Last night Vida saved my life from a broken heart…

03 Oct
Vida leadership team

I’ve never needed an excuse to throw a party, so our fifth anniversary just had to be celebrated and with the day of our big party finally upon us, we all assembled for a debrief in the luxurious Library bar of The Devonshire Club. Looking around at my gorgeous colleagues Rachel, Leila, Annika, Mia, Jo and May, I do have a sneaking suspicion that we all work for Vida, not because we are about the most people-friendly women on the planet, but that we all have knock-me-down-and-bop-me-with-a-curling-tong good hair. Truly, anyone reading this who works for L’Oréal will know exactly what I mean when I say… ‘We’re worth it.’

Vida’s anniversary party was about celebrating with our Private Members. We take on about 100 a year and they are located in cosmopolitan hotspots such as London, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Monaco, New York and Miami, to name but a few. The international part of the business is largely built from referrals and trusted consultants all around the globe.

Rachel founded The Vida Consultancy five years ago. Her early career as a Chartered Business Psychologist put her in good stead to take responsibility over the love-lives of CEOs. Rachel didn’t reinvent the wheel but she did redesign it. Her desire to be the best of the best and have the highest success rate imaginable has turned Vida into Olympic-gold-medal-winning standard. In fact, we had our moment on the podium in May, when Vida was awarded “Matchmaking Agency of the Year” at the prestigious European Dating Awards. Rachel is honest, intelligent, direct, fair, fun, self-deprecating, caring, committed and …works like mule. Well we all do…though in my case it might be fairer to say that more often than not I’m hard at work in a cocktail drinking establishment. Slurp.


I chose the brand-new glamorous Mayfair-in-the-City members club The Devonshire Club for our party, because it’s fab and because Brian Clivaz and I go way back. When I opened my club Fabric back in 1997 we had our pre-party at his club Home House for our rock’n’roll glitterati and the Home House staff soon established their own guest list at Fabric. Last night the DJ saved my….say what?!

Brian kicked the evening off in his charismatic way, telling us about the features of the club. With a glint in his eye, he looked around the room at Vida’s matched couples (loving the cute couple with the baby bump) and also… dare I say… hot-looking single guests, and remarked that should anyone get sufficiently carried away on U’luvka’s perky and delicious vodka cocktails… “you’re most welcome to get a room… we have 68 of them!”.

Glamorous Aret who leads Devonshire Club membership took guests on tours throughout the night and anyone who uses the code Vida can apply for Founder membership and waive the joining fee. But hurry, the offer’s only on till the end of October.

Our luxury resort brand partner Karma Group were in the room, led by their Marketing Director, handsome 6’ 8” ex-England rugby player Simon Shaw who had both the men and the women in the palm of his hands.  Rugby players can do that. Karma have a Club with a range of different features costing a very agreeable £399.00 a year.  Even within the first year of membership, so I was reliably informed, club members can get some crazy-amazing deals.  And again, if we sign up with promo code VIDA we get the club membership free for the first year.  We also have a prize draw for a week’s holiday at their most glamorous £1000-a-night resort in Bali called Karma Kandara.  It’ll be open to Vida’s entire database throughout October, with the winner announced in November.  Good luck everyone!

After Brian’s chuckle-inducing speech, Rachel (all the while clutching her wine glass like a microphone) said a few words of thanks to her clients, staff, our hosts and brand partners and, endearingly, to those people who had supported her from the get-go, those people who encouraged her to create the brand we now know as Vida.

After the pay-attention-this-is-what-we’re-here-for stuff we all got serious about catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and floating in a U’luvka vodka haze. ‘Friendship, love and pleasure’ is the U’ mantra – which certainly mixes well with our conscious coupling brand!

Skipping off into the night, complete with Hotel Chocolat goodie bags, one has to wonder whether I have to wait another five years to hold a big milestone bash… sure I will find another excuse before then; I might give L’Oreal a call!

by Barbara Brudenell-Bruce


Barbara’s career has been defined by a series of successful, iconic start-ups within telecoms, entertainment and fashion; among them, the creation of a London club that defined a whole generation: Fabric. After its sale in 2003, she launched Spoylt on both sides of the Atlantic with a New York and London state of mind. It combined both a delectable collection of lingerie with an enviable list of A-list celebrity clientele. Her network boasts an impressive black book of entrepreneurs, celebrities and aristocrats. Barbara leads Investor Relations for a London-based consultancy, raising capital for entrepreneurs. Alongside financial matchmaking, she owns and runs Rendezvous – social events for +40s. Barbara’s innate sense of what it takes to fit people together, alongside an intuitive sense of compatibility, makes her a social anchor for all who know her.More by this author