Being in an environment where I can watch TV, I have tuned in to one particular channel and watched 2 series of programmes, one involving four couples each owning B&B establishments and staying in each others, and the other about five individuals (strangers) who take it in turns to cook for each other for a £1000 prize.
Taking the B&B programme first, sadly I missed the couple I came to hate for their constant criticism and pernickety-ness , and I would love to have seen their business premises and standards in full.
Having once wanted to run a B&B (see Camping Chronicles, especially 6 and 7), Hubby and I got plenty of ideas about customer comfort and expectations from the various places we’ve stayed in over the years.
We accepted that nobody was perfect, but this couple went to extremes, complaining about a single hair left on the shower door, and in one instance purchasing cleaning materials (and then leaving them in plain view!) to clean the bathroom which they described as ‘disgusting’ (a few hairs in the plug hole).
Don’t get me wrong, dirty sinks, toilets and bathrooms are a definite No-No at any time, but a single hair? Please.
Charges for B&B per night were £75, £85, £150, and £88.
The couples were asked to pay what they thought fair for their one night stay and value for money. There was also a short questionnaire about their Hosts welcome, cleanliness of room, comfort, breakfast, and would they come again. Comment boxes were also provided.
From what I saw, all four B&B rooms were lovely and totally different, but as to the cost per night, hell, way beyond our purse, no matter how fancy the breakfast, yet these professionals thought nothing of it.
The £150 a night actually provided a hamper of fresh eggs, bread, milk etc the following morning for you to cook your own. I thought that was a bit of a cheek, even if they did advertise the fact as part of their package.
Sadly, Mr and Mrs Critical won the competition, even though they had been caught out with mold on a mattress, though they emphatically denied it was actual mold.
Going on to the food programme now, what a mixed bunch of individuals, three men and two women ranging in age from twenties to late forties.
My favourite was William but he didn’t win.
Neither did ‘Mr I-Know-It-All-About-Wine -and-I’m-going-to-win’ thank goodness.
He came across as a conceited idiot, totally OTT, and an attention seeker who got on my nerves (and the other contestants as it happened).
The menus were interesting in contrast, content, and taste, each person inviting the others to their home and cooking a three course meal for the group.
There were fishcakes, prawns, mashed potatoes, stuffed tomatoes and spring rolls for starters, three variants on lamb, a vegetarian lasagne and curry for main courses, and desserts of chocolate mousse, a fruit tart, twin rice and custard, some form of trifle and a chocolate nutty cream pie that went disastrously wrong.
Watching these people prepare meals was ‘enlightening’, two hadn’t thought to practice their menus first, and judging from the looks on their guests faces, ‘It’s lovely’ was a downright lie!
Needless to say, I won’t be looking on the programmes’s website for the recipes used.
Somehow though I don’t think any of my ‘leftover’ dishes would appeal, and as for my microwave stodge with its instant custard, nah.