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Lock & Key - A Guide for the Perplexed

Thursday March 19, 2015

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Before we start, some trivia for you.


the collecting of keys.


The fear of being trapped or locked up.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or perhaps locked up in prison – you’ll know that very soon we have our Spring Fling Party 2015.

While valentines is the biggest general night for singles events, our annual spring party is by far the largest and probably the most fun individual event. 300 people no less, split equally between men and women with a fantastic live band, speed date try out sessions and of course our justifiably famous ice-breaker – Lock & Key.

Before you start balking at the thought of a 70’s throwback and a very large bowl, fear not. Lock and Key is a really straight forward way to make sure everyone mingles without the need for awkward silences.

In a nut shell, guys get a key and girls get a lock. Meet as many people as you can and see if the lock and key are a match. If the lock opens the lucky couple come to us and are entered into a draw for the potential to win a plethora of prizes.

You then get another lock or key and away you go again. Simple.

But like all things there is a degree of etiquette. And what you put in determines what you get out of the evening. So here are my top tips for to help you master the art of lock and key.


It’s kind of the point right? If all we wanted you to do was meet one person and stick with them all night, there wouldn’t be 300 people there.

Lock and key is designed to give you good reason to approach people. Use it. It negates shyness. You don’t even really need to say anything – although it’s recommended. Just smile and raise your eyebrows as you walk up to someone brandishing your implement.

It also means you’ve got more chance of winning a prize, whether that be a bottle of champagne or flirtatious conversation with a like-minded singleton.

You/I really must be going

The beauty of lock and key lies in the fact that, even if you do manage to unlock each other, you’re not stuck trying to make awkward conversation if you’re not compatible. Take your new item, thank your brief date and off you go again.

And if you don’t win, conversations can be kept mercifully short with a ‘right, I’m off to try my luck again.’

Don’t over stay your welcome. Everyone will be mingling and there are plenty more people to meet. If you really do get on, arrange to catch up later in the evening.

Be generous in word and deed

As tempting as it may rarely be, should your items not be mutually compatible don’t respond with a ‘thank God for that!’ Likewise should your conjoining result in an opening, don’t scream ‘nooooooo!’ while staring at the offending pairing.

In a minute or two you’ll have another lock or key and away you go again. And be generous with prizes. Some prizes are designed to be shared. Greedily snatching away that box of rather expensive chocolates and disappearing into the corner to quickly munch your way through them is not conducive to a mutual attraction. With anyone.

Get into group action

At our larger events, many people come with a couple of friends. It’s not a prerequisite but it can be fun. Approaching a group of people to then only proffer your lock or key to one and ignore the rest regardless of outcome is an express train to Fail City.

People come with their friends for a reason. They like them. There are ways to keep everyone happy while ensuring the object of your desire knows you’re interested. Try your tool with everyone in the group and return to your first with a cheeky grin and a ‘I was really hoping this would work. Let’s try again.’

And if they turn their back, you’ve been engaging enough to continue chatting to others in the group without having to slink away with your tail between your legs.

Premature extraction

It IS exciting, this whole lock and key thing. And we do indeed want you to meet plenty of people. But hey. Be cool.

Running maniacally round the room shouting ‘Nope! NEXT!’ after each fail makes you look like you were banned from birthday parties as a child and you’ve drunk too much fizzy pop. The key to lock and um… Key is conversation. Have a couple.

As the night gets later, you’ll also find people settling into a more relaxed mode. Key/lock interactions tend to take on a more cocktail evening at the ambassador’s residence type feel. Flirtation is more the order of the day. Brandish your key like a debonair jailer in the prison of cool.

Of course, none of this matters a jot if you haven’t got your tickets yet.
What are you waiting for? An invite? Fine! You’re invited! Book now and see you there.




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 for speed dating London. 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.