Get your GROUPER on!
Without wanting to be guilty of stating the bleedin’ obvious, it does often strike me as absolutely insane at how much the internet has infiltrated and changed our lives in the last decade or so. We now use the internet in every part of our lives; to shop, to chat, for entertainment and to access more information than one could possibly hope to consume in one lifetime. In addition more of us than ever now use the internet for in the quest for romantic fulfillment (for more information on my experiences with Online Dating, please lovingly refer back here), so what about to meet new pals?
Grouper is a new online service dedicated to doing just that. Already a huge hit in New York, it’s just launched over here in London and the premise goes like this- three gal pals get matched up to three boy chums and all are sent to meet at a bar for drinks and fun. So essentially you team up with two of your best mates and go on a triple date with three total strangers you know absolutely nothing about. Not even their names. Given my past hopeless nature with dating, I thought safety in numbers could only be a good thing. (By the way, new nugget of dating wisdom for you- men do not massively appreciate having to hunt down a rogue mouse in your kitchen at 3am when they think they’re about to get lucky, whilst you stand on a chair and scream- just FYI.)
So after a few simple forms were filled out, some imaginative truths and lies about ourselves were submitted to act as an ‘ice-breaker’, we waited in anticipation for ‘Polly from Grouper’ to fill us in on where our evening was going to take place. Grouper work with some genuinely awesome bars across town, and I was thrilled when I heard we’d be meeting our three random gentlemen friends at Underdog in Shoreditch. Located underneath Brewdog on the Bethnal Green Road, Underdog was totally COOL. All New Orleans ‘juke-joint’ in style with a deeply impressive cocktail list to boot, and as well as hosting us that evening, the Basin Street Brawlers were holding fort on the stage, chonking away at some 1920’s-esque jazz and swing soundings. (Side note- these guys were AWESOME. It is of utmost urgency that I attend another gig of theirs IMMEDIATELY.)
However, just before we entered, the girls and I decided we needed a good old-fashioned slug of Dutch Courage- the reality of what we were about to do had just dawned on us- what if the guys were strange? What if they barely spoke English?! WHAT IF THEY WERE EXCEPTIONALLY ELDERLY IN A MORE ‘HELP THE AGED’ THAN A SILVER FOX KIND OF WAY?! We came to terms with the fact that WE KNEW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THESE FELLAS so we dove into The Shoreditch for a gin (and we definitely DIDN’T do a round of Sambucas and then a round of Tequilas so can everyone please stop saying we did?!) before taking a deep breath and heading forth to meet the suitors.
Henceforth, breathe and let me tell you, we were deeply and PLEASANTLY surprised. In trooped three guys, all about our age, all who were lovely, funny, interesting, chatty and NORMAL. ‘Polly from Grouper’ had done well on her matching tekkers here. And it was genuinely a great night. We drank, laughed, swapped stories and played games that are suggested by Grouper to help break the ice. Please see the below photo for proof of our ‘Groupergram’. Full blown cringing allowed.
Within the first round of (free!) drinks being slugged back it was pretty clear that there were no romantic intentions amidst our gang, which actually in turn just made everyone relax more. One of the guys even confessed he had a girlfriend, which admittedly, does make me wonder what the true intentions of ‘going on a Grouper’ are. The service resolutely describes itself as a ‘social club’, the word ‘dating’ is not actually mentioned anywhere. Therefore, it really is just a way to meet new people, all curated by a dedicated concierge who provides all the info and organisation and is on call all evening should you need anything, even down to suggestions on other nearby venues if you wish to do a spot of bar-hopping- though after we had exhausted the cocktail menu…and the craft beers…and thrown down a few gin and tonics for good measure we opted to call it a night, all hugging and swapping details like old pals at the door, promising to meet again in the not too distant future.
All in all I had a great night, FAR better than we’d originally anticipated. Now listen to me, if you’d like to give it a go for yourself, the lovely folk at Grouper have kindly given Bloody Hell Brennan readers a whoppingly good chance to sign up for a VIP Grouper evening! Perks include:
· Skipping the waiting list (normal waiting time to get matched up is between 1-2 weeks)
· 1st round free drinks
· Premium venue
· Bespoke matching
· Free cab ride to your Grouper
THAT ALL SOUNDS PRETTY SWELL TO ME! To sign up for the Bloody Hell Brennan VIP opportunity, give this link a BIG OLD CLICK!
I may even sign up for another one myself. WINGWOMEN- ASSEMBLE! GO GET YOUR GROUPER ON!
Bloody Hell Brennan was a guest of Grouper
For more information on Grouper, visit their website here, or follow @grouper on Twitter.
For more information on The Basin Street Brawlers, visit their website here, or follow @BasinStBrawlers on Twitter.
Our Grouper met at:
51 Bethnal Green Road,
Tel: 020 7729 8476