Three Billboards: One Profile

Do you ever feel like Frances McDormand’s character in the cult Oscar-nominated movie Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.   You’ve got something to say, but no one’s paying attention.  Like a billboard in a sleepy town or even worse a desert.

You’ve created your profile on the top online dating sites, but the only people swiping right are the losers that have bulk-swiped in order to hit every female in their search bracket.  You want to turn this around and fast, before you lose the will to live.

Having run offline dating events for a number of years, and met so many lovely, real people; the biggest thing I notice when I look at online dating photos is the inconsistency.  If I see three or four photos and each one looks like a different person, I think – will the real ‘X’ please stand up!

Some helpful tips

Don’t use shopping lists:- we shouldn’t shop for a potential partner in the same way we shop for a new camera or computer.

  1. Compact and travels well
  2. Selfie-stick optional
  3. Dresses in a range of colours
  4. Photographs well in good lighting
  5. Instagram filter Juno is favourite.

We all love a list, but save it for the day job, and think of your profile as a piece of targeted content to sell yourself in. The short elevator pitch billboard that would make you think – I know that person, or more to the point, I want to know that person.

Choose a photographer that makes you feel comfortable and a location that makes you feel happy.   My friend Laura Gub photographed me in a bar with a glass of wine.  Not too out of my comfort zone there!

During the photoshoot, make sure you look at the digital photos and understand what you look like.  If you are not making enough effort to show the real you, now’s the time to do it.  Create fantastic thoughts in your head and have a great time. You’re worth it.

And if you’re still not happy with the final cut, there’s nothing wrong with softening the picture with a filter, as long as it still looks like you.

People love to see happy smiling versions of you.   A photograph with a couple of friends and with you in centre is ideal; being surrounded by our loved ones makes us feel happy and secure and it shows.

And the words

In your profile, don’t dwell on the negatives, however large they loom in your life. ‘Happily divorced’ reads better than ‘Just got rid of vile ex’. for example.  Make the quirky bits part of your overall charm. Those of us who don’t look or live like movie stars often have the most interesting hobbies, the funniest stories, and the best sets of skills. I like to read profiles that mix approachably ordinary (cinema, restaurants, children happy in school or university.) and with the interestingly different – ‘Climbed Kilimanjaro;- wrote a book;- started a new business- you get the picture.

Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Own your differences, know your dreams, and open yourself up to the unexpected.  If you create a profile with a story you’d want to hear, who knows who may be out there who wants to listen?


This article was first published on 8th Feb 2018 by

the one stop shop for dating and advice.


Tuesday, Jan 16th.  Boisdale of Mayfair.


So down a dark and narrow stairway we went – that being the eccentric approach to our private room in Boisdale of Mayfair and The Vinyl Bar and Groove Room the venue of our January party. But then there’s a lot about Boisdale that’s eccentric, which, no surprise, is exactly what attracted us to the kooky-kitsch, red-walled, tartan-clad, cigar-smoking, jazz-loving group of restaurants in the first place!
With its charming and capable fun-pectation team, what could possibly go wrong?
Led by delightfully capable GM Lizzie, and cocktail maestro team Stefan and Ricardo, they introduced us to a cocktail so delicious you really must try it at home.


The Dark and Stormy
45ml Chivas Regal Extra
15ml Ginger beer
10ml lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir, strain in a rocks-filled glass and garnished with lime


The night took off at a gallop and there were so many of us we were split into two groups. Pernod Ricard Whisky Ambassador Phil Huckle with his booming voice led the assault on our palates with a glorious taste tour and masterclass. But wait, where’s the assault of Whisky proportions as we know it? This combination of whisky and chocolate is mellow – a warm, palette pleasing sensation, decidedly rich but decidedly dammed fine!
As Phil charmed our palates with his whiskey non-assault course, delightful elocutionist and Artisan du Chocolates ambassador Danny wowed us with a chocolate pairing combination that really hit the spot. She paired:

Chivas Regal Extra with liquid Sea Salted caramels and maple syrup
The Glenlivet 12 year old with luxury ginger and lemongrass.

Skapa Skiren with a dark chocolate ganache.
Blending our two groups of 30 into one big group of 60 in our private vinyl bar in the basement our boisterous crowd barely drew breath. Lots of new friendships were formed, numbers exchanged and, empowered with our deeper awareness of whiskey and chocolat, we snuck back up the staircase. Eventually, that is – the party was so enthusiastic nobody (including moi) wanted to leave.  What a blast! To everyone involved in setting up this epic fun-feast, let’s do it again soon!

And some lovely feedback: –

Dear Barbara,

What a wonderful whisky galore fuelled evening on Tuesday, thank you so much. Lovely to see you and Lou and a host of friendly familiar faces. Great fun and a fantastic start to 2018. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

J x

Hi Barbara

This was my first Rendezvous event and after the initial apprehension and losing 5 kilos of January weight in nerves….I really enjoyed it!  Can you please send me all the details to join the Rendezvous club and I can’t wait for the next event you were telling me about in the Casino.

C x

Hello hon …

Thank you so much for your hard work in arranging a fun evening on Tuesday.

X and I really enjoyed ourselves and met some lovely people who we are meeting up for coffees/dinners.


D x

Hi Barbara

Thank you very much for the party yesterday I enjoyed it immensely.

I have heard only positive comments about your abilities as hostess well done!

I have heard there is another party you are hosting the Casino night that is meant to be the best if the season…

Can you remind me about it?


T x

HI Barbara!  Thanks for the invite yesterday.  It was a great evening.

There was a girl there I was talking to called X. Would it be possible to introduce us on email?

See you soon.

C x


Watching the Detectives recap

Picture credit Brand You Max

Smith & Whistle, 28th November 2017.

What a fun-filled night we had last week at Park Lane Hotel’s fabulous Smith & Whistle bar.  A fair bit of detective work helped make some wonderful introductions and the room was buzzing!

Thank you to our brand partners The Sheraton Park Lane, and Laura Gub of Brand You Max, Boisdale, Goat Chelsea, Berrywhite, Artisan du Chocolat and Orit London

And it really is kind of so many guests to ping me a quick note of thanks.  Here’s some of the lovely feedback we received…


Hello Barbara, it was great seeing you again last night, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and met some really interesting people.
M x

Dear Barbara
Thank you for another super evening.   Lovely people and a great venue.
D x

Thought the evening a great success -great location -right nos -well circulated! Met a charming lady from *** who I plan to meet up with again.
B x

Hi Barbara
Good fun last night!
D xx    

Hi Barbara,
Thank you for last night’s party, loved the venue! As always, a great atmosphere and it was lovely to bump into old friends and to meet new ones!

Hi Barbara
Thanks for a fabulous evening – good to be back in the game; so to speak!
Looking forward to the next one.
C xx

Thanks for a lovely evening.  Great fun!
D x

Thank you for another super evening and being a great source of graciousness and fun!
T x

Hello Barbara,
I wanted to thank you for organising a fun evening!
Everyone seemed to be in a festive spirit 🙂
0 x