I've toyed with the idea of a 'Frasier' x 'Keeping Up Appearances' crossover for quite a while, but wasn't sure how to make it work. Then I decided to look at the characters first and devise a plot after.
I realized that snobby, middle-class English housewife Hyacinth Bucket is a slightly milder version of Mel. In Hyacinth's case, we're able to laugh at what she does because her attempts in climbing the social ladder backfire, but in real life you'd want her to get a "smackdown" like Mel got in 'Taking Liberties.
There was also some opportunity for humor with the Buckets meeting another Englishwoman (you know who I mean) in visiting the sStates.
The rest just seemed to write itself.
I'm not sure if there's a big overlap of Frasier/Keeping Up Appearances fans but I wanted to share!
Daphne once would have felt out-of-place at upscale Chez Henri, but as she walked into the restaurant that boasted elegant, French-inspired décor, she was at ease. Perhaps it was because Frasier talked about it so much that it was almost familiar, but it was more likely due to the man who was at her side, his fingers laced through hers.
"You're going to spoil me, Niles Crane," she protested lightly.
His only answer was a loving smile before he approached the maître d', Thomas.
"Reservation for Niles Crane, please."
"Right away, Dr. Crane," Thomas said as a waiter appeared so quickly that it was as if she had materialized out of thin air. "Michelle will take you to your table."
Niles pulled out a chair for her when they arrived at their table. "Sit, Daphne."
"Sit?" Daphne laughed. "You sound as if you're talking to Eddie."
Michelle interrupted politely to take their drink order; Niles ordered an expensive wine with an air of expertise that still impressed Daphne, despite the years she had spent with the Crane brothers. They were nothing like her own brothers, who were content with even the worst swill.
When Michelle went away, Niles smiled ruefully at Daphne.
"Okay, that was a really unromantic way to offer you a seat. It's been a while since I've had a woman who appreciates small favors."
Something in his eyes told Daphne that he was thinking of the years they might have had if…
"Oh, stop fussing over me," she said hastily to bring his mind back to the present. "You're so sweet that you don't need to do anything else."
"I just like to spoil the woman I love."
Their conversation tapered off just as Michelle returned.
"Here is your wine, sir," Michelle said as she approached. "I'll take your orders if you are both ready."
They placed their orders, and Michelle hurried away.
"You remind me of those birds on David Attenborough's programs that go to extremes to impress the female birds—right down to the dancing and gifts," Daphne teased.
Niles wanted to make a witty reply, but before he could say a word, a commotion distracted everyone in the restaurant.
From the front lobby came a shrill, feminine, and distinctly English voice. All the restaurant patrons turned to watch the scene.
In front of the maître d' stand stood a middle-aged woman. Everything about her spoke of excessive effort: stiffly coifed hair, velvet jacket and skirt of a garish floral print, three strands of pearls, and a matching velvet hat bristling with silk flowers. This bizarre apparition was gazing demandingly at Thomas.
"What do you mean, we can't dine here? On what grounds are you refusing us?" she demanded.
"I don't mean to be rude, madame," Thomas said politely. "I explained that you need a reservation."
"Can't you squeeze us in? My husband and I are doing a tour of the United States and we only have a few days to see each city."
She nodded toward a previously unnoticed, mousy-looking man standing behind her.
"I truly apologize," Thomas said, "but we give the tables to those who called ahead for a reservation. However, if you'll give me the number for your hotel, I can call you in case of any cancellations."
The woman looked highly offended.
"I will NOT accept any secondhand reservations. We wish to be seated now. Surely you can move someone else's reservation around."
Thomas was starting to look flummoxed and the woman's husband finally spoke up.
"Hyacinth, the nice young man said that it's impossible to get us in. I'm sure there are plenty of nice restaurants nearby."
"Persistence, Richard! You must not give up so easily!"
Michelle arrived with the dinners, but neither Daphne nor Niles noticed, so transfixed were they on the scene. Hyacinth's annoyed frown turned into a patronizing smile. She spoke sweetly—too sweetly—to Thomas.
"If it is the reputation of the restaurant of which you worry, you needn't fear. I am from a highly desirable neighborhood and am well-known for my candlelight suppers. I have heard that others call me the best hostess in the West Midlands."
Daphne snorted. "As if anyone's going to care what specific part of England she's from."
Thomas's voice became tempered and cool.
"Ma'am, I have tried to be patient, but nothing you say can change the fact that you can't get in without a reservation."
Hyacinth looked even more offended; she sniffed indignantly and turned her nose up at the beleaguered maître d', a look of absolute disgust in her eyes. Her pretentions were gone, and there was a tense silence in the restaurant.
"Well!" Hyacinth exploded. She wasn't quite shouting, but she spoke in a dulcet tone. "I have heard much about the rumors about the manners—or lack thereof—of Americans, but I had hoped they were just that, rumors. You can't even grant a favor to overseas visit—,"
"Oh, shut up, you shrill sod!"
Pulling out of Niles' restraining grip, Daphne bolted toward Hyacinth. A collective gasp came from everyone in the restaurant. Hyacinth stared as Daphne gazed at her levelly, her eyes flashing.
"Excuse me?" Hyacinth said crisply. "You're attacking me? You're from England, aren't you? Don't you think it's terrible how they insult the people of your homeland?"
"I would, if Thomas was actually insulting you. But he's just following policies, and you're acting like a spoiled brat. By the way, I'm a citizen now, so if you insult my fellow Americans, you insult me!"
Suddenly a sound like rain falling on a rooftop filled the restaurant, but outside it was a calm, starlit night. The 'rain' came from the diners and employees as they applauded. Seeing that she had no supporters, Hyacinth marched out of the restaurant with Richard, her head held high but trembling.
Everyone began to talk at once. The head manager came to Daphne and shook her hand vigorously.
"Thank you for telling her off," he said. "I have never met such an unbearable woman! Your meal is on the house, and as it has doubtlessly grown cold, we'll replace it, too."
Daphne thanked him graciously before rejoining an astonished Niles.
"Daphne, that was magnificent!" he exclaimed.
"Someone had to shut her up," Daphne answered. "God, I hope we don't run into that awful woman again."