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    Date Like A VIP At The Corinthia

    I’ve had an epiphany when it comes to dating. Make sure the date is something that you enjoy doing because if you don’t enjoy the company of your date you can still make the most of the venue and the experience. It took me years of compromise to work this out with the ultimate low being getting all dressed up to meet a man that looked as old as my dad (he’d used photoshop in his profile pictures) in a Wetherspoon’s that had rose wine on tap. Wine poured from the same sort of tap they pour beer from is wrong!

    Anyway, I’ve worked this out so that you don’t have to. On Live Like a VIP we only talk about the finer things in life like a dating event that’s going to be hosted at The Corinthia Hotel on 29 May. There will be champagne, canapés and it will take place in this stunning room – The Massimo Bar.

    Massimo Restaurant & Bar (landscape)

    It gets better…it’s an intimate mingling with the finest people in London selected by the managers of the hotel on behalf of two New York singletons. Two glamorous TV journalists have complained that there are no single men left in New York so The Corinthia hotel has challenged them to come to London and find it. They want to find 20 British men to show these gorgeous and successful New York journalists, and to create a better atmosphere they’re also looking for 20 British women for a balanced soiree. It will all be filmed for the TV, a bit like  one of my fave TV shows Millionaire Matchmaker, so you can guarantee a high calibre of singles?

    INTERESTED? Fed up with online dating? Email zoe@livelikeavip.com and we’ll forward your email onto The Corinthia Hotel for consideration. The event is from 6-8pm.

    Here’s a bit more info about the ladies:

    Karen
    karen

    Karen Schaler is an Emmy-winning Creator and Host of Travel Therapy TV married to her job, but hoping to find a man who will understand…

    Karen and her friends describe her as very social, energetic, lively and driven; and organiser and entrepreneur through and through. Always career-    oriented, Karen grew up just outside of Seattle and Los Angeles and has lived in 12 different US states. Karen loves travel above all else; a passion which  has brought her to over 62 countries. She is sporty, active, loves an adventure, new cultures, and great food.

    Height: 5’8

    Looking for men aged 40-55, but young at heart, hip, fun, and active

    Deal-breakers: No smoking or drugs.

     

    Denise

    denise Denise Naughton is an Emmy-winning Executive National TV Producer coming to London looking for the “one”…

    Denise and her friends describe her as laid back, calm, easy going, down to earth, and more likely to go with the flow than to plan an event herself. She’s a wholesome Midwest girl at heart and grew up in tiny town in Missouri (population less than 1,000), which keeps her grounded. Denise also LOVES watching baseball.

    Height: 5’3.

    Looking for men aged 40-55, but young at heart, hip, fun, and active.

    Deal-breakers: No smoking or drugs.

     

     

     

    Do you reckon British guys are better than American ones? Want to prove it or see for yourself? Then email!  zoe@livelikeavip.com

    We’ll be at the event on 29 May to see what happens!

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    Date Like A VIP: DoingSomething.co.uk Tea Date

    ‘If you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results.’ This is  actually what my fitness Personal Trainer said to me when I asked him why I hadn’t noticed any changes in my body in the past few months (it turns out it might have something to do with the fact I keep making the same excuses for why I eat out so much and fail to order the healthy option). But until recently, this phrase applied to my love life too – I was single because I was stuck in a dating rut.

    And then I found DoingSomething.co.uk (re-read about my experience in an Igloo at the top of The Shard) and realised there was a dating website for single people who wanted to make every moment of life count. Just because we’re single, it doesn’t mean we are destined to spend millions of nights in bars until we find ‘The One’, awkwardly asking our First Date about their favourite movies, favourite films, if they do sport and how their last relationship ended. No, we can do something fabulous – suggestions on the site include supper clubs, gliding, art classes, sushi classes – the sort of thing that you’d happily do alone and having someone to do it with is a bonus. In fact, some of my friends who are in relationships are really jealous at the potential candidates / date suggestions I’m looking at on this fun dating website.

    Unknown

    I’m not the sort of person to do things by halves – I mean, I don’t think you can be half fabulous – so I jumped into DoingSomething.co.uk not only head first but head first from the 10 metre diving board with a parallel pike and a few somersaults, Tom Daley style. I started off the traditional way by browsing the suggestions and then scrutinising the photos of the potential dates (and I can honestly say that the quality of photos is 100% betters than those on Match.com). And then I put myself up as a competition prize with DoingSomething.co.uk advertising me in their weekly newsletter, as I thought it would be a clear way to show all of their members that I was available. I mean, think about it statistically – the more people you reach, the more your chances of finding a match.

    So what’s it like being a competition prize? To be honest, it was pretty scary and probably not something I would repeat. Next time, I would take a step backwards and use the site the way it was intended – by scrolling through the options and choosing the men based on their criteria. I don’t regret doing it as it was (a) no work for me as all I had to do was turn up rather than pick a date and (b) a gentle re-introduction to get me back on the dating scene as after several bad experiences on Tinder I had lost confidence in my ability to pick a good guy. But this was a completely blind date. I exchanged one or two messages with him beforehand to check he was turning up (and one heart-stopping moment when he didn’t get back to me for two days leaving me thinking he’s stood me up) and then when I walked into our date venue, I had no idea what to expect. We met in a room that was upstairs and with every stair I took I felt like I wanted to be sick with nerves. And I’m saying this as a girl who has met tons of celebs and doesn’t get star-struck.

    edited_4-590x420

    The venue for our date was the Hush restaurant in Mayfair, tucked off a side street near Bond Street. Sounds pretty standard for a date, some might think. No way, this is DoingSomething.co.uk so we were there for afternoon tea. But not just any afternoon tea – a Hendricks gin-based afternoon tea! This meant we got gin cocktails served in tea cups as well as a selection of sandwiches, scones and macaroons.Talk about a VIP way to spend an afternoon. A big smile came across my face as I walked in and realised I was finally out of my dating rut. I mean how could you fail to smile at a scene when walking into a lovely room like this?

    hush

     

    This is the gorgeous array of treats we had to nibble on:

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Here’s a close-up:

    hush-scones

    In the past, one of my worst habits when it came to dating was to judge the man too quickly. If I didn’t fancy him straight away then I would lose concentration quite easily. I would start to think about other guys I met recently or mentally schedule time to go back on the site and look for someone else, even when I was still on a date. So even though there were no shiny stars of attraction, no butterflies in my tummy, when I looked at my date, I vowed to enjoy it no matter what.

    The fact that it was at Hush and over afternoon tea made it a lot easier to make the most of the occasion. As we looked at the gin cocktail menu, we laughed at the names of the cocktails – we had something to talk about. Top Tip: Try The Grandma’s Cottage made with fresh pear, blackberries and cinnamon syrup. It comes in a teacup on a stick (like a martini glass)!

    e18998image3

    My date was from Devon and explained to me that the way that you approach scones in this region was cream first then jam. We argued a lot over this (but in a good way). Thankfully we got two scones each so not only could we try the three types of jam (strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant) but we could try the cream-jam and jam-cream technique. I still maintain that jam first then cream (the Cornish way) is better.

    After bonding over the scones, it was time to get onto the usual date stuff – job, upbringing, where they live now etc. On paper, he ticked all my boxes. He was an actor, he was 6 ft 4, his dad was a doctor and he grew up in a good family in Devon and he now owns his own house in Gospel Oak, North London, close to my favourite open space in London, Hampstead Heath. But I still didn’t fancy him and hated myself for it. (If you want to know who he is, email zoe@livelikeavip.com and I’ll pass on his profile from the dating site. He is a catch!).

    But, anyway, faced with no chemistry, the only thing to do was to order another gin and see if the situation changed. While we were waiting for our drinks we did the standard dating thing of talking about current affairs. We talked about the missing Malaysian plane, we talked about conspiracy theories in general – Harold Shipman and Princess Diana – and we talked about newspapers and television news and the spin on which the media reported events. It was clear that my date was super intelligent, which is a good thing, but I also felt like he was testing me slightly. On a first date, I like to have a good conversation, I’m not interested in dating a man with all brawn and no brains, but I don’t want to have a full blown debate on the first date. I’d rather be playing footsie under the table than justifying why I’m more of a Tory supporter than Labour and giving the reasons why I like Angela Merkel.

    hush_hendricks_high_tea_sm

    Thankfully, the macaroons saved the day. Yes, I’m serious. It’s impossible to have an in-depth chat when faced with something as light and delicate as a macaroon. So I changed the subject from Merkel to macaroons, telling my date where the best macaroons I’d found were in London (Fortnum and Mason instead of Laudree, for me). I’m not sure he was that impressed as he only ate one of the four macaroons – leaving me to eat three. Happy days!

    I tried to like him, I really did, but after two hours you know if you like something or not. I LOVED the gin afternoon tea at Hush and I liked the fact I didn’t feel like I had wasted an afternoon because I got to try something I’d never done before. Have you ever had a first date that you come away from thinking ‘Well that was a waste of time?’ I have and this definitely wasn’t one of those occasions.

    Looking on the bright side, the fact that I’m still very much single gives me an opportunity to do DoingSomething.co.uk the right way. I’m going to use the site to find a date that I choose, which is exciting! However, I am more looking forward to doing something new and seeing whether Hush can be topped. Is that wrong? Should I be more excited about the man or the venue?

    Watch this space…I’ll be tweeting about my progress as well as writing about the full experience here on the blog. Follow @livelikeavip on Twitter!

    LiveLikeaVIP.com readers get £10 off DoingSomething.co.uk subscriptions by entering the code VIPLIFE when signing up at DoingSomething.co.uk

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    Date Like A VIP: We Try DoingSomething.co.uk

    It doesn’t matter if you’re single or you’re in a relationship – we all deserve to feel like VIPs. I am single and I’m not ashamed of it. I’d rather be single than go out with a love rat douchebag like Russell Brand (no offense, Jemima Khan!) However, until recently the nights I went out looking for a potential Mr Right have not been very VIP. And to be honest, neither have the first dates.

    On 12 February 2014, something happened that I am pretty positive will transform my dating life and make it as fabulous as the rest of my life. I found the dating website DoingSomething.co.uk and I sat in an igloo on the 69th floor of The Shard.  (These two are related, trust me ).

    But first, let me put into context why I personally need something like DoingSomething.co.uk. Being an open minded person I once accepted an invitation to speed dating. This is where an equal number of guys and girls sit opposite each other on a row of tables. After three minutes the girls stay where they are and the boys move down the row, taking their seat opposite a new girl.The idea is you can fit 20 ‘dates’ into one hour.

    speed-dating2

    The one I did was at a nightclub in the early evening and you could really see why the venue was only normally used in the dark. The club was dirty and it smelled! The night also stank ( although not in the literal sense) as we got three cringeworthy minutes to chat about ourselves with a series of men. I didn’t find any attractive.  If you don’t fancy someone then spending three minutes talking to them is too long. I think you can tell if you fancy someone in the first 30 seconds. This makes it two and a half minutes too long…every single time. Ok, I know it gives people a chance to use their personality to win others over but  I would rather stand up instead of sitting round a table and have the option of talking to some people for more than three minutes and others for less than three minutes (or not at all).

    Next I decided to try Tinder, which a lot of my friends seem to be on. The advantages are that it’s super quick – all you need to do is download an App, register your details, pick five of your best photos and you’re ready to go. There’s no need for a cringeworthy description of yourself and you can’t message anyone unless you find out your potential love interest has shown interest in you too, thereby eliminating lots of messages from annoying suitors. Another advantage is it seems more socially acceptable than a ‘dating website’. My friends and I are not ashamed to admit we’re on it. In fact, sometimes we help each other decide whether to swipe yes or no for a potential date when we meet up on a night out.

    Tinder-homepage

    However, after meeting two guys in person (and talking to a lot more through the battery-draining App) I felt there were more negatives than positives. As it’s so easy to meet a guy it’s so easy to lose one…mysteriously. You might be chatting to a guy one day, exchanging flirty banter and sharing witty anecdotes, and then you might not hear from him again…ever! It’s not like they say ‘goodbye’, it’s like a crater has 0pened and swallowed them off the face of the earth. And then I worked it out – the crater is someone else they find more attractive than you, solely based on the photo the other person has uploaded to the App. How shallow is that?

    Secondly, even when you do get round to meeting a guy, pretty much the same thing could happen again. I truly believe people are only as faithful as their options and Tinder opens up a whole new world of opportunity. If you meet up with someone and they don’t like the way you eat an endamame bean, they can arrange  a date with someone else the next night. People are scared to commit as they never know who is waiting a few swipes away. And yet again, the manners to say ‘I’ve met someone else’ or ‘thanks but no thanks’ doesn’t exist. You’re just left in limbo, and you sort of start to analyse what you did wrong until you realise it’s the other person’s loss. If Tinder makes you feel anything less than your gorgeous and amazing self then please don’t do it. It’s not VIP to suffer a crisis in confidence.

    doing-something-igloo

    However, what I do find VIP is sitting in an igloo, looking out over London’s skyline, which I did thanks to the website DoingSomething.co.uk, as you can see from the photo above. How many people have ever experienced as random as this? Exactly! That’s why it’s VIP.

    The USP of DoingSomething is that you decide on something you really want to do and see if there’s anyone out there that shares your date idea. It could be one of London’s museums or art galleries after hours, it could be a ghost walk or it could be a sushi making class but what it won’t be is boring. A reason I don’t enjoy the process of dating is because I get bored going for drinks with someone new, asking the same old questions and giving the same old answers. And if you know you don’t like someone in the first few minutes you feel like you’ve wasted an evening that could have been better spent in a gallery or museum or even at the gym. With DoingSomething you’ll have had a fun evening, even if you don’t meet the person of your dreams.

    photo 4

    I have to admit this is kind of what happened to me at The Shard event. I was able to enjoy a party in a fabulous venue and look out over the London skyline (check out my view of Tower Bridge above) but I did not leave with a phone number. And you know what? I genuinely d0n’t care. I’d rather not meet anyone at all than meet a Fake Tinder Type who is all into you at first then disappears without any excuse at all.

    I feel like I should go back on DoingSomething, invest time in a few more dates and see what happens. And at least the time I spend dating. I feel like I’m using enriching my life as there are things I’ve always wanted to do in London and been too shy to ask my friends to do with me.

    The toilets in the Shard are quite unique – as you can see from the photo below – and I think it was while I was in the loo that night that I had a lightbulb moment. Look at how big and how fabulous London is and it’s just one city in the world, not even a big city if you compare it to somewhere like Mumbai. My Prince Charming is waiting for me and I need to get out more (in a non-work related capacity) to increase the chances we find each other.

    photo 1

    I’ll  keep you posted on any dates I go on! And I am up for any matchmaking any readers want to throw into the mix as well. Please Tweet @livelikeavip if you know of any hot single guys for me. You can also email zoe@livelikeavip.com

     
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