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The Olde Bull Inn, Barton Mills

What a disappointing experience. My colleague and I decided to stop randomly for a bite to eat on passing this pub/restaurant. As a professional restaurant reviewer I was not on official business but how I wish I had been that evening. The establishment was moderately busy and it was a fine evening. We ordered and paid for a drink and sat outside only to be faced with tables smeared with food and sticky residue. Upon asking a waitress if she could clean the table one would have thought we had spoken in a foreign language at her reaction. After some time she wiped the table reluctantly, and it was still smeared when she finished, we decided to go inside to eat. After finding a table that was less sticky that others, we ordered and paid for our food which we felt was pricey pub grub - £16.50 for fish and chips and a glass of wine, and waited in anticipation. My meal arrived and it was not until I had almost finished eating, that my colleague's meal arrived despite pleas to the waitress that we would like to eat together. Hearing our dismay the waitress however was completely unconcered and did not offer so much as an apology. We asked to speak to the Manager who arrived with a cocky attitude declaring that the reason that our food arrived separately with one dish late, was because we paid for the food separately - even though it was ordered at the same time. Madness! and we said this was unacceptable. The Manager who also declared herself as the owner was uncaring and reluctant to offer an apology making us feel it was our fault that we could not eat together. Flies by this time had gathered within the restaurant area of the pub and were noteably landing on our (sticky) table and in my wine. We mentioned this and was met with the explanation from the Manager/Owner "We are in the country, what do you expect!". We felt disappointed and very sad that this seemingly privately owned pub/restaurant, not particularly busy, serving OK food but pricey, was delivering such poor customer service to its visitors. We noticed a much larger party nearby also complaining who actually got up and left. A lesson to take to heart by owners of such an establishment, is that you never know who you are serving and how your customer service - or lack of it - may be reported - or where!


9 Aug 2011 21:21

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watchful has been registered on this site since 9th August 2011