We booked to have dinner at this hotel & were really looking forward to the evening.
We were greeted by a lady who took our jackets & then showed us into an adjoining dining room. She seemed to be in charge of the small reception desk as well as the dining room.
It's not an inspiring place to sit, quite bare, with around a dozen tables. It must be lovely in the daytime with the views over the gardens but not very inspiring at night. Ambience is rather cold & stark - certainly not for the romantic & definitely reminiscent of a hotel dining room in the 80s.
We chose the set menu, opting for scallops & the duo of pork. Amuse bouches were rushed to our table before the wine arrived.
There were 3 people serving, an older lady with grey hair who scuttled past to other tables as well as the head waitress & another, younger girl... they were all wearing rather dated, black & white uniforms (acorn antiques anyone?)
So far, so good. The food was beautifully presented & we enjoyed our courses. One of us opted for dessert, the other, the cheese plate.
The younger waitress was really delightful, taking time to explain the dishes & especially each of the cheeses. We thought her engagement with us was spot on.
Unfortunately, the head waitress seemed to take umbrage at this... she swept in while my husband was talking & cut him off mid sentence, ordering the young lady back to the kitchen. I felt embarrassed for her, we never saw her again. It was also disrespectful to us.
She then proceeded with great flourish to change all the tablecloths on adjacent tables, waving & smoothing with an exaggerated sense of purpose, presumably ready for the breakfast service. Never have we been made to feel so unwelcome.
We were the last remaining table, but it wasn't late at all. I was seething - obviously it was time to go. We asked the head waitress to kindly call a taxi, to which she replied that it was usually impossible to find taxis at that time of night. We gave her a business card of a local firm.
We were ushered into a sitting room with an unlit fireplace next to the hallway to wait, which was all of 5 minutes. I didn't want to sit down, I just wanted to get out of there.
The attitude here completely spoilt what was meant to be a special occasion - front of house is vitally important to the whole experience.
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