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ÁINE KERRnavigates the social minefield that is Ireland’s dating scene, and meets the movers and shakers IT’S NOT UNUSUAL for motorists to criss-cross lanes of early morning commuter traffic in Melbourne, Australia to fix their gaze on a bus where people are acting strangely, standing up and swapping seats every five to 10 minutes.
The bus, it transpires, is on its way to a Victoria winery and, even at 8.30am, speed dating is already underway.
Having signed-up for the Singles Supper Safari Club weeks earlier, the paying customers wait patiently for instructions on each of the restaurants and their next team of talkers. so people are doing different things.” And she should know, having spent several years organising singles events in Australia, before winning ,000 (€15,900) on a game show and deciding to invest it in an events company in Ireland.
The logic behind the Supper Safari, organised by founder Avril Mulcahy (29), is simple: “Einstein said it’s insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results . Solicitors, sommeliers, band members, radio-show presenters, artists, boutique owners and business people are among the Supper Safari crowd.
SOCIAL LIFE: Are you a single sommelier or a solicitor still searching?
Fancy a round of silent speed dating or a supper safari?
“The whole taboo with singles nights, internet dating and the like has to be taken away . The concept is simple: You swot up on your general knowledge, bring a brainiac friend, and tag-team.
There are eight rounds of 10 questions, and tables of four with two men and two women.
Thirty men and 30 women are first divided into six groups of 10, and then move from restaurant to restaurant for different courses of fine cuisine in the company of single people.In California, they have moved on to vegan speed dating.Here in Ireland, singles’ supper clubs, speedy quiz nights, regular table-to-table speed dating, salsa for singles and singles’ countryside walks are appearing on social calendars in towns and cities.Some people have been returning to singles nights for more than five years, according to Hugh Redmond of Get All the while, the number of people in their 20s attending everything from masked balls to Wicklow walks and dinner parties is increasing. Then there are the professionals aged 30 to 40 who have been through the dating regime and they’re disillusioned. “The 40-plus group are often single, separated, divorced or bereaved.