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Old 21-12-2009, 04:01
bunsen_honeydew
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Cocktails were part of the deal ever since the appearance of a glass of cider by the side of the pear crumble in show 1.
When has a glass of cider been a cocktail!
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Old 21-12-2009, 04:19
Pixie Cafe
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When has a glass of cider been a cocktail!
Drunk! and a few sips of scrumpy cocktail! and a few more sips!
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Old 21-12-2009, 07:49
Englishspinner
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When has a glass of cider been a cocktail!
When it has a slug of souffle mix in it.
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Old 21-12-2009, 07:56
Tommo781
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I am with the vast majority on this one, as my previous posts have shown. But one thing I don't remember seeing anywhere is if Sarah Willingham and David Moore have made any comment at all since this fiasco of a result. After all, they too are implicated as their money is being invested - although whether that is £1,000 or £100,000 who knows. I am no expert on blogs or Twitter. Have they posted anything at all, or are they too keeping a very low profile?
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Old 21-12-2009, 09:20
super-saint
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I am looking forward to this series being re-run on the Comedy Channel

The cooking equivalent of the Office.
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Old 21-12-2009, 09:22
Chubby
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I can't see why it would harm his businesses really. I seriously doubt that diners at Le Manoir give two shits about the fairness of some reality tv show.
Anyone watching it, would see RM spout every week about integrity and love of food. Then he flys in the face of all that, and opens a business with guys that couldn't follow a recipe and couldn't follow customer requirements (souffle / fresh from the veg).

For me, if I had a booking at one of his expensive restaurants - I would not want to share my hard earned money with someone who doesn't have the same integrity he requires in others. A 'hypocrite' if you like.

For me, the reason they never strayed from their 'concept' (if indeed cocktails were part of the concept) was because that was all they knew. They fell foul of the first requirement of a restuarant - having someone that can cook - and cocktails merely glossed over that fact, and I'm astonished that the trio of 'experts' allowed it to wash.

The change in format and the switch to sensationalising (cloning kitchen nightmares) has killed this programme off. My friend manages one of his brasseries, and they know that there was a original agreement to make four series, so expect either more of the same or a dramatic switch back to the beautifully shot - engrossing series previous to this shambles.
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Old 21-12-2009, 09:38
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The change in format and the switch to sensationalising (cloning kitchen nightmares) has killed this programme off. My friend manages one of his brasseries, and they know that there was a original agreement to make four series, so expect either more of the same or a dramatic switch back to the beautifully shot - engrossing series previous to this shambles.


Thinks.....fourth series cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances!
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:10
goddess_1
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It would be good if any of the people on the show joined up here to post, see what they think, probably as annoyed as us!
I am one of the contestants from this years show.

Your threads have kept me glued since the start of the show, and I must say how excellent they are -although in some cases quite insulting however I understand that is the nature of the beast and do not take any offence.

A special mention to Buck!

I have read with interest, the backlash caused by the decision of the final, and it appears the views of those visiting these boards are shared with every single member of the public who has approached me whilst out & about. The support we have had is fantastic and beyond what I ever thought possible.

There are restrictions in place that prevent me from saying too much, however watching the show back (we did not know how the show was going to be edited) it appears that there were different allowances made for different couples - this is not a secret and by simply watching the show you have come to your own conclusions as well.
This is my own opinion based on where we were at the time!

I am pleased JJ and James won, as we have now become great friends with them both. They are great business men and will no doubt make a profit from their concept, which with Raymonds help will really be a success.
We were with JJ and James, Raymond and David on Thursday night and I can confirm that Raymond did indeed write his blog, as well as take many pictures himself of the celebrations.
I do however wonder what Raymond meant by "fall at the final hurdle" as he has stated on his blog?

Based on the fact that the decision was made on a concept as opposed to the original format, I would have serious doubts about going through with it if I knew then what I know now - this was never what we applied for.
As some have said, this does resemble more of a "Dragons Den" approach instead of cooking/foh idea that has been the case for series 1 & 2.

I hope I have not come across as being bitter, as this is not the case. I am so glad of the experience and hope for better things to come from this in the future...

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this message board.
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:18
Buck Tarbrush
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I was going to save this until the final review but, seeing as everyone seems to be getting intio a right lather about the winners, I'll just butter my blini and see who bites:

For me the reason the series has been different is down to the BBC who have, for reasons we don't know but can guess at, have cut it off at the knees. So we only have half the episodes, no interactive web site, no tie-ins with other programs and a slightly different slant on the series. The producers have gone for a narrative - basically a drama series with the contestants as actors and manipulated the foorage they have shot to fit in with the 'storyline'. Thus we see precious little about running a restaurant (how and how not to, pitfalls, costings, staffing etc) and much more 'human interest'. And it WAS interesting, but also unsatisfying. A bit like a Summer House steak lollipop. If you remember the last series, one couple (Tim and Lindsie) were kicked out because they were running at 92% food costs and it was unsuitainable. Nothing like that was ever discussed.

Now I know the producers have to pull a TV series out of the footage somewhere and a little drama is expected, but their choice of contentants was the biggest failing. In the previous two series we have had a neat little formula:

3 comedy no-hoper couples, to play for laughs
3 determined but flawed couples to show how NOT to run a restaurant
3 worthy potential winners from which Raymond hews a champ

The trouble is that the winners have been worthy but dull and I wonder if the producers thought "let's play more on the Human Interest" angle and the result is what we see.

Raymond, Sarah and David have said that they have no control over the casting - why not? Did they not think that the producers might throw in some real rubbish and leave them with a bum's choice? If so then they need to get the stardust out of their eyes and take a good look at the contracts which presumably, stated that they had to produce 8 programmes and invest in ther winners whatever. There was a slight change of emphasis which we all missed at the start - the voice over does not say "open a restaurant with Raymond" but "a restaurant venture with Raymond"

So they were left with 9 couples, one of whom they had to choose to work with and invest in (Sarah talks about a 'six-figure sum') and I have no problem at all in them choosing JJ and James to do that. The problem is that the emphasis was never on business savvy, high-street sustainability and personality (although these were occasionally hinted at) but on a simple chef/FoH shoot out. Now, despite protestations to the contrary, Nathan and Chris were not suitable, the former's flaws meaning that David would have killed and eaten him within a week, in fact if anyone fitted the bill it was Stephen and Rebecca but I think their faces didn't fit and there was, quite honestly, no money to be made.

In the end I'm not scandalised or upset, and anyone who is planning to 'ruin' Raymond or is taking their anger out on le Manoir's bookings is (IMHO) going very much over the top. There were three sets of people with different emphases here: Raymond and co who wanted to make money and get their faces on TV, the producers who wanted some kind of Masterchef-meets-Benny Hill and us, the viewers, who wanted to see how one of the country's major restaurateurs takes a few rough diamonds and makes one into a gem. No wonder it didn't work as it did before.
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:33
BirthdayGirl
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I am one of the contestants from this years show.

Your threads have kept me glued since the start of the show, and I must say how excellent they are -although in some cases quite insulting however I understand that is the nature of the beast and do not take any offence.

A special mention to Buck!

I have read with interest, the backlash caused by the decision of the final, and it appears the views of those visiting these boards are shared with every single member of the public who has approached me whilst out & about. The support we have had is fantastic and beyond what I ever thought possible.

There are restrictions in place that prevent me from saying too much, however watching the show back (we did not know how the show was going to be edited) it appears that there were different allowances made for different couples - this is not a secret and by simply watching the show you have come to your own conclusions as well.
This is my own opinion based on where we were at the time!

I am pleased JJ and James won, as we have now become great friends with them both. They are great business men and will no doubt make a profit from their concept, which with Raymonds help will really be a success.
We were with JJ and James, Raymond and David on Thursday night and I can confirm that Raymond did indeed write his blog, as well as take many pictures himself of the celebrations.
I do however wonder what Raymond meant by "fall at the final hurdle" as he has stated on his blog?Based on the fact that the decision was made on a concept as opposed to the original format, I would have serious doubts about going through with it if I knew then what I know now - this was never what we applied for.
As some have said, this does resemble more of a "Dragons Den" approach instead of cooking/foh idea that has been the case for series 1 & 2.

I hope I have not come across as being bitter, as this is not the case. I am so glad of the experience and hope for better things to come from this in the future...

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this message board.
I take it from your comment that you're either Chris or Nathan.

Whoever you are I feel for you. No you dont sound bitter, just maybe a little more wise than you were before the show!

Well done if you are Chris and Nathan as I feel the viewing public were behind you 100% in the final.

If you're not Chris or Nathan, still well done for taking part and I hope this experience doesnt put you off opening your own restaurant.
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:41
goddess_1
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I take it from your comment that you're either Chris or Nathan.

Whoever you are I feel for you. No you dont sound bitter, just maybe a little more wise than you were before the show!

Well done if you are Chris and Nathan as I feel the viewing public were behind you 100% in the final.

If you're not Chris or Nathan, still well done for taking part and I hope this experience doesnt put you off opening your own restaurant.
Hi Birthday Girl
No, I am not Chris or Nathan! I don't think they visit these boards.
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:45
-meisje-
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Anyone watching it, would see RM spout every week about integrity and love of food. Then he flys in the face of all that, and opens a business with guys that couldn't follow a recipe and couldn't follow customer requirements (souffle / fresh from the veg).

For me, if I had a booking at one of his expensive restaurants - I would not want to share my hard earned money with someone who doesn't have the same integrity he requires in others. A 'hypocrite' if you like.

For me, the reason they never strayed from their 'concept' (if indeed cocktails were part of the concept) was because that was all they knew. They fell foul of the first requirement of a restuarant - having someone that can cook - and cocktails merely glossed over that fact, and I'm astonished that the trio of 'experts' allowed it to wash.

The change in format and the switch to sensationalising (cloning kitchen nightmares) has killed this programme off. My friend manages one of his brasseries, and they know that there was a original agreement to make four series, so expect either more of the same or a dramatic switch back to the beautifully shot - engrossing series previous to this shambles.
I take it from this that you didn't have a booking and RB has therefore lost nothing.

A couple I am friends with are completely addicted to Le Manoir and they couldn't care less about The Restaurant. It's just a silly tv show and no reflection on his restaurant whatsoever. I suspect a lot of his faithful customers would feel the same.

I do completely agree that the original format was far, far better. There was too much cringe-factor in this one and the food was not the focus. But I think that was set from the beginning when the contestants were asked to run a Pizza Express and a noodle bar. He was looking for a high street concept and that's what they got.
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:53
Straker
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I take it from this that you didn't have a booking and RB has therefore lost nothing.
Continuing to ignore the fact that others who have had bookings have stated theyíve cancelled and others have sworn never to eat there in the future. Why persist in pretending this has had zero effect on his business? Itís a PR disaster of EPIC proportions and yet you seem to think itís nothing. Great business sense you have.


For me the reason the series has been different is down to the BBC who have, for reasons we don't know but can guess at, have cut it off at the knees.
The fact thereís been no follow-up coverage following the final episode speaks VOLUMES to me. Compare and contrast with SCD for instance, or even the previous 2 years of this programme. The BBC know theyíve screwed up royally and are in damage limitation mode ie. pretend it didnít happen. Worst comes to the worst they can foist all responsibility onto Raymond and his two pliable partners.

There are some serious questions to be answered about using licence payerís money to publicise a business venture masquerading as a legit competition, stringing along viewers for 2 months and then thumbing his nose at us at the final hurdle. Weíve seen what people power can do with X Factor/Rage so while Iím not expecting Le Blankís business empire to declare bankruptcy in 2010 it is safe to say that this weekend he will have been feeling the heat from his asinine decision and will continue to do so for some time to come.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:01
BirthdayGirl
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Hi Birthday Girl
No, I am not Chris or Nathan! I don't think they visit these boards.
Oh ok. Can you not give us a clue?

Whoever you are I'm sure you will find that the public are behind you!
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:06
-meisje-
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Continuing to ignore the fact that others who have had bookings have stated theyíve cancelled and others have sworn never to eat there in the future. Why persist in pretending this has had zero effect on his business? Itís a PR disaster of EPIC proportions and yet you seem to think itís nothing. Great business sense you have.

If it is a "fact" then why have you failed to provide any evidence of it? The blogs you linked to made no mention of this at all

It won't be a fact until we see his revenue suffering.

I used to work in the restaurant business and have a fair idea of the impact of this sort of publicity and I can't see it causing any long-term damage, if any at all. Restaurants get damaged by people getting food poisoning or eating bad food / receiving poor service (and even then they can recover very quickly if it's handled right). Not stuff like this. All this is doing is keeping his name on people's lips.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:07
-meisje-
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Oh ok. Can you not give us a clue?

Whoever you are I'm sure you will find that the public are behind you!
Even if it's coco-nuts?!
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:09
BirthdayGirl
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Even if it's coco-nuts?!
Hmmmm I doubt if it IS one half of coco-nuts that they wouldnt admit it.....I wouldnt!
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:11
orangesmartie
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I think its Rebecca.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:13
-meisje-
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Hmmmm I doubt if it IS one half of coco-nuts that they wouldnt admit it.....I wouldnt!
Haha me neither!
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:16
BirthdayGirl
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Oh I hope it IS Rebecca..... I wanted her and Stephen to win all along. Thought they were lovely.

GRRRRRRRR I NEED to know! Its driving me nuts now!
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:18
-meisje-
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Oh I hope it IS Rebecca..... I wanted her and Stephen to win all along. Thought they were lovely.

GRRRRRRRR I NEED to know! Its driving me nuts now!
Yes, me too. I really liked them. I could see why he didn't pick them though - they did seem to struggle under the pressure a few too many times. They were probably the most likeable pair though.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:22
BirthdayGirl
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Yes, me too. I really liked them. I could see why he didn't pick them though - they did seem to struggle under the pressure a few too many times. They were probably the most likeable pair though.
I thought when Stephen had to do the public speaking, it was very unfair.

Why should chefs be able to handle a cooking demonstration with a huge crowd looking on? I know I couldnt have done that. Although he did well by going through with it.

Its a shame that RB used that as an excuse to get rid of them.

Oh and the plane cake was hilarious!
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:34
gamercraig
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I thought when Stephen had to do the public speaking, it was very unfair.

Why should chefs be able to handle a cooking demonstration with a huge crowd looking on? I know I couldnt have done that. Although he did well by going through with it.

Its a shame that RB used that as an excuse to get rid of them.

Oh and the plane cake was hilarious!
I found the cake task yet another daft one. There are businesses out there who design cakes for such an event and surely a restaurant would just buy one in. I can't see there is a professional cake designer in every restauarant.

And talking about Dragons Den - I can't see any of them taking kindly to being winked at, nor working with blaggers!
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:40
breppo
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If it is a "fact" then why have you failed to provide any evidence of it? The blogs you linked to made no mention of this at all

It won't be a fact until we see his revenue suffering.

I used to work in the restaurant business and have a fair idea of the impact of this sort of publicity and I can't see it causing any long-term damage, if any at all. Restaurants get damaged by people getting food poisoning or eating bad food / receiving poor service (and even then they can recover very quickly if it's handled right). Not stuff like this. All this is doing is keeping his name on people's lips.
Surely there will be an addition in next years Michelin Guide:
"Beware! Mr Blanc has made a disastrous decision in The Restaurant series 3. Take this into account if you're planning to dine at Le Manoir."

Can't see that happen and I think this whole sorry affair will not hurt mr Blanc and his various businesses.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:42
iris_de_baume
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In the end I'm not scandalised or upset, and anyone who is planning to 'ruin' Raymond or is taking their anger out on le Manoir's bookings is (IMHO) going very much over the top. There were three sets of people with different emphases here: Raymond and co who wanted to make money and get their faces on TV, the producers who wanted some kind of Masterchef-meets-Benny Hill and us, the viewers, who wanted to see how one of the country's major restaurateurs takes a few rough diamonds and makes one into a gem. No wonder it didn't work as it did before.
That's my take on it - I seem to be one of the few who actually preferred this series to the first two, once I "got" around Programme 3/4 that no one was getting evicted on the issue of culinary skills, and the tasks were blatantly set up for disasters and dramatic emotional meltdowns. I severely doubt that this was set up with the Winkers in mind - surely it would have been much easier to make them look less like the Chuckle brothers through the edit.

I'd only add that I've got more than a little suspicion that the final stages were produced with more than one eye on a "What happened next" follow-up series - from the reaction here it may have been a miscalculation, but I'll be watching if it emerges .

In particular the souffle gave us five minutes of brilliant RTV comedy - by the time Nathan's half of the table realised there was a party going on chez Lady Arran, I was in hysterics.

.... but surely a failed souffle is invariably a sagging sack or a beer mat ... what are the chances of it being the foundation for a riproaring cocktail.?

The most obvious answer to "Why the Winkers?" would be that strip away the pork pies and the served in picnic hampers nonsense, it's actually a half-decent idea. Aiming at the young fills a gap in the RB empire, Sarah comes from Planet Hollywood experience - I'd have thought if they can keep the prices high, serving cocktails matched with smallish platters of food would give a decent profit margin and a niche on the high street which was what the intro told us was the point every single week,
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