Advent Calendar 2: Letters from the Ministry of Dating

On the second day of Christmas,
The Bakery gave to me:
A Ministry that operates entirely from a 10 Downing Street loo

The Bakery chefs’ hearts haven’t always been taken by Higmonsters, Gerzonators, Mrs Mill and so on. In fact, I remember a time when we used to laugh, cry and sometimes even sing songs about each other’s many trials and tribulations with the fairer sex… Alright, there was never any crying, but there were definitely plenty of laughs and there was at least one song!

Anyway, back in 2009 after having realised that I seemed to consistently end up with the kind of girls who can only be described as “mentalists”, I decided it might be interesting to get a second opinion from some of my fellow chefs before going on a date with a girl called Rosie. After all, if your friends are going to dislike the person you’re with, they might as well start disliking her from the very start.

At the time of the following exchange of emails and letters, I was also writing ideas for a TV series I still hope to film one day. The series was called “The Ministry of Dating” and takes place in a world where all relationships are arranged and regulated by a public office for an easier and more peaceful existence for all. The stats don’t lie, there is demonstrably less stress and less frustration which has lead to healthier lives, less violence, and yes, less crime. It sounds perfect on paper, however as with all forms of bureaucracy, mistakes are inexorable, and these lead to a rather wide array of comedic incidents.

Blah blah blah. None of the chefs I sent my email to were aware of this project at the time, but once again they proved that all you need to do is show them what kind of flour you’re using and they’ll come back to you with exactly the kind of buns you could use in your basket. (Note: the following correspondence has been put through the shop of photo for your visual pleasure but none of the text has been altered).


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  1. Gate this is a wonderful idea – i like the idea of the Ministry of Dating continually getting things wrong (like most Government institutions), and sending your perfect match letter 3 financial years late, when you don’t need it. Like tax refunds.

  2. If the ministry did indeed exist, I suspect Dan Fryer would be a long-term bachelor. I’m just not sure that his love of the ladies is stronger than his apathy for bureaucracy.

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