QUEEN Victoria was quite a traveller around the country, but there doesn’t appear to be any record of her visiting Mansfield.
Were she to return she might applaud the efforts to revamp the town’s market back to its heyday, although she might have to watch out that her carriage didn’t get a ticket for overstaying in a parking spot.
However, what would have pleased her on her arrival would be a wide choice of Indian restaurants to tempt her palate -- one of the tasty titbits served up by that well-known experimental chef Mr Blumenthal in ‘Heston’s Great British Food’ series (Channel 4, Thursday).
The monarch’s fondness for curries, and all things Indian, are evident to anyone visiting Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight, a connection that Heston discovers with home-grown curry house classics such as bhuna, vindaloo, phal, onion bhaji and the most famous of them all, chicken tikka masala, having all been invented in Britain.
As usual, Heston goes for the unusual with a three-course meal consisting of an oversize poppadum, chicken tikka infused with beer, and a giant chocolate-inspired dessert.
Food continues to be a staple diet over on BBC1 as the remaining contestants in ‘MasterChef’ (BBC1, Wednesday) make lunch for 120 members of the ‘EastEnders’ cast and crew, while tomorrow evening they head to Hever Castle in Kent (the childhood home of King Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn) to make a tasty repast for historians Lucy Beard, Terry Deary and Lucy Worsley, who used to work at Bolsover Castle.
Fear rather than food is uppermost in the minds of five people who are scared of heights as they set off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to cure their phobia in ‘Vertigo Road Trip’ (BBC1, Wednesday).
If looking down on Mansfield from the railway viaduct is your limit, then you’ll be surprised what the group, escorted by ‘The Great British Bakeoff’ co-presenter Mel Giedroyc and psychologist Dr Jennifer Wild, achieve in a series of challenges as they check out mountains and buildings at home and in Austria, Switzerland and Abu Dhabi.
For those who stay the course, the show climaxes in Dubai atop the world’s tallest building, the 163-storey Burj Khalifa tower, heading upwards at 2,716 feet, almost twice the height of London’s Shard.
Back on the ground there’s just a few days left to get ready to join Graham Norton on Saturday evening as he heads off to Denmark to help viewers through the highs and low of the 59th ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ from Copenhagen.
The host country won the song fest in 2013 with Emilie De Forest’s ‘Only Teardrops’ (no, I can’t remember either) so will it be same for the UK’s entry -- Molly with her self-penned song ‘Children of the Universe’? You can check out whether Molly will be jolly from 8pm onwards.