We have visited The Stables for lunch and dinner many many times over the last few years and it was our choice for family get together's but sadly no more.....
I have to say the one thing which always let The Stables down in our opinion was service. Staff just seeming not quite focussed or that bothered but the food had always made up for that, until our last visit.
As a group of 6 we ensured we had made our reservation in plenty of time to be accommodated on a Saturday night, I think we booked about 2 weeks in advance.
On our arrival we were pointed up the stairs to the 'function room' where another family were already eating and had taken over most of the space with young children racing around the dance floor area,
We felt a little like we were invading their space.
Our table was perched right inside the doorway at the top of the stairs, with no decent lighting and barely any space to move.
When our drinks order was finally taken (after we'd been seated over 20mins and had to go downstairs to ask for drinks at the main bar) we were then handed menus. Specials were scrawled on a mirror above the other group's table (way across the other side of the room) and were barely legible. It was also impossible to read this without giving the impression we were staring at the other table.
We gave up and looked at the main menu. This had altered from our last visit with some favourites removed. One of our group decided to walk across to look at what was written on the mirror in the way of 'specials' apologising to the other group for having to stand over them to see the mirror. He then relayed to us the choices.
A member of staff returned to take our order and as we started putting in our requests we were informed some of our choices were sold out. So having waited almost 40 mins to order we find there are items not available. How about telling customers this as you give them the menu?
2 of our party ordered one of the specials, a venison cottage pie, only to be told abruptly and with a roll of the eyes that its only available on a 'set' menu which isnt on this night.
We pointed out the mirror with specials on to the staff member who huffed that 'no on tells her anything' and walked off with the order, not even noticing that by now we have several empty glasses on the table and maybe, perhaps, would like some drinks.....
Food... when it came....was nowhere near the standard which we had experienced here and which made the terrible service tolerable in the past.
My stroganoff was tough and had about 4 pieces of beef in it. But worst was the venison cottage pie. You'd have thought it was cooked in 2 different kitchens, both were heated to a temp impossible to eat and one was thick with lots of meat whilst the other was watery with barely any meat.
No one asked how the meal was so when we managed to stop someone and ask for drinks we mentioned the difference in these dishes. The waiter said it was because theyre homemade?!?!?!? and walked off.
So one dish is all watery gravy and barely any meat and the other is thick gravy and packed with meat and its because they're 'homemade'?!?! He then returned with a dish of gravy for some unexplained reason! Perhaps runny and the potato swimming off in liquid was how they were supposed to be served!
On finishing our meal we asked for the bill, told the waiter again it was not the best experience we'd had there and were again given an excuse, its really busy and we have a newish chef!!
After waiting another 20 mins and STILL no sign of the bill we got up and walked downstairs and asked to just pay at the bar.
Staff training is SO important, uninterested staff give an impression that there are no standards and that customers don't matter.
When I worked in the hotel industry my staff were thoroughly briefed on menu options, kept customers informed and were attentive to detail. They used their initiative to look for empty glasses and take drinks orders, to act on comments regarding food and to ensure customers were comfortable.
Sadly we never expected great service here but now the food isnt good enough to keep us coming back either
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.