Friday, 6 February 2009

The quest begins...

It is hard to decide exactly what you want from a restaurant when someone says they are going to help you get one.
We have always dreamed of what our restaurant would look like and where it would be but it has all just been daydreaming and now it is a real decision.
We have looked at so many very different restaurants that we have been around the country about 4 times and our poor, battered little Micra decided to shed its exhaust just for some piece and quiet.
Of course we want the premises to be lovely and we want a garden for guests to sit outside in the summer with a nice glass of wine and delicious summer lunch BUT first and foremost it has to work as a business so we need to make sure it is the right size, is in an area where people want to come and eat out and not too far away from civilization.

We found one that we couldn’t stop thinking about! A place that we walked in and it felt like home, it is in Surrey, but in typical Michele and Russell style it is a complex proposition! We don’t like to make things too easy for ourselves (perhaps this is why we decided to do a reality TV show to get help opening a restaurant rather than just ask a bank for some money – on second thoughts given the current climate maybe there is some sense there after all!) We have to first take Raymond Blanc to get his approval and then the financial deal needs to be done so we don’t know if we will be there yet.
We also stopped in on James and Ali’s old restaurant from the show (it is now called ‘The Hare and Hounds’) while we were out looking just to have a look around. It was great timing as we incidentally met up with one of the owners who offered us a lovely lunch; they had just changed their menu so they were trying it out on us and it really was nice. They have taken on a new chef who speaks with a strong Californian accent and has an American flag wrapped around his head like a bandana so as not to leave you in any doubt of his origins – he still cooks a mean English fish pie. If we can’t have the one in Surrey we would like to find somewhere just like that.
Then we looked around a pub restaurant near Oxford it is well out the way of any towns so you would have to drive there, it is a really lovely building and has a garden but we don’t like the fact that it is so far away from anything we always think ‘why would you drive when you can walk somewhere?’
You could help us out by letting us know what you think. Where would you like us to be and why? Where needs a good restaurant? What do you think about the places we have mentioned?
If you prefer to email rather than post on the blog contact us at and we will also add you to our address book to let you know what happens next.