London Dating

If you're the type that goes out to bars and restaurants with your friends, the chances are that you feel well served by London's inner labyrinth of exciting venues. From time to time, no doubt, a chance encounter with a stranger has developed into a friendship or a relationship. But how often does that happen? How many really relevant relationships have evolved from such anonymous encounters?

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The fact is that London is a melting pot of different personalities, different backgrounds, different cultures. The chances of meeting people that meet your own social expectations are narrowed down by the sheer number of people in the city.

So as a budding young socialite you probably frequent the West End less (the epicentre of the mish-mash) and have regrouped in different areas to suit your social requirements. The cool and the hip head to Hoxton. The trust fund trendies situate themselves in Notting Hill. The rugby boys and their pony tailed counterparts head straight for Fulham. And so the picture unfolds.

But the problem is still the same. Too many people, too many idiots, too little time, and the odds stacked against you. If you're in this position, then its time to move with the times, and to try out a couple of organisations who are actively targeting you.

The two companies we feature here are not necessarily dating services, or activity organisers in the time honoured tradition. They are more about managing your lifestyle and the type of people you socialise with.

One such organisation is The Renaissance Club. It is an online member's club.

Membership is £195, and as well as the benefits we will discuss, you also get a case of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

There are two reasons you may wish to join The Renaissance Club. Their exclusive parties, and the superb discounts from the type of bars, restaurants and clubs you should probably be frequenting already!

They organise parties around London that tend to attract well-heeled and good looking people. A typical event would cost around £20, and would probably take place in a fashionable night spot. For the money there may be an open bar until a certain time, or a steady supply of champagne until it runs out. The party will probably have a theme.

Recently for example, they had a preview of the new Bond movie, with Martini's to start in Bardo on the Fulham road, followed by the movie in the UGC cinema, and finishing off with an after show party further down the road in the K Bar.

A week or two prior to this, the Renaissance Club were behind the crush of people at the opening of the new Voyage boutique in Covent Garden, with cocktails aplenty. So popular was the event, that even Boy George couldn't get in.

The club's other major benefit are the deals it negotiates with bars, restaurants and clubs. Your club membership card gets you instant membership with some very nice venues. Embassy, K Bar and Kensington Roof Gardens for example. Most of the bars they have on their books will give you your first drink free. The restaurants offer up to 20% discount, and in some cases also offer your first drink free, or a free bottle of house wine. Chances are you probably frequent these venues already, in which case the club will save you money.

In all, we think that The Renaissance Club is a great idea. If you're based in South West London, then it should be an essential addition to your social toolkit. If you live elsewhere in town, it's probably worth a look too.

And if you're new into London, and you don't know many people in the city, you can almost buy yourself an instant social life!

So The Renaissance Club is one angle. Another organisation takes a slightly different approach to the issues facing the singleton.