Channel 4 and Twenty Twenty Productions have announced that the city of Bath will serve as the new filming location for the renowned First Dates restaurant, which is set to become the focal point of the BAFTA-winning dating series, known for igniting romance.
Returning with a fresh series after a decade of matchmaking on screen, maître d’ Fred Sirieix and his team of cupids will eagerly anticipate sparks flying between a new group of blind daters when filming commences this summer at The Botanist bar and restaurant in Bath.
Having recently been voted the UK’s most romantic city and consistently topping the charts as the country’s most beautiful urban area, Bath is renowned for its charming period architecture, the historical Roman baths, and its association with the celebrated author Jane Austen. The Botanist restaurant is situated within the Grade II listed Octagon Chapel, constructed in 1766 and known to have been visited by Austen.
The new location is not the only change in store for the series. Alongside an impressive new restaurant setting, the tenth anniversary season will introduce new cast members, a refreshed format, and some of the most unforgettable dating moments the show has ever featured.
As the perfect new home for the UK’s most romantic television show, this move aligns with Twenty Twenty’s ongoing commitment to the UK regions. A significant number of the production team will be based at the company’s new regional hub in Bristol. The Bristol offices will house the First Dates casting team, as well as members of the story and editing teams. Additionally, two trainees from the local area will participate in various training schemes. For Channel 4, this step signifies their dedication to expanding beyond London and supporting the growing number of productions in Bristol.
Previously filmed in restaurant locations in London and Manchester, First Dates has become one of the most cherished and highly viewed series in the UK since its debut in 2013. The program has garnered numerous awards and nominations and has inspired local adaptations in over 20 territories worldwide. Over the years, maître d’ Fred Sirieix and his team have successfully matched countless couples, resulting in numerous engagements, marriages, and even a baby. The show’s popularity led to the launch of a spin-off called First Dates Hotel in 2017, where daters embarked on journeys to luxurious hotels in France and Italy in search of their soulmates.
Fred Sirieix said: “Making this new series feels special, celebrating a decade of bringing people together on the show, but there’s always more love to be found. They say Bath is the most romantic City in the UK and its true, so what better place to set the scene for romance to blossom than there!”
James O’Reilly, Creative Director at Twenty Twenty, said: “We can’t wait for the new First Dates restaurant to open its doors to singletons looking for love in beautiful Bath. It’s Britain’s most romantic city and promises to be the perfect backdrop to our 10th Anniversary season – which will also have a new look and some exciting twists to go with our brand-new location. As well as being the ideal place for our couples to fall for one another, Bath is right on the doorstep of our home in Bristol, and reflects Twenty Twenty’s commitment to producing programming here in the south-west; we want to do all we can to nurture talent in the region and help the industry grow on our home turf.”
Rita Daniels, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor, said: “After 10 years of love stories, I’m thrilled that First Dates has the stunning and romantic city of Bath as its brand new location. I’m in no doubt that this special place will mesmerise and enthral all our daters which in turn will ensure they have special evening full of romance.”