We caught up with Hayley Bystram, founder of Bowes-Lyon Partnership, an elite matchmaking agency that works with ambitious, educated, cash-rich, time-poor professionals to help them find long-lasting and meaningful relationships. Since founding the company in 2009, Hayley has helped hundreds of clients – from successful entrepreneurs in their 30s to FTSE CEOs in their 70s – to discreetly find love.
My car of choice
I drive a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Living in Surrey, on the borders of London, it’s a great country-to-city transition car. I can also pile my three children into it with ease, although they are banned from getting in it for at least a week after it is valeted!
My favourite holiday destination
I love the blue waters surrounding the Balearic Islands and we visit as a family at least once a year, frequenting different resorts in Ibiza and Mallorca. I enjoy the relaxed ambience of the islands and the gloriously fresh seafood in the local restaurants. The close proximity is also a draw. You can leave the UK in the morning, and be drinking rosé on a sun-drenched terrace by lunchtime. With recent travel restrictions, I’ve revisited some UK destinations and the Limewood Hotel and Herb House Spa, in the New Forest, is a great respite to the challenges of this year.
My gadget I can’t live without
Predictably my iPhone 11pro. I’m embarrassed to say it’s practically stapled to my palm. It allows me to manage my work demands on the go. I was gifted some AirPods, which I find have really enhanced my lifestyle and ability to multitask. I listen to podcasts and business books on my walks, and they provided great escapism in the dentist’s chair recently.
My go to fashion brand
My work week can be varied; meetings in London, working in our London or Surrey office, meeting a client at their house, or doing the school run, so my wardrobe needs to be smart but functional. My go-to brands are Sandro and The Kooples for the working week and Paige denim and Sezane knitwear for the weekend.
My airline of choice
I can never find fault with British Airways. The whole experience of flying with them seems smoother and more enjoyable than any other airline. Their branding and marketing are iconic and something I’ve grown up with and it feels comforting to be in their hands.
My favourite watch brand
I had to go and remind myself what is in my jewellery box, after wearing a FitBit for most of lockdown in an effort to remain healthy! During the day, I wear a Tag Heuer diamond-enriched Aquaracer, which is the perfect combination of chunkiness and femininity, and for evenings a Cartier Tank Française is a great accompaniment with jewellery.
My favourite restaurant
We are spoilt with an abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants in Surrey and they are a favoured haunt for a special occasion. My recent favourite venue is Sorrel in Dorking, with a delicious tasting menu and wine accompaniment. My favourite cuisine is Japanese, and I must indulge at least weekly.
My guilty pleasure
Between managing a business and family, I have very little time for myself, so my guilty pleasure is ‘me-time’. I have some favourite therapists on speed dial who come to my home for facial, massage and beauty treatments. A little bit of indulgence and a couple of hours of peace and quiet is like a re-set for me!
My favourite way to give back
Through my work, which is constantly rewarding for myself and for our members. We have the privilege of changing our clients’ lives by introducing them to their perfect partner. Over the years we have numerous long-term relationships, marriages and even babies to our company name. I’m also a strong advocate for women in business and speak at events and conferences to encourage and promote female entrepreneurship. From a philanthropic perspective I have donated to Great Ormond Street for many years, having been under their care as a young child.