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“Food was superb but service was terrible”
Review of Friend's Lake Inn

Friend's Lake Inn
Ranked #8 of 19 Restaurants in Chestertown
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Murphy Road
A TripAdvisor Member
Sturbridge, MA
13
Reviewed March 1, 2006

My husband and haven't stayed at the Friends Lake Inn, but we did have dinner at the Friends Lake Inn restaurant a few weeks ago. The food was absolutely superb! Unfortunately, though, the service was really awful.

The poor service started even before we got to the restaurant. That afternoon, my husband stopped in and asked to make a reservation. The person that he spoke with told him to "just show up; you won't have a problem."

We arrived at about 7:30 PM. It was a Saturday evening (which is why my husband had wanted to make a reservation), and there was only one table available. It's a good thing we "showed up" when we did; otherwise, we wouldn't have gotten a table.

Our waitress took our order without writing it down. Then, throughout the three-course meal (appetizer, entree, desert) she delivered the wrong food to us repeatedly; and she had the gall to seem annoyed when we asked to have the mistakes corrected.

Furthermore, she was just plain rude! When I asked for butter for my garlic mashed potatoes and more hot water for my tea bag, she told me I was "pushing it"! What, we wondered, would her reaction have been if my husband had asked for the garlic mashed potatoes that he’d ordered but didn't get?

All in all, what could have been a lovely evening (it was a "Valentine's Day Dinner" for my husband & me) turned out to be an unpleasant experience.

Lastly, I want to say that I sent an e-mail message to Friends Lake Inn later that evening in which I outlined the problems that we'd experienced and expressed our disappointment. Nobody from Friends Lake Inn even responded to it. Perhaps I would not feel compelled to write this terrible review if somebody at Friends Lake Inn had gotten in touch with me to apologize!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 6, 2006

Wow, we are devastated by this posting. I will attempt to explain the parts that are explainable.

First of all the comments about reservations. This guest requested a reservation for our "Bistro" dining area where we were running a special "Apres Ski" special. We do not take reservations for the Bistro as it is our casual "pub" style dining offering. The Bistro/Bar was full that evening however we have additional seating available for Bistro dining in the Murphy room adjacent to the Bar and there was plenty of availability that evening.

As stated our Bistro is a casual "Pub" style environment. It is vastly different than our Main Dining Room. It is fairly common for bartenders/servers to not write down orders. However there is no excuse to ever deliver the wrong items to a guest. The Bartender/Server that evening has over 10 year's experience and would never insult a guest intentionally. The comment about "pushing it" was a rather bad attempt to establish a good rapport with the guests and should have never been said. She thought she was being funny when in fact she was rude.

I cannot find any record of receiving an email during that time explaining this problem. I assume that it was sent to our General mailbox. Like most businesses this mailbox is swamped with junk email and as a result we had installed a "mail washer" the week before this incident. We have experienced a couple other problems with important emails being automatically sent to the trash can and we have since corrected this problem.

Having said all this we are sincerely sorry that one of our guests had such a disappointing experience. We try very hard to exceed all of our guest's expectations and I will ensure personally that something like this never happens again. I hope the guest will accept my most sincere apology.

John Phillips, Owner

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