TV star to open Lincoln tea rooms

Former First Dates contestant Des Davis may have failed to find love on the Channel 4 reality show – but today he has a new passion in his life, a business called Margaret’s Tea Rooms.

Des, who is originally from Lincoln, went on the show with high hopes of finding the perfect partner. Now six months after returning to Lincoln from Manchester he is ploughing his energies into a new enterprise, named after his late mum.

Lincoln-based Chartered Surveyor Banks Long & Co has let premises in St Martin’s Square, off the city’s upper High Street to Des – who is busy putting the finishing touches to his new venture, ready for opening tomorrow. (March 3).

“I recently returned to Lincoln, to be near family, after working in Manchester for the past 19 years in areas including retail management and the hotel and catering industries,” said Des, who has four brothers.

“Since being a little boy I had always said to my mum that I wanted to take her to a posh place for tea. Now I want to create that experience for other people. I started to think about finding the right spot about nine months ago.”

Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Des, since he came back to Lincoln after leaving his last job in Manchester, where he was working as a personal shopper in Selfridges.

Late last year, he went to meet a guy in the First Dates’ restaurant in an experience dubbed “one of the biggest car crash encounters” seen on the show.

Now things are looking-up again and Des believes his mum would be very proud of his new venture.

“I felt that the St Martin’s Square premises would be perfect for what I wanted to do. The Tea Room is just off the main High Street, but also almost in its own little neighbourhood,” said Des.

“That’s the ambience I wanted to achieve. I want it to be a place where friends can meet regularly and also pop in to celebrate special occasions. It’s all about the customer experience for me.”

Des has completely transformed the premises, and it now has a new identity and his personal stamp all over it.

“I am planning to serve breakfasts, light lunches and afternoon teas and am putting a big emphasis on homemade cakes and dishes. I have even created my own signature tea – Scotch Mist – which is a nod to my Mum, who was originally from Scotland.

Des is keen to be “the face” of Margaret’s Tea Room, but his niece will be working with him, and he also hopes to employ a couple more people.

Banks Long & Co Surveyor Harriet Hatcher said: “We are happy to have let the St Martin’s Square premises to Des. This is a lovely location, which has the potential to attract people who regularly walk through the Square to get to other parts of the city. I’m sure the Tea Rooms will be far more successful than his First Date.”