The food here was very, very good.
That being said, my husband and I never dreamed we would need to book in advance. We probably should have. But when we walked into a completely empty restaurant at opening time (6pm), we were asked whether we had a booking. When we said no, we were given an absolutely shocked look and felt completely chastised for not having thought ahead. (And the reality is, we'd just hiked several miles. We weren't thinking ahead - we were just hungry, and the options for vegetarian cuisine in Woolacombe are not many. And yes, we'd showered and changed and made ourselves look presentable.)
The correct response to our situation would have been: "I'm sorry, I can't seat you right now, but I do have an opening in half an hour. Can I book you in for then?"
Thankfully, a very astute waiter took over and booked us in for 6:30, just half an hour later. We went and had a pleasant walk around Woolacombe while we waited... and when we returned, we were still the only ones in the restaurant. The waiter who stepped in to save the day was obviously very experienced and is the only reason we bothered to stick around.
I would recommend this restaurant very highly for the food. However, I think the staff needs a few lessons in how to be a bit more welcoming to their customers. We are, after all, the reason they're in business. Even if they had been completely booked and couldn't have served us at all, there would have been a much better way to deal with the situation rather than making us feel like idiots.
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