I'm reserving judgement after the first episode. I'll watch a couple more, if only for the scenery
I didn't like the idea of challenges involving wolfing down local cuisine without having time to really savor the food and figure out what makes it good. That's what I expect to see on Amazing Race or Fear Factor, and I hope it's not a regular thing. It doesn't fit with a cuisine-focused show.
I'm guessing they did the race thing because a pub crawl seemed typically British. I'll wait to see what they do for the "quickfire" portion in subsequent episodes.
I did think they could have been more focused on creative food, since the concept of gastropubs is exactly to do more creative dishes than found in the normal pub. So I was disappointed that most of the food was sort of plain. SInce I didn't see any buckets of pigs blood, I'm assuming the black pudding was store bought, so all they were doing was cooking it and putting it on a plate. I don't think that would pass muster with Tom C.
Like most everyone, I'm bothered by the elimination process. I may have to turn off the show during that portion. I also thought it could be better edited.
IMO they would have been better off showing us a tour of Borough Market, which is a great place, rather than fat guys running around the streets.