I visited for a Mothers Day luncheon, which had been booked by my Grandmother. I visited with my partner, Mother and Grandmother. This was my first visit. My Grandmother had booked on local recommendations and a previous visit a couple of years ago. The exterior is very pretty and looked promising as did the Mothers Day set menu. On arrival we were shown to our table in the upstairs part of the restaurant, our drinks order was promptly brought. We ordered with two of us having starters. Mine was advertised as a goats cheese and potato cake with poached egg and hollondaise sauce. The 'cake' was more like mash, with a hard boiled egg and too much hollondaise completely covering the lot, it was however edible. For the main coarse three of us had the roast beef and the other the lamb. We were asked how we would like our beef cooked on ordering. On arrival our meals all had burnt roast potatoes, when the waitress asked if she could get us anything else I asked if we could have some more roast potatoes that were not burnt. They were bought to the table but on trying them my mother found them to be stone cold. The three of us that had the beef all had a range of meat that varied from rare to well done, was extremely fatty and quite tough. All of us left at least half of it. The potatoes were mostly uneaten. We were also only given one portion of vegetable between four of us. The check back was only done after three of us had finished eating, with my Grandmother still struggling to cut through her meat. When we were asked if all was ok, I told the waitress I would come and speak to her shortly. I did not want to upset my Grandmother, and did not feel it was appropriate to voice my complaints in a crowded restaurant environment. On going to speak to the waitress, I found myself speaking to a lady I will assume was the proprietor. I explained that I was very disappointed with the quality of our main courses and listed the specifics. In return she told me that it was rib of beef and therefore is always fatty. While I accept this I also know that when cooked correctly the fat should melt into the meat adding to the flavour, which certainly was not the case. I was also asked if I had said anything during the meal, at which point I said we had had a check back too late for that. I was then asked in a very passive aggressive manner what would I like to be done. As somebody who has worked in hospitality I know that an apology goes a long way, and that the customer does not want the embarrassment of having to ask for meals to be taken off the bill. When I was not forthcoming I was told that something would be sorted out. I returned to our table for dessert. We finished the meal and went downstairs to settle the bill. We were left stood waiting for some minutes until one of the waitresses came over to give us the bill. At this point the proprietor was sat at the bar talking to a customer with her back to us. On checking the bill it was not apparent that anything had been taken off, on asking another waitress she said my main had been removed and we had been charged for the starter. I was far from impressed by this, but did not want to cause any more upset to my family, especially my Grandmother who felt responsible for having made the booking. We paid and left. I can quite safely say the only good things about this restaurant is the cider and the fresh bread served at the beginning of the meal. The customer service I felt was lacking and the proprietor comes across as quite unprofessional and sets a poor example to her staff. Customer relations would have been improved if she had actually bothered communicating what she was willing to offer and by at least dealing with us personally when we settled the bill. We will certainly not be visiting again. The defensive manner and poor communication skills of the proprietor were not what I would expect to find in a local establishment. The cost of the set menu per head was £19.95 for two courses, which included a primrose in a bag for each of the ladies. Quite frankly a rip off and the mark up on the food must be quite substantial for the quality of what was served.
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- Also Known As:
- The Tollgate Hotel Holt