Series 1 - Episode 1: Alexandra's

Episode 1: Alexandra's

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Fernando Peire has advised many of London’s most exclusive establishments, but can his high standards and legendary attention to detail work in local restaurants? For Fernando, owning a restaurant is not just about delivering good food; eating should be a spiritual experience as well as a culinary one. He wonders what the customers say about his first assignment - Alexandra's, a 23-year-old Italian family business in Ramsgate - so he checks it out on the internet. The results are not encouraging.

Travelling incognito to Ramsgate, Fernando is pleasantly surprised. A new fast rail link is bringing in London custom and the seaside town is picturesque. Owned by mum Maria and son John, the restaurant in need of rescue has a harbourside location with a terrific view. But inside is a very different scene.

As the family blames the recession for their lack of customers, Fernando takes Maria around Ramsgate, talking to other restaurateurs and customers. He also makes the family imagine they are new customers: what would they change about their restaurant? Then comes his bombshell: a restaurant relaunch in two weeks’ time. The clock is ticking, so Fernando decides the first thing he must tackle is all the memorabilia and clutter, some of which is 25 years old.

As the relaunch night approaches, Fernando talks to influential local hoteliers and restaurant critics, and redoubles his efforts to convince Maria to put the customers first. Will he ever persuade her to get rid of her beloved salad bar? Will the 50 VIP guests like the new-look restaurant? Will Luciano’s new menu be a success? Will he be able to cope with the onrush of customers? And, most important of all, will the customers be impressed?

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Comments (50)

  • Diego

    over 1 year ago

    Diego

    I meet Luciano about 35 years ago at Villa Dei Cesari Restaurant in London. We became great friends and work together for few years. In 1984 i opened my own Italian restaurant in Tunbridge Wells -La Fontana in Church Road- and few months late he opened his own place in Ramsgate, until he move to Alexandra´s in 1987. All this years, life make us apart, and to have no conexion at all. From Barcelona, i send him aal my best wishes.

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  • Richard Shortland

    almost 2 years ago

    Richard Shortland

    I have eaten here a couple of times over the years and found the found to be bland and tasteless and the decor dated and tacky to say the least. Having lived in the town for 17 years I cannot believe that the place is still open.

  • Mort666

    2 years ago

    Mort666

    It was good to see the Russell Hotel!

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  • Luciano Valeri

    over 2 years ago

    Luciano Valeri

    Hi, I'm very disappointed with Channel Five, why our episode is not on Demand 5? Is this some kind of descrimination because you have all the other episodes of The Restaurant Inspector on Demand 5 exept Alexandra's. Come on Channel Five be fair and make the best number one episode "Alexandra" available to the viewers.

  • Lois

    over 2 years ago

    Lois

    I saw this on a British Airways flight from London yesteday. But, darn it all, the pilot switched the program off betore I could see it all. Can someone plesae tell me how it ended? It stopped after he took them on a tour of the nearby restaurants then advised them of changes they should make. Did they follow his advice? If yes, what did they do? Did it help? Sure wish I could watch the show, but I am in Dallas, Texas and we don't get the show. :-(

  • Amy&Family.

    over 2 years ago

    Amy&Family.

    Me and my family went to Alexandra's a few weeks ago and it was lovely there! It had such character and a great atmosphere! Shows there keeping up the good work and we would deficiently come back for another meal!:)

  • Steve

    almost 3 years ago

    Steve

    I've been to that restaurant a few times XD

  • susan

    almost 3 years ago

    susan

    Maria is highly strung, annoying and didn't deserve the help she got. How do they put up with her behaviour? I feel sorry for her husband and son.

  • brian dee paulbr

    almost 3 years ago

    brian dee paulbr

    dont bother with this.it just pauses all the time.so annoying;;;

  • Eudu

    almost 3 years ago

    Eudu

    We've been to the restaurant a couple of times and we did enjoy the food. It's decoration is still pretty kitsch and the food is very authentic. The building itself if beautiful and we do hope that the owners have a fantastic business.

  • Bob

    almost 3 years ago

    Bob

    There *is* an English flag. My apologies.

  • Bob

    almost 3 years ago

    Bob

    Peire states he's seen an "English" flag. Where? All I can see is a Spanish flag, what looks like a Croatian flag and the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. No English flag. English people, please educate yourselves. Oh, and what exactly was it that Maria modelled? Broomsticks?

  • Uma

    almost 3 years ago

    Uma

    What? Who wrote these comments? You had to warm to him? She was the one who rudely said "I don't like you". Good thing he stayed calm as she was soooo difficult! Something made her think she was doing him a favour. Quite the contrary! Reminded me very much of an Italian restaurant in my neighbourhood, and helped me realise why their service is so bad, that I'm staying as far away from them as possible.

  • Matt

    almost 3 years ago

    Matt

    Fantastic show. Luciano was great. Fernando's laid back style seems unsettling at first compared to the Polizzi 500 watt, in-your-face offensive, but you warm to him and realise he is simply without affectation and presents the show with understated brilliance. A new star has arrived.

  • Helen

    almost 3 years ago

    Helen

    I thought the show was brilliant, sometimes in business you need to take a step back and reinvent yourself however difficult it may be. Good luck to Luciano, Maria and their son. wish them continued success. Also the point of the frontage needing a facelift!!! I agree, however maybe funds determined this not being done?

  • john long

    almost 3 years ago

    john long

    I really enjoyed the show but i think they missed the point, It looked fine inside it was the outside that needed a revamp to make it more inviting as it looked closed! and didnt stand out you could easily miss it, and that entrance door needed some varnish on it!, Maria was certainly very beautiful when she was younger but seems her confidence took a nose dive when her looks faded she seems so shy and was hiding behind those sunglasses!

  • ignazio

    almost 3 years ago

    ignazio

    Iam very happy for Luciano I was working for him,and he has been always hard worker,he derserve this little award ,ciao Luciano

  • Luciano Valeri

    almost 3 years ago

    Luciano Valeri

    Hi, I'm Luciano of The Alexandra Ristorante, I would like to say THANK YOU to Channel 5 for showing "The Restaurant Inspector". Also a big THANK YOU to Jamie Oliver Fresh One Productions team for putting together "The Magnifico Show on Earth" and what can I say Fernando he is a Natural, no need for any scripts. I can honestly say that this is a real REALITY SHOW put together from real life with no scripts. The response has been great, behind any imagination, we had well wishers from around the globe. We have been inundated, as promise, with Fernando's customers traveling hundred of miles to come experience our cuisine and meet with us and share their emotions. Thank you Fernando. The star of the show, by our feed back, is Maria. The Most Wanted is "THE Salad Bar". Best scene is me meeting Maria coming down the stair in the London Hotel and us dining at the 500 ristorante. Lots of people told us they even cry during the show, that is really something. Me and John are left in the background. Love you all. GRAZIE Di CUORE. XXX Luciano

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  • andy

    almost 3 years ago

    andy

    great program, reminds us that in business we have to think outside the box as well as inside.

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  • bobandroberta

    almost 3 years ago

    bobandroberta

    The Sea Bass at Alexandra's is really wonderful, Very heart warming programme.

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  • bobandroberta

    almost 3 years ago

    bobandroberta

    I love Alexandra's. The food is now wonderful, the decor was great but I can see it's more sensible. The cassata is really amazing.

  • mo

    almost 3 years ago

    mo

    will it be repeated, annoyed i missed it

  • Linnie

    almost 3 years ago

    Linnie

    Well done chanel 5 for a great programme. Was a bit dubious about the format at first, especially as Fernando seemed so placid, but loved it!! Well done Maria for eventually embracing the change. Goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks!!

  • Donna

    almost 3 years ago

    Donna

    Well done Maria when you work as hard as you and your familly have over the years it must be hard to litsen to the critic. The resturant looked great. Mat Poulton hop you idn't make a fool of yoursel no matter how entertaining it is for us to watch.

  • GoodYa

    almost 3 years ago

    GoodYa

    I think Fernando is pretty cool, has a good sense of humour and at the end of the day, these restaurateurs are not physically forced to be on the show. Treat it as a good entertainment.

  • Michael S

    almost 3 years ago

    Michael S

    Thank you, learned a lot from one episode, look forward to the rest.

  • Russell Pittock

    almost 3 years ago

    Russell Pittock

    I used to eat in Alexanders years ago it was so tacky and dingy, Now it has been beautifully decorated by a local firm Windsor Decor, food is great now too. Love it

  • MarthaXx

    almost 3 years ago

    MarthaXx

    wow i never knew restuarant inspector was in ramsgate i love this well done fernando another great job:)

  • terry c

    almost 3 years ago

    terry c

    congrats to another great opening to a new series. b back next week. well worth the wait.

  • Shane

    almost 3 years ago

    Shane

    Why do these people find it so hard to trust the experts ? A good watch and much enjoyed !

  • meg

    almost 3 years ago

    meg

    come on five on demand sure mean on demand in another words put it on on demand.

  • Musu

    almost 3 years ago

    Musu

    Maria really did my head in! How arrogant was she! Why ask for a professional's help and then totally dismiss it?

  • T

    almost 3 years ago

    T

    and still this is not available to watch :(

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  • David Beavis

    almost 3 years ago

    David Beavis

    Fernando has called me insane for wanting to go into Alexandra's as it was. The man has destroyed a wonderful restaurant. Stay in yuppyland and stop inflicting your views of quality dinning on others.

  • mat poulton

    almost 3 years ago

    mat poulton

    well its my show next week, i cant wait, weird watching how the formula works.. just paint it white and it will be okay.. yeah thanks fernando... nice one..

  • k

    almost 3 years ago

    k

    saw it was opposite a pub named mother red cap. The only one I know of with that name is on Holloway Road

  • Deb

    almost 3 years ago

    Deb

    I ate here 2 weeks ago - was excellent. For the person wanting to know the North London Italian it was http://www.500restaurant.co.uk in Archway. I paused my sky to get the name

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  • Noubda

    almost 3 years ago

    Noubda

    What's the name of the restaurant where u have to book before u turn up in london

  • sam

    almost 3 years ago

    sam

    Which italiaan resturant did u visit in london that unless u booked u can't get in ? The one u took the ramsgate couple to ?

  • Paul Williams

    almost 3 years ago

    Paul Williams

    come on !! why hasnt 5 got a +1 like all the rest sooo far behind C5

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