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I Went On A Date With "First Dates" Maître D' Fred And This Is What I Learned

Table manners matter, guys.

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As all First Dates fans will know, Fred is the maître d' at the First Dates restaurant. We headed to the All Bar One on Picton Place to find out if he really is as wise, romantic, and sultry as he seems on TV.

1. What would you recommend people open their date with?

I don't think you should be worried about the first thing you say. You should just take it as it comes and go with the flow. Wear your smile very up high, look people in the eye, and just be there, be there with them. I think it'll come naturally. Say "Hello, how are you? My name is..." and just go from there.


2. What if you're super nervous before your date?

Maybe acknowledge the fact that you are nervous and realise that this is just who you are. Tell your date: "Look, I'm a bit nervous about this, I'm just quite nervous when it comes to dating in general," and take it as it comes and that's it. People will appreciate your honesty and your ability to have the courage to go beyond and confront your fears.

3. If money's a bit tight, what else would you recommend as a good first-date place?

If you're in London you can go and walk along the Thames and you can stop for a coffee – everyone can afford a coffee – and you can sit on the bench and listen to the people playing music or look at the lights in St. Paul's. You don't need to spend a lot of money.

4. Do you have any flirting tips?

I don't think people should be worried about flirting tips. If you look people in the eyes, if you smile, if you are you and just confident about being you, then that's a flirting tip in itself.

5. Do you think table manners matter?

Yes, of course. You've got to have good table manners. Pick up your cutlery, pay attention to how you're drinking and the way you cut your meat – you don't want to have food everywhere. Table manners are important. It's basic education, isn't it?


6. What about drinking on a first date? Is it a good idea?

I think it's a good idea to have a drink, a bit of Dutch courage. A drink will loosen your mind, it makes you more relaxed, but getting drunk to the point of passing out, lying under the table, or your date having to call the ambulance is not good.

7. What if your date is a total chatterbox and won't let you get a word in?

Well, then you've got to consider whether this is material for a second date.

8. Is there a signature dish that's perfect for a first date?

Maybe some sharing plates, some tapas, because it gets you to eat together and share your plate so it's quite intimate. It's fun. You can talk about the same thing about the dish and the menu, so that's quite a good topic.

9. And lastly, when the bill comes at the end, is it important to offer to pay?

I don't think that men should be expected to pay. I think it should be 50/50 and you have a conversation and you decide what happens, but I think it's wrong to assume the man would pay automatically. I mean, it's 2016, come on!