Following on from the popularity of Channel Four’s First Dates, which is set in the swanky Paternoster Chop House Restaurant, near St.Paul’s Cathedral in Central London, the spin-off series First Dates Hotel, has just completed the run of its first series.
This programme takes lovelorn singletons from the UK, and flies them to a four-star luxury residence in Provence, South of France, wines and dines them with a paired date, and they can then enjoy a further day together – but only if both of them are keen to meet up again.
The programme is not only entertaining viewing to see which (if any) of the potential love-matches are overcome by amore, but it is also a great showcase for the stunning historical hotel that the daters are lucky enough to stay in, and the picturesque wine-growing rural idyll that the hotel is set in.
If you’ve fallen in love with the location, you can actually stay there for yourself, as it is open to the public. The hotel boasts a spa, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a golf course and the romantic restaurant. It is called Le Vieux Castillon , and a standard class room costs between £98.52 – £257 at the current exchange rate. So whilst you probably won’t be able to enjoy the bonhomie of Maitre D’ Fred whilst you’re there, you will be able to relax in beautiful and historic surroundings, without the TV cameras following your every move!
If you’re looking for love, and you quite fancy a free mini-break abroad, the show is currently looking for people to apply to appear in a new series, which you can do here.
We’re big fans of the show, and love the premise of a show chock-full of holiday romance, so here is our affectionate look at the ingredients which are part of the success of First Dates Hotel:
- Maitre D’ Fred, resplendent in his skimpy swimwear, putting the male daters to shame, by diving effortlessly and invitingly into the glistening blue pool
- Merlin the barman, knocking up something potent and interesting-looking with his cocktail shaker, to calm the dater’s nerves, incorporating either candy-floss, dry ice, glitter or a magic wand…
- A nervous and dangerously overheating dater, ends up misusing their beautifully-starched napkin as a towel to mop the sweat dripping from their sun-burned brow
- Whereas late middle-aged women seem to get more fussy about their date as they get older, the opposite seems to be true of men – who seem quite content with a friendly smile and a pulse!
- A charmingly eccentric elderly couple completely hit it off, and head into the sunset planning a joint cruise holiday and a theatre jaunt
- The waiting staff voyeuristically spy round the door, on couples getting close, by (or in) the pool (a bit like us watching on TV I suppose…)
- The ultimate cringe moment when someone who’s completely fallen for their date, hears that they don’t want to see them again, and has to bite their lip, hold back the tears – and completely style it out…
- Incredibly sterling work by the show’s researchers who manage to dig out amazingly obscure and random obsessions that both daters have in common, such as a shared love of an iconic 80’s children’s TV show, or an insatiable love of gherkins!
Sun+ French food + French Wine = Hopefully, romance!!!
You can follow the show’s official Twitter feed @FirstDates