Alternative Speed Dating In London

Is doesn't have to be like this...

Ever been on a speed date? Yeah, traditionally they aren't the most joyous of experiences.

The degradation of signing up to a session (in the local town hall perhaps, eesh), then having to sit opposite some poor chap (wearing a name tag) who feels equally as mortified as you, it doesn't really make for a thrilling evening. Then, there's always speed dating in London. It's basically the same, only on a massive level. Essentially, more people to feel horribly awkward with.

Well, thankfully for us speed-weary singletons, help is at hand. Some clever people across our nation's capital have come up with some rather alternative speed dating options to remove some of the ickiness from the process, and, yes, have made their speed dates ideas (dare I say it), fun.

Sure, there's always bound to be an element of the awks about it all, but hey, if you are game, why not try one of these speed dating alternatives...

1. A ping pong speed date...
While this isn't billed as a formal speed date, SpeedDater.co.uk's ping pong dating is for London singles looking for a bit of friendly competitive banter. Plus, the winners get free booze. Happy days. Tickets cost £15 and includes two hours of ping pong play, plus free access to SpeedDater's online site to keep in touch with other attendees.

Ping Pong Speed Date

2. A silent speed date...
For a speed date that takes awkward small talk completely out of the equation, Shhh Dating events ask guests to rely on the power of non-verbal communication. Think flirty looks, long eye gazing and absolutely no nattering until the end of the session. The following day, your matches are then emailed to you. Tickets start from £15 if you bring a pal.

Silent Speed Date

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3. A cycling speed date...
If you are a bit of a closet bike fiend, then why not entertain the idea of a cycle speed date? London bicycle boffins Look Mum No Hands have devised their own evening comprised of singles meeting 5 or more people during four-minute dates, with a free drink thrown in for good measure. Tickets from £16.95.

Cycling Speed Date

4. Last Night A Speed Date Saved My Life...
Hosted by Shoreditch's The Book Club, 'Last Night A Speed Date Saved My Life' has become one of London't most popular nights for singles. Why? Well, for one it's held in a pretty trendy place so you don't feel like a total speed date doofus, and secondly, the light-hearted atmosphere of the whole evening makes it feel more like a regular night down the pub rather than a cringe-worthy 1:1 debacle. Demand is high for this event, so get in early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are £17.

Last Night A Speed Date Saved My Life

5. A literary speed date...
Okay, so think you'd like to meet someone who shares your passion for Game of Thrones? Well, could be that a literary speed date is the one for you. You basically take along the novel you're reading to your session, then wax lyrical with your partner about all things bookish. OriginalDating.com offer literary speed date sessions in Central London throughout the year, and tickets are priced from £21.

Literary Speed Date

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6. A vegan/vegetarian speed date...
If you are sick to death of speed dating over burgers, then this meat/dairy-free evening is going to be right up your street. Meet like-minded Londoners over drinks at one of SpeedDater.co.uk's vegan/vegetarian nights to chat about your shared lifestyle. Tickets are priced from £22.

Vegan/Vegetarian Speed Date

7. A tantric speed date...
Now before you freak out, listen to the science behind this speed date idea. Like the silent speed date we mentioned above, tantric speed dating relies more on your non-verbal communication, requiring singles to connect using eye contact. DateInADash.com's tantric nights begins with the lighter stuff, then the second part of the evening involves some touching (come on, it's funny), holding hands and hugging. All within your own personal boundaries though, obvs. Tickets are £15.

Tantric Speed Date

8. A play speed date...
Meet new people through creative play at one of PlayDateLondon's crafty evenings. Think magic sand, Play-Doh sculpting, table air hockey, colouring, crafting, body painting - all set in a casino. Sounds incredibly random, but then again, speed dating isn't your average pastime now, is it? Tickets are priced from £20.

Play Speed Date

Continued below...

See, speed dating really doesn't have to be cringe. Go get em' tiger!