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Royal Tunbridge Wells

“Disaster - Faulty Towers”
Review of The Hand & Sceptre

The Hand & Sceptre
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Price range: $6 - $32
Cuisines: British, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: Tunbridge Wells cozy country pub & boutique lodge with simply amazing food & drink. There's something for everyone every day of the week !
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

everything went wrong!
no service, we had to go to the bar to order drinks
we had to find a waitress to order
food ordered arrived wrong, twice
food was cold
steaks not to requested cooking

Date of visit: January 2020
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank Duncool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 12 of 519 reviews

Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

This is the third time we have been here, and after last nights shambles it’s going to be the last. I reserved a table on Opentable, but upon arrival the waitress couldn’t find the booking. It was actually hilarious - the waitress was concerned about where to put us...there was literally 6 other people there!! Errrr...how about ANY of these empty tables!! Ordered wine and water - never got the water. Ordered starters and mains - starters arrived super quickly and were ok - we then settled in for the night waiting for the mains. We aren’t totally sure but we think it was over an hour wait. We did try to find out what was going on, but all the staff had vanished! Mains arrived and were ok. Not great but not terrible either. Ordered dessert. I don’t usually but I can’t resist the chocolate bomb. It was the sole reason for coming here!! It arrived. The pouring sauce was not chocolate...but custard. I queried it and was original told it was chocolate sauce and so poured it over the bomb. It really was custard. The waitress came back over and organised another - Which arrived with chocolate sauce. Which was cold. Bomb was still frozen at the bottom. Totally inedible. We called the waitress over who took it away and removed it from the bill. I was assured that custard-gate was a mistake, image my surprise when reading the reviews this morning I find another complaining about that exact same thing!! This place needs a wake up call. It’s a local place and has the potential to be fabulous. It’s a shame that no one that works there actually cares! It’s grubby, the food is mediocre, the staff vanish and service is incredibly slow. It’s not cheap either. I’m going to stick to the Imperial from now on!

Date of visit: January 2020
3  Thank 590louisac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2020

The manager of the establishment must have forgot that a job in hospitality requires a good attitude and some people skills. Unfortunately they are lacking with the pubs new manager. I shall not be using the pub in the foreseeable future.

Date of visit: December 2019
    • Service
1  Thank Neil F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2020

We visited as a party of 5, including 3 vegans. We were delighted to see that there was a dedicated vegan menu as this is a rarity and the options were varied and sounded delicious. We were passed menus with several items crossed off one, but not the other. We assumed as we were not told otherwise before ordering that all options would be available. We were left to decide but on our waiter returning were told that our chosen main of coconut curry was not available. It is worth mentioning that this was not an item crossed off the menu. We ordered the mushrooms to start, however later heard the lady we assumed was the manageress telling our waiter that they weren't available and curtly telling him that he had to tell us. Unpleasant way of speaking to our waiter who clearly had not been informed of what was and wasn't available. Strangely, the mushroom starter from the main menu was available, suggesting clearly the dishes are pre-made.
The chef appeared from the kitchen a few times and seemed annoyed that we were ordering food at our reserved time of 8.30pm. This was on a Thursday so very peculiar that so many dishes had run out. The roasted lentil falafel was dry and not as per the menu as there was no beetroot hummus and the ciabatta was 3 pieces of very small crusty bread. The mezze flatbread was also not per the menu as there was no Greek style salad, seeds or avocado!! We were presented with a cold flatbread with hummus, burnt chickpeas that had certainly gone off and rather than a Greek salad with seeds and avocado, we had a pile of rocket with chunks of cucumber and tomato. There was no presentation and the cucumber was cut in the way you would feed a child. The 'house salad' was a bowl of the same cucumber and tomato. Very disappointing.
The comments from those eating from the main menu were that the food was okay, but not up to expectation having read the menu.
The only saving grace of the meal was our lovely waiter who was apologetic on behalf of his colleagues who seemed annoyed by our presence.

Date of visit: January 2020
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank LuEleanor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2020

I’m writing this review because it is the third time I have been to this restaurant and had consistently bad service. I feel so sorry for the staff because they clearly don’t get any training. The managers too, are young people in way above their heads. On this occasion when I booked our table I put a note on the booking. 2 x Vegan we’d like a roast dinner (it was Sunday lunch) and Please could they replace the Yorkshire puds as I know these are made with eggs. We also checked with our waitress - could we have nut roast, vegatables and meat free gravy. She said of course infact we have a vegan menu would you like it? We then ordered our dinner checking again the the meal was free of animal produce and we were reassured the gravy would be vegan. When it arrived (with huge Yorkshire puddings on the plate) delivered by a yet another waitress, we said “oh sorry we can’t have Yorkshire’s they’re not vegan” She said the whole meal was vegetarian not vegan. We had to send them back and order something completely different as all the vegetables are cooked in meat fat. Not only was it a complete waste of food. It was a complete shambles. I politely told the manager and he proudly announced that chef had some gluten free potatoes and ten minutes later 5 shallow fried frozen pre boiled potatoes showed up. They were disgusting! The whole meal was ruined by the staffs lack of knowledge - they didn’t even know the flavour of the soup without checking with the kitchen. ‘The man’ clearly runs this pub - just part of a huge corporation with no care for the team that face the paying public. This would be the perfect place for the boss to go ‘back to the floor’ to see how badly this place is run from floor level. It’s such a shame because the environment is lovely and it’s a place the locals of Southborough can meet up. Every time we go we have such bad service, friends have said the same. The food is ok. I would like to train these kids and turn this place around - as it stands I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re prepared to take a punt.

Date of visit: January 2020
3  Thank Donzigray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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