I went with friends for a snack lunch at the bar at Bewleys, arriving about 3 minutes past 12. Looking at the menu, I spotted 'Scrambled Egg with Smoked Salmon' and made to order this. As I did so I spotted those fateful words 'available until 12:00' at the top of the menu. Looking around the bar, with only about 6 people sitting down, and no evidence of anybody bothering with food, I thought I might be lucky enough to get the time restriction waved; but I wasn't. I was disappointed, but I suppose one has to play by 'the rules' so I ordered a Pannini instead @ £7.00. My colleagues ordered cakes which didn't require any preparation, and hot chocolate which did. The hot and cold drinks were served quite quickly along with the cakes, but it was almost 20 minutes before my Pannini was served. Certainly my colleagues had eaten and drunk everything they were given before my hot sandwich was available for me to eat. There is no excuse for slow service at lunch time as people have jobs to go back to; and this on a day when the place was practically empty. Seven pounds was more than I paid for a much better product in the restaurant of a named Italian TV chef the next week, so Bewleys prices are also out of line. My Pannini was served with a perfunctory salad - but insufficient to raise the price from the £4.00 that would have been reasonable to the £7.00 that was not. The brown decor and hard surfaces of the Brasserie mean that it is dark and cheerless - a bit like the service, I think. Here's a tip, several sandwich and coffee vans park close to this hotel at lunch time serving the many office workers, and there is a nearby mini supermarket, any of these will provide a better lunchtime snack than Bewleys.
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