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Allium on Holiday!


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:biggrin: Just thought that I would let you all know that we are having a holiday over here at Allium. We will be closed for approx. 5 weeks from 16th April onwards.

We are able to do this as we have rented the restaurant out to the BBC for filming their new reality series fronted by Raymond Blanc. The restaurant will be renamed and run under somene else for that time- don't know what style etc yet, but should be interesting to be able to go out for dinner in my own place for the first time ever!! (not far to go as we live above!!)

For more information about the TV series www.bbc.co.uk/restaurant

Will probably post an update when we know what style of restaurant is coming in, and as its pot luck, with contestants drawing out of a hat for the locations, could be interesting!! :blink:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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OOOOOHHH Nice Touch!

enjoy the rest, i'm sure they will look after it well, sleep well! :biggrin:

Thanks! First real holiday in 6 years, so I think sleep wil be what I'm (mainly) doing.... oh yes and producing the latest baby Graham!!!! :laugh:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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It sounds like it could be a tricky choice: book to visit early when it is bound to be terrible, or book for later when it could be excellent but will probably have closed.

Do you know, is it the sort of reality program which is broadcast semi-live or several months later (i.e. is the TV coverage going to have an immediate impact or are most of the customers not even going to realise it is being done for a TV program)? I'm guessing the latter since it doesn't have the viewer voting element that has got so much publicity recently :blink:

In case it isn't obvious, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to go along and tell whoever it is that they aren't a patch on the 'previous' people. :smile:

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Thanks Duncan!!

The program will be broadcast in September!

Let me know when you book in- I'll troll along for a look see!!

I can't imagine what they are going to do to the place- they get free reign to decorate as they please!!

Oh yes, and no viewer voting, the contestants will visited by two professional industry inspectors, and the decision as to who gets booted off will be made by them and RB.

9 couples, the winner wins a restaurant with RB.

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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wow, great opportunity to put your feet up, good one. Why don't you see if you can book a big table for egulleteers one night?

The egullet events policy might make that tricky, also Allium isn't in London so that tends to dissuade a lot (not all) of the people from this forum. Joining the Peoples Front of Judea might help with the former, but you still have the latter problem.

Besides, I expect that unlike with Allium the odds are very much against the temporary place being worth a long journey. I do hope though that I'm proved wrong on that count.

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As a veteran of many a film shoot I should warn you to go nowhere near during the filming. They will be doing unspeakable things to the place, cheerfully knocking holes through walls to pass cables, trampling the flower beds underfoot, even resiting windows and doors. Whatever is needed. They will of course put it all back straight, but I've seen grown men weep when making an ill-advised visit to their property while it is being used as a location.

Take plenty of reference pictures now, in case you need them later

S

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As a veteran of many a film shoot I should warn you to go nowhere near during the filming.

Hmm.. we live above!!! But to be honest, they do have a list of things we absolutey ban them from doing (painting on slate floors, over cotswold stone etc) and as we are a listed building I'm hoping that it will give us protection!

However, as the time off is my maternity leave, I'm just going to walk past taking deep breaths muttering some sort of calming chant or other that I'm supposed to be learning at various rediculous classes!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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As a veteran of many a film shoot I should warn you to go nowhere near during the filming. They will be doing unspeakable things to the place, cheerfully knocking holes through walls to pass cables,  trampling the flower beds underfoot, even resiting windows and doors. Whatever is needed. They will of course put it all back straight, but I've seen grown men weep when making an ill-advised visit to their property while it is being used as a location.

Take plenty of reference pictures now, in case you need them later

S

I'd second Sunbeams caution, make sure you are very clear early on about what they can and can't do, as in my experience directors tend to have a rather cavalier attitude towards people and their pride and joys. I wouldn't let them into my flat again, even though the money was good. :shock:

I

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Just make sure to pack all those cool kitchen gadgets well out of the way. And if you need any help clearing that cheese trolley before they arrive...  :wink:

Don't worry, the pacojet, vac pac and waterbaths etc will all have been whisked away- I'll let you know if we need any help with the cheese!!!!!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, we handed over to the BBC today- so they are now in the process of stripping out the restaurant so that the incumbants get a completely plain canvass when they walk in!!

They are even removing all of the light fittings etc!, Painters and decorators next!!

We still haven't met the couple, so can't tell you what sort of food they will be cooking, but the "opening night" will be Saturday 5th May for paying guests- and yep, I will be there- I'm too nosey to sit upstairs and listen to the people coming and going without being able to see it all!

If anyone does want to book, you need to email alexandra.cooke@bbc.co.uk ot telephone (01285) 712658 the week of 5th May. As far as I know, bookings will be take on a week by week basis, or walk ins.

I'll keep you all posted as to any developements!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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I think that it is based on it, from what I remember, but there is no phone voting involved!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, the opening night is tomorrow night!!

The name is "The Ostrich" and its Anglo American theme, fun and lively!!

If anyone out there wants to book, please DONT phone our number (its getting annoying) their number is (01285) 712658. But don't forget that you will be on camera the whole time you are in the restaurant. I can't go unfortunately as I'm on strict bed rest before our new arrival.

I'd love to hear a report though!!

(I've signed a non-disclosure document so can't give you the inside track I'm afraid, but its going to be great TV!!)

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Well, the opening night is tomorrow night!!

The name is "The Ostrich" and its Anglo American theme, fun and lively!!

I wonder in that case if they chose Fairford because of the air base? Do you get a lot of Americans in Allium normally or do they tend to keep to themselves?

If that is their thinking then it sounds a high risk strategy.

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There is a pub not far from me (Christmas common, Oxfordshire) called the Fox and Hounds that is ghoing to be part of this programme, we were asked but the owners declined!! :blink: Will be interesting to see what happens there.

The quest for perfection will lead you to role models that will last you for life (Nico Ladenis)

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I wonder in that case if they chose Fairford because of the air base? Do you get a lot of Americans in Allium normally or do they tend to keep to themselves?

If that is their thinking then it sounds a high risk strategy.

No, they only found out about the US base a couple of days ago! The theme is due to one of the couple coming from Florida. They are very sweet, but very young.

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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I wished we had been asked! all i get is the annual "Do you want to appear on the next series of Kitchen Nightmares"  ie are you shit?

I got so sick of this annual letter that I phoned them up and gave them a load of abuse, and haven't heard from them since!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Well, the opening night is tomorrow night!!

The name is "The Ostrich" and its Anglo American theme, fun and lively!!

If anyone out there wants to book, please DONT phone our number (its getting annoying) their number is (01285) 712658. But don't forget that you will be on camera the whole time you are in the restaurant. I can't go unfortunately as I'm on strict bed rest before our new arrival.

I'd love to hear a report though!!

(I've signed a non-disclosure document so can't give you the inside track I'm afraid, but its going to be great TV!!)

For better or worse I think we may have booked for Friday evening. I'm not sure though because the person I talked to on the phone Saturday afternoon said that the 'owners' weren't around but would call back shortly to confirm the booking and I'm still waiting. I guess I may have wait until Thursday now to find out.

I wished we had been asked! all i get is the annual "Do you want to appear on the next series of Kitchen Nightmares"  ie are you shit?

I think you would have to move nearer us to have been asked (not that I'd have any complaints). If I remember correctly Erica said that all the restaurants are within about an hour of Oxford.

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For better or worse I think we may have booked for Friday evening. I'm not sure though because the person I talked to on the phone Saturday afternoon said that the 'owners' weren't around but would call back shortly to confirm the booking and I'm still waiting. I guess I may have wait until Thursday now to find out.

Friday evening was the Ostrich's second night, and there were definite signs that they were trying to make it up as they went along. Jacky (not sure of the spelling) phoned me twice on Friday, once to confirm that they were still open, and again to say she had forgotten to mention there would be a live Jazz band. I don't know when they had thought that idea up, but evidently they hadn't managed to discuss it with the production team as the band were only allowed to play for a short period in the middle evening while (I think) the film crew took a break. The other side effect of the film crew is that the spotlights on the ceiling mean this is one restaurant where you can be guaranteed more than enough light to see the food.

The other last minute innovation (and one which I think was more successful than the jazz band) were some cocktails listed as specials on the blackboard so I had a Sassy Ostrich (rum, malibu, grenadine and lemonade) and Judy had a Key West Sunset (vodka, triple sec, and orange juice).

I won't go into too much detail on the food. It was mostly edible, but took a long time to arrive. A group at the next table (who had also been in on the opening night!) said that it was a distinct improvement over Saturday evening in that at least everyone got served.

They filmed us during starter and mains to ask us how it was, and again as dessert was served (and I have a horrible suspicion they were busy filming in the kitchen as our dessert was being prepared). Anyway, it's the first time a waitress has told us before serving the dessert that it is being comp'ed because it has gone wrong (but then served it anyway). We struggled through about half of each of our key lime pies: Judy came up with 'gloopy' as her description during the interview section, but apart from the texture the big problem was a complete lack of any lime flavour.

I think the message that comes through loud and clear both from last night and from other reality shows such as Masterchef is that amateur cooks, who may be perfectly able to produce good food just get thrown totally when put in a commercial kitchen trying to produce a string of dishes on a tight timescale.

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