Fenland family hold their own <i>Come Dine With Me</i> contest following our competition
CULT TV programme Come Dine with Me is such a hit with a Fenland family that they decided to organise their own version of it. Wisbech couple Ian and Liz Heighton laid down the challenge and were joined by three other family couple
Story by: MAGGIE GIBSON
CULT TV programme Come Dine with Me is such a hit with a Fenland family that they decided to organise their own version of it.
Wisbech couple Ian and Liz Heighton laid down the challenge and were joined by three other family couples in a nail-biting contest.
Ian of Tinker's Drove said: "We are all great fans of Come Dine with Me and one Sunday the family was enjoying lunch at our home and we decided it would be a good idea to have our own competition.
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"We had been having a bit of a bad year and we needed cheering up. We thought this would be just the way to do it. We had also enjoyed reading about it when the Wisbech Standard organised one."
Rules were laid down in the spirit of the Channel Four series with each couple choosing a theme and a menu. Marks were awarded for the standard of food and entertainment.
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Those joining Ian and Liz in the competition were daughter Lucy-Beth Heighton and her partner Neil Keer, son Andrew Heighton and his partner Lucy Poole, Liz's sister Christine Swallow and partner Peter Hare.
Andrew and Lucy who live at Emneth chose an Italian theme for their evening and the guests dressed as gangsters. Lucy-Beth and Neil of Wisbech went for a James Bond evening complete with sophisticated cocktails and roulette.
Dinner jackets were the dress code when Christine and Peter of Haddenham organised a night at the Ritz and Ian and Liz wowed guests with a German Christmas theme.
During each evening there were mark sheets which were completed as the host couple did the washing-up.
The secret scores have now been revealed with Ian and Liz coming out top with a winning score of 49 points out of 60. The lucky couple have been presented with an engraved wine goblet and are looking forward to a slap-up meal at the Plate and Porter Restaurant in March paid for by the others.
Retired teacher Ian and Liz, a nurse, admitted the whole family did get very competitive. He said: "We were a bit tough on the marking and we even knocked a point off Andrew and Lucy because they had forgotten to put the salt and pepper on the table."
Liz added: "It was horrendously hard work and quite expensive to do. When it was our evening we used 68 glasses and the charity shops were a good source for them."
In fact the experience was so enjoyable the family is thinking of doing it again.
Ian said: "All the food was of a good standard as were the table decorations. I think the whole experience was highly entertaining. We would recommend it to other families because it was really good fun and nice to eat together as a family.