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“Pathetic service taints ok food”

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Ye Old Fighting Cocks
Ranked #6 of 15 St Albans B&B and Inns
Reviewed 15 April 2013

If you want a prolonged, frustrating and inattentive dining experience, go here. Horrible waitress basically ignored us after waiting for nearly an hour for our food and last of 6 mains arrived 45 later than the rest despite escalating to the manager. The food itself, when it finally materialised, was decent. Shame about extremely lazy and unprofessional service!!

  • Stayed: April 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
1  Thank Amy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 - 66 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2013

It's always a bit awkward for us when eating out as I have gluten and wheat intolerance. We should really have contacted Ye Old Fighting Cocks in advance to warn them but in these days of more places being able to understand the needs of someone like me I kept my fingers crossed!

My sister in law was told that she couldn't bring her buggy into the restaurant which I could understand if it was raining and muddy outside but it was just a really cold day so there wouldn't have been any mess in there! Her baby is only 6-months old so I can understand why she wanted him with her in his buggy! So instead he was sat in a highchair which was miles too big for him!

Anyway, I told them straight away about my food intolerances - now please bear in mind, it's not an allergy and I won't go into anaphylaxis or anything but eating gluten or wheat does make me very ill for a number of days after consuming.

I was told that I couldn't eat anything from the starters, although I could see a couple of items on there which should have been fine but they told me they could organise a main for me so I was happy about that.

The meal came and was pretty good to be honest, they did get confused when we asked if I could have some Cranberry Sauce with my plain chicken just so that it wasn't too dry. At least they checked the ingredients but came back to me confused as to whether glucose and gluten were the same thing????

My main concern, and I've been holding off writing this review for a couple of days now was that the chap who took my drink order for me and my 7-year old son was obviously incoherant as to our requirements as when he brought the drinks my son said "This tastes funny mummy" - now, as I wasn't expecting anything other than his apple juice I smelled it and told him that it should be ok as it smelled of apples!!! What a faux pas on my behalf here - he told me that it was fizzy and I just wondered whether they'd given him Appletize?

I then tasted the drink and realised to my horror that they had given my son Cider!!!

I called them over straight away and they took it back. The chap who took our order didn't come near but his colleague said he had thought I'd asked for a specific type of cider beginning with "A" (Can't remember at the moment what it was) . Unless he had glue ear or something he definitely heard us talking about what we wanted.so why did he get it so wrong?

My son started crying as he thought he was in trouble for drinking a tiny bit bless him!!!

The chap who took the drink away came back to check if we were ok and said sorry but I just couldn't believe that they had made such an error!

Anyway, other than that our meals were nice - not outstanding but nice!

All I'd suggest to people wishing to go is that if you're taking children (which they don't seem to be used to) make sure you treble check what you're ordering and if you have food allergies or intolerances make sure that you ring up in advance to give them some warning as we should have done!

They coped reasonably well with my request, I was just shocked about them getting it wrong for my son!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Liz A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2013

We were passing through St Albans and fancied some dinner. My boyfriend had heard about the pub, as being the oldest so we went for a look!
The surrounding were lovely, car park non-existent!
The pub is what you expect from an old place, but i think it adds to the character!
They were very busy with Sunday lunches when we arrived, but the young barman did his best and quickest to seat us. The lunch took a long while to be served, but it was gorgeous and worth the wait! They also served one of my fella's favourite beers, and poured it well!
The only thing we found to be not nice was the amount of dogs in there! Both not being "dog people" we found it a little uncomfortable when eating.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Nene303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013

Although we booked for the earliest opening time, 12.30, in the hope of quick service, we had to wait nearly an hour for the first food to arrive. The beef had some lean but linked with fat & sinew, so that lifting one piece drew up the whole unsightly & off-putting mass. One of our party complained & was given a nice piece of chicken instead. The potatoes & parsnips were excellent, but horseradish sauce was already "dollopped" onto the plate of those who disliked it intensely, mingling with the other food!
Limited choice of pudding, only two. The bill included a charge for SIX puddings when we had only ordered three! No parking for the disabled or anyone else anywhere in the same road - we had to use a charging car park a quarter mile away & then walk.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Robert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2012

Went to the Ye Old Fighting Cocks for Sunday Lunch. I had to say that the food portions were good and so was the Yorkshire Puds but felt the food could have been a little warmer. The place seems run down and tired and needs a re fit. I wont rush back.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2012 via mobile

Having visited this pub in the summer I was keen to return there today when I had family to stay from out of town.
On arrival, nearly every table was reserved except one. After sitting down at the empty table, the barmaid asked us to move immediately as the table was in fact reserved. The staff told us they didn't have any more "reserved" signs but surely a piece of paper with "reserved" written on it would have sufficed? I wouldn't normally moan about this but the barman/barmaid were really rude and unfriendly/unhelpful. Not what I expected in this pub. After the way we were spoken to I was keen to leave and find somewhere else to eat but having had a good previous experience with the quality of the food I decided to give it another chance. We sat on the lower floor of the pub, our party split across three tables. First off, it was absolutely freezing! There is no heating in this area of the pub and at a guess I would say it is probably about 15C. Secondly, the waitress wouldn't serve our table so we had to keep returning to the bar. Finally, the food. Not great. Took 45 minutes to arrive and what came wasn't great. Double fried chips, dry fish, stale bread and service far from friendly. The meals weren't cheap either, £11.50 for a burger. I think that is a fair price but not for this food. I expect McDonalds would have been better. The overall experience was poor, we couldn't get out of the Fighting Cocks quick enough. If you are looking for good food I would recommend Jamie's in the town or The Cock at the end of the high street. This pub is not up to the hype.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank snups1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2012

We went on a really cold day for lunch after visiting the Abbey just a short walk down the hill. The bar staff were very helpful and lit the fire it was so cozy. Had a real cask ale they were good and thoroughly enjoyed a Scotch Egg one of the best I ever had and Halloumi Cheese plate grilled and some soup really good and the Whitebait was super.

Staff were very friendly and accommodating the fire was great. We loved the atmosphere with low wood beams and a sign that said Duck or Grouse, I mean really low beams.

Based on other reviews I think you will be surprised if you stick with traditional food not burgers.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank pdolamore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ye Old Fighting Cocks

Address: 16 Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans AL3 4HE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > St Albans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in St Albans
Hotel Class:4 star — Ye Old Fighting Cocks 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is Britain's oldest pub, set overlooking Verulamium park lake in the heart of St. Albans. Serving great food great wine and a fine selection of real ales. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ye Old Fighting Cocks Hotel St. Albans

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