Last month, The Coincidental, Miss 32 and I tried out Grouper – the latest American craze in group dating.
Despite not meeting the men of our dreams (or anything remotely close to that!), we were impressed by the concept, the advanced functionality and features of the app, and the venue selected for our Grouper.
And so on Thursday we decided to try out Grouper again. This time Miss 32 and I were joined by Kink.
We met up for pre-Grouper sushi in Mayfair, before heading to our date venue for the evening – Mr Fogg’s. Longtime readers will know one of my original 30 Dates took place in Mr Fogg’s, a unique spot with great atmosphere, and so I was confident it would be a good night.
In addition to being guaranteed a good venue, we’d also opted for the Bespoke Meet-Up option, where you advise Grouper in advance of what kind of girls or guys you’re attracted to. My description was simple, and one I knew Miss 32 and Kink both shared – posh rugby boys, ideally over six foot.
There were a few complications in the run up to meeting our dates for the evening. When we arrived at Mr Fogg’s, rather than the table having been reserved in my name (as ‘lead’ female Grouper), it had been booked under the name of the Grouper manager – which none of us knew! It took some time to locate our booking, which was rather awkward, as the very nature of Mr Fogg’s means there is no lobby – it’s a hidden gem, which you are ushered in off the street by a (extremely attractive) uniformed doorman, and straight to a table. Except for the first half hour we had no table!
We finally settled at our seats – it really is a must to book a table at Fogg’s, and the right table. The room is crammed with incredible antiques and memorabilia, but some of the seating areas are a lot more comfortable than others. We were given a really nice table, made a whole lot better by the crowd seated at the end of our table. A group of rather preppy City boys.
Posh? Tick. Rugby boys? Tick. Over six foot? Tick.
Unfortunately, they weren’t our dates for the evening!
We’d arrived early, and knew from Grouper that our dates hadn’t arrived. (The app tells you when they check in) However one glance down to the other end of the table confirmed we were all thinking the same thing – if things didn’t go well with our Grouper dates, there was a very attractive back-up plan!
Our Grouper matches arrived, and I knew immediately that we would be resorting Plan B, as soon as possible.
The ‘bespoke’ match was worse than the random match we’d had last time. Considering Grouper had access to all our Facebook data, and the boys’ Facebook data, the 3 men who had been picked for us had nothing in common with us whatsoever. And we’d even gone so far as to describe our ideal guys. Our matches were almost the complete opposite of the men we’d described. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought we were being wound up!
Yes, it literally was that bad – one man didn’t even speak the entire evening!
Throughout drinks, I kept making eye contact with one of the attractive posh boys at the end of the table. In recent months I’ve definitely become more confident about holding an attractive man’s gaze, and so when I realised he was definitely trying to catch my eye as much as I was his, I couldn’t help but grin.
‘Help!’ I mouthed over to Mr Mayfair at one point, as my table sat in awkward silence. We had definitely run out of polite filler conversation.
Kink disappeared off to a friend’s hen do, leaving Miss 32 and myself with our three Grouper ‘matches’.
‘Do you want to go somewhere else for another?’ the Grouper crew asked.
‘I’ve got to work early tomorrow,’ Miss 32 replied. The guys looked as relieved as we were.
We paid the bill and I motioned over to Mayfair – ‘We’re gonna stay here!’ I mouthed to him.
I popped to the loo, leaving Miss 32 pretending to wait for me as our dates disappeared. By the time I got back, she’d already comfortably moved over to the other end of the table, and was deep in conversation with three of the four guys. Mayfair had disappeared. I’d overheard him say he was coming back in ten minutes, so I wasn’t overly fussed.
‘So did you meet these guys on Grinder?’ one of the men asked, with mock curiosity. I rolled my eyes, and told him he had his apps confused.
For the next fifteen minutes, Mayfair’s friends played the perfect wingmen roles – telling me all about him, and admitting that the reason he’d disappeared was to fix his hair and put a blazer on to impress me (something he later confirmed!) Who knew I could have such an effect on a guy! 😉
When Mayfair did return, he was the perfect gentleman. He explained that he’d just moved back from Monaco, and that this was his welcome home drinks. We laughed about the fact his hair had looked better before he’d gone to ‘fix it’, and he admitted how odd our Grouper situation had looked from afar.
Miss32 and I spent the best part of our night drinking champagne cocktails with Mayfair and his friends, and when he handed me his phone and asked if I’d give him my number, I didn’t need to be asked twice 🙂
We had a great night, but unfortunately no thanks to Grouper. A few weeks ago Streetmate had told me he’d used the app before, which had made me think that eligible, hot guys might sign up, because it’s a fun and very simple way to meet other singles. But unfortunately, if our last two Grouper crews are anything to go by, the reality of Grouper London is similar to that of most of the singles events we’ve attended in recent months … they just don’t attract the right kind of guys 😦
Though I think after Friday night, Miss32 is just going to give up on singles events, and camp out permanently at Mr Fogg’s!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx