Everyone loves a bit of Fred Sirieix, don’t they? Those ice blue eyes and that soft French accent have earned the First Dates host a legion of fans – with many middle-aged mums among them – who have followed him on his road trips with Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo, and now on his gastrotours around the world’s most Remarkable Places to Eat.
The title is a bit rubbish, we admit, but luckily the show is as delicious and delectable as the food on display. As per usual when in the company of Fred, this is top tier comfort viewing, every episode full to the brim with smiles and laughter. We watch on as Fred meets up with famous TV chefs like Nadiya Hussain, Michel Roux Jr and Angela Hartnett, taking a trip with them to check out their favourite restaurants in the world, exploring what makes them so wonderful and having a nosey in the kitchen.
In season one, we journey from Venice’s seafood heaven, Osteria alle Testiere, to eating wagyu beef in Edinburgh’s The Kitchin, then on to Paris’s oldest restaurant before stopping in San Sebastian. Each place we visit is a food lover’s paradise, and if you’re planning a trip to any of these destinations, we recommend watching with a pen and paper to take notes. But even if you’re staying at home this year, in some ways watching this feels a bit like a holiday in itself – it has that cosy quality to it that instantly puts you at ease, washing all stress from your mind and instead focusing all your attention on Fred and his guest chef, who looks as comfortable in his company as we are.
The reviews for Remarkable Places to Eat were full of praise, The Telegraph’s Michael Hogan calling it a “holiday for the senses,” though he does complain that it “felt overstretched at an hour, becoming repetitive,” but admits “it all floated past handsomely…. This might have been a glorified jolly but it was, well, a jolly one.” And The Guardian’s Joel Golby agrees, calling it “a balm, basically,” saying “what should be quite a repetitive programme sings with colour and life: oftentimes, it’s a bit like stumbling into a gallery opening when everyone there is four wines deep, glamorously agreeing with each other, no horror on the horizon, only food and glory and the joy of being alive.” Carol Midgley in The Times adds, that “in an age when we are stuffed to the gills with dull food programmes, here were lovely footage and valuable tips to find untouristy, high-quality restaurants.” What more could you want from your travel telly?
First shown July 2019. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.