By Åse Anderson
If you've already found the perfect partner with whom to spend the rest of your life, you might think that speed dating is best left to your singleton friends. Well think again, because the speed date concept has just been given a delightful new twist to help couples find that perfect, unique engagement ring.
The very first event of its kind, Speed Date a Designer will give couples - or individuals - the opportunity to meet independent jewellery designers who can create the bespoke engagement ring of their dreams. Working on the same principles as a traditional speed date event, engagement ring shoppers can meet and chat to some of Britain's most talented jewellery designers over a drink or two.
It's an innovative idea and - I'm sure you'll agree - sounds so much more fun than traipsing up and down the high street in search of the perfect engagement ring.
Speed Date a Designer is the brainchild of F&L Designer Guides, set up by Frank Orman and his fiancée Laura after they became disillusioned with the off-the-shelf engagement rings available on the high street. An online community of around 45 independent engagement ring designers, the site aims to promote the idea of "going bespoke".
So far, 14 F&L Designer members have confirmed that they will be participating in the speed date event: Amanda Mansell, Stepan Terteryan, Shivani Patel, Ornella Iannuzzi, Jessica Poole, Daniel Gallie, Anton Kata, Andrew English, Jon Dibben, Keith Gordon, David McCloughlin, Farah Quereshi, Beth Gilmour, and Christopher Anderson.
Taking place at The Fable Bar in London on 10 November 2014, tickets for Speed Date a Designer cost £6, including a free cocktail on arrival. Only 30 slots are available so early booking is advisable. If the evening is a hit, there are plans to roll out the concept next year both in London and other parts of the UK.