Dinner for three was booked for 730pm but we waited in the bar for 25mins to be shown to our table with no explanation for the delay. We waited too long for our order to be taken, too long for our main course to be delivered and then a wait for the dessert menu, the order to be taken and a further 20min wait for the two desserts (which surely must have been pre-prepared) to come. We didn't risk coffee!
There was never any explanation or apology for the shamefully poor service until we complained to the manager. Her charmless reply to our question 'are you experiencing problems?' was 'no problem, we're busy'. She said they were short-staffed - odd that this problem was not dealt with earlier given that it was the evening of the RA's Private View and it was obviously going to be busy. We were made to feel that somehow it was all our fault as a previous reviewer has commented having overheard the exchange.
The service charge was deducted from the bill but we wouldn't have paid it anyway and the 2 glasses of wine were not charged (which was a small gesture).
The food was good but the portions small (we all had the lamb but there was a lot of fat on the meat). The only side vegetable dishes were broccoli and pink potatoes so hard luck if you didn't like broccoli!
The restaurant reviews so far are extremely poor for such a prestigious venue and most focus on the poor standard of service whilst commenting that the food is good. Clearly, the kitchen is being let down front of house and this needs urgent attention. Had the manager explained in advance that there were some problems and had we been kept informed of progress as the meal progressed, we wouldn't have felt so disgruntled. Apologies can be delivered with charm, humour and good grace and the manager would do well to take note! We will not return.
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