We booked a break at the Britannia International, Canary Wharf from the 1st June to 4th June 2012 for the Jubilee.
The first problem we encountered was on booking in. The receptionist spoke so little English that she couldn't understand that we wanted to unload our luggage to the lobby before putting the car in the basement garage. She kept repeating that we couldn't block the door. We asked if a porter could fetch it and received the same reply. Eventually we gave up and drove to the basement and had to carry the luggage up two floors to the lobby.
Initial reaction to the room was pleasing, then you notice the worn, chipped furniture, the chipped bath and the fact that both vents were full of dust, the wallpaper was ripped in places and really did show a lot of wear. The windows were filthy so much so that we were unable to take any photographs of the barges that were berthed ready for the pageant. There was around 2 years of dirt on the outside of the glass. Shocking. Will they be clean for the Olympics?
We decided to eat in the carvery, Jenny's. Big mistake!! the rolls were hard and dry, the carrot and coriander soup had no taste whatsoever even with the addition of salt! and the colour was sludge green. I had the pate which was absolutly awful both in texture and taste.
We tried to get the attention of some of the waiting staff, if they hadn't been studying the carpet we may have been noticed, but eventually gained the attention of an oriental waiter and explained the problem with a smile he said "OK" and we thought he'd gone to get someone to deal with us. But no! he then started clearing a table.
Sometime later and growing more frustrated we gained the attention of a 'chef' he went to the kitchen and came back and told us the soup was fine ! but we are the customers and we're expected to eat it ?
We gave up and went to the carvery. We selected Turkey and Gammon, roast potatoes and vegetables and then added a lump of gravy. The meat had no flavour whatsoever, the potatoes were hot but tasteless and the vegetables cold and rock hard and as I said a lump of gravy. Needless to say we didn't eat this either.
My husbands beer tasted most strange and had no head which is unusual for a Tetley's Smooth this was replaced but it had either been pulled and left for a very long time or it was the first to be pulled that evening. Normally at the start of a shift at least two pints, which lie in the pipes, are drawn and discarded!
I also noticed that the vegetarian option, pasta with a little spinach was hardly appetizing nor attractive. Mearly something offered as a sop with very little nourishment.
By now the table was a little crowded as we still had the starter plates and the plates with the stale roll and also our main course dishes. No effort was made to clear them or replace any cutlery.
We went to get puddings, a crumble which looked as if had been scraped from another container, some very sad gateau the sort you see in supermarket freezers, and cheese three bits all greasy and 3 tiny round cheese biscuits and a few grapes, no apple or celery etc dull, unappetizing and tasteless. I dropped a pen and bent down the side of the table to retreive it, The wall and skirting boards were absolutly filthy, dribbled food, dust etc. We eventually got the attention of a waitress and made our feelings quite clear.
On both Saturday and Sunday we went to have breakfast. The food was so unappetising and poorly presented that we left. The eggs both scrambled and fried were dry, with solid yolks, the bacon just 'slung' in a container, beans looked dry and unappealing and the black puddings could have knocked over skittles.
The next evening we ate in the Pizzeria the staff were wonderful attentive but unobtrusive and the food superb, needless to say we ate there again on Sunday and Ranjit even remembered that I needed water for medication and he also remembered what we had to drink the previous evening. Excellent service!!
I would suggest that staff from jenny's are put in here to learn how to be a waiter or waitress. The other point here is that there were so few staff working in the Pizzeria and delivering room service and yet staff in Jenny's just seem to stand avoiding both work and eye contact. Not once on the Friday were we approached and asked if we were happy or satisfied with the standards.
I spoke to Paul Saturday evening as my letter of complaint had not been answered and suggested that he checked the wall beside the table and then had a meeting on Sunday with Jason which was very productive and he took on board our comments and it was pleasing to see him taking notes. An excellent employee who will go far.
We are relativly comfortable senior citizens and travel for 5 or 6 months a year, both in the UK, Europe and the States and before I retired I was in the hospitality industry for over 40 years and feel quite cross that as a customer I perform your quality audit. I am also annoyed that our service in the UK falls way behind the rest of the world and generally we have a dreadful reputation for service, quality and value.
You should also bear in mind that lots of people feel intimidated by complaining, go away unhappy and tell other people of their terrible experience, as well as Trip Adviser
Ask to see the room first and if the food is bad then complain immediately
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
14 June 2012
Report response as inappropriate
Thank you very much for posting your comments on the Trip advisor Website.
Please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused during your stay with us. May I request you to kindly contact me, so that I can investigate all the issues addressed by you. I can assure you that this level of service is not of our standards. Please kindly contact me on email@example.com
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC