5 years ago, I didn’t know a single vegan. But now, thanks to people becoming more aware of the cruel practices involved in animal agriculture along with its devastating impact on the environment, it’s now hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t offer a vegan menu. Despite the huge growth of the movement however, just 7% of the UK population are currently vegan. So if you’re a single vegan looking to meet a match who you can enthuse over seitan burgers with, where do you look? Well, top dating event company Original Dating has created a solution: vegan speed dating. And in the spirit of Veganuary this year, I had to find out more. So read on for my vegan speed dating review.
Original Dating host their vegan speed dating events approximately once a month at Coach & Horses- a vegetarian pub in Soho. The events are currently limited to London only, but this may change in the future. Tickets are priced at £20 and the age guide is around 25-38.
I arrived to the event a bit early, so I decided to try Coach & Horses signature “tofush and chips”, which was rather nice. The pub serves a range of vegetarian and vegan dishes all year round, and had a special menu for Veganuary, so I would definitely recommend arriving before the dating begins to check it out. The speed dating event itself was held in a room upstairs which reminded me slightly of a vintage teashop with its collection of small tables and retro decor. There was also a small bar where you could buy drinks if you wished.
The speed dating itself was in the standard format. The girls sat down, the lads moved around, and you spent roughly 4 minutes on each “date”. Everyone seemed nice enough, the only thing that was unexpected was that most people I spoke to were vegetarian rather than vegan. The event does specify that it’s open to vegetarians too, but I assumed most people there would be vegan as they are the people who (from my experience) are most likely to want to date another vegan. Most of the men there were the crowd you’d usually find at a speed dating event, although I did meet one guy who worked at a hostel and another who had been vegan for 7 years and was about to undertake a stand-up comedy course.
After the event, people were welcome to stick around if they fancied a drink afterwards. I chatted to the aspiring comedian for a while but then I had to head home as I had a mammouth commute and an early start for work the next day.
The next day, you can log onto the website and select “yes”, “no”, or “friend” to the people you met at the event. For research purposes, I decided to say yes to everyone and see what I could get. I got a handful of matches including the cute comedian, however the messages ended up fizzling out so sadly I did not find love at the event.
So a quick vegan speed dating review summary: love the concept of the event, it was well-organised, and I loved the venue they chose. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was that I didn’t meet the vegan crowd I was expecting to meet- however on the flip side I should point out that there were a couple of cool guys, I can’t comment on the women at the event, and as this was just one evening I can’t speak for every vegan event the company run. So if you’re looking for your plant-based match, why not give it a go?