We've been here for meals previously - both indoors (cosy, candlelit, about 5 years ago) and outdoors in the summer, overlooking the river last year. This time we were looking for the same quality of food and service as before - but found that prices had gone DOWN (?) Maybe we should have taken that as a warning?
The atmosphere is still great, and the staff friendly. Maybe we did eat there just when they were changing their menu and wine supplier, as they explained, when the 2 white wines we opted for were BOTH out of stock (the waiter gave us another sort of Chardonnay, which was fine). And maybe the kitchen was about to shut at 20.30 or so, and we were the last guests to arrive at 19.00??
But things just got worse. The lobster soup DID have a hint of lobster there somewhere - but colour-wise and taste-wise the lobster was overridden by what I presume was a large quantity of mushroom soup! The vegetarian burger was dry and hard round the edges (we decided it had probably been nice once - but had probably been warmed up in a microwave) and the prawn salad ("Hand-shelled prawns" were promised...) was a mediocre plateful of lettuce, a few halved cherry tomatoes and capers - and a quite generous portion of weeny little prawns which NO-ONE can persuade me had been hand-shelled. They were the sort you get frozen from a bag in the supermarket!!
The meat eaters were quite satisfied with their Hereford beef and chips and veal with fried grated potatoes, and the desserts were delicious, we decided.
The staff were professional - and didn't argue when I complained about being fobbed off with third-rate food that simply wasn't what it was supposed to be. But this is just not acceptable!! If this is what the new manager thinks is "professionally well-cooked" and "high class" I hope someone enlightens him/her very quickly. I won't be back till the place changes management again.
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