No two families are alike, but the issues we all face can be. It’s how we deal with them that ITV have set out to document, with ‘Big Brother’-style cameras hooked up throughout the homes of four families from across the UK. The results are a lot like C4’s series ‘The Family’, allowing you to witness their highs and lows at an extremely personal level – we’re talking pants and tantrums here.
And we can relate to them, because they’ve been plucked from different ends of the spectrum: from the well-off Othen-Alexander family of ten in Kent, to the Buck-MacFarlanes in Lancashire, where mother Mel has to hold down four jobs to make ends meet. The characters are so charming and the stories so touching that you’ll laugh and cry along with them. In fact, if you’re the type who wells up at the John Lewis Christmas ad, you’d better prepare your heartstrings for a good tugging.
La Dame de Pic London
The first UK restaurant from French megachef Anne-Sophie Pic is located at the Four Seasons hotel in the City. That alone should tell you all you need to know. It’s ostentatious. It’s really frickin’ expensive. There’s foie gras and lobster on the menu and a fat book of a wine list. The room is palatial and the mirrored walls give the place a sprawling MC Escher vibe. Finding your way to the loo when smashed would be a nightmare. A starter of skinned little tomatoes in an intensely flavoured consommé was marvellous: sweet-savoury and almost cakey in taste. It came with a sublimely light burrata ice cream. A mouthful of both tomato and cheese concotions taken together screamed ‘ethereal pizza’. Deep green pasta parcels stuffed with air-light goat’s cheese were equally fab – not, thankfully, overpowered by the matcha-infused broth poured over them. It was all very clever stuff, as you’d expect for a mind-boggling £23 (the toms were only a quid less). If only the mains had been as good. The breast meat and a smoky side dish of grilled legs in a Brittany pigeon dish (£41, please) were excellent. But a tiny slab of foie gras needed proper searing and the promised coffee notes in the sauce were entirely absent. A cut of John Dory (£38, ta) was also cooked well, but it remains a boring fish. You can’t fault the skill displayed here. This was meticulous cooking, close to being great but just falling short on punchy, memorable flavours. And almost maniacally pricey, too: two starte
Venue says: “Join us for a Michelin starred lunch for only £29 for 2 courses or £39 for three courses - available Monday to Saturday 12pm-2.15pm”