Long story short (in case you don't want to read my rant below): The food was delicious (scallops/crabcake appetiser was AMAAAAAZING) and the view of the River Ness was perfect but we have NEVER been treated SO rudely by a restaurant employee than what we experienced with the supervisor/manager here. Our waitress was SO nice, and I felt bad that she had to work for SUCH a rude individual.
My husband and I along with our 1 year old daughter arrived into Inverness on a warm July afternoon and were STARVING! We ventured down the hill from our hotel (Kingsmill... excellent place, might I add). It was an easy walk DOWN HILL from the hotel but we made sure to get a cab back up. Due to the unusually warm weather, we thought it was be nice to sit outside along the River Ness. Didn't seem like a strange request given that there were tables out there... but strange that no one was sitting in them. The inside of the restaurant looked quaint, but dark and close quarters for our 1-year old. (Although she's very well-behaved, we figured outside would be easier). We asked the hostess if we could have a table outside and this is where our first encounter with the RUDE manager occurred... she seemed very timid and afraid to ask him if this was ok. After back and forth with the hostess and a very friendly waitress stepping in-- we were seated outside. The manager told the server (never greeting us himself), that we needed to pay for our meal as soon as we order as a liability bc no one else was outside and they didn't want us to skip out on the bill....... we clearly don't look like the type to toss our child in the stroller and run off laughing that we just had a free meal... but fair enough, I get that it COULD happen. So we order our food (apps, soup, main courses, drinks) and hand over our credit card to the waitress for her to run it and pay for the meal. We begin eating our first course and the manager begins hovering... clearing plates almost the second we were done (if not sooner) but never saying a word except one time when he asked if we had more food coming out. Way to rush us!! Then the waitress asked if my husband would like another soda to which he said yes. As Americans we are used to FREE REFILLS and even on our 9th day into our trip around Ireland and the UK, we still couldn't remember that we were charged every time. As we waited for our main course, our little one was getting restless so I took her for a walk along the river. The waitress came back while I was gone and insisted that he pay for the cost of the soda before she could give it to him because this is what her manager was making her do. I had the money in my purse so he had to call for me to get the few sterling (or whatever currency it is) to pay for the soda before she could set it on the table. My husband was FURIOUS. He felt insulted that after we just paid a LARGE amount of money for a nice meal that we hadn't even been served yet and they couldn't put the drink on our table until I walked back to give them the few coins?? When we asked to speak with that manager, he NEVER came out. The waitress apologized over and over but at that point we were upset and it totally ruined our mood for the rest of the meal. It's a shame too because the food WAS good and the waitress was VERY nice but this RUDE and demeaning manager on a power-trip totally ruined our dinner experience with this restaurant. And to have the audacity to not come to our table to explain or apologize is just poor business. I hope he does not have a long future in restaurant management.
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