Having previously dined at Lyndir in late 2011 we once again looked forward to another exceptional evening of good food, service and ambience. Instead what we experienced was a car crash in customer service. If our original trip was an example of how to treat customers the last trip was just the opposite.
To make matters worse the occasion was a special birthday treat for my wife, and a thank you to my Mother.
Upon entering Lyndir it became quickly obvious to us that the hotel was having a busy evening. We arrived at 7pm in good time for our 07.30pm reservation in the hotel's main restaurant. Having made our way into the bar area we were greeted with 'What are you here for?' to which I replied to dine. Immediately we were offered our table rather than to sit in the lounge for any pre-dinner drinks, so I asked if they'd mind if we sat in the lounge to browse the menu. We then ordered a bottle of Prosecco and two diet cokes for my two boys (16 and 14 years of age). The waitress returned with the drinks and asked if I wanted her to open the Prosecco, to which I said yes, and then she then asked if I wanted her to pour the drinks, to which I once again said yes.
We then looked through the menu and the same waitress returned and took our order, which comprised starters of two filo pastry tarts, a mushroom creme brulee and a smoked duck. Main course was three lamb noisettes and we were asked how we wanted these (1 pink and 2 dishes slightly more done) fillet steak and pepper sauce and a chicken breast in sauce. To drink we also ordered a bottle of Pinotage.
A few minutes later we told that our table was ready and would we like to come through. As we hadn't finished our pre-dinner drinks I asked if we were to bring our drinks through to our table to which the waitress replied 'If you want to!'
When we arrived at the table I noticed our bottle of red Pinotage was already on the table but with the screw cap still in place. Having waited to see if anyone was going to offer us the wine to try, I ended up opening the bottle and pouring our wine. This continued to be the case throughout our meal.
The starters then arrived and the smoked duck plate came on a long thin plate that was too wide for the place settings. Instead of moving the knives and forks the waiter crashed the cutlery out of the way to make room for the plate. We all could not believe what we were seeing.
The main course then arrived and I mentioned that my lamb was ordered 'pink' to which the waitress responded 'They're all pink'. we carried on.
Finally we ordered deserts for all, with one being a cheese course. I then asked the waiter if I could have a dessert wine. He then asked 'What's a dessert wine?' I gave up at this point.
At a hotel/restaurant that charges £7.50 for it's starters and £22 for each of the lamb main courses, £25 for the fillet steak, and then £6 - £7 for each dessert, you'd expect this to be high end cuisine. What we got was service that was more like a low end cafe!
Finally when paying the bill I asked if I could have my mushroom starter removed from the bill as I didn't enjoy the dish. I was told by the restaurant duty manager that it was too late to do this as the system couldn't remove the item, but that she would remove the last two diet cokes ordered from the bill. (£220.00 total bill)
We weren't even offered a coffee.
I took a day to consider our evening and then decided to take the time to share my experience with the hotel manager Ed Dooley who, on the following Monday, offered a sympathetic ear and listened carefully to our dreadful experience. He then said that when we next visited, which I thought a bit presumptious that we would want to, he would make sure our bill was drastically reduced. He also said he would be discussing this with his senior team. Unfortunately having left Ed with my telephone number he didn't call me back to let me know what the outcome had been.
It's saddening to say I certainly want be rushing to part with £200+ for what was meant to be a celebration and a fine dining experience!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hallmark Hotel Llyndir Hall, Chester South is the perfect escape to explore to historic city of Chester. Just six miles from Chester city centre, only six miles from the M53 and nine miles from the M56. The hotel has plenty of on-site parking and 48 great bedrooms. The hotel has lots of great facilities including 8 meeting rooms for up to 120 delegates, a health club with a swimming pool and spa, an AA rosette awarded Garden Restaurant, a majestic ballroom which is perfect for wedding receptions up to 130 guests and free superfast WiFi throughout. The hotel also has a beautiful Italian terrace with licence to hold Civil wedding Ceremonies. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Chester
- Llyndir Hall Hotel
- Chester Best Western
- Hallmark Hotel Llyndir Hall, Chester South Rossett, Wrexham County