Okay, so like I said, I’ve been rewatching The Restaurant.
I freely admit to being obsessed with the show. At the time, friends and I would merrily chat away about it in the office, or pub, or over dinner. Months later, we might still pass a little time by trying to list all the establishments across the three series (“The Treacle Well, Sorbet and Seasons … Nel’s”). Years on, though, I’m still devoted.
Why? Those first two runs were beautifully made, ambitiously staged productions. The third, less so. Plus, there was something satisfying about the scheduling (a ‘regular’ episode followed the next day by ‘The Challenge’ – a real treat) and the fact the couples featured in the programme were mostly likeable.1 The drama didn’t lie in skewering people (although, see footnote). It was in the rigors of running an actual restaurant in a competition overseen with smiles and benevolence by Raymond Blanc.
And then there was the title sequence. Series one’s is replete with pleasing, resonant soundbites: “To start a business with someone you don’t bloody know – it’s a bit daunting!”… “They really, really have to sort that kitchen out”… “Where’s 6, guys? Come on!”… “If I feel I’m having to fight you as well!”/”You’re being so stubborn”.
I’m up to episode four at the moment. I’d say to this point it’s all been about Sam and Jacqui and their ambition to mash “hospitality and humour” at The Ostrich. I’d love to know where their story went after this. She, the likeable but wired American front-of-house, he, the pouting jazz drummer, forever going AWOL from the kitchen and messing about with those sodding drums.
I’ve condensed their time in the show into a little under three minutes. I think it gets all the salient points.
Love the “Woo” at 1 min 41 secs.
- Chris and Jade, excepted, perhaps – when their restaurant is closed in episode two, the show very deliberately and brutally makes time to point out that, as Laura says, there isn’t anything about them anyone will miss. ↩