It all started by accident one dreich January evening in 2005. Like many of the best ideas it was conceived over a glass of wine or two.
It was never my intention to create a social club with over 200 members â€“ I simply wanted to add a bit of zing to my social life. But now, in order to cope with demand, I’ve had to leave my job to run the Club full time.
I first realised the importance of meeting new people when I moved to Edinburgh from England in 2000. I was out for drinks with a friend. We had a few glasses of wine and got chatting. We were both busy with work and found our social lives had become a bit routine. We wanted to inject a bit of va va voom, meet some new people and do some new things. By the end of the first bottle weâ€™d decided to start our own social club and, an ad in The List later, we were up and running and calling ourselves The Sunday Brunch Club.
The club started as a small group of 10 people. As time went on, enquiries started flowing in and I realised Iâ€™d hit on a winning formula. In April 2006 I launched a website and expanded to meet demand. Since then the Club has grown rapidly through word-of-mouth with over 600 subscribers signing up in the last few months. So why has it proved such a hit?
I think that many people work long hours, lead hectic lifestyles and donâ€™t have time to organise fun activities or meet people outside their immediate circle. The Sunday Brunch Club provides that service and lots more. As well as keeping our members posted with whatâ€™s new and hot around town we give great discounts. For example we paid just Â£25 instead of Â£55 on dress circle seats for Scottish Operaâ€™s Carmen at the Festival Theatre. As if thatâ€™s not enough, we also get invited to restaurant and retail launches.
There was a gap in the market for a way to meet new people that wasnâ€™t old, stuffy or â€˜institutionalâ€™. Edinburgh has a reputation for being difficult for newcomers but many people who have been here for years would like to invigorate their social circle too.
Attracting an eclectic bunch of men and women from a range of professional backgrounds, the club has brought a new dimension to socialising in Edinburgh with its fresh and funky approach. As well as the original brunches (in the afternoon!) there are events almost every day of the week including badminton, tennis, walks, nights on the town, dinners, champagne tastings, comedy, film, theatre, go karting, â€˜thank goodness itâ€™s Friday!â€™ drinks, ceilidhs, networking events, bar and restaurant launches, rollerblading, ballet, whisky tastings, book clubs and concerts. This year has seen the launch of a regular 5-a-side football team and a series of â€˜get fit without the gymâ€™ social bike rides. (see the Lothian Life diary.)
Itâ€™s the legendary house parties though, which stand out for many members as the highlight of this rapidly growing new venture. With membership made up of about 35% from Edinburgh and Lothians, 15% Glasgow, 20% elsewhere in UK and 30% international members from countries such as America, Australia and Sweden, The Sunday Brunch Club is a rich pool of members from different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds.
The club has gone from strength to strength and I plan to double it in size in the next year. Iâ€™ve made the leap from party politics to party animal and I absolutely love what I do. What better job could there be? I scour the region for fabulous things to do and put together an exciting programme of activities for members. My lifeâ€™s now focused on the pleasure principle â€“ â€˜Love it? Do it!â€™