rest of the participants, which is a great ice-breaker!