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Inside Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell's 'Affectionate' First Post-'Bachelor' Date

by Jackie Willis 12:10 PM PDT, March 17, 2016
Playing Inside Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell's 'Affectionate' First Post-'Bachelor' Date

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell's first public date as an engaged couple looked just as romantic as their excursions on The Bachelor.

"FIRST DATE 🙌🏼 many more to come ❤️," Bushnell, 25, Instagrammed on Wednesday night. The bride-to-be flashed her huge, $100,000 Neil Lane ring in the photo, and Higgins made sure his MudLove Get Hope bracelet was also featured.

FIRST DATE 🙌🏼 many more to come ❤️

A photo posted by Lauren Bushnell (@lauren_bushnell) on

The Bachelor couple chose the French and Italian bistro, Landmarc, in New York City's Columbus Circle for their first date, and owner Marc Murphy, who is also a judge on Chopped, told The Insider that the two looked "very much in love" while dining at a "little private table in the corner."

"They seemed to be quite affectionate. They seemed to like each other. That's a good thing," Murphy recalled. "They just went through a long process finding out who they were going to be with and it seems to be working so far. It looked like they were very happy together."

We are so tired!! Such a fun day. Thanks for all the LOVE!!! ❤️😍

A photo posted by Lauren Bushnell (@lauren_bushnell) on

Of course, the date included champagne, a little red wine and candlelight, in addition to a delicious multi-course meal. "They ordered, to start, a roast pepper soup and a chopped salad," Murphy noted. "Afterwards, they had the lamb chops, which they kept raving about."

WATCH: Bachelor Winner Lauren Bushnell Says She Already Has Fiance Ben Higgins 'Trained,' But Does Have One Complaint

For dessert, Murphy sent over five mini treats that included cotton candy. He says the couple didn't leave until around 11 p.m.

Higgins, 27, told ET on Tuesday that he was excited to "show off" Bushnell, and that he did! The couple happily posed for a few pics with other restaurant patrons and fans during their night out. "When they left, it was very funny. There was probably about 30 young ladies outside waiting for them to take pictures and they were really really gracious with everybody," Murphy said. "I heard from one of the little teenagers ...she said she was in her pajamas and got dressed and came over here to see if she could see her come out of the restaurant."

Excuse me Ben, can I steal you for a minute?

A photo posted by @jackiecheri9 on

Group Date goals. 🌹 #sobs

A photo posted by Abby 🎀 DePhillips (@abbydephilips) on

The restaurateur added that Higgins and Bushnell appeared "pretty comfortable with each other."

"They seemed very in love," he observed. "They were extremely nice and down-to-earth people."

EXCLUSIVE: 'Bachelor' Ben Higgins Says He Put His Fiancée 'Through Hell and Back' in Finale!

Higgins was certainly head over heels for his fiancee when speaking to ET. "She's a beautiful person who I can't wait to share my life with and show people that I'm sharing my life with her," he gushed. "I think that's the part that I am most excited for."

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