December 27, 2014

Struth! Men on the menu

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says a Christmas present for someone who likes a good read is Men on the Menu – a hilarious, yet poignant, account of how an Australian woman in search of love travelled to 22 countries in 81 days to go on 75 blind dates.

Melbourne-based author Bambi Smyth lined-up half her dates through friends, friends of friends and business associates, and the other half "hanging around bars and by asking concierges in hotels if they knew anyone suitable." She even had some of her dates introduce her to other potentials.

Confessing to a broken relationship and midlife crisis, Bambi's dates ranged from an Italian prince to a Russian billionaire, restaurant waiters, a TV presenter, rock musicians, a surgeon, students, a nightclub owner, film director – and for good measure a Spanish gigolo, a Scottish piper who toured with Madonna, and a trainee priest at the Vatican.

Her 300-odd page tome describes in amusing detail every encounter, and how she always offered to pay for her own half of meals – although some dates graciously shouted her, while some others tried leaving her holding the whole bill… and how she squeezed out of those not going quite to plan.

And ranging from 21 to 61 years of age and as distant as Scotland, Brazil, Germany, Monaco, the United Arab Emirates and Japan, she shares how they equally ranged from "sleazy" to "heart-stoppingly gorgeous."

We won't spoil it by telling you the final outcome of Bambi's search for love… get the book and find out for yourself. (The Five Mile Press $32.95.)

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