In planning our trip up the Mayenne River on a not inexpensive Floating Gin Palace I read several reviews of the Table du Meunier all of which sung their praise. I decided that whilst it was likely to cost us about £60 per head including wines it would be a good venue for five guys in their sixties to enjoy an evening. So I booked it a couple of weeks in advance. I wish I hadn’t , and if we hadn’t been running our boat food stocks down or there was any other eating establishment within walking distance we would have walked out in the first few minutes.
On arrival we received what can only be described as a frosty reception of arrogant disinterest and were informed that our table was upstairs. Here there were several large open rooms with laid tables. Despite this there were two families with infants plus a couple of ladies already squashed into one small room. We had been allocated the remaining tiny table for five persons. ( not even enough room for a side plate) The restaurant had clearly corralled all their private clients into this space for their own convenience. None of the diners appeared happy with the arrangements. None of other tables either on the ground floor or in the other adjacent upstairs rooms were occupied . Now, just like the infants Like infants, five guys together can be quite noisy and quite honestly if I am paying that sort of money I don’t expect to be crushed around a tiny table and treated with conceit. So twice we asked if we could move to another location and twice we were simply told ‘ NO’ without any explanation or apology.
For the first half hour we only saw one member of staff , they were slow coming to take the order and impatient in the process. I almost died of thirst waiting for a drink. The service was sporadic and we had to wait for staff to come up to serve another table to get any attention. Later another member of staff turned up and at least engaged with us a little, although I got the distinct impression that she might be in serious trouble with management if they saw her smile.
By now it was apparent that there was some sort of corporate bash getting underway downstairs and they just could not cope.
The courses were eventually served , it was food, it was French and it can only be described as average. We ate it, we might have enjoyed it if we hadn’t felt that they were doing us a favour in serving it. We paid the bill, the experience was a waste of good money.
The Table du Meunier is located in the pretty village of Chenile Change. The village is small but the Mill and Church are worth seeing. If you are travelling the Mayenne River it’s worth a stop during the day but it and the Table du Meunier have little to offer for an overnight stop. Grez Neuville , Lion de Angers or Daon are far more likely to satisfy the needs of the voyager.
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