Are singles supper clubs shaking up the London dating scene?
For over a decade, apps have dominated the landscape of modern romance, promising to match users based on algorithms and preferences.
But as the thrill of swiping gives way to a sense of online dating fatigue, London’s singles are now seeking new ways to find love in the city.
Many are over the ghosting, doom-swiping and hookup-centric atmosphere that dominates their dating app experiences.
Despite clinging onto the success stories, users are expressing frustration as dating apps seemingly capitalise on personal preferences, creating a tiered system where attractive profiles are cordoned off behind paywalls and roses.
This dissatisfaction has fuelled a shift in the dating landscape, with an increasing number of singles seeking alternatives that prioritise genuine connections over algorithmic limitations.
Enter the singles supper club – a face-to-face event where like-minded food lovers can bond over delicious cuisine and booze, to the backdrop of eclectic beats all whilst in a unique setting.
At the forefront of this movement are Luce McCallum and Gabi Adams, childhood friends and former housemates turned founders of the OG singles supper club, Gooce.
The duo were both over the superficial online dating scene and mindless swiping, leading them to create Gooce in order to bring a different experience to the table for Londoners who are increasingly looking to get back to meeting as people rather than profiles.
McCallum explained: “Gooce is like coming over to a mate’s for a dinner party, just with better food and everyone happens to be single, creating a low-pressure dating experience.”
“It is the combination of a relaxed atmosphere, fantastic food, and dinner-party experience that makes the events truly unique.”
Since launching in 2018, Gooce has seen significant demand for its singles supper club events.
McCallum said: “Our business started out with in-home serving and just 12 guests and has grown to Gooce’s current format of partnering with London venues for 20-40 guests.
“This is a testament to the increased demand for new dating experiences as people are becoming increasingly fatigued with app-based dating and looking to experiential events and meeting each other in real life.”
Gooce events typically sell out in 24-48 hours so be sure to be quick to grab your ticket for their next supper club on Thursday 15th February at the Little Orange Door, Clapham.
Jake Bucknall, one of the founders of Dinner for One Hundred, thinks supper clubs have always been the best place for people to meet.
Bucknall said: “Suppers got pushed to the wayside when dating apps came along as a sort of cheat code.
“While online converse is more important than it ever was, ultimately you don’t know until you’re in person, so you may as well start there.
“It is never stale.”
“You don’t have to say you met on hinge for the rest of your life. It’s a better story. A big part of the magic of relationships is where you met.
Dinner for One Hundred, founded by Bucknall and good friend Jacob Stuttard in 2020, began as a pizza restaurant start-up in Stuttard’s mother’s garden.
They now have three restaurants across London and host supper clubs every two months.
Explaining why Dinner for One Hundred supper clubs have been so successful, Bucknall said: “They’re fun and not awkward.
“There’s fair bit of games to break the ice.
“There are also question cards to cut the superficial chat and get to the important deal breakers like is a jaffa-cake a biscuit or a cake.
“Our last February singles dinner was so successful we even did a faux wedding for a couple two months after they had met.”
Guests attending Dinner for One Hundred on 6th February can expect big things after the singles event sold out in just one minute.
Bucknall said: “It’s simple.
“Free glass of Prosecco, bit of mingling & canapé eating so guests can acclimatise.
“Sit down, each course has a quiz to allow the whole table to build a rapport straight away.
“People can chat about the answers they put when getting tickets.
“And what’s more, you change table each course.
“By the end of the night, you’ll have met everyone.”
Lorna Mullins, founder of Supsolo Club, London’s newest singles supper club, agrees that there is a growing sense of online dating fatigue.
Mullins said: “Supper clubs offer a more holistic approach to meeting someone than online dating.
“They provide a multi-sensory experience where you can see, hear, and enjoy the company of others in a more authentic setting.
“It’s not just about a profile picture or a text conversation; it’s about real human interaction.
“This environment allows for more nuanced impressions and connections that are not solely based on physical appearance or quick judgments.
“And with supper clubs, you get to chat with several different singles in one setting too.”
Mullins’ inspiration for starting Supsolo Club also came about through her own frustrating online dating experiences and the stories she had heard from friends about the challenges of modern dating.
Mullins said: “I wanted to create a space where single people could meet in a more natural, pressure-free environment.”
“The idea was to move away from the impersonal and often superficial world of online dating and offer an experience that’s not just about finding a partner but also about enjoying good food, great conversations, and the pleasure of meeting new people.”
In a world where technology reigns supreme and virtual connections abound, supper clubs serve as a reminder of the power of human connection – the kind that can’t be quantified by algorithms or reduced to a profile picture.
Amidst the clatter of cutlery, the clinking of glasses and the hum of conversation in a vibrant location, single Londoners can be found, united by a shared desire for something more.
Featured Image Credit: Dinner for One Hundred