London pub emerges from lockdown with gusto | #speeddating | #tinder | #pof | #blackpeoplemeet


There may be more creative chat-up lines, but surely few as universal. There is little doubt that after months of lockdown across the U.K., those looking to make an early impression may have become a little rusty.

So, the Prince of Peckham pub in a hugely diverse district in southeast London decided, as part of its four-year birthday week, to take the pressure off its patrons. A speed-dating night would kick off its festivities.

Pubs were allowed to welcome guests inside this week, part of the British government’s plan to gradually reopen society following a sharp fall in new coronavirus infections.

To get to the speed dating, around a dozen men and a dozen women braced one of the most torrential downpours London has seen in years. They had three minutes to do their thing.

“This is my local pub and I’m a bit bored of dating apps,” said 32-year-old marketing manager Helen Waller. “This pub brings people together. It’s a nice mix of the community in an unforced way.”

Other events planned this week are drag brunches and neon naked life drawing — don’t ask. They’re the latest innovations by a pub that had been bucking the trend even before the pandemic, as a slew of hostelries closed their doors for good in recent years, partly because they didn’t beat to the rhythm of the local scene.

Around half the local population is Black, with many more from other ethnic groups, so it stands to reason that one of the few local boozers remaining should tap its neighborhood as much as possible.

It wasn’t always so.


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