Pre-booked there for dinner while staying at a cottage in village behind it. Looked the business, but that was misleading. We were a family party of five and for some reason were squeezed into a table for 4, on the lower of the two levels in the dining room even though it was mid-week, we were pre-booked and there were only about 10 other diners in the place. My chair position put me on top of an elderly couple who were clearly put out by our being so close - and my own party felt the proximity inhibiting too. Combined with the table's lack of space, I was prompted to get a waiter to move us up a level to a larger table.
Having accomplished that we were left for about 10 minutes while at least two members of staff faffed about on a buffet near by polishing glasses and folding napkins. Eventually someone arranged the places properly (there was a mish-mash of odd glasses and cutlery) and took a drinks order. We looked at the menu. And decided. But no-one took an order. After about 15 minutes we ordered, but still had no drinks. 5 minutes or so after that I had to remind staff that we had ordered pre-meal drinks and, that if they didn't arrive before the starters, we didn't want them. They came immediately, just before the starters. These were disappointing (no oysters in mid week) and the soup with lobster (or maybe it was crab) was just plain cold. I wanted to send it back but, to prevent embarrassment among the party, agreed not 'to make a fuss'. Ages went past before places were cleared. Still more ages elapsed until main courses were served, one of which was wrong. But we were so hungry that we just ate the food, which was pretty ordinary fare. Desserts were humdrum. Getting the bill proved to be a trial too, as we seemed to have become invisible once the desserts were on the table.
All in all the only distinctive quality exhibited by this restaurant was the inflated level of its prices. I have eaten better, with far, far better service from good humoured (not grumpy) staff for far, far less in Brighton, London, Bristol, Newcastle....
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