We live locally and tried this place a couple of times as we are otherwise far from restaurants. The first time the restaurant was completely empty. The food was not great and overpriced but I was able to use my gourmet society club card and get a discount so I did not feel I should complain.
The second time they did not accept the gourmet society card although it should have been a day where it was eligible for a discount. We decided to go anyway as we were celebrating a special occasion. The restaurant was again close to empty (2 other couples and a table of 6). We ordered the new 'steak on a stone' which cost £18. Given the price you would hope for something nice.
It took the order 50 minutes to arrive (as the staff said they had a 'big' table to make orders for and the kitchen was struggling to cope with their order and ours all at once). I wouldn't want to be dining there the day the restaurant is full, if they cannot cope with 8 plates. The steak finally arrived on the stone. There was no separate plate provided to stop cooking the meat and when we asked where we should put it, we were shown the bread side plate. We were told that we should eat it on the hot stone although it would carry on cooking the meat, which we like rare. The sides were so small I am not sure why they bother with them, literally a small handful of chips, a couple of dips of sauce and 1 salad leaf. We had to juggle between the hot stone plate and the side plate where the steak was and had to be very careful not to burn ourselves with the hot stone every time we eating a mouthful. It was quite a ridiculous set up, surely the stone should be on a separate table on the side so it can be taken away once the steak is cooked.
We complained about the wait, the awkwardness to eat our food properly (with a lack of help from the waiters, surely they should be able to provide an actual plate on request) and enjoy it, and the poor value considering the price and the little amount of food. We were invited to speak to the manager, Lainee, who had the poorest attitude I have ever seen. She challenged us in saying our food was delivered on time, went as far as going the ticket with the time we ordered it to prove her point. She also told us she was very surprised about our complaints about the steak and awkwardness of their plates and said that people really loved this dish and found it was very cheap for what it was! She basically did not take any of our complaints on board and of course did not offer any discount or free drink to try to make up for our disappointment. Needless to say our night was ruined and the bill came to about £60 for a bottle of wine and 2 steaks. We were still hungry when we went home.
We will never go back there again, and certainly will never recommend the hotel to friends or family visiting, given the poor quality of service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Birch Hotel is located in the West Sussex town of Haywards Heath , 3 miles from Burgess Hill, 18 miles from Brighton and 15 miles from Gatwick Airport. The original building was built in c.1874 And still retains some of the original features, including oak panelling in the lounge area and stained glass windows on the main staircase. The Birch Hotel has undergone extensive refurbishment over the last few years making it the perfect venue for business or leisure. The main facilities of The Birch Hotel are: 51 en-suite bedrooms, all with Free wired internet access, 6 Conference rooms ideal for interviewing up to theatre style for 60 persons, (all rooms have wireless internet access), 3 banqueting rooms suitable for the small family celebration from 10 guests up to 80 guests for a seated reception. The Birch Hotel is licensed for Civil and Partnership ceremonies. The Birch offers the Courtyard resytaurant or our new modern Bistro Bar for dining .On site free carpark with a small side garden. The Hotel is Non Smoking throughout. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Haywards Heath
- Haywards Heath Best Western
- BEST WESTERN The Birch Hotel Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK