I've been to The Betjeman Arms several times over the years and have always liked it. However, when I went there for breakfast and drinks recently with friends, the place was in chaos. Despite it being 10am on a Saturday, the place was packed, largely due to a lunchtime football match taking place at Wembley, with many fans visiting the Betjeman Arms for pre-match food and drink. It's at busy times like these that hospitality businesses should capitalise. Fixtures are publicised well in advance so any well run place would be able to plan accordingly. But on this day there were only two members of staff who were trying to work behind the bar and deal with all food orders. They tried their best but it was complete chaos.
After a long wait at the bar to order our food and drinks, we went and sat in one of the dining rooms. After another very long wait, one of the staff members brought out two of our four food orders - both of which were cold. On top of that, as the server handed me my plate, she correctly said it was a sausage sandwich which I'd ordered - however, what she gave me was clearly a bacon sandwich. When I commented on this she went back to check with the kitchen only to be told that they'd run out of sausages. Before substituting it, no one had thought to actually ask me if I wanted bacon. To avoid further delays I agreed to just have the bacon sandwich but said that it had to be hot. She returned our dishes to the kitchen and after another delay they were returned to us, this time slightly lukewarm. So basically I had food which wasn't what I'd ordered and all four of us had food that wasn't hot either. At no point was I offered any kind of refund - and I wasn't prepared to wait for half an hour just to get to the bar to raise it with one of the overly stretched members of staff. So, all in all a very disappointing experience and one where I paid good money for a cold, incorrect sandwich. I would have expected much better and, with so much choice in the way of pubs and restaurants in and around St Pancras, I will think twice about going back. It's a shame as with decent management all of these problems could have been avoided.
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