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“Ignorant & condescending owner with vulgar food”
Review of Parkers Restaurant

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Parkers Restaurant
Ranked #354 of 477 Restaurants in Cheltenham
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed August 8, 2012

I recently visited this restaurant with my girlfriend and had Afterrnoon tea. It was advertised on travel zoo as being worth £80!! (i would expect this price in a top london hotel not cheltenham) We paid £29 for this food and that turned out to be a rip off, as the owner has the same deal on his website for £10 per head! Before we even began there was no one around to greet us as all the staff had decided to have a chin wag in the office, so we strolled around the hotel trying to find someone to acknowledge us. Eventually we were greeted and rudely showed to the table, we must have been seen as dirt for using a voucher, how very dare we! We sat down and were brought a tea pot over, but the tea pot had one tea bag in for a start. Then the cake stand came over and everything looked okay, until closer inspection. The biscuits seemed to been cut out of Hovis, they were the same consistency as bread and tasted awful, the scone crumbled away to nothing, the sandwiches were filled with what appeared to own brand ham and had absolutely no taste to them, the butter and jam was available in microscopic portions and the piping on the 'biscuits' appeared to be done by a 5year old.

Obviously we weren't happy so tried to get the attention of a staff member but they have continued their social event elsewhere in the hotel, we left and I set out to complain to the manager/ owner. I was greeted with his arrogant, condescending attitude that left me feeling unvalued as a customer.
I asked for a refund where I was told "you have the food, so you either have enjoyed it and return or dislike it and never come back"....not really the attitude any manager should take towards their customers. I will not stop until I get my money back and I warn anyone who even comtemplats about going to the parkers restaurant or the hotel on the park that this place is to be avoided at all costs, there are many many more hotels and restaurants that are far superior to this

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3  Thank Robb S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 16 of 40 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2012

We had wanted to try this restaurant for a long time. We used a Groupon voucher for dinner which was nothing special, we would have complained bitterly had we paid the reputed full price. The waitress tried hard but the kitchen let her down. The food was mediocre. Nobody is trying to entice you back with anything special, i.e. customer service or quality of food.

Also went with a friend for afternoon tea - again a big disappointment. Slow service, no refills, and again nothing which would take you back there.

The decor is modern and contemporary but nothing else is warm and inviting.
Even the Morgan sports car looks neglected on the front carpark.

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2  Thank Wanderlust024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

We arrived on time for champagne afternoon tea with a Groupon voucher for £32 for two people (normal price £40 per person). The car park was full so we had a bit of a trek across the park. There is roadside parking but that is for local permit holders only. No one greeted us at the door, and there was no-one in the bar. My friend and I walked back to the rear of the building (felt like we were trespassing down the narrow hall) where there was a small desk with two gentlemen chatting. We were asked to take a seat in the reception lounge. When we were taken through to the dining room (one other couple dining) the waiter asked straight away for our voucher which we felt was rather premature. We were asked if we wanted coffee or tea. A glass of champagne was then brought out at the same time as our tea. So, does the champagne get warm, or the tea get cold? A cake stand of sandwiches, cakes, jellies arrived. Ok but the fruit cake and brown cake (?) needn't have been included. Rather average. We never saw a member of staff after the food arrived (no wonder they got the voucher early on). The hotel poodle stayed with us, but he heaved and coughed so much that he put us off the food. He survived by the way. But how weird is that? Surely if this establishment is putting an offer on Groupon or Travelzoo (they use both companies) they have the chance to do a really good job at a discounted price and then reap the rewards with us coming back and telling all our friends how wonderful it was, and bringing them repeat business. But no chance. They just weren't bothered about the customer. And unfortunately it wasn't good value either at £32. We called out goodbyes as we left and there was no-one to be seen or heard. What a shame. Waste of time and money.

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3  Thank 474Yvonne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

My husband and I went here for lunch. The food was ok, but there were a few things that could be improved upon, e.g. our salad started had delicious hot bacon and egg, but chilled black pudding, which tasted a little strange and the main of lamb shoulder was served with garden peas, not the petit pops as advertised (I know that sounds picky, but garden peas really aren't fine dining!). For dessert, I ode red the creme brûlée with almond tuile, which arrived without the biscuit. When I complained, I was told that it is sometimes served with a biscuit, sometimes strawberries, but if that's the case, don't put biscuit on the menu! Also, the mint sauce accompanying my husband's chocolate parfait was incredibly overpowering - it tasted rather like toothpaste.

We have a Taste Card, so the food was 2 for 1, even on a Saturday, but otherwise it would have been incredibly overpriced - the only option is a 3 course set menu for forty pounds a head and it certainly wasn't worth that. Not too bad though if you are in the area and have a Taste Card, but we won't be returning.

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3  Thank Kate P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

First of all we arrived and there was nobody manning the restaurant so we went into the bar. The one member of staff was chatting to some other guests, which is fine, but she didn't even acknowledge our arrival and left us sitting at the bar waiting for more than 5 minutes.

The menu sounds simple, for example shoulder of lamb, pan roasted chicken breast. So when you're paying nearly £40 a head for the food you expect these simple dishes to be presented beautifully and packed with flavour, with a high attention to detail.

Sadly, this wasn't the case.

For a starter my husband and I both went for the salad: smoked bacon, black pudding, poached egg. There is a fashion now for restaurants to just list the components of a dish in their menu, which is what Parkers have done. This starter felt like a list of ingredients. There was nothing really pulling the dish together. I also wasn't expecting the bacon and black pudding to be cold, but that didn't matter too much. The poached egg was perfectly cooked.

For main I chose the Sea Bass bourguignon. I'm not sure the flavours of the bourguignon sauce really worked with the fish, which was slightly overcooked. There was not much flavour in the dish at all. I have never had to season my own food in a restaurant of this class. It was served with overcooked cabbage.

My husband had the lamb, which was served with a gravy that tasted cheap and very overcooked peas. It was more like a dish you would expect in a pub for Sunday lunch.

For dessert I had a mint and chocolate parfait, which was the best bit of the whole experience. There was a mint cream sauce which was packed with fresh mint flavour, and a lovely rich chocolate parfait. I'm not a big chocolate person, but I really enjoyed this dessert. My husband went for the creme brulee which was another disappointment. It was served in a really shallow dish which meant that there was too much brulee for not enough creme. It was sweet but lacked any other flavour at all.

We paid £65 per head on this meal, including a massively overpriced G&T that my husband had on arrival, and we felt very short changed by this. For that price there are several other restaurants in Cheltenham that I would rather go to. It felt like a meal that should have cost half that price.

Really we should have expected this, given the fact we were asked twice if we had vouchers for the meal. My guess is that they are looking for business as customers are not returning.

All in all a very disappointing experience, in a hotel from which I would have expected much, much more.

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3  Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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