What Is The Best Matchmaking Service?

What Is The Best Matchmaking Service?

So many choices it can be confusing

If you are looking for a new partner then there is a multitude of choices around which way you could go about it and if you’re newly into dating after a long relationship or marriage, then dating has changed so much that you may not recognise it from how it used to be in days gone by, when you were young and just starting out on your adult life.

Meeting in Bars and Clubs

When we were younger bars and clubs were a popular way of meeting others but the statistics say that over 70% of people you are in contact with on a night out are married or in a committed relationship already, so it can be very hit and miss and if you’re new to dating and are really committed to trying to meet someone for a new relationship, this may well be a strong recommendation to avoid.

The online route

Since the start of the new millennium online dating and dating apps have been a strong option and alternative to consider and so to many of us, this is now all we have ever known. However since 2012 online dating relating crime has become a real problem, fake and fraudulent profiles, scamming, sexual predators, plus worse, sexual assault, date rape and even murder has been linked to meeting strangers online and so over the years many potential daters have flocked back to a traditional, face to face dating service and personal matchmaking has gained in strength during this migration.

Traditional Dating Agency Services

As the problems with online dating, particularly fraud and scamming, have grown, people have very much sought to return to the safer haven of meeting people who have been carefully interviewed and vetted and who have shown their commitment by paying a substantial fee to meet a partner. Numbers joining have burgeoned in recent years to provide UK daters with a highly credible and much safer alternative to meeting through online dating or dating apps. The search term ‘dating agency’, personal introductions’ or ‘personal matchmaking’ will throw up a variety of potential options for you to consider, not just ourselves. Here we look at a few of them and rank them according to their current ranking on Google:

Dating Agency Options

What is the best matchmaking service available to residents in the UK, see the list below of the best dating agencies and matchmaking services.


Searchmate was first launched by Adrian Slatter in the 1990’s and the Searchmate brand was purchased by the Dating Options Group in 2013. So a long established and highly credible agency, with a registered address in Warwickshire but covering the whole of the UK, with one of the largest databases of all personal matchmaking agencies.
Rated as 4.3 stars out of 5 on Google.

Executive Club of St James’

Executive Club of St James’s has been in business since 1985 and was featured on BBC1in their ‘The Matchmaker’ documentary. Their address is Flat D150, Parliament View, Albert Embankment. Not listed under this name at Companies House.
Rated as 2.7 stars out of 5 on Google

Select Personal Introductions

Select are based in Manchester and have over 20 years experience in delivering a personal matchmaking service for professional singles aged over 21 looking for a real relationship. All clients are background checked and are interviewed to verify their identity. Incorporated in 1999 and with a solid background.
Select are rated 4.1 stars on Google.

Ignite Dating

Ignite are one of the newer entries into the dating marketplace, having been formed as recently as 8th November 2019 according to Companies House. They are based in Oakham in Rutland and don’t have a Google ranking as yet. We don’t believe they have a connection to Ignite Dating of Surrey who were dissolved in 2011, although they do have Surrey and London branches.
No Google Ranking.

Matchmaker London – The Vida Consultancy Ltd

Vida are located in Berkeley Street, London, having been incorporated in 2011 according to Companies House. They are an international matchmaking agency founded by chartered psychologist Rachel MacLynn. They are here to create your ultimate relationship.
Rated at 3.5 stars out of 5 on Google.

Berkeley International

Berkeley International position themselves as an international introduction agency and elite dating agency trading from a registered address at 23, West Street, Haslemere in Surrey, with an office address in Berkeley Square, Mayfair. They have traded for more than 19 years since 2003 and like ourselves are members of the Dating Agency Association.
Rated as 3.4 stars out of 5 on Google.

Gray and Farrar International

Gray and Farrar are based in Hill Street, West London and were incorporated in 2009 as a Limited Liability Partnership, previously Gray and Farrar Introductions LLP. They are quintessentially British but with a truly global reach. With a reassuringly traditional approach, with personal service and attentiveness at its very core.
Rated as 3.0 stars out of 5 on Google

Bowes Lyon Partnership

Bowes Lyon have traded for 10 years plus according to Google, since 2009 and are a discreet matchmaking agency for accomplished professionals. They are based in Bancroft Dassels, Braughing, Ware, Hertfordshire with a London office address at St James’s Square in London.
Rated as 4.2 stars out of 5 on Google

The Love Company

Have a registered address at CSH Consulting, PO Box 7784, in Kettering Northants, but are based in Kensington Church Street, in London, previous names were The Sloane Arranger and Aspray Introductions Ltd, they have featured on TV in The Ultimate Matchmaker and on TLC’s The Dating Agency. Run by Lara Aspray and her team of matchmakers.
Rated as 4.0 stars out of 5 on Google

Simitov International

A Jewish Matchmaking Company with 5 years plus in business according to Google. Serves London and nearby areas and based at 72, Great Suffolk Street in London, SE1. Said to be uniting high calibre Jewish singles looking for love. Not listed at Companies House.
Rated as 3.7 stars out of 5 on Google.

All rankings were correct at the time of writing 26th April 2022.

Want to know more?

Our Membership Advisers at Searchmate, work from 9am until 9pm almost every day and are happy to chat and answer your questions about finding love and a quality new partner, as impartially as we can be and with no compulsion or obligation to proceed.

Visit or ring us?

Alternatively we welcome visitors to our lovely office by appointment and we are centrally located wherever you are based in the UK. Come and meet our matchmakers and membership advisers and see how Searchmate work and why our success rate is so high. We are on 0800 644 4160 and the call is always at our expense. We’d love to hear from you or complete your contact details here and we will get back to you as soon as we are free.

What Does A Matchmaker Cost?

What Does A Matchmaker Cost?

How Much Does A Matchmaker Cost?

We get asked the question “What does a Matchmaker cost” on many occasions – usually at least a few times a week and it probably comes about from the fact that in the early days of internet based dating and dating apps, it was a free service and they made their profits advertising rather than by charging for the service. So people maybe got used to the idea that “dating is free”, which of course it never is, as every company that is employing staff has to make a profit one way or another, to cover its costs.

How “free dating” works

The downside of “dating is free”, is that the service in most instances wasn’t very good and therefore wasn’t successful for the majority of users, hence very poor reviews on Google and other search engines and the realisation from most consumers that dating at little or no cost didn’t work and that the end product was very poor.

Free but does it work?

Basically what “free online dating” was – was the loan of a particular company’s dating software and matching algorithm, with the consumer actually doing all of the work. There could be little or no support available if things went wrong, as they weren’t able to employ staff to provide a proper, meaningful service and one that worked and could produce a lasting result.

Why Personal Matchmaking may cost more

So to answer the question, a Matchmaker does often cost more than an online service as you are dealing with a real live human being or team of human beings and they have to be paid. But they can often also produce a result and that would result in happy clients embarking on a wonderful, long term relationship and maybe even moving in together or ultimately marriage. So the choice is yours – a free service or something a little more meaningful that might lead somewhere.

Your Matchmaker’s involvement and what to expect

If we look at the job a Matchmaker may do, that would give you the best clue as to costs, as in most agencies you would be like to get the following:

  • Dating advice prior to joining according to your circumstances and location.
  • A personal interview.
  • A professionally written profile.
  • Photography advice or even sometimes a photoshoot (photographs can be so important).
  • Background checks on every member, to check out they are who they say they are.
  • Checks on their residency, involvement in crime and solvency.
  • A welcome call from your Matchmaker and possibly a Dating Coach.
  • A guaranteed level of dates or profiles.
  • Ongoing help and advice from your Matchmaker.
  • Regular reviews and profile updates.
  • And eventually a wonderful new partner entering your life.

A service that does work

So quite a lot of professionalism and expertise and a service that works and regularly produces results and one that we’d like to think is vastly superior to meeting someone through online dating or by swiping left or right on a dating app. It might also pleasantly surprise you to learn that whilst some Personal Matchmaking companies can be expensive, many aren’t and wouldn’t be charging that much more than an online service.

Typical Matchmaker costs

These days the minimum membership cost would probably be from around about £1,000, right up to £100,000 for the best of the best in Mayfair in London, but typically entry level services would be from around £1,000 to say £5,000, with London companies tending to charge more, with teens of thousands being quite commonplace.

You can view the Searchmate pricing options here which are competitive compared to most other matchmaking services you will find.

How Searchmate Compares and Getting in Touch

Here at Searchmate, we try to offer a good value service, we wouldn’t want to be the cheapest, so we start at £1,295 and at the top level £3,295 for our Platinum product, with Club also available at £1,895. If you’d like to know more our Membership Advisers never charge for their advice and would be happy to talk you through the industry and answer any questions you may have. They can be reached from 9am until 9pm most days on 0800 644 4160 and the call is always at our expense. Alternatively fill in the contact form below and we will ring you back within 24 working hours to take you through your options as impartially as we can. There is never any obligation either, so please do make that call.

Do Dating Agencies Work?

Do Dating Agencies Work?

Many people ask this question, probably because of the onslaught of online dating and dating apps, they don’t realise that there is actually an alternative. But the truth is that Dating Agencies have been around for centuries not just a couple of decades like their online competitors. With the first, known as a matrimonial bureau in those days, opening it’s doors in London as early as 1705, so is even older than the United Kingdom itself.

So there is an alternative

So yes, for those searching for an alternative to meeting online, happily there is an alternative and one that has been around a long time with many thousands of successes over the years. At Searchmate we have been around since the 1990’s, way before many of the major players in online dating and during that time we have been delivering a high quality, face to face personal matchmaking service to our members and helping them to find love away from the internet.

Our major differentiators

With online dating and dating apps, mainly you are using their software, but actually do the work yourself – more of a ‘DIY dating’ service. With Searchmate and other face to face agencies, you are likely to get that work done for you. So you are interviewed, we then build a professional profile for you, take and help you choose which photographs are going to be best for you to attract others of the right calibre. We also take you through our checking/vetting procedures to ensure that you have the right background to join an exclusive agency, which is largely residency, solvency and a check for any involvement in crime.

Lots of support and successes

When you are fully onboarded and have become a member in your own right, the next step is your welcome call from your matchmaker and the exciting part of our membership is just about to begin – dating others. Your matchmaker will give you an overview of how we work and how we have brought success to many thousands over the years since 1998. It is a tried and tested formula and gives us a very high success rate of over 90%. Now that isn’t people getting engaged or married (although of course many still do) but people who have happily gone into ‘exchange’ with others and are dating them and forming a relationship – which is always our goal.

Our guarantees

No one can absolutely guarantee chemistry and of course we can never force our members to say yes to each other, but we do have a large database of quality people and it’s always our belief that there is someone out there for everybody. So we do always guarantee the number of recommendations that we provide and our aim is always to out perform that guarantee on as many occasions as we can. Although client flexibility and open mindedness is a key consideration and factor in achieving this. Clients who show flexibility around their matches are the ones that usually enjoy the best memberships and go on to find love.

Options to suit all Budgets

At Searchmate we have a range of membership options, starting with Associate, going up to Club and then on to Platinum. Associate is great value as you are getting access to work with your own mentor and guide throughout your membership – your personal matchmaker and access to our excellent database of carefully vetted people. Our Club product provides greater levels of recommendations, a hold facility and a higher priority for matches, so less waiting for new members to filter down to you, but still great value for money.

Our high end Platinum Product

At the top end our Platinum product, would provide access immediately to new members coming onboard without you having to wait for them, a higher level of confidentiality – your profile doesn’t go out until you have said yes to the match, a face to face interview in your own home if preferred, individual one to one matches to enable you to properly evaluate each of them. Plus an ‘on hold’ facility to freeze your membership whilst dating. Which is obviously a far cry from ‘DIY Dating’ on the internet.

A typical agency

We have highlighted our own practices within Searchmate, to describe how a dating agency works but we would be very typical to others, although we believe that the Searchmate database is larger than most – to give you the very best chance of finding love. We believe it to be the largest in the UK of personally interviewed and vetted potential dates, also we do cover the whole of mainland Great Britain and even remote areas are not precluded, which is more unusual. So wherever you are in the country – a high quality dating agency service is available to you.

Like to know more?

If you’d like to know more, then there is never any obligation or compulsion to join, but our Membership Advisers, Jane, Amanda and Jack are always free to talk to and answer your dating questions, impartially and in an even handed, friendly way. We have typically 200-300 enquiries each month, so there is never any hard sell, we simply don’t need to do that. So feel free to ring us in confidence and have a chat, we’d love to hear from you and would simply aim to put you in an informed position, so you can decide if our service might be of interest. Our telephone number is 0800 644 4160 – so please ring us today to kick things off.

Why The Coronavirus Crisis Is Reminding Us How To Be Human

Why The Coronavirus Crisis Is Reminding Us How To Be Human

Why The Coronavirus Has Caused Us To Swap ‘FOMO’ For ‘EMOL’

Think back to a time when the world looked very different. A social anxiety known as ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) had become acknowledged as a real thing. FOMO sufferers felt a need to continuously stay connected to what other people were doing. As a result, real-life families, friends and couples were becoming distanced from each other. It was what ‘other people’ were doing that held real interest. This was a time when social media, and not the coronavirus, held all the power. This was the mental and emotional distancing of ourselves from those close to us.

Fast forward to now and the truth is, ‘other people’ really aren’t doing very much at all. The celebrities we once watched travelling the world are now reduced to trying to make their back gardens look enviable. Most of us are realising that, actually, we’re much happier focusing on our own lives and our own loved ones. Any-one with any sense is replacing FOMO for EMOL (Enjoying My Own Life).

“The Thrills and Spills Have Gone”

Genuine closeness and understanding from the ‘real people’ in our lives now means everything. When Amanda Holden uploaded a picture of herself mowing the lawn in her wedding dress, as an attempt to gain attention from her ‘followers’, many of us felt nothing but pity. It’s hard to pretend we’re anything that we’re not when on 24 hour lock-down with our loved ones. The thrills and spills have gone. Relationships are about patience, kindness and a willingness to be someone else’s safe place. We’re grateful for the new routines and rituals our loved ones have helped us to form. We’re grateful that someone still finds us endearing, even when they can’t escape us.

The only contact we have with strangers are meetings of empathetic eyes above a face-mask in a supermarket queue. Silently, afraid to breathe the same air, we reassure others that ‘We’re in this together’. And then, dart away as quickly as possible. However, the joy these simple smiles bring, from people we’d never have looked up from our phones for before, reminds us that whatever restrictions the coronavirus crisis imposes upon us, we share the same hopes. We all want everyone to be okay. And, we want to come out of this treasuring the one irreplaceable thing we were on the verge of losing: the joy of being human. This is not a time to watch other people live their lives. It’s about working out how to let authentic love, in all its forms, into our own lives.

Our experienced and friendly membership advisers are available to share an informal chat about how finding love during this time of uncertainty is still possible.

No Valentine’s Card This Year?

No Valentine’s Card This Year?

No Valentine’s Card This Year?

No Valentine’s card this year? It certainly is disappointing if that hoped for card or gift didn’t materialise, especially if you started the year so positively believing that 2017 was going to be THE year for you in terms of love and meeting that special person. St Valentine’s Day is very much a barometer, 6 weeks into the new year, when you can check out those aspirations you have for love and romance coming into your life and assess how you are doing so far.

If you aren’t happy with the progress you are making to date, then perhaps you will feel it is the right time to become more proactive. Most of the 16 million singles in the UK are now quite comfortable about using a professional, third party company to find love and Searchmate is one of the most popular.

We have been around since 1998 and are one of the established Personal Matchmaking services in the country, we also truly cover the country, which is unusual in Personal Matchmaking. Searchmate caters for attractive, professional people from all walks of life, so a Personal Introductions or Dating Agency for nice people from the right sort of background, in other words one of the best and most successful dating brands in the UK.

We have one of the largest data bases in the country, almost all of whom are professionals or aspiring professionals, who have been personally interviewed, ID checked and vetted – to absolutely ensure that they are who they say they are. We also support the dating safety guidelines advocated by the Dating Agency Association.

Is that for you?   Well we’d love to put you in an informed position so that you could decide yourself. If you’d like to know about Searchmate and how we work, then why not call Julie, our Senior Membership Adviser/Dating Expert,  at our expense on 0800 644 4160 or complete out contact form by clicking here and we’ll call you back, usually within 24 working hours

We hope to hear from you soon.

Our Dating Safely Campaign Launch

Our Dating Safely Campaign Launch

Our Dating Safety Campaign Launch

Searchmate Ltd is delighted to support the Dating Agency Association’s Dating Safely Campaign launch, it is especially appropriate with today being St Valentine’s Day, which has been associated with love and romance now for many centuries. Finding new partners should be fun and part of an exciting journey that you take within your life, it is however important to take steps to ensure you stay safe, both your personal safety but also safety from scammers and online dating fraudsters. Searchmate announces our Dating Safely Campaign launch and fully supports the efforts that the Dating Agency Association have taken to highlight safer dating. Here is their press release:

Industry Body for UK Dating Agencies Announces Launch of National Dating Safely Campaign

Campaign Set to Save Lives Will ‘Go Live’ on 13th February 2017. 

13th February 2017 – The industry body for UK dating agencies, The Dating Agency Association, has announced that its national Dating Safely Campaign will go live on February 13th, 2017, providing free information to single people, and clear professional guidelines to dating agencies, in order to promote a cultural shift in the way we think about personal safety.

On the 15th January 2017, eighteen year old, Leonne Weeks – ‘a quiet girl, who wouldn’t hurt anybody’ – was found dead in an isolated pathway in Rotherham, South Yorks. Police are scouring social media for clues after friends said that Leanne had gone to meet a man from a dating site.  A teenage boy has been charged with her murder.

While Leonne’s devastated family await answers, this young woman’s death is a stark reminder of how meeting strangers online has become commonplace within our society.  Men and women of all ages are putting themselves at risk every day across the UK as a result of new and dangerous attitudes to dating.

In the tragic case of Usha Patel – a forty-four year old mother who was brutally murdered by a man she invited to her home – having connected via an online dating agency – Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said: “In my assessment, this case is a stark warning to anyone who plans to meet someone following limited internet contact.  That meeting must take place in a public place until one person feels they know something of the other.”

Usha Patel’s five-year-old son discovered his mother’s body the morning after the vicious and bloody attack, having been left alone with her overnight. Judge Rebecca Poulet concluded – “She (Patel) was clearly anxious to meet a new partner, but she paid for this invitation with her life.”

The Dating Agency Association has set out clear guidelines for both single people, and dating agencies across the country, to ensure that the very human desire to find love no longer leaves single people vulnerable to exploitation and violence.

Dating Expert and Self-Help author, Trelawney Kerrigan, has worked closely with The Dating Agency Association, safety professionals, UK charities, and a diverse group of single people, to devise a set of simple guidelines aimed at saving lives.  The Dating Safely Guidelines handbook can be downloaded free of charge via the Dating Agency Association website www.datingagencyassociation.org.uk

A hard copy of the handbook can also be requested via the website.

Trelawney Kerrigan said: “The frightening conclusion to my research is that the anonymity of dating apps and online sites has bought with it increasingly dangerous attitudes towards meeting complete strangers in isolated settings – blinded by the instant intimacy of online communication.  Importantly this is not a behaviour limited to young people: men and women of all ages are trading the basic safeguarding of their lives for instant gratification.”

Tina Wallace, the Chief Executive of the Dating Agency Association, is thrilled that all Dating Agency Association member agencies must now commit to implementing clear policies and procedures that promote a safe and transparent environment on behalf of their clients. Tina Wallace said:  “Our Dating Safely Guidelines handbook provides simple common sense advice to single people, ensuring that they consider their own well being and put personal safety first when seeking a relationship.