Match.com’s event ‘Bark in the Park’ attracted press attention this weekend thanks to a famous single attendee – Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson, and her furry wingman Digby. When Match contacted me to ask if 30 Dates fancied seeing what all the fuss was about, my first concern was that none of the writers are dog owners. One of the parts of single life I hate most is not having someone to snuggle up with on the sofa in the evening. Something man’s best friend could certainly help with! However the reality of living alone, and working long hours, is that owning a dog is out of the question. In fact I have very few single friends who are dog owners. But the Bark in the Park event seemed too good to miss, so I sent out a tweet to the 30 Dates followers asking if a blog reader wanted to attend, and @Junk4Lunch replied!
So thank you match.com for the invite, and thank you Junk and Mr Saucisse, for checking out the event for the 30 Dates Blog!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Pitched as “Am opportunity to meet and mingle with singles who loves dogs”, Bark in the Park was a dating event like no other. A social event organised by Match.com to complement their online dating site, I headed to Battersea Park last Saturday, with my trusty wingman Mr Saucisse in tow, for a rather different kind of double date.
By the time we got there, the event was in full swing. There were a fair few people mingling and dogs checking each other out. There were the right number of singletons to allow the dogs room to run around. I collected my goodie bag from the Match.com staff, and headed off for a wander. The event cost £5, which was donated to the Dog’s Trust.
A section of the park had been transformed into an agility area, run by the Dog’s Trust, and it was well visited by both pets and their owners. Throughout the afternoon there was an agility showcase by two Dog’s Trust residents and an obedience masterclass, as well as general advice on canine wellbeing.
For more relaxed dogs and owners, there was a chill out area in the bandstand. Furnished with a selection of beanbags and toys, it was really tempting.
Made in Chelsea regular Lucy Watson provided the celeb cred with her German Spitz, Digby, and lots of people were keen to have their photo taken with them both.
Whilst I didn’t approach Lucy, I did manage to speak with a few other human attendees. They all said the same thing – that as dog lovers, the event provided the perfect opportunity to get to know other people who also love dogs. The setting was casual and relaxed, allowing conversation to flow freely, especially when sharing doggy tips.
Initially, I had doubts about how many people will attend. Being a single pet owner is hard work, especially in London where property prices are sky high. Having a garden in the city is considered a premium and caring for a dog can monopolise valuable socialising time. So I was pleasantly surprised by the turn out. I did notice a slightly higher proportion of female daters (no surprise at a singles event) but this could have been due to the two big football matches and the Grand National all on that afternoon.
Overall, I think the event worked. It certainly made for a good ice breaker, and was an opportunity to meet like-minded singletons. Potentially awkward conversation moments are easily filled by doggy banter. I would say, it probably wasn’t the place to try to get to know someone too deeply, as we were constantly being distracted by crazy dog antics. They seemed to be enjoying themselves even more than we were!
You can check out Junk’s Food Blog at junk4lunch.wordpress.com