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The perfect icebreaker for big dating events

Original Dating lock & key parties are one of the most fun ways to meet a large number of people in one night. These are some of the largest dating events anywhere and our success has been built around them - if you want to meet people, lock & key parties are for you.

Our Next Party

The lock & key icebreaker forms the basis of all our large-scale events and we run them on boats, for Valentine's Day and for lots of other occasions.

Essentially the lock & key provides you with the perfect icebreaker and forms the catalyst for a very sociable, fun night out with plenty of chances to win great prizes on the night!

What is the format of a Lock & Key Party?

On arrival you will be welcomed by our hosts. Girls are issued with a small padlock to wear around their wrist and guys are issued keys. After a quick explanation from us everyone starts to work the room trying keys in Locks and vice versa. All the time meeting new people in the slightly bizarre but incredibly fun way.

These events allow for you to be as forward as you like - work the room like the social animal you are or stand back and let people come to you! It works great both ways.

We often incorporate speed dating sessions into our lock & key parties. Participation is always optional and you simply sign up on the night.

What happens when a key opens a lock?

We call this a match, through a relationship isn't compulsory! You've met someone new and now the is your chance to win one of our great prizes that are drawn throughout the evening. Return to the organiser's desk (with your match) and present us with your open lock and key. Our staff will give you both a new lock and key and you'll both will receive a draw ticket for our instant draw. Win or lose you're free to continue meeting new people or chatting to your latest match. We have loads of prizes on the evening so the more people you match with the more chances you have to win something - Get mingling to win!

How long do the parties last?

The lock and key icebreaker part of the evening lasts around two hours. After the event you will have met loads of new people so most people stay on and continue mingling. But don't go rushing off - most people have met lots of people by then so it's time to get down to the business of flirting and swapping numbers. You can stay in the venue until it closes and from experience most people do.

Where are the events held?

We always hire private venue for our parties. Typically our events are held in stylish independent venues known for their great locations, decor, style and service. In the past we have held events in some of London's best-known venues and private clubs. We also have regular events on River Thames party boats, normally you'll see a few of these every summer.

What prizes do you offer?

We offer a range of prizes at our events including bottles of champagne, chocolates, meals for two plus some great prizes from our event sponsors.

What are the chances a lock opening?

You have a great chance of getting a lock and key match. There are always at least two keys in circulation for each lock so you will get many matches in one event.

How many people attend?

Although we can't guarantee exact numbers our events typically attract 200-300 people. We have run events with over 400 people attending! We're pretty sure you'll click with someone.

Are the numbers of girls and guys equal?

Yes. We carefully monitor bookings to control the girl/guy ratio and keep it as equal as absolutely possible. We've been doing this a long time and we know what we're doing.

What type of people attend Lock & Key Parties?

Similarly to our speed dating events our lock and key clients are young professionals. Often attractive, fun and YES - totally normal! People attend lock and key parties because they're fed up with going to noisy nightclubs and hardly meeting anyone. At lock and key parties, you will meet loads of new people in just one night.

Do these events actually work?

The results speak for themselves, we've had amazing feedback. Simply by the law of averages, because you are meeting so many people you are very likely to meet at least one or two people you like and want to see again!

What happens after the event?

The Lock and Key party is only the icebreaker start to your evening. By the end, you will have met loads of new people so you are welcome to stay on in the venue as they often stay open late. Alternatively some people will move on and dance the night away with their new friends. The choice is yours.

How long to the events last?

The lock and Key icebreaker will last around two hours from start to finish - but this is just the beginning of your night! You are welcome to stay at the venue until it closes if you like!

Can my company sponsor your parties?

Yes. Contact us to discuss the various opportunities available.


What the press say...

"You never know you may find the key to your heart. 10/10!" 
The Sun

"It felt more like a fashionable party where everyone knew everyone else than a sordid singles night."
The Observer

"The consensus, especially for men, is that lock and key parties work well because the girls approach the guys instead of the usual vice versa."
The Scotsman

Check out our event calendar for our next party



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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.