Chocolate and Whisky: The mystery deepened.

28-50 By Night | 76 Jason Court | Wigmore Street | W1U 2SJ
Thursday 26th January

We knew, on paper, that this pairing made perfect sense. In their purest forms, both chocolate and spirits are made from a simple set of ingredients that combine to produce a whole variety of diverse flavours. But nothing quite prepared us for the buzz this event would create in the already atmospheric setting of 28:50 By Night. Our senses were taken on a journey of sensory pleasure.

We were privileged to have the foremost trio of experts, Chantal Coady, the only person ever to be awarded an OBE for services to chocolate making, event host Paul Flatts of Whisky Drams, and Lucy Clare Tidal Rum’s Ambassador, who led our guests through the blind tasting. 28:50’s Head Sommelier Jules Bensacq presided over the whole event, taking care of the details right from the planning stage to shaking and serving.

Three shimmering glasses of varying shades of gold were lined up in front of us to smell, swirl and taste. And what a pleasure these were.  Voted the world’s best whiskey, Green Spot Leoville Barton was paired with delicious Grenada Special Cuvée 85% Broken Dark Chocolate, bringing out the clove and nutmeg in the whiskey. Lucy took us on the Tidal Rum journey, with a sense of freedom that the sea awakened in us with the subtle coastal flavours, paired adventurously with white chocolate with foraged fennel and cardamom. Jules guided us through the pure pleasure of the Delamain Pale & Dry XO Premier Cru Grande Champagne Cognac, which Chantal paired with chocolate-coated candied orange.  Such extravagant flavour pairings.

A special treat was Chantal sharing the unique taste of raw cocoa, a smooth fruity, tropical, tart, and naturally sweet subtle flavour. 

The Chocolate Detective team is working with cocoa farmers in Grenada and highlighting sustainable chocolate made at grassroots level (“Tree to Bar”) and keeping value in local economies. The voyage this chocolate follows is 99% emission-free, and it’s made even more special by watching this short video and appreciating its uniqueness. Sailboat Chocolate.

Thank you to the Mixology Team at 28:50, who managed multiple glasses during the tasting. They calmly went on to create a sea of cocktails with the Tidal Rum; Old Fashioned and Espresso Martinis spun out of their shakers.

Some lovely feedback –

Hi Barbara, thanks for a fun night.  Great fun and made many new friends also good to reconnect with a few people I hadn’t seen for a while !!  Cheers. R


Thank you, Barbara for a wonderful evening. I had too much fun xx


Dear Barbara, thank you so much for a lovely evening, let me know when the next one is please! x


Soho Spring Soiree

Tuesday 21st March 2023 | 6:30 pm – 8.30 pm 

Martinez | 49 Greek Street | London | W1D 4EG

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About the Italian Job; a Marylebone party

The Italian Job Party l The Italian Greyhound, Marylebone

Wednesday 2nd November 2022

Our Italian Job party was a roaring success despite the absence of the fleet of red, white, and blue minis.  Michael Caine’s character Charlie Croker would have agreed it was a party with the spirit of dolce vita. Beep Beep!

Our stylish party was in the elegant Italian Greyhound restaurant, our private downstairs space was filled to the brim. The atmosphere was warmed by pleasantly low-decibel jazz.

The room was in excellent spirits, with at least 35 new people who were just such fun to have there and who mixed enthusiastically with our regulars, which, as usual, felt like a group of treasured and fun friends.

More marvellous memories were made in this W1 basement, adding to the many we have gathered over the year Including our delight to see some new couples move their conversation upstairs to the dining room of the graceful hound. The menu is perfect to share and to enjoy sharing conversations a plenty.

Thank you to the team at the Italian Greyhound for being such welcoming hosts.

Some lovely feedback –

Thank you for the wonderful event on Wednesday night. It’s such a lovely place you have created, it feels safe and inviting and easy to meet people and make friends, just delightful, thank you.


Another great party, everyone was very friendly. You always manage to assemble a good mix of interesting and fun people.  Thank you, Barbara, for being such a great hostess, looking forward to the next one!


Thank you, Barbara, it was a lovely, lively evening – such a great turn out. Thoroughly enjoyable as always! Well worth braving the lashing rain. The evening always seems to go so quickly, catching up with old acquaintances and making new friends, and then all to soon it’s time to head home….


Digital Dating Fatigue

Swipe Fever

When we first tried digital apps in our late thirties, we were mesmerized by the bells and whistles of app dating. How deliciously exciting we found everyone.

On the face of it, there were so many gorgeous single people with dogs, beautiful lives, and fantastic interests. We had a niggling suspicion a lot of creativity went into these profiles.

You’ve swiped right, you’ve swiped left, you’ve Coffee-Met-Bageled, Hinged, and become Restless. Is digital swiping really how we’re supposed to find flings, friends, partners, and more? If you’re kind of into that sweet swiping sensation, you may be addicted, or you may be fatigued.

App Fatigue

A few years on the apps and a sequence of meetups only reinforced my feeling of lack of reality. Somewhere between the interior designer (aka painter decorator) who turned up to date with a cat flap as we talked about my indoor cats. Then there was the McLaren driving guy I nicknamed ‘Mr Fifty Pound Note’ need I say more on that one. I began to grow tired of strange things, messages, and being ghosted. That was a few years ago, and, in the intervening period, I’ve deleted and re-downloaded dating apps every three months or so as my tolerance for weirdness has waxed and waned. And never was I more ready to delete them than after Covid.

I got to reading and agreeing with sex and relationship educator Ms Ruby Rare, author of Sex Ed: A Guide For Adults. “It’s rare that you stumble upon someone completely out of the blue.” She argues that dating without apps is as much about expanding our own interests as it is about meeting others. “I think wanting to meet someone can be quite fraught because there’s a lot of chance involved, so it’s good to focus on what you can control,” she says. “Take a class, join a club, do an activity that will enrich your life, regardless of whom you meet there.”

Expand and Explore

If the right person does present themselves out of the blue, she’s also a big believer in seizing the moment, “as long as you approach without expectation,” she says. “Striking up a conversation isn’t about persuading someone to go out with you, and you’ve really got to be aware of your presence and the impact it can have.

“I think wanting to meet someone can be quite fraught… so it’s good to focus on what you enjoy and place yourself in the right environments.”

Rare likes to approach with a compliment and see if it naturally leads to a conversation. “That way, even if the person isn’t interested, I can congratulate myself on having been brave enough to chat to someone,” she says. “If it does lead to a conversation, be tactful. I’ll say, ‘I’m really enjoying chatting with you. Would it be OK to have your number so we can keep talking? Absolutely no worries if not.'”

Feel confident to build a circle of new friends of both sexes, be honest and approachable.

Many lasting connections come from introductions and shared experiences, build out yours.

The Right Places

If I put myself in the right place, people will start talking at the right time. The right places include members’ clubs, Home House, Shoreditch House, gigs, sports meetups with a social aspect and pubs that aren’t too posh.

The Right Attitude

“Online dating shouldn’t take the place of real-world interactions, and it’s important to engage in offline relationships,”  “We know that social support can be a protective factor against stress. So even if it’s playing sports with [friends] or spending a night, it’s important to take breaks from online dating and engage in real-time social interactions.”

If you feel like you need a digital dating detox, experts say the best way to meet people in real life is simply to get out and do the things you enjoy. The best way to meet people who will enjoy the things you do is to actually do them.

Of course, rarely one finds a future husband or wife on the first outing, and we recommend you come to at least three socials.

Rendezvous

Rendezvous creates an environment where single professional people can meet without all the pressure of online dating. Each party has the vibe of an impromptu celebration. Our regular guests are welcoming, laid back, but lively. Instead of the usual chat-up routines, everyone engages in conversation.

Our small team helps introduce people, mixing up the crowd to create a relaxed environment where you can be yourself.

Jamming in Jeru – what a party!

Jeru Restaurant | 11 Berkeley St | Mayfair | W1J 8DS

Tuesday 13th September

Our plan with glam new Mayfair restaurant Jeru hatched last week and engaged our group of fun-loving guests. Lou suggested we should give a prize to the best Middle Eastern joke. Well, suffice to say, we canned that idea, deciding it was too hard – but Lou’s effort wasn’t half bad, although I did have to ask if she’d like more cheese with it …haha!

“Why should we hire the chickpeas to be part of our choir?

They could hummus a song!”

Now, something that is definitely not cheesy is Chef Roy Ner’s first London restaurant, Jeru; the favourite newbie for everyone-in-the-know.

Our lucky guests arrived at our private room, The Layla Bar, to find it boldly decorated with stunning art and the bar shining with over 100 glasses of glistening Prosecco, providing the perfect welcome.

Sensational!  And the treats didn’t stop there: we munched through the freshest Middle Eastern sharing plates, including potato fermented wood-fired bread, koji butter and truffle honey. Welsh lamb capocollo, lamb and fennel salami and Angus rump Basturma. White bean hummus, Goats curd, and Aubergine Baba dip – all so Moorish.

Thank you, Liv and Jess from Jeru, for being such welcoming hosts. And one lucky guest won the stunning prize of a dinner for two at Jeru worth £250. I wonder if his wing woman got the invite to dinner!

The room was in very good spirits, with at least 50 new people who were just such fun to have in the room and mixed enthusiastically with our regulars, which, as usual, felt like a group of treasured and fun friends.

Roll on our last event of the year, which will be in November. It has been a pleasure for Lou, Elsa and me to run Rendezvous this year.

Some lovely feedback:

What a fabulous evening!  Thank you so much for organising Tuesday’s event – great choice of venue, a lovely crowd and a delightful evening. It was a really nice mix, and hugely enjoyable.  Oh, and apologies for photo bombing your photo shoot towards the end – exuberant spirits caused by a super party! 


Thank you for organising Tuesday’s very successful party. It’s always great to visit places that we’d never normally go to, and Jeru was a fabulous venue.  Everyone seemed pleased to have the chance to socialise in such a sad week. I had a great time and met some very interesting people, easy to chat with very low music in background and plenty of staff who were very polite and service really quick so no queues for drinks. What’s not to like.  Thank you!


I had a very enjoyable social evening and thought that your venue really worked well. Everyone I spoke with was very engaging….I had pretty much dip out of the dating market as I really didn’t like the online platforms and much prefer meeting people socially which I think takes away lots of pressure to all.


Great to see you on Tuesday. Another successful Rendezvous event.👍🏼


I wanted to say thank you so much for inviting me to the event you hosted at Jeru last night. It was really lovely to meet you and I enjoyed the evening very much. 


Thank you for squeezing me in. It was a fun night and great to get out and mingle. Would love to come to the next one! 


Lovely evening last night lots of nice people old and new.  Good turnout Like the venue Bit different! 


Time to Disconnect from Digital Dating

Cosmo Landesman has become a familiar face at our social events and private dinners. It was interesting to read his take on online dating in the Telegraph.

As Cosmo rightly says, many of us have become disillusioned or downright fed up with online dating. Date fatigue is ubiquitous. Another day, another dating friend tells me they have deleted their apps. But we forget how when they first appeared in our lives, they seemed so wonderful and liberating.

But where could he meet that someone who would become his One? The One. What kind of someone did he want to meet? Would they want to meet him? Online dating sites seemed to have all the answers to all his questions and the solutions to his anxieties about finding love.

Cosmo Landesman: ‘Anything has to be better than another night with a stranger who looked nothing like their profile, listening to them bang on about their ex’.

Rather a lovely recommendation

Not long ago, one of my online dates took me to an offline dating group called Rendezvous. Here, I got to have a nice drink in a classy setting and meet lots of people. It made me question my whole online future – why was I spending time and money with ­people who, if I had met them in real life, I would never have asked out for a date? It was time to stop being desperate and become more discriminating. Or maybe it’s time to disconnect from online dating?

Rendezvous creates an environment where single professional people can meet without all the pressure of the online dating scene. Each party has the vibe of an impromptu celebration. Our regular guests are welcoming, laid back, but lively. Instead of the usual chat-up routines, everyone engages in conversation.

Our small team helps introduce people, mixing up the crowd to create a relaxed environment where you can be yourself. You don’t have to act or ­pretend to be someone you’re not the way you feel compelled to on a one-to-one date.

Join us at one of our socials