Two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they can create a restaurant in their own homes for one night. Wartime rations go up against a menu at The Commonwealth Arms.
Browse content similar to Episode 20. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Two rival amateur cooks are converting their homes into instant restaurants.
Just beginning to feel a bit sort of...aggh!
-Disaster, isn't it?
-They have just one day...
Keep calm, carry on.
I'll be glad when this is over.
..and a budget of up to £200.
I'm quietly confident that everything will be on time.
I'm just feeling a little bit nervous.
Well, I'm feeling very nervous.
-Twenty strangers will be judging the results.
-That was a bone.
And it's up to the diners to decide how much or how little they will pay.
I didn't really get that you're at a banquet, you should just take little bits.
I just thought, "Oh, get stuck in," so did.
I'm glad that I didn't have to eat rationed food and that I'm born in the time that I'm born in.
So, can the cooks deliver the goods, and will either of them make a profit?
Hello and welcome to Instant Restaurant, the ultimate challenge for home cooks.
Now, opening a contemporary restaurant for one night only
is a mission in itself, but today's two rivals want to take their diners back in time.
So, will they have what it takes to make a historic profit?
Today, we're being evacuated to Kidderminster and wartime Britain more than 65 years ago.
This leafy haven is home to our first cook,
57-year-old Lynn Robinson, who just lives and breathes the '40s.
The theme is '40s wartime restaurant.
They'll experience '40s dress, '40s food,
and we'll also finish off the end of the night with '40s music.
Ah, so a song to combat the rationing, then.
It is fairly challenging, '40s food, because,
basically, you haven't got a great deal to play with.
Vegetables were the main thing, pulses next.
Of course, you did have rationing.
And there was no preservatives, so everything was cooked pretty fresh in those days.
In all, it was pretty healthy eating.
At this pebbledash semi in Bedford, Lynn's rival is going back
at least another three hundred years in time, to seventeenth-century England.
Sixty-year-old retired civil servant Perry Staker is a fanatical Civil War re-enactor
who doesn't just look the part but cooks it, too.
It's just tremendous fun, and since I've retired,
I've actually had the time to sit down with seventeenth-century cookery books
and work out the recipes, because quite often, you get "take a handful of this" or "some of that".
There's one recipe that says "take a pig, cut its head off".
Ooh! So are we going the whole hog tonight?
It's very much creating a seventeenth-century atmosphere, inasmuch as we can.
'We want to make people feel that perhaps they're travelling back in time a bit.'
I love this. I think it's really beautiful the way that works.
'I'd like them to feel it's an adventure,'
something slightly different.
Before we serve it, we will give them a health warning!
But this challenge is about so much more than just food.
With the assistance of two helpers, each cook must empty their front rooms
and create their own unique slice of history.
Getting the right period ambience is crucial.
Good first impressions could make the difference between a profit and a loss.
Wine glasses done!
Perry is going for authentic seventeenth-century communal dining at the home of helper Viv,
complete with regimental and the commonwealth flags.
My job for today is to greet our guests and perhaps give them an idea of some of the manners
without overloading them with information.
We're going to call it the Commonwealth Arms,
and the theme is mid-seventeenth-century dining,
the sort of dining that the gentry and the aristocracy would be experiencing
rather than the average person in the street.
Glad it's posh nosh, Perry. And for extra muscle, Perry's recruited Viv's husband, James.
Tonight, I've been helping with the cooking, but I'll also be helping with the serving,
because it comes in in procession and gets presented to the table.
Loving the look, James.
These breeches are an early form of breeches.
They're called petticoat breeches, and they've got seven metres of silk in the breeches. Just showing off.
And for her wartime restaurant, Lynn's got the flags out and bomb-proofed the windows.
On her wartime patrol is daughter Victoria, who'll be front of house.
I'm rubbish in the kitchen, but hopefully,
as long as everyone has their food before it goes cold,
and yeah, everything, hopefully, will be fine.
And helping her dig for victory in the kitchen, son-in-law Anthony.
It's all about timing.
It's all about timing!
Both cooks have been given an allowance of up to £200.
For her Civil War evening,
Perry's decided she needed £110,
so to break even, she must take £11 from each of her diners.
For her '40s experience, Lynn's staying in the '40s,
asking for a frugal £42,
so she needs just over £4 a head to make ends meet.
Each cook will be judged by ten strangers with just one thing in common...
Welcome, my lady. Welcome, my lord.
..an appetite for a good night out.
Table for two?
And if it tickles their fancy, they'll open their wallets.
If it doesn't, Perry and Lynn could be on rations for weeks to come.
So it's the battle of wartime Britain, the 1940s versus the Civil War.
Welcome to the Commonwealth Arms.
It's opening time at the Commonwealth Arms,
and Perry's guests are being transported back 350 years, to Cromwellian England.
You'll see that you have no forks on the table.
They were available but not commonly used.
It was seen as a very suspicious invention from over the water!
And with three prongs, the work of the devil, no less.
So these little angels will have to do battle with just knives and spoons.
The napkins which you see in front of you are worn over the left shoulder.
So when you use them, you wipe your hands on them, no problem.
If you look at the menus, you will see that there's a mix of sweet and savoury.
It will all come to the table at once.
This is common practice in the seventeenth century.
So I will leave you just for the moment and find the first remove.
"The first remove"? What's all that about? Well, I'm sure we'll find out.
When I walked in, the first thing I saw was the lady in full dress-up,
and I thought, "Ooh, fancy dress! Wish I'd dressed up!"
It was a bit strange at first, kind of wondering,
-because no-one really understands what seventeenth-century food is.
-Did they dress like that normally?
And do they dress like that normally? So.
When we first walked into the restaurant, it was sort of slightly unexpected.
It was a case of thinking, "Oh, crikey, what's going to happen now?"
Well, you'll know soon enough.
Which would you like? The rose. The rose.
Lynn's time travellers only have to step back 65 years.
Well, as you can see, ladies, with the taped-up windows, we are in the 1940s. The war is on.
But is it what this home guard was expecting?
Absolutely fabulous. Really gone to town, haven't they, with everything? It looks really good. Very authentic!
From outside, you could see the tape on the window, which you knew was going to be a blackout.
And then they've got the bulldog there with the helmet on, and that. So it's really nice.
I noticed all that on the windows.
We had to do that years ago, yeah.
I remember the war!
There you go, sweetheart.
Absolutely stunning. Gorgeous.
It's done out really nice, isn't it?
Fantastic! I wish I'd have wore a war dress!
I like the little touches here, the 1940s pictures and stuff.
-It looks good.
-You all drinking, girls?
'I wasn't impressed. I really wasn't looking forward to it.'
I thought we were going to be eating Spam and wearing tin helmets.
And I knew that there wasn't very much food available in the '40s, so I wasn't looking forward to it at all.
Where's your Dunkirk spirit, girls? And there's nothing wrong with Spam!
They were fighting fit in the '40s.
But the diners are intrigued with seventeenth-century England, aren't they? Now it's all about the food.
So, napkins on shoulders and over to Perry's for starters from 350 years ago.
For Perry's first remove - that's what they called starters in those days -
she's serving tortelletti of green peas,
a richly spiced mix of peas and cheese in pasta parcels,
and seethed mussels with parsley and vinegar, apparently a hot favourite with the Pilgrim Fathers.
The two that I chose for the starter are from original seventeenth-century recipes
and just to give a flavour of the things people would have been eating.
Well, this sounds fascinating, and I would like to try it myself.
Sounds like Lynn wouldn't mind being at Perry's.
Perry was hard at work on the tortelletti nice and early.
It's very much got its modern equivalent in filled pasta, like tortellini, ravioli.
Peas, chopped onion, Parmesan, cottage cheese and Cheddar
are mixed with sugar, cloves, nutmeg and pepper before being dropped into little rounds of pasta.
So they're like tiny little Cornish pasties or tortellini.
But it's not long before Perry thinks she's come unstuck.
I have grave doubts about the tortelletti,
which is not behaving itself as it ought to.
But the trouble is, they're sticking, and consequently they're beginning to...
Yeah, there's another one that looks like the fillings might come out.
I hope people like it. And if not,
well, I shall go and hide in a corner!
Oh, don't do that, Perry. Your diners will be here any minute.
It's looking OK.
I'm just worried about...
Erm, they're looking a little pale, but perhaps they haven't been very well recently.
Hmm. Wonder what your guests will make of them.
I'll just have to see how people take them.
So out go the tortelletti, along with the seethed mussels,
quickly cooked in water and red wine vinegar.
And there's also cheese and grapes and bread and butter.
Time for some formal introductions.
My name is Mistress Vivienne,
and working very hard...
..and making a brief appearance...
..is your head chef, Mistress Perry.
-..and our sous-chef,
What we've got here is a tortelletti of green peas, which is a sort of seventeenth-century equivalent
of filled pasta, and mussels that have been seethed with parsley and vinegar.
So if I were you, I'd get into them quickly, before they go completely cold.
And I hope you enjoy.
-Yep, that's it, napkins over shoulders and dive in.
It's lovely. Very nice.
And of course, if you can't reach anything...
one of the other things is you would say, "The dish of whatever looks particularly fine,"
and the person who could reach it for you would say,
"Yes, it is excellent - would you like to try some?" and hand it to you.
It is a very mannered time.
So, tell me, milords and ladies, is the fare particularly fine?
The food is delicious. Really, really nice. Very enjoyable.
It's a bit like the first time you use a pair of chopsticks.
There's going to be as much on the floor as there probably is in my mouth.
And a bit worried about wielding the knife about when you need to take things off the plates,
but we'll give it a go.
Pasta's not too bad.
It's interesting flavours.
Could've done with maybe a sauce or something, if I'm being really picky, but very edible.
God bless the seventeenth-century people.
'When the first remove came out, I had a bit of everything!'
Well, that is the idea.
I didn't really get the you're at a banquet, you should just take little bits.
I just thought, "Oh, get stuck in,"
so did. The thing that I liked the most was the tortellini-type thing,
which was kind of like a Chinese dumpling, like dim-sum type thing.
It seemed like how we would have actual tortellini, with the filling and pasta type stodge,
but it was really yum.
Mussels, always a big favourite with me, but a little bit dry.
I do like my moules mariniere, and having mussels on their own, dry,
it was very tasty, but I did find it a bit hard.
I couldn't have eaten a whole bowl to myself, much as I did attempt that.
Not really something that tickled my fancy.
I'm more of a meat person, so to have vegetables in pastry and some fish was not really my cup of tea.
Stick with it! I can't imagine Cromwell or the Cavaliers let their armies march on meat-free stomachs.
I think it seems to be going fairly all right.
I was pleased that Viv announced that they seemed to have eaten a lot of things.
I got stressed about the tortelletti, as they were sticking a bit,
but on top of that, they didn't look desperately appetising in the end, however much I tried
to sort of tart them up with, um...
I think you're being a bit hard on yourself, Perry.
So, what '40s treats are in store at Lynn's Brief Encounter?
Her opening salvo is a simple lentil soup
or chicken pate with a dash of sherry - strictly rationed, I hope -
served with angel toast, trimmed, thin slices of bread toasted in the oven until crisp and golden brown.
Everyone had soup as their staple diet in the war years,
and as I live in the country and keep chickens,
the pate was a perfect alternative.
Of the two, lentil soup I think I would go for.
I have to say, chicken pate is definitely living it up for 1940s.
Well, hop off, Perry.
She can't get rabbit, so a flutter for the chicken it is.
The diners should count their blessings,
because the frugal '40s didn't usually run to a choice of starters.
I'll make an exception tonight.
There's actually a choice of food.
But normally, when the restaurants opened, you had what they had for that day.
Mid-morning, and Lynn got cracking on the pate.
I'm just taking out any sinewy bits from the chicken livers.
I'll just fry these gently in butter till they just turn a nice, soft brown
and the pinkness has just gone.
Another little ingredient is a drop of sherry.
Just a drop, mind. Then a pinch of thyme and a whizz in the blender before chilling for six hours.
Next in the firing line, a wholesome lentil soup - lentils, carrots and onions
simmered in a vegetable stock for thirty minutes before being pureed.
Victoria's ready to fire off the orders.
-Four soups and two pates for table one.
That's right, Anthony, stand to!
Do you think three pieces will do? I mean, I've got plenty more.
-No, I think that's fine. It's a starter, yeah?
-Oh, it looks like loads to me, Lynn.
Crusty bread to go with the soup, which is on its way.
Good old-fashioned doorstep slices.
That'll fill 'em up!
It's always the same.
You always want what the other person's ordered.
< The pate's beautiful.
Well, the starters have gone out, and I'm pretty happy at the moment.
Well, let's hope the troops are as happy with their rations.
It's so nice. I'm really glad I chose it.
I had the starter of the chicken pate,
which is one of my favourite starters.
And with the angel toast, as well, as you can see, it's completely gone!
The lentil soup is absolutely beautiful.
It's thicker than I thought it would be.
It's almost like a broth.
But it's absolutely beautiful. It's delicious.
The soup's really nice. It tastes just like my grandma used to make it, so it's really nice.
-I'm really liking it.
These guys aren't so keen!
-A bit bland.
And it was quite watery, but generally it's quite nice.
I'm enjoying it, but, you know, it's not that flavoursome.
The pate's nice, but it's a bit dense.
And with the dry toast, as well, it's all a little bit too much for my mouth.
It could do with a bit of a chutney, but I guess they didn't have that during the war.
But maybe she should have chosen a post-war era, then we could've had some chutney!
Yes, but that's slightly missing the point of this evening.
-Oh, good, good, good!
We have a little bit of over in the one, but she said she didn't want to spoil her main.
-You take that back out...
-She said it's beautiful.
Keep an eye on her, Vic.
Mm, I should watch out for that duo of Spitfires, too.
Lynn's wartime austerity is getting mixed reviews, but soup as good as your nan's is high praise indeed.
And I think Perry's diners should loosen their belts.
"Less is more" was not part of the seventeenth-century food philosophy.
I wonder what she's got lined up for her next remove.
For Perry's second remove, there are no less than seven sweet and savoury dishes,
starring chicken with apricots, raisins and mace,
and beef hashed other ways,
beef braised in red wine with mace and cloves and fritters in the Italian fashion,
a mix of eggs, cheese, saffron and rose-water with yet more cloves and mace.
Seventeenth-century food, a lot of it's about conspicuous consumption,
showing off that you've got the money to afford the imported spices.
And a lot of dishes were a mix of sweet and savoury and highly spiced,
and I want to give people that opportunity to experience those flavours.
It sounds fascinating.
I wish we could've been side-by-side so I could try a little bit of hers and she could try a bit of mine.
I think Perry would love that idea.
Right, so at the moment I'm just preparing the meat for the beef hashed another way.
Cubes of braising steak were browned in butter before being simmered for two hours
with red wine, beef stock, cloves, mace and seasoning.
So for the roast chicken with raisins and mace,
I've already marinated the apricots that have been burping away gently in sherry all morning
since about seven o'clock in the morning.
So they should be fairly comfortable with life.
Chicken pieces were popped on top of the drunken apricots, onions and raisins
and then simmered for an hour and a half in sherry, white wine vinegar and ginger.
There was this mix of fruit and savoury with the meat,
things like mincemeat that we have mince pies at Christmas,
you'll find that originally the recipe had meat in it.
And there was nothing cavalier about 17th-century presentation.
The chicken is dressed with apricots and capers,
while the hashed beef is spruced up with what's known as sippets of toast with a garnish of orange.
And also for the troops' delectation, a palate-challenging sweet custard,
golden leeks and onions, a tart of creamed spinach, a tart of rice
and finally, fritters in the Italian style, all heavily spiced in a curious mix of sweet and savoury.
Right, we're almost ready to deliver.
Talking of more alcohol - can't wait.
Steady on, Perry.
Have I got a dish for the fritters in the Italian fashion?
We can get a dish for the fritters.
-And there's a salad too.
Traditional 17th-century again.
This would be a throw-away dish.
They were very suspicious of raw fruit and raw vegetables,
although this is completely edible, except for the rosemary. It's up to you.
And we have also here chicken with raisins and mace
and the beef hashed other ways.
I would warn you about the beef, there are whole cloves in it and blade mace,
so for heaven's sake, just pick out the cloves and spit them over your shoulder or something!
No over the shoulder! That's too much Hollywood.
-We'll just bring the side dishes in.
-And the side dishes to come.
The golden leeks are going out. That's the tart of spinach.
And onions, which have been cooked in saffron, that gives them the golden colour.
This is the tart of rice,
which is a sweet dish and conspicuous by the absence of pastry.
-Fritters in the Italian fashion...
-Fritters in the Italian fashion, yes.
-..which are breadcrumbs, spices and cheese mix.
This is a sweet custard.
Can I pass that over?
I was watching a programme about a Tudor feast at Christmas and someone described it beautifully I thought.
Whereas you normally have a menu to choose from, you've got a living menu.
You're not expected to eat everything
but the idea is you can see what's there and you can pick what you feel like.
Blimey, sounds like this could all be a bit of an acquired taste.
I do hope you enjoy it. Right.
Right, where do we start?
Will the diners be defeated?
There was enough to feed an army, the food just kept coming out.
I personally had the chicken and beef.
I preferred the beef, I thought it was very tender, very moist.
The chicken was a bit dry but, all in all, I thought very good.
A bit strange without forks, you get very used to using them but coping fairly well.
I've managed not to fill my lap so far.
I've come away with seeing that actually when you eat, you can mix your food up a little bit.
Don't stick to the norm. Just have what you want, when you want. Slap it on your plate and eat it.
Looks like Perry's got a convert.
I wonder how Lynn's battalion will shape up to her mains.
A wartime speciality, Walton pie, packed with loads of nutritious veg, topped with a savoury pastry...
..or lamb stew with dumplings.
Both these dishes are nutritious, very filling and very economical.
I've heard so much about Walton pie over the years,
I'd really love to try that.
I hope the diners are as enthusiastic, Perry.
I'm certainly intrigued.
I'm just preparing the pie topping for Walton pie
so it's quite a savoury pastry.
I've added dry mustard, salt and pepper
and grated cheese.
Walton pie was named after Lord Walton, who was the Minister of Food.
The vegetable water is going to make a little bit of stock to go over the vegetables in the pie.
I'll thicken it with a bit of cornflour and put some extra bouillon and seasoning.
The pie is packed full of veg -
cauliflower, carrots, parsnip, swede, potatoes and spring onion.
I did forget to put in the parsley, didn't I?
In the pastry.
So I'm hoping I can just add a little bit to it as I'm rolling.
For the stew, Lynn is using scrag end of lamb, a good old-fashioned cut.
It can be quite bony but the meat is very tender when you simmer it for a couple of hours.
It just drops off the bone.
It's a fiddly job. Lots of fat to get rid of.
I'll parboil it for one hour, let it cool a little, take off the rest of the fat
and then I'll add all the vegetables afterwards and then seasoning.
Then onions, potatoes, parsnips, swede, carrots
and lentils are added to bulk up the stew in true wartime fashion.
Very good actually. I'm pleased with it.
Very pleased with it.
Blimey, yet more hunks of bread.
-And there we go.
-It's looking good, it's looking good.
Yeah. We'll put the dumplings in each one first.
We'll make sure everybody gets some nice meat.
And just for good measure, there are dumplings with the stew too.
There you go.
It's like an original wartime main course.
For some diners, this could be a trip down memory lane. I hope it's a nice one.
That reminds me of when the war was on.
Hardly any meat, plenty of vegetables!
That's how stew tastes.
It reminded me so much of the stews that my dad made me when I was a little girl.
I used to come home from school and they'd be bubbling away in the saucepan on top of the cooker
and it tasted exactly the same as what I remembered. It was fabulous.
But what do the rookies make of it?
It's the vegetarian option.
I'm not a vegetarian but I thought I'd try it but it's nice.
Lots of vegetables, flavoursome.
I think the pastry might be a bit of a wartime touch.
A bit different to modern-day pastry.
I don't know what's in it but it's nice though. Very nice.
But what will our Spitfires unleash?
It is not the sort of thing I'd normally order if I went out
but it's quite nice, but I am a bit jealous of her pie.
I think I made the wrong choice there.
It's really flavourful.
There's a lot of vegetables in there and I like the vegetables.
And the dumplings are really good as well. Warm for the cold winter nights.
It's really tasty but I don't know, the lamb's really fatty.
Oh, well. You can't win 'em all, Lynn.
But she's got some reinforcements waiting in the wings.
Right, ladies and gentlemen. I've got a nice surprise for you.
We have singer Lola L'amour.
-Are you all having a nice time?
# Sing, sing, sing, sing Everybody start to sing
# La dee da, ho ho ho Now you're singing with a swing
# When the music goes around Everybody goes to town
# But there's something you should know
# Oh-ho, baby, oh-ho-ho! #
The singing was a really good touch.
It created a different kind of vibe.
# La dee da, ho ho ho Now you're singing with...
When the singer came on, I thought that made it. That was really good.
-She was brilliant.
-She was, but they could have warned us because she when she came out,
I was a little bit like, "What the hell is going on?" But she was really good.
-I thought she was fantastic.
-And she was gorgeous.
-A little bit awkward.
-It was a bit, there were only 10 of us.
It was like, should we clap, should we dance?
Don't know what to do.
# Sing, sing, sing, sing Everybody start to sing
# La dee da, ho ho ho
# Now you're singing with a swing! #
Thank you. Thank you very much. Enjoy your desserts.
Wow! Eat your heart out Vera Lynn.
Now, they may have enjoyed the entertainment but the diners didn't relish the rations.
And Perry's guests were hooked in by her feast but I'll be amazed if they have any room for puds.
For her third remove, Perry is offering no less than six dishes,
including pears in red wine with cinnamon and ginger,
based on a Tudor recipe from Hampton Court no less.
And almond tart with a rose-water sweet pastry.
The pudding course was a banqueting course and again, it's about conspicuous consumption.
The use of sugar, which was incredibly expensive,
it was the first time I had ever done the almond tart
but I thought I would give it a go and see how it goes.
This sounds as though they're from some posh restaurant in London.
Well, it was certainly posh in those days but I suppose you needed to build yourself up
for that Civil War musket-and-sword wielding.
Just peeling the pears before I start cooking them in the red wine, with ginger and cinnamon.
Once you've cooked the pears, so that they're soft,
you then boil down the... reduce the liquid
until it becomes syrupy.
You end up with a really, really nice sort of thick, syrupy sauce that goes over it.
-Next, Perry's first-time almond tart.
I'm just about to make the filling for the almond tart, which is caster sugar, four eggs,
and it's a case of beating the eggs and sugar together until it's creamy.
A slosh of rose-water. Whoops.
Rind of one lemon and nine ounces of ground almonds.
James, I don't suppose...
It's awfully heavy, I don't think I can manage this in one go. Thank you.
Step sharp, James, she must be exhausted.
I don't know how she's managing in all that hot clobber.
Almonds are popped on top of the sugar and rose-water mixture
before that tart is baked for half an hour.
A sweet almond tart.
And as if an almond tart and pears in red wine aren't enough,
there's also white gingerbread sheets, cinnamon and ginger marzipan squares brushed with rose-water,
stuffed apricots and dates, and boozy prunes.
Will the diners fall at the final hurdle?
Three-year-old prunes marinated in brandy.
Don't indulge if you're driving.
I do recommend them.
They're highly recommended.
Does anyone want this?
Or spoon it.
Almond tart, good. Very good.
Three-year-old prunes in brandy. Very, very good.
-How many have you had?
For dessert, I had some of the almond tart which was delicious
and I had some of the apricots with the mascarpone and almonds
and they were delicious as well, and I can't eat anything else.
The prunes in... Yeah, soaked in a lot of booze, they were good.
A nice end to the meal.
I decided to continue where I've been going the whole meal and had a bit of everything.
The pears in red wine were really good.
I'd never have thought of just drenching pears in red wine but it worked well.
The almond tart was delicious as well.
All in all, favourite course.
What has Lynn got in reserve to rival Perry?
Well, she's dishing up apple charlotte.
Or toffee apple pudding served with custard.
In the country, apples were free and I used custard powder,
as there wouldn't have been enough fresh eggs.
They both sound nice but I have to say,
"Toffee apple pudding, mmm! Can I have some now?"
No, you'll have to wait, Perry.
She hasn't even started them yet.
We're lucky enough that this restaurant has got some apple trees.
So, we're making the most of it.
In the wartime period, you cooked whatever you had to hand.
And how economical is this?
Apples, free from the orchard for both dishes.
Nothing like a bit of make do.
I'm preparing the apple... toffee apple puddings because they need to steam for a couple of hours.
Lynn greased the pudding bowls and patted on a dark brown sugar coating.
Coat them really well
and that will give you more sticky toffee when they're cooked.
After the bowls were chilled, she filled them with apples and topped them with a dough
of flour, salt, margarine and sugar.
Greaseproof paper was tied around the top...
Seems OK to me. Yep.
-..before steaming the puds for a couple of hours.
But there's a bit of a hitch.
-Just a little one.
-Just a little one. The water has run dry.
But it takes more than a pud disaster to faze a '40s girl.
I've still got one pudding on the go, so...
-Good wartime slogan, keep calm, carry on.
-Yes. Keep calm, carry on. Definitely.
Her second pud is the apple charlotte which is baked once her diners have arrived.
Waste not, want not, Lynn, crumbed the trimmings from the angel toast for the pate starter
and mixed it with sugar, cinnamon and margarine which was layered with sliced apples
before going in the oven for 45 minutes.
I'll put a sprinkling of cinnamon,
just to give it a bit of a. Mmm!
With one toffee apple pud down, Victoria's got to arm herself
with a bit of propaganda for the apple charlotte.
We had a little bit of a problem with the desserts
in that one of the toffee puddings, we've lost. It's gone down.
We've got one toffee pudding, which is a serving of six.
We need to ration this.
It's the war, we need to ration these six puddings fairly between the three tables.
-She was a fantastic host and the service was impeccable. Can't fault it.
-She looks fantastic and she's a really good host, isn't she?
-She was the highlight, to be honest.
Looks like Victoria has saved the day
and in the kitchen, there's a flurry of activity as the desserts are plated up.
Anthony, are we ready with that custard?
It's hard to say.
Looks like Anthony has got the powered custard done and dusted.
That's good custard. It's good custard.
And out they go.
And there you is your custard.
-Is it nice?
-It is nice, yeah.
What will the diners make of this brace of wartime classics?
-I like it. Just eat the topping bit.
I had the toffee apple pudding. It was absolutely excellent, really was nice and tasty.
The custard was excellent as well.
It was a bit bland, to be honest.
I've eaten it but I probably wouldn't ask for it again.
This apple charlotte is absolutely gorgeous. It's very filling, though, it's quite big.
Apple charlotte, it was very nice but so filling, isn't it?
It's like going to your friend's house and not enjoying their parents' food
and then being asked to pay for it.
Oh, dear! They'd have been grateful for it in the war.
I'd pay for the singer. I'd pay for the singer to come back any day, wouldn't you?
Well, Lynn and Perry have pulled out all the stops but have they done enough to make a profit?
Their fate is now entirely in the hands of the diners
who will decide how much or how little they want to pay.
Neither of our cooks has any idea of how much that might be.
Perry spent £110
on her Civil War banquet
so for her to have any booty from the battle,
she must take more than £11 a head from each of her diners.
But what did they make of their experience?
That's if they can speak after all that food.
I thought that was an excellent meal. Gone to a lot of effort, lovely people. A fantastic banquet.
It was thoroughly enjoyable, great company, good food.
Food was OK, it wasn't the best food I've ever eaten but they made up for it with the service and hospitality.
I had a brilliant evening. Thought it was a great experience.
Something I'll never do again and ate everything.
A toast. A toast to our guests, who made the evening very enjoyable.
-To you as well.
Lynn spent £42
on her wartime experience.
So, if she's to emerge victorious, she needs just over £4 a head.
But were enough of her diners appreciative of the frugal '40s, especially the younger ones?
I wasn't over-impressed with the food but, you know, it was reasonable
and mainly towards the service and the whole atmosphere because it was a different thing to do.
I did enjoy the evening and the service was really brilliant.
The ambience and the singer was fantastic.
The waitresses were lovely. I had a nice evening on that behalf.
The food wasn't my cup of tea but the whole evening was fantastic.
I'd definitely go to this restaurant again.
I've really enjoyed it and I'd do it again.
The food was lovely, brought back many memories for me.
Would I do it all again? Yes.
-Definitely, yeah. As long as I've got my helper.
Well, you know...
Lynn, Perry, what an incredible night you gave your diners.
Not only fabulous food but a real step back in time.
-How was it for you, Perry?
-It was great.
Quite a challenge. It was great fun. I really enjoyed it.
You said it was challenging. What was the most challenging thing?
I don't know, really.
It was all sort of...
it was trying to make sure that people had a good time.
Yes, it sort of all worked and the best bit of the day was taking my shoes off.
That end-of-the-day feeling. And, Lynn, how was it for you?
Quite pleasant and a lovely experience actually.
I really enjoyed it.
I wasn't at all nervous. I did think, "Will I get the timing right?"
Hopefully, I think I did all right, actually.
Certainly, the older people loved the food.
-Everybody loved the experience but some of the young people said
they were quite glad they didn't have to eat such bland food from the '40s.
My food is quite basic, as it was in the '40s.
Our tastes have changed now to what we did then.
But it proves the point, though, that you can eat healthily, fill yourselves up quite cheaply really.
Actually, a lot of what was going on in the '40s is very fashionable now.
We're getting back to home cooking and home-grown food. It's very relevant.
I think it's time for both of you to find out whether you made a profit or not.
-I'd forgotten that bit.
-How lovely! Well, let's have a look anyway.
-OK, Perry, you spent £110 and your diners donated £214...
which means you made a profit of £104.
-That cash is for you.
-Don't spend it on sugar, either.
-No, no, no.
Lynn. Wow, Lynn, you did the '40s proud.
You spent just £42.
And your diners donated £160, which means you made a profit of £118.
Thank you. That's amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Thank you both very much and thank you for watching
and I will see you next time on Instant Restaurant.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Nadia Sawalha presents as two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they've got what it takes to create a restaurant in their own homes for one night only - and make a profit. Instant Restaurant takes a step back in time. Lynn Robinson lives and breathes the Forties but can her wartime rations reap a profit? And how will Perry Staker's diners take to the menu at The Commonwealth Arms where they get a taste of 17th century England?