The managing director of the Fine Dining Club moved back to Belfast and, inspired by a need to network, set up a business doing just that in the city and beyond
My biggest inspiration for starting the dining club was not a person but a set of circumstances.
I had moved from London to Belfast after Lehman Brothers collapsed.
I had lost my job and needed to work.
I am a sociable creature and I missed my friends in London. I wanted to meet new people and make new friends.
The added bonus of meeting single people was that I may find romance as well.
So I arranged a dinner, nearly three years ago. Which was meant to be a one off.
But every month people would ring me up and ask when was the next dinner? I had a couple of jobs working for a couple of small retails funds in Belfast.
But the retail banking sector in Ireland is not exactly booming!
So in November of 2011, I thought right let's give this a go. Let's see if you can turn your hobby into a thriving business.
I think the thing that keeps inspiring me and makes me want to expand is the feedback from my clients.
The majority of my business comes from referrals. I get clients who are happily attached sending me their single friends.
I am really lucky in that I have really lovely people I deal with. I will confess my favourites are my over 55s. They are a joy to be with. They are truly an inspiration.
People who have been knocked by life, by death of a spouse, or divorce or other circumstances.
People who want to get right back in the ring and say ok, life's for living. Let's enjoy ourselves. Let's have fun.
They are my inspiration. www.thefinediningclub.com