Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico review – Mustangs, clams and Cary Grant impressions

The Padstow chef retraces a road trip he made in 1968 and finds that you can’t escape from Brexit – even in Santa Barbara

Rick Stein is travelling down through California, by Mustang. Not the wild horse (though there will be horses later), the car. Blue and topless – the car, not Stein, though if he was topless he would probably be blue, too, today. The Golden State didn’t read the script, it looks more like Blackpool in November, grey and dreary. He can’t even take the coast road, because of mudslides.

It is called Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico (BBC2), and he is retracing a road trip he made in 1968, the year after the summer of love. “I wanted to live a little bit dangerously, and I did,” he says. Did you wear flowers in your hair, Rick (I’m assuming there was hair, in 1968)? Did you get high with girls without shoes? Do tell! But he doesn’t. Instead, he stops for a creamy clam chowder at Pismo beach. And a steak and a glass of pinot noir in Santa Barbara, like in Sideways – a film that Stein loved. In the restaurant from Sideways, in fact. There will be more on movies later.

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