Restaurant in Our Living Room



Voiceover: Robert Webb


Rain Media for Virgin1, 24 September to 12 November 2009 (8 episodes in 1 series)

for Living as Celebrity Restaurant in Our Living Room, 23 March 2010


With just three days to prepare, two couples go head-to-head as they both open so-called 'pop-up' restaurants in their own homes. Each couple is given a budget of £400 from which they must buy all the food and other supplies they need. However everything else about their evening is left entirely up to them. This means each couple must decide on what types of food to serve, the number of courses, the number of diners they intend to welcome, whether to have one sitting or two, and in some cases the theme. Once they have made their decisions, they meet with their opponents over dinner to reveal the specifics of their evening. This usually results in some surprised expressions when one couple employs the 'more is better' line of thinking, and reveals they expect to serve quite ridiculous numbers of guests or courses.

A good chunk of the remainder of the programme is given over to watching the preparation of food, with the inevitable frayed nerves, and burnt everything else, and subsequently the opening and running of the restaurants that evening. During their evening, the couples must keep the kitchen running, but also ensure front-of-house service to their guests is up to scratch too. They can call on friends and family members to help, however chaos usually ensures anyway. This part of the programme is interspersed with comments and reactions from the diners to the food they are being presented with, and the service they are receiving. Clearly it's not always complimentary.

At the end of the evening, as the diners leave, an honesty box is made available for them to pay what they feel their meal was worth. Although some do leave without paying anything (and then make a bad attempt at justifying it on camera), most enter into the spirit of the programme and leave something.

The next evening, the two competing couples meet again, and the total income from the honesty boxes for each couple is revealed. The couple who made the most money on their evening are the winners, and receive a luxury weekend break at a 5-star European hotel.


This show was quite heavily promoted with Virgin taking out advertising time on other channels (including the big ones, ITV and Channel 4) to make sure everybody knew about it.

Despite the programme not proving particularly popular with viewers, the format proved popular on the international market, being sold to networks in Canada, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.

When the programme was first announced, the prize was stated as being a trip to any restaurant of the winning couples choice, anywhere in the world.

The participants in the celebrity edition were reality TV veteran and journalist Vanessa Feltz and Blue singer Antony Costa. Feltz's evening brought in £1101.91 to Costa's £720.00. The winners takings were doubled to give a total of £2923.82 which was donated to Jo's Trust, a cervical cancer charity supported by the late Jade Goody.

See also

Instant Restaurant


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