If you want to meet the top of the tier, chat with stylish guests and mostly spot new targets, the parties of Marie Garreau are the place to go. In 10 years, her “Chérie Chéri” events have become the weekly rendezvous of a cool and trendy public to network, chat and flirt in the most glam’ spots of Paris from Castel to piscine Molitor. Result? Hundreds of couples were formed. This high end match maker, maestro in the art of public relations, shares with us her precious event to find the ideal partner.
How did you launch into the dating game?
Things happened a little by happenstance. I always enjoyed going out and meeting people. Over the years, I put together a very good address book. In 2007, I had an opportunity and I jumped on it. It was at an opening of an art gallery on rue Jacob. The owner wanted to transform the place, I suggested we create an event. I invited my network—all my friends. There were 250 guests, it was wild. The Maison Blanche restaurant called me three weeks later to put together an event—it was the 7th of July 2007— the first Chérie Chéri event. And it’s been going on for 10 years with events every Wednesday and every other Friday. In total, more than 30 000 persons participated. I spend 70% of my time working on public relations, I regularly send personalized SMS to my clients to keep a link.
What kind of persons does one meet at Chérie Chéri events?
The idea is to create professional, personal synergies and eventually more. You can meet people from the ad world, financiers, journalists, opinion leaders, bloggers and even a few celebs (James Blunt, Gaspard de Justice, and Jude Law, who came to Castel). The audience is very cosmopolitan, with Parisians as well as foreigners. And this little world mingles happily, such is the spirit of Chérie Chéri (CC): creating a privileged link that allows our chic and no complex clientele to feel at home in this gregarious ambiance.
How does one gain access?
Access takes place with a list and a password. To come, just send me a message by email or on my Facebook Chérie Chéri. Since the number of places is limited, better to let me know a little ahead of time.
The events take place all over Paris, but only in exclusive and atypical locations, in order to bring some novelty and allow our guests to discover new locations. It’s possible to kick up your heels at the Ritz and the following Wednesday to find yourself in a brand new address, nestled in an alley Porte de Versailles, or on the rooftop of Hotel Molitor. I like to surprise my guests. CC venues also take place in London, in NYC...
And did it lead to the creation of couples?
Hundreds. There was also a score of weddings and at least ten kids—including twins! People give me news on a regular basis.
So how does one dress to score at Chérie Chéri?
Forget trainers! Paris remains exacting in terms of dress code, so the dress code is fairly former. When you go out minimum, you dress up a minimum. For girls . I would say a dress or skirt—not necessarily black. It’s nice being able to show off your legs. And for men, no tie, much too uptight.
A good topic to start off a conversation?
You can always tell a little joke to make the ambiance more relaxed. And if you don’t feel sure of yourself: “Do you know Marie ?” or “You come often to Chérie Chéri”. This is what I hear most.
Keep a cool and natural attitude, dance and smile.
How does one recognize a looser?
So what’s a looser? I really don’t know any and certainly not through CC events! Clumbsy or shy types, maybe, but no losers. Mythomaniacs can be spotted in two seconds. You just need to keep your eyes peeled.
A place in Paris for a first date?
It’s important to adapt to the person you met. Everything depends on personalities. Try and find out a little bit more on the person, which shows you are interested. And depending you will find the right spot.
I like the idea of going for a drink in a upscale hotel with a nice wine list—Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme or the Ritz for example. Or dinner in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which always works. My favourite tables? Le Petit Littré (that’s the restaurant of my man), Boissonnerie and Aux Prés, the bistro of Cyril Lignac.
Who picks up the tab?
First let yourself be invited, especially if the other person has chosen the place. You will pay next time… if you want to see the person again! Generally, in two hours you have a pretty good idea. If you feel it’s a lost cause just send a text message, simple and polite. Honesty, always pays off, believe me ! After, you will feel as light as a feather.
Hopping in bed on the first night: yes or no?
It’s a question of feeling. I did it with the man of my life… My best advice on this point? Being yourself!
What do you think of dating apps?
I tried by curiosity when I was a bachelor, but I don’t have much experience. After 30 minutes on AdopteUnMec.com and one hour on Tinder, I realized that I knew one third of the guys on the app. They sometimes come to my events (and with reason). This said, it’s certainly a good way of meeting people. I am a firm believe in destiny and the right timing, whether it’s in the street, the metro, at a party, through an app—as long as it works.
The important thing is to always privilege the human factor. Don’t spend 10h behind your screens, try and hook up as quickly as possible. When face to face, the personality of people comes out. At least you won’t waste your time. When true love occurs, everything is fluid, you will feel it right away. And if you want advice, just consult!
Upcoming Chérie-Chéri evenings : Friday 14 April at the Piscine Molitor : 7:30pm – 2am, Wednesday 19 April at the Jardins du Pont Neuf : 19h30pm – 2:30am, Wednesday 26 April at Nuba: 7:30pm – 2am, Friday 28 April at Lagardère Paris Racing : 7:30pm – 2am.