The night began like this; it was a cold blustery evening and the night was still young. As I put on my dancing shoes and stepped into the big city, I could feel the air charged with promise. It was going to be a good night, I could feel it in my bones. I grabbed my lipstick and ran into the darkness, excited at the thought of new beginnings. You see, me and my friend G, were off on our first dating adventure together to a ‘wonderful, magical night’ of what we hoped would be filled with romance and roses. Except unlike the romance novels, where every tale had a happy ending, we stepped into-and I kid you not- the worst dating event I have ever been to in my life.
As I cringed inwardly at the lame event before me I thought thank F**k we came prepared, as prior to the event we had downloaded a free video discovery platform named Hollabox, which would become our ‘virtual’ knight in shining armour but more on that later. We looked at each other, in mirrored horror as the ‘dating night’ that had been described as being ‘dark and mysterious with sexy singles’ was about as sensual as my imaginary pet pug. Not to mention how they claimed there would be an even ‘gender ratio’ and that the age range was between 20-40, when in actual fact there was more women than men and were aged between 35-55, not quite the dating night I had in mind. Top it off with crap ‘tacky disco music’ (Crazy Frog springs to mind), an empty dance floor and trying to look interested in men that were older than my dad, it’s safe to say our ‘dating extravaganza’ was more like a bingo hall than a club. And FYI before you jump down my throat, I actually like bingo, I just don’t plan to find my future partner in there, unless i’m looking for a sugar daddy in which case by all means!
We clutched onto our ‘free complimentary cocktail and slurped it down as fast as we could , eager to make our night a bit more memorable. Within 30 minutes we had exited the ‘secret’ club and with our trusty ‘Hollabox’ in tow we set out to make some memories that we would actually like to remember. Since we had already eaten- and I was already feeling nauseated by the random dick pics that kept popping into my Instagram folder-please stop sending me them!- we wanted to find some cool clubs and bars around the Soho area. From ‘The Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town’, where cocktails are served in a tiny, dimly lit basement bar hidden behind a fridge door, to Bounce, a 1950’s style cocktail bar and pizza restaurant with 17 ping pong tables, when it came to finding new places to drink and eat at, Hollabox was giving us no shortage of options. Unfortunately by this point, we were a little bummed out by the crappy dating event and while watching a ‘live video’ of people entering a fridge to make their way into a bar did seem like a lot of fun, we decided to call it a night. But it was on my journey home that I couldn’t help but want to know more about The Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town’, so I coerced another friend to come with me a few days later. This time we were in Shoreditch instead of Soho and set on an adventure that would hopefully change our lives for ever…
We were pretty hungry to start off with and even as a vegetarian I could murder a bloody cow at that point, so we used Hollabox to find us some restaurants around the area. Naturally as my favourite cuisines are Indian and Thai, I scoured the app for any suitable options that would sate my hunger and thirst. My friend however had other ideas and said she fancied trying something a little ‘different’. Besides as she quite rightly pointed out ‘its always good to try something new’ and I rolled my eyes, knowing the last time I had ventured out of my comfort zone I had been surrounded by creepy old men. Still I was willing to indulge her so we settled on trying Barrio Shoreditch after watching the ‘live’ video coverage via Hollabox, which showed us that it was not too ‘busy’ and had the relaxed vibe we were after to eat some delicious food. Not to mention I was intrigued by their ‘tapas menu’ which featured ‘unique delights’ like ‘cactus quesadillas’ and cocktail names like ‘Ol Dirty Bastard’ which made me laugh. I guess next time I get unsolicited dick pics by old men on Instagram, I’m gonna give them a nice serving of karma and see how they like it! True to the app coverage, via my friend’s I- Phone, Barrio had the relaxed vibe that we were after and as a bonus we weren’t having to escape from pervy men either. Its a win-win situation! Oh and the cactus quesadilla was actually quite delicious, but it was the churros that stole my heart. You see, dating guides might claim that ‘the way to a mans heart is through his stomach’ but for me the way to my heart is through my stomach. Haha.
Several cocktails later and we stumbled out into the darkness (of course I use ‘stumbled’ as a form of dramatic effect, I was still sober but my friend on the other hand…) looking for our next location to wreak havoc on. I was still hell bent on trying out The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town’ but my friend had other ideas and after finding out about Bounce in Old Street, she said and I quote ‘we had to get smashed and throw some balls around’. Despite my pleas where I strongly suggested we go elsewhere, as I had nightmare flashbacks to being massively crap at PE, she told me to ‘get over myself’ and go have some fun. And actually for the first time she was right, despite my clear lack of co-ordination, everyone was so drunk they didn’t even notice and it was a great way of getting to know some new people. We had a laugh with some newbies and my friend even ended up getting lucky too. Mind you when you are as gorgeous as she is, I’m not surprised that guys tongues are practically wagging every time she walks past.
As for me… well despite looking like I am 12, I always seem to attract the golden oldies… thank god I’m funny that’s all I have to say. Eventually after throwing balls around for what seemed like a thousand years, I was ready to hit up my ‘fridge bar’ that I had been dying to try out and dragged my friend and her new companion outside. Through the app I could see the visitors entering the fridge and the actual bar itself had a decent stream of visitors, so we made our way to Shoreditch once more to check it out for ourselves. While entering through a fridge was not great for my claustrophobia, the actual bar itself, despite being dimly lit was a wonderful surprise. Not only could you order ‘special drinks that were off the menu’ but you also had to ‘ask to see the mayor’ which was a cool and innovative experience but more on that in another post. I might not have struck it lucky in the dating department but thanks to Hollabox, I was fed and watered ( I realize I’m not a plant) and even got to see my friend hook up with a decent guy for once, as normally she dates complete tools. So on that note, perhaps we should rename Hollabox as ‘find a date for Ana’s friend box’? Or even better the ‘get rid of pervy men with a virtual dating warrior app’. On second thoughts, lets just stick to Hollabox… Hey?
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Please note this is a collaborative post with Hollabox but this does not affect my opinions and all words are my own.
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