I should start by admitting that when I accepted this assignment, I thought it was a straight-up restaurant review. It wasn’t until I’d already half committed that my friend casually added that it was a group dating event, at which point I started sweating profusely…

Now I’ve climbed high altitude mountains, swung through canyons, abseiled sky scrapers, run marathons without training (horrible idea) and jumped out of planes; so I can safely say that I’m pretty fearless in general. But put me in a situation even remotely resembling a date and I recoil faster than a devout nun at a Vegas strip-show. I’m not shy, but the thought of putting myself out there is just utterly terrifying, never mind the prospect of awkward conversation followed by potential (or in my experience, inevitable) rejection. No thanks – I’d rather die alone and let my rotting corpse provide sustenance for a herd of stray cats.

The good news is if you’re anything like me and prefer your quest for romance more low-key than devastatingly embarrassing, The DateVine may well be for you.

Tired of shallow swiping and fruitless tinder messaging, Keely Sonntag, founder of The DateVine, is bringing back the social aspect of dating. Partnering with local restaurants across Sydney, she’s all about bringing singles to mingle in the least stressful way possible – over a good old-fashioned dinner party.

Neighbourhood Bondi – Photograph by Deanna Gerlach @dgerl

The group consists of sixteen people and you can take friends along if you’re nervous to go alone. The two course menu is organised beforehand and seating is assigned so all you have to think about on the night is what (and how much) you’d like (or need) to drink.

Once seated, you basically just talk to the people next to you. Simples. And just in case you’re stuck with a dull dud or have your eye on a sexy mofo at the other end of the table, Keely’s got you covered with a casual seat swap half way through dinner. You’re encouraged to swap numbers with anybody who takes your fancy but if you’re too shy to make a move, Keely will approach them on your behalf the next day. Zero risk of awkward, soul-crushing rejection. #winning

I’ll admit, I was determined to hate it but despite myself I actually had a great time at The DateVine (along with the hangover to prove it). It’s a relaxed, easy way to meet people without any of the awkward faff usually associated with singles events.

Neighbourhood Bondi – Photograph by Deanna Gerlach @dgerl

Of course, you may or may not meet the love of your life at a singles dinner party, but can you really go wrong with good food at a local restaurant with a bunch of likeminded, friendly people?

The next event at Manly Wine has sold out but Datevine has just released a very limited number of individual ladies tickets for their Potts Point event next Wednesday 12th April at Crane Bar. And we’re thrilled to let you know that Sydney Social 101 readers can get a fabulous 20% off using the promo code – MATESCRANE.

So what are you waiting for? To sign up to a dinner party near you, click here to visit The DateVine website

About The Author


A determined adventurer lacking any sense of finesse, grace or natural ability. Actually, let me amend that... A determined adventurer lacking any sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

19 + 1 =