'A lot of people ask to be set up with an Irish man' - London's elite matchmaker on the most in-demand traits
One of London's most exclusive matchmakers has revealed that Irish men are among her most in-demand when looking for love.
Lara Asprey runs the Asprey Introductions dating agency, which works exclusively within the high end market, and is currently starring in her own show The Ultimate Matchmaker. After years of working behind the scenes making love connections in the UK, she said there really is something about the Irish.
In fact, an Irish man appeared in a recent episode of the show, which airs on the W channel, a man whom she described as "being very humble despite his incredible success" and someone who "didn't carry it as a label" was a refreshing change of pace on the millionaire dating scene.
"We've had quite a few come through our doors. If they are working in Dublin and other big cities, they're often in London a lot for work," she told Independent.ie
"They're very charming and do more than the English, who can be quite stiff upper lip and hold back with emotions, tend to. The Irish have the art of banter down to a T. They don't take themselves too seriously and are generally quite happy go lucky. It's great. There are women who really lovely Irish men.
"There's something about the accent they find very, very attractive and a lot of women say it's because of the great family values - a lot of women are looking for that.
"A lot of people say, 'If you have a nice Irish man, please set me up'. The only thing I tell them is not to drink too much on a date," she laughed.
Asprey got involved in matchmaking in an informal capacity when she was studying business management at Royal Holloway, University of London, setting up friends with well-suited partners and it was only after years of working in marketing she realised it could be a profession worth pursuing.
"I’m a nosey person, I'm constantly asking about your love life," she explained. "Back at university, matching friends and fun and easy you know when you do something you love and after I graduated and was working, I still had this great network of single people, so i thought, 'Why not do this as a business?'
"There was nothing for the demographic I was targeting - someone who went to private school and was well educated - it was an unexplored niche. I became quite well known for the go-to person to set you up in those circles."
Asprey's agency might be a hard one to be part of, but it's not just about your bank balance that will get your foot in the door and your name in her files.
"It's not necessarily about people with money, but with class," she explains. "There are agencies where someone will take you if you pay enough. That's not a good foundation for love: you could be really successful, handsome and have everything together but your family values don't match.
"I find out people's type in more ways than financial. It's not just about how many zeros are in your salary. We have scouts all over town trying to get to the best parties and give the best access."
The programme rings familiar from the Millionaire Matchmaker, hosted by Patti Stanger for seven years before ending in 2015, but Lara is quick to distance her show from that format as this speaks more locally to British and Irish viewers.
"The Millionaire Matchmaker was a very American show and format. She had a very direct approach. It's not representative of what it's like here in the UK, when it comes to dating for Brits. We're not romantic and we don't chat people up, we don't go on dates per se, but we do go for a drink.
"The high profile market is especially discreet, but this show opens doors to how it all happens and offers a behind the scenes look of how people like that find love."