When First Dates swooned onto our screens in 2013, audiences were captivated by maître d’ Fred’s suave suits and heart-melting opinions on love. With his team of restaurant staff; CiCi, Laura, Sam, and bartender, Merlin, they have been serving mouth-watering dishes and
romantic advice to those on blind dates for four years now.
This year though, the staff packed their bags and flew to the sunny south of France. Moving from a central London restaurant, to Province, the staff currently occupy a four-star luxury hotel. A 13th-century building overlooking a picturesque valley in the Castillon-du-Gard village, with hot sunny climates (and the occasional thunder storm), the venue is the perfect metaphor for love.
Location aside, there are new staff too. Receptionist Julia, and wine-expert Xavier, assemble with Fred’s old cupids to assist hopeful singletons in finding a holiday romance.
Just like First Dates, the couple will first lock eyes in the hotel’s restaurant for a delicious meal, and awkward conversation. If love seems on the cards, they will then stay overnight in the hotel and go on a second date the following day. Second dates on the show have included thus far; a romantic bike ride, a trip to the local village market, and even a champagne picnic with life drawing. Yet for those unlucky singletons who do not fall for one another, sadly, they are sent home straightaway, with not even a quick dip in the pool to cool down from the scorching burns of their failed date.
With all expenses paid for, it is no surprise that applicants for the show have swarmed in. All ages are welcome; from nineteen-year-olds searching for their first holiday romance, to sixty-year-olds who are looking to add that next chapter of love to their life – all are welcome to stay at the First Dates Hotel.
If you have been captivated by the thought of an all-inclusive romantic rendezvous, unfortunately applications are currently closed. However, the hotel still operates all year round, with an average night setting you back between £98-£257 a night, if you are able to save a few pennies from your student loan.
Whilst we wait for applications to re-open, we continue to entertain ourselves by watching hopeful lovers sweat under the steamy pressures of the First Dates Hotel in hope that they find their perfect match.
You can catch First Dates Hotel on Monday’s at 9pm, Channel 4.