Used to frequent these premises in the 80's and they have always held a special place in my heart. As such I tried to book a family room throughout the summer on the internet to no avail. I did however manage to book a B&B just across the toll bridge (Coed Cae which is brilliant) for 1st & 2nd of September 2013.
After riding the Mawddach Trail from Penmaenpool to Barmouth and back we sat outside the George the Third downstairs bar and soaked up the incredible view. It was not very busy but after a short while it was evident that getting served downstairs was slow and a sign said go upstairs for quick service.
Without going on to much, you must now imagine a very, very rude Basil Fawlty in a bad mood stood behind the bar. The conversation was similar to Hello please can I have drinks. We were trying to stay here but you're family room was unavailable. Reply, without serving the drinks was to march out of the bar to a small office and go to a computer where he pushed buttons. A few seconds later in true Fawlty style he reprimanded me and told me the family room was free. Taken aback I protested that the internet said otherwise. He then picked up a book, read a few entries, put it down and as he walked to the bar said we have just had a cancellation!
I followed him back in to the bar and got the drinks still shell shocked by this rude man. The bar area was quite full with several families with children under 10 years. I ordered my drinks and enquired about an evening meal. I was informed in no uncertain terms that my children would not be welcome in the bar and pointed to some distant rooms that we could sit in. I queried if the Roast Beef diner would be available this evening as advertised downstairs and he scoffed in my face, "the carvery is only available at lunch time" and turned away. I promised not to go on too much, so I will try to highlight the rest.....oh yes there is much more. Returned downstairs where there was a buzz about the upstairs barman. My wife went for the next drinks upstairs which took 20 minutes. Busy? No, he just ignored the waiting customers and collect empty glasses and bottles.
We returned that evening for more Fawlty Towers but stayed outside downstairs. We were asked if we would like food by the downstairs barman, Eric Stokes. Yes the Roast Beef diner was available! Whilst Eric made us feel welcome inside the downstairs bar. (the premises were quite now due to it being the end of the summer holidays) The upstairs Barman came into this bar whilst we were eating and started arguing with Mr Stokes. He also accused him of fraternising with the customers instead of collecting empty glasses. This escalated to an argument about the glass machine and pipe cleaner being decommission on Monday whilst we choked on our roast potatoes. All in all an unbelievable experience. We returned at 4pm the following day after riding to Coed-y-Brenin Forest park. The downstairs bar was shut and the rigmarole in getting served by the same barman was as bad as can be imagined. He ignored all customers and walked between the two bars with trays of glasses, unlocking the downstairs bar only to take these inside. I said hello and he blanked me. My son wanted a bag of crisps but returned after about ten minutes in tears as the man had told him to get out of the upstairs Bar.
On a brighter note, the Snowdonia beer was outstanding, as was the view. The premises were how I remembered them BUT this man acted in such a way ruined the whole experience. The banter between the customers was all about this rude man and I kept looking for the hidden camera as it was just so unbelievable.
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