If a TV Producer asked you to share your search for romance with a few million viewers what would you say? It would be fair to have a few reservations but when Countrywise asked Amy Stevenson to go public about her online dating life she viewed it as just another adventure.
“It was so random. I’d had a profile on Kissing Gates – an online dating site for country singles – for a while and thought maybe I’d get a date, or two from it. It was a bit of fun, I never imagined I’d end up on prime time.”
Amy lives and works in Sandbanks, the well-healed peninsula of Poole Harbour, Dorset. Renowned as being home to the UK’s most expensive property outside of London, as featured in our post Super-rich and Homeless, Sandbanks is a mecca for wealth and glitz. Along with her very glamorous mother, Stephanie, Amy runs a highly successful boutique salon HNB in Canford Cliffs – it’s all rather swanky, the doorman will valet park your car and nails are painted in liquid gold – well, not quite but you get the picture. A Made in Chelsea sort of place for stressed tresses to be primped and preened.
Having achieved all this by the age of 28 it’s no wonder Amy was un-phased by Countrywise’s intentions to explore the love life of country singles using her as their rather attractive guinea pig.
So what of her date? And how did someone like Amy, with such high datability cred, end up on Kissing Gates? Amy laughs:
“It’s not all glitzy and I don’t have much time to socialise. After a day spent making other people feel glamorous – which I love – I go home put on my Dubarrys and go riding. I have a 16”1 Freisan/Gelderland and, at heart I’m a country girl. So of course I want to meet someone who likes the same things as me.”
Still, when Ben Fogle asked Amy, on camera what she was looking for in her ideal man she says she was too nervous to get it right:
“I said I wanted someone 6ft tall, good looking with strong morals – but that’s not it at all! I’m really after a country-loving, family man. I was just completely flustered at being on camera, but at least I got the bit in about good morals – my Mum was pleased.”
When Harry, Amy’s date, also sourced through Kissing Gates, arrived on set he ticked at least a few of those boxes.
Harry lives in the idyllic rural setting of Lincs, where with his family he runs a number of farming related businesses, including a farm shop, a bistro and an ingenious allotment scheme called I-Grow for city dwellers that want to garden remotely. Each I-Grow allotmenteer is allocated a patch of land and given the choice of what they’d like to grow; leeks, squash, peas, beans, carrots, you name it Harry and his team will plant it up, weed and nurture it, then harvest your crops and send them to you wherever you live.
So even the most hardened urbanite can taste the difference of homegrown veg. See what I mean ingenious, taking the organic veg box to its logical, highly personalized conclusion?
On the face of it, it looks like Kissing Gates have cracked the matchmaking game. Two highly motivated, entrepreneurial types – country lovers, who both work in family businesses, Harry even ticks the tall, dark, good looking boxes.
Could this be a match made in heaven?
Is this the stuff dreams are made of?
Will love bloom as they picnic in the lee of the ripening harvest?
We really can’t say. You’ll have to watch for yourselves. ITV1, Monday 23rd September at 8pm
Know of any romantics who like to live vicariously? Please like and share.