We have frequented this establishment many times, both as a couple and also with the whole family. We have also visited here for a Christmas get-together on 3 previous occasions. It is very cosy and the meals are usually of decent quality. Ok, that's the positives out of the way, now some home truths. This is a pub where queing to order food doesn't work, sometimes you can be standing at the bar for half an hour waiting for your little wooden spoon (prompting my other half to quote 'I thought when we were going out together, we'd be together!?'). This became an issue as it has happened more than once. So, yes, they need table service here and pronto! The latest visit was a disaster. We arrived when it was particularly busy I admit, but once we did manage to get a table (cosily beside the fire, nice) we were informed that it would be 30 minutes until food would be served as they were 'falling behind on orders'. OK, we can handle that, snowing outside so didn't want to up and out onto the treacherous non-gritted Durham roads again. So, we order at 13.15, at 13.30 we recieve our starter, that's great, they are catching up, but they haven't brought the kids meal that they said they would deliver at the same time. An hour and 5 minutes later, when our main course came, the kids meals still hadn't turned up! 'Oh we thought you had had them with your starters' - er no, and now kids are starting to mis-behave, parents starting to get angry. 'It'll be 4 minutes the chef has said' - ok, what's another 4 minutes when we have already waited 65. 15 minutes later and some meals turn up, but not the right ones! At that point, the waitress, already running out of apologies (it isn't really her fault but I'm starting to lose my rag at this point) tries to cojole our non-vegetable eating child into eating some peas as they are 'good for you', wish we had thought of that! In the end we accept these meals as they are similar to what was ordered and we scrape off the food that we know the kids won't eat onto my near-empty plate (we had long finished our mains by this point). At this point we decide never to come back and we should warn others of what can potentially happen at this place. Once kids 'finished' their long awaited meals that they didn't really like, another waitress came over and asked if we would like pudding, now this was a real test to stay calm, 'we'll pass thanks' - two reasons, one it would have become an evening meal by the time it turned up, and two because it could well be lamb shank rather than chocolate log. The manager said a lovely goodbye on our way out, I couldn't speak to him, I was so furious and so disappointed. Hope nobody else has to put up with what we did that day and also that they start getting staff to come and ask for your orders at your table. I would hope this was a one off but don't want to go back and take the chance, would you?
Sorry, we didn't stay overnight.
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