Keeping the Monday blues at bay is a whole lot easier now that First Dates Hotel is back on our screens!
Maître d’hôtel Fred Sirieix and his team have returned to work their matchmaking magic, once again leaving their London restaurant in favour of sunnier shores as they create the ultimate romantic ambience for single Brits.
Last year, the team set up shop at the picturesque Le Vieux Castillon hotel in the south of France, but this year they’ve gone for something a bit different.
Instead, they’ve packed up and headed into the heart of the Italian countryside, opting for the breathtaking Campania region which boasts a dramatic coastline, sweeping vineyard views and plenty of historical landmarks.
There, they’ve found the ultimate romantic retreat; the luxury four-star Aquapetra Resort & Spa , tucked away amongst the olive groves and lusciously green rolling hills.
Rooms start from £172 per night on TripAdvisor – and it’s no wonder that the crew chose this pretty resort as the filming location for the hit Channel 4 series.
The restored 18th century hamlet sits in the heart of sixty acres of beautiful gardens and olive groves, not to mention it’s a stone’s throw away from quaint Italian towns and plenty of vineyards.
There are just 41 rooms and suites so it’s quite a cosy hotel – ideal if you’re looking for a tranquil getaway with your other half.
The resort’s outdoor pool has been a key hotspot during the second series of the dating show, with contestants gathering around the poolside to sip on cocktails and speculate about who they think their dates will be, as well as having a catch-up with the others the morning after dinner.
Of course, First Dates is all about the romantic dinner – and Aquapetra has the ideal restaurant.
Its Michelin-starred La Locanda Del Borgo where chef Luciano Villani serves up a seriously tempting five-course menu for the couples to tuck into.
Starters range from Ricciola carpaccio, to epia crust scallops with marinaded cucumber and raspberry, before the ‘first course’ (not the mains) which include blue goat’s cheese risotto or pureed potato pasta.
Mains are equally gourmet; think dishes including sea bass, wild cockerel with a potato terrine, lamb with truffle and roasted turbot.
Desserts are filled with Italian classics such as tiramisu – and if they’re not too full, there’s also a cheese course on the menu.
Or of course, guests can opt for a tasting menu – they will just need to fork out €65 per person.
And what if the date doesn’t go well? The unlucky in love will still have quite the pampering session – the hotel boasts a spa, steam room and an indoor pool too.