Gorgeous young things WLTM similar

Eye witness: Posh dating - The lonely-hearts club that caters to the filthy (but pretty) rich.
Click to follow
The Independent Online

They are cash-rich but time-poor. They are beautiful people who can't get a date. Which is why last week, 32 hand-picked, wealthy, attractive people were taking part in the latest phenomenon to hit Britain: Gorgeous Get Togethers. Or speed dating for the filthy, but pretty, rich.

They are cash-rich but time-poor. They are beautiful people who can't get a date. Which is why last week, 32 hand-picked, wealthy, attractive people were taking part in the latest phenomenon to hit Britain: Gorgeous Get Togethers. Or speed dating for the filthy, but pretty, rich.

On Tuesday at the Bluebird, a Conran restaurant on London's King's Road, the singletons were getting to know each other over champagne and a three-course dinner. During the past two months, membership of this exclusive dating agency has doubled to more than 500, despite an annual membership package costing £800.

All those present had to go through a strict application process to gain entry to the agency, and all of them have qualified as "gorgeous" - in terms of both their physical appearance and personality.

One of the men at our table sighs. "She's amazing that one - absolutely stunning. I gave her my card, but I doubt she'll call." Next to us, a young couple are lost in conversation, taking alternate sips from the same glass of wine. Another pair finish their coffee and surreptitiously move towards the door.

It's been a good evening for the organisers. "We judge our members on looks, presence and drive," smiles Sam Taylor, 34, the joint managing director of Gorgeous Get Togethers. "It's about cool young people being given the opportunity to meet each other."

It was Ms Taylor's business partner, Lorraine Adams, who imported speed dating to Britain from New York nearly three years ago, so it seems only fitting that it is her company that is pushing the limits of the concept now. Tonight, rather than members of the opposite sex sitting opposite each other for three minutes before moving rapidly on to the next person in line, the theme is more leisurely and sophisticated.

After introductions over a champagne reception, we are led up to a dining room, where four men and four women are seated at each table. After every course, the men move one table to their left, to meet another quartet of potential partners.

"I had to reject two people today, just on their looks," says Ms Taylor. "If they're not suitable, we recommend other agencies, and send them a rejection poem."

There are undoubtedly some very attractive people present - at least two of the women could easily be models - but by the same token, some appear to have missed out by a fair distance.

"There's a big bald patch staring at me from across the table, and underneath it is a man with the personality of an ant," says Sarah, a pretty brunette, when I ask her what she thinks of the calibre of the men here tonight.

Others are more satisfied with what's on the menu. Isabelinforms me she's already met one man who was "dating potential". "I've tried other agencies, and this is definitely one of the better ones." As the drinks flow, the earlier veneer of chivalry and finesse starts to drop. One 40-year-old man, Mike, is overheard telling separate women that he is, respectively, a builder, a helicopter pilot and a bomb-disposal expert.

Despite this, by the end of the evening, couples start to pair off and the room begins to empty. "I walked in tonight and I felt like mother," grins Ms Taylor. "I get a buzz when I see them get together.

But dinner parties are just the tip of the iceberg. "We're looking into hologram speed dating, where somebody on the other side of the world can have a presence in the room," says Ms Adams. "We're doing Gorgeous days out, holidays, and nights at some of the most exclusive clubs and restaurants."

As 1am approaches the remaining singles get up to leave. Mike pulls me aside: "You can make sure I'm not in the pictures, can't you? I've got a wife, a mistress and two girlfriends, and I don't want any of them to know I'm here." And with that, he makes his exit. Presumably back home to build a bomb-proof helicopter pad.

Comments