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Review of the Original Dating Christmas Party

Wednesday December 19, 2012

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We're justifiably famed for our Original Dating lock and key parties and we've been described by more than one reviewer as the best lock and key hosts in London. 150-300 singles split equally guys/girls, amazing venues, great band and a full on night of flirting and fun. They're raucous yet relaxed fun that run late into the night and the number of matches we get is quite is extraordinary.

But for Christmas we decided to try something a little different. Still 180 people, still lock and key at a great venue and still the same amount of fun. But this time we decided to up the class factor, tone down the music and make it a somewhat more intimate affair.

The Malmaison in Clerkenwell was our destination for this year's Original Dating Christmas party. A wonderful, boutique hotel in a listed building with a series of stunning rooms at our disposal. No band but light background music. Plenty of places to sit close to your potential date and talk of more intimate things, rather than attempting to impress with your best devil-may-care MC Hammer impersonation, and a well-priced bar with cocktail options downstairs.

I'll admit, we were a little nervous, as any departure from our tried and tested format was bound to make us. But thanks to you guys and the wonderful staff our nervousness was obviously misplaced. People were clearly getting into the spirit of things as the only complaint we received was that all the prizes were gone and that simply meant that people were mingling like mad. This may sound like a criticism but this came from someone who had been so busy mingling he'd already won two! In fact there were plenty of people who won more than once.

After the initial rush for locks and keys at the beginning of the evening, people began to spread across the rooms and reception so there was enough space for everyone to feel comfortable. Every so often we'd spy a couple taking advantage of the strategically placed 2-seater "love-couches" to pursue their mutual interests further, a few very keen ladies had lined up a series of guys to try out their keys and I believe I even saw a tattoo off in the corner between 3 daters.

Was it a success? From the comments we've received it's a resounding yes. Everyone had fun, we enjoyed ourselves and it was great to see so many trying lock and key parties for the first time.

If you haven't given Lock and Key parties a go, you really should. Whether it's a band driven dancing and drinking event or a more intimate conversational evening you come to, we guarantee you won't be disappointed.

WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS

ORIGINAL DATING IN THE PRESS
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HOW IT WORKS

The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.