We were visiting relatives and had the offer of baby sitters, so after a quick trawl on Trip Advisor we settled on the Travellers Rest. The reviews looked great, so I called to reserve a table. We were told they were "rammed", but if we popped in later they would squeeze us in. We were told to leave as long as poss, I suggested an hour (which would be 8:30) and they agreed. We went along at 8:30 and we're taken to a table just vacated.
We got drinks and menus and we were asked for our order, but needed a bit more time. We were left for a bit longer, then the manager/owner came to take our order and although she was friendly, she took our order in such a way that it was obvious she wanted it done quick. We had also noted that service finished at 9pm, so assumed this to be the reason for seemingly rushing us. However, we were told the kitchen staff had been in the kitchen all day and it was a hot day and were all exhausted. Now this is fair enough, but we were told to come at this time and now felt guilty that the poor kitchen staff were still working! Anyway, on to the food. We ordered a basket of artisan breads/olives and also Thai fish cakes which came fairly quickly. The bread basket was amazing, miles too much for us (and we're big eaters!), but I'm not complaining. The olives were nice too and we were given oil and vinegar to top ourselves up - nice touch. The fish cakes were equally nice, on a bed of fresh salad and with some sweet chilli dipping sauce. What a great start...?
The mains arrived. I had pasta from the specials menu, which was a vegetarian dish of parcels filled with Aubergine and cheese in a creamy mushroom sauce. Very nice indeed. However, my partner had ordered chicken and bacon served with black pudding in a red wine sauce. I'm not sure what your mind's eye conjures for you, but what arrived certainly was not expected by us, especially in relation to everything else! It was butterflied chicken breast, (over cooked) and sat on top of a slice of back pudding. Seemingly thrown on top were two rashers of bacon. The red wine sauce was thin and tasteless and there were far too many chips. A side plate of veggies arrived that were over cooked and looked awful. To say my partner was disappointed is very much an understatement.
His meal looked like it had been thrown together without any care whatsoever and it completely ruined our experience. We were going to stay for a few drinks, but ended up going home.
I'm assuming whoever had cooked his meal had just had enough of being cooped up in the kitchen and wanted to go home. While that might be fair enough, it's not the customers fault and to charge £13 for that is really a disgrace. Everything else was lovely, which kind of makes it even more starkly contrasted to that awful dish.
Suffice to say we will not be returning. Such a shame because we really thought we'd found a lovely gem in a place we regularly visit - oh well, we'll keep looking :(
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