During my corporate days, one of my first deliverables as a newly appointed manager was to manage the process of letting go a team member that hadn’t been performing to expectations. I’d inherited this delightful task from my predecessor, who had sat down with the team member on a monthly basis to manage their performance against an agreed plan. When I took over this task and had a one-on-one meeting with the employee in question, I was surprised to hear that in spite of numerous monthly meetings that the person in question was still surprised that we were planning to go ahead and terminate their employment. The key thing I took away from this was that that some people, never listen to feedback, no matter how much is provided, which brings me to the subject of todays post.

The Shallow Man’s blog would be nothing without the input and feedback from his fabulous readers. Several had suggested to me that I organise an event of some kind, which sowed the seeds for the first Amsterdam Shallow Man Lions and Antelope evening. So I took time out of my busy schedule to arrange the first of a series of Amsterdam Shallow Man Lions and Antelope events. The things I do for my readers!

Lions and Antelope evening

For the location for my event, I chose one of my favorite eateries in Amsterdam, the La Vina Experience in the Maasstraat. This delightful restaurant offers fine dining and good wine for a reasonable price. It’s modern, well lit, with great service and was my first choice as the location for my event.

The Concept

Having received lots of mails from readers about dating events, it’s clear that speed dating is often an unpleasant activity, frequented by “regulars” whose only chance of keeping women engaged in a conversation for three minutes is to attend such events. Perhaps I’m being cruel, but the readers of the Shallow Man have often been critical about speed dating, indeed, the funniest story I heard recently was about a speed dating event in Amsterdam which was frequented by three men and four women!

With the popularity of Tinder, I’m sure that organised dating events are probably suffering as a result, as the opportunity to arrange a date is now only a swipe away. With this in mind my concept is quite simply no strings attached social dining. A chance for a diverse group of people to have some good food, quality wine and mingle with a bunch of open minded, friendly individuals in a pleasant setting.

Included in the price of 32.99 (tickets are bought in advance) three courses are served, along with a welcome glass of wine and coffee. After each course, the participants change tables to ensure that by the end of the evening everyone has had the opportunity to meet every person present. The other key thing is that people who’ve arrived together, shouldn’t sit at the same table, thus ensuring that everyone mingles.

I’d originally aimed for thirty people to attend, but was pleased that in the end a total of thirty five people attended my event.

Antelope and Lions, socialise!

Antelope and Lions

The United Nations of Lions and Antelope

Was there ever such a beautiful and diverse group of Lions and Antelope gathered together under one roof?  People from Bulgaria, Canada, the US, Turkey, the UK, Curacao, India, Ireland and of course, the Netherlands were amongst the nationalities present. The atmosphere was electric. I was also pleased that people adhered to the dress code. What an elegant group. People really made an effort, the Antelope were beautifully dressed, and the Lions were all very smart.

35 Lions and Antelope having fun

35 Lions and Antelope having fun

What a fun crowd. People really got into the social side of things and it was great to not only meet readers of my blog, but to witness the interaction between so many people of differing backgrounds. One of the Lions present also pointed out that it’s quite unusual to mix with so many Dutch people in a social setting, even though he’s been living in the Netherlands for over a year now.

Indeed the group got on so well that many even continued drinking and partying well into the early hours after the event. As I planned, it was a great way of getting people together and letting chemistry (or chemicals) take their course. Seriously, though, I had a great time and had good feedback from many of the attendees.  I’d like to thank everyone, for being in such a positive frame of mind and really engaging in the spirit of the event. Also my compliments to La Vina for making a terrific meal and doing a great job with the service.

We’ll meet again?

Natuurlik! This event was such a success that I’m already being asked about the next one, which will take place on Friday April 4th. I’ll update my blog with more details in the next few days.


The Shallow Man Guide to Dating the Dutch is available from BOL.com and from Amazon.


Dating the Dutch

The Shallow Man Guide