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“PATHETIC CUSTOMER SERVICE!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Saracens at Hadnall - CLOSED

Saracens at Hadnall
Price range: $40 - $71
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“PATHETIC CUSTOMER SERVICE!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

We booked well in advance as a large group of 39 for a 3 course meal from their Christmas set menu. We have used this venue for the past 3 years due to convenience, it being located near to the Shrewsbury Battlefield Travelodge where we were based . With our group sizes ranging from 30-65 people and we have always found it to be adequate venue given the scale of the catering required.
However, this year we were ordered to pay in full (approx £950) a number of weeks before as well as depositing £200 for potential damages - not unreasonable for a new customer perhaps, but not suitable for a return party.
On the night we arrived and the pre-ordered and pre-paid food was delivered in reasonably good time. The food looked pretty but portion sizes were small and was delivered luke-warm. In addtion, on their website, customers are offered free tea/coffee if their meal was paid for in full in advance, alas, no such luck for us!
Once the food was cleared away we ordered plenty of drinks over the next 3 hours and generally had a good time and the staff were more relaxed as we were the only patrons in the building. With regard to drinks, the choice was limited and overpriced and, amazingly, for a country pub there were no cask ales!
As a large group we put plenty of money behind the bar and integrated with staff politely.

Having put down the £200 deposit naturally we expected most of it back, having not being told that a few broken glasses and 'cleaning up of mess' was a green light for debiting money from the deposit which just so happened to coincide with the Christmas holiday period, an expensive time for all...
Upon leaving, I spoke to the manager who assured me an itemised inventory of damages would be forwarded to me within the week. A week later I had not received any such inventory so I telephoned them to enquire. I was told the deduction from the deposit would be 'no more than £50' and that the owner would send me the elusive inventory shortly.
'Shorlty' turned proved elusive and it wasn't until today (10 weeks later) that I received an email, following numerous phone calls, informing us that £100 of the £200 would be returned (perhaps they found more broken glasses after first quoting a £50 deduction form the deposit, I somehow doubt this due to the limited capacity of the venue). An inventory of damages is still awaited.
I was informed by whoever I dealt with on the telephone that the glasses broken cost £10 each (Now, I am not an expert in glassware but it certainly wasn't cut crystal) which I thought was ludicrous. I questioned whether or not a family of 4 would would charged for breakages if anything was accidentally broken to which the reply was 'Yes' and was told in addition that staff who accidentally break crockery have it docked from their wages. Sounds like a horrific place to work eh?
It seems completely unbelievable that they would charge for accidents! Considering how much business we gave them on one night (and in previous years) it is wholly pathetic to charge us for minor damages.
The single email I received from Steve Christie in chasing up the repayment was rude, and portrayed him to be uninterested and told us in no uncertain terms not to visit again. Perhaps he had no idea deposits are supposed to be returned.

In summary, they were only too happy to take our money yet were slow, disorganised and unprofessional when it came to communication and returning our deposit. I would not recommend using this venue for group bookings, and unless you have been surgically adjusted to render you physically incapable of accidentally breaking glasses then then steer well clear!
It has certainly left a sour taste in our mouths and we had no intention of re-using their services.
Their hospitality is only skin deep.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
10 Thank Tasker T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve C, Owner at Saracens at Hadnall, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
This party booked with us for an enjoyable evening, had a good time and left happy at the end of the evening. They had been with us 12 months earlier so should have remembered that we are a 2AA rosette restaurant, not a 'country inn'. We certainly remembered them

Payment in advance was requested this time as collecting payment on the night, separately from each individual, had been is time consuming and disruptive. The deposit against damage was not unreasonable and both these matters were accepted by the group.

My email in response to this reviewer was not rude and not intended to cause offence, although it did prompt this review. I simply advised that the refund he was seeking was already sent and had cleared our bank. I also said that I felt that they should find another venue for their next event that may better suit them.

I wish them well with their future events.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

128 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    21
    16
    11
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Loughton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
157 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Fantastic!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014 via mobile

We visited one Saturday night after reading excellent TA reviews and were not disappointed. Whilst browsing the menu we were brought some complimentary appetisers which was a very nice touch. The fixed price menu is excellent value but also allows flexibility if you only want one course. The menu had some very unusual dishes for example the purple potato tartlet. There is a good choice for non meat eaters, with two fish and two vegetarian dishes. We were a bit surprised there were no chicken or pork dishes. The chestnut wellington was delicious as was the honey dessert. Service was friendly and efficient. The bill for two juices, two coffees, a bottle of wine and 3 x 2 courses was under £75 which we thought was very good value for the excellent quality of food and pleasant surroundings.

Helpful?
2 Thank midlandsgnome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Book a table now”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2014

Food that was beautifully presented and superb to eat - a real treat. A marvellous gem of relaxed fine dining with wonderful service from a well balanced menu. As a vegetarian it was a delight to have a choice of several starters and mains too.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very sophisticated”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2014

On the eve of my husband's funeral, my sons and I were looking for somewhere to eat where we could relax, eat excellent food and be 'well looked after'. We found all of this in abundance at Saracens. Their two or three course set pricing is very good value and the food was outstanding. Also the friendly, unobtrusive, service was exceplary. I will certainly go again and hopefully at a time when I am feeling less distressed.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank JJS2013_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Market Drayton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“New Years Eve Delight”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

Yet another brilliant meal at Saracens. Although not specifically laid on for New Years Eve this was an excellent meal with outstanding service. In the middle of the floor there is a glass topped well which is a lovely feature 'till you have to walk over it!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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