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Watton restaurant Brovey Lair to hit the small screen

PUBLISHED: 10:12 26 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:27 08 July 2010

One of Norfolk's most innovative restaurants is about to hit the small screen. Abigail Saltmarsh went to meet owners Mike and Tina Pemberton, stars of Restaurant in Your Home





If Tina Pemberton does not want to open her Norfolk restaurant then she simply asks her guests if they would mind coming on another night - and if tables have not been reserved then she might watch a DVD perhaps instead.

IF Tina Pemberton does not want to open her Norfolk restaurant then she simply asks her guests if they would mind coming on another night - and if tables have not been reserved then she might watch a DVD perhaps instead.

Mike and Tina Pemberton's Brovey Lair is no ordinary restaurant.

Quite apart from the fact that it is Michelin recommended and was recently awarded Best UK Fish Restaurant by Which? Good Food Guide 2010, it stands out from other upmarket eateries in the county for one simple reason - it is run from home.

When guests arrive they step through the Pembertons' own front door, when they eat they settle down in the family's dining room - and when chef Tina cooks, she does so in the same kitchen as she prepares breakfast for her boys.

“But we are not one of these clandestine restaurants that has sprung up and is run from someone's living room,” Tina is keen to point out. “We have been doing this for more than seven years now and have gained quite a lot of respect for it.”

Now, because of the huge success of Brovey Lair, the couple have found themselves at the centre of a new BBC2 pilot that they hope will soon become a series.

Restaurant in Your Home was shown on Monday and followed Mike and Tina as they offered advice to another couple who were hoping to follow in their footsteps.

The show opened with a family scene at Brovey Lair. Tina was preparing food in the kitchen, Mike was wandering in and out, and both were seen chatting to their sons, Josh and Daniel, over lunch.

“The idea was that because we have been doing this successfully for so long we had to show another couple how to set up a restaurant in their own home,” explained Tina. “At the end of the programme guests were invited to dine at the new restaurant and to pay what they think the meal was worth.”

In the show, Mike and Tina headed off to London where they were invited to the home of Matt Day and Marie Sterry.

“It was very funny because they didn't tell us it was a small, one bedroom basement flat in Hackney. I think they wanted to see the surprise on our faces when we arrived,” said Tina.

Initially the couples appeared to get on well but the sparks soon began to fly when it became clear that Matt and Marie had their own ideas about what they want to do.

As the programme continued, the couples split into pairs, with Tina offering menu and preparation advice to Matt, and Mike and Marie focusing on front of house issues.

“Some of what they wanted to do was just crazy - but I guess that made good TV,” said Tina.

“We did both enjoy ourselves a lot and hope BBC2 now decide to make a series. If they did, we would work with people in all sorts of different situations right across the country, which would be great,” she said.

And Mike added: “We are extremely pleased it went ahead and have enjoyed seeing the final programme. There's a comedy aspect to it, which seems to have worked well, and it is very different from other cookery programmes that are on at the moment.”

Brovey Lair is at Ovington, near Watton. For more information or to book call 01953 882706 or visit www.broveylair.com

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