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To review, or not to review, that is the question

The only good thing!


LSH and I were able to snatch a few stolen days, stepping off the hamster wheel, embracing our inner adolescence and having time to do what we pleased, when we wanted.

Once upon a day, we decided to book lunch at a family run Georgian House and Restaurant that had been creating quite a buzz of publicity about itself. A well-known internet review site had a good few rave reviews, and the Ramsey trained, Royalty serving chef seemed keen to immerse himself in the community – receiving, it seemed, a welcome with open arms.

And that’s where the fairy tale ends. Our experience was awful.

We received an apathetic ‘welcome’ and soon realised we were alone in an empty dining room. The sound of the local radio station (presumably an attempt at atmosphere) coming from an old transistor, which had been ‘hidden’ next to our table. We had started to hear the sound of distant muzak-alarm bells.

The building is impressive – as is the garden - and I believe that local people with learning disabilities, help with its horticultural care. 

We tried to open the windows, on what was one of the hottest and most humid days of the year; we were told they didn’t open. We thought about eating outside, it wasn’t offered, but discovered the empty tables were smattered with the stuff of ‘a dove from above’.

The food was overpriced and underperformed. Excited by a salad - marketed as being picked from the garden – it arrived as a trilogy of limp leaves, cherry tomatoes and cucumber pieces. Undoubtedly stripped of their supermarket packaging and presented naked and undressed.

Am I sounding pompous? The thing is, my background means that I know that serving an undressed salad is as insulting as serving Moules Marinière in cream, with 2 parsley leaves and un-finely chopped squares of onion. No garlic, no white wine, no R in the month (indicating that the poor mussels were also out of season and presumably vac packed?).

The meal experience was so embarrassingly short of our expectations, we spent our homeward walk laughing and listing the failings. An attempt to distract our thoughts from our mistake in booking and the resulting overpriced bill.

We stopped when the number reached an embarrassing twenty, in much the same way that the Brazilian football team probably wished they could have halted a certain semi-final match, before the half hour mark.

So I return to my title – To review, or not to review? If I posted what I have written in this post on that well-known internet review site, it could cause a lot of lost revenue for this unnamed place. If I don’t, others may suffer; as we did.

So what do I do? I wonder whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the guilt of not naming the cause of our misfortune; or speak out about the slings and arrows of outrageous, overpriced failings and stop others from being caught in the cross fire.

What would you do?

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