Last night (Saturday) we decided to book at the Farmers Arms at the last minute, having heard good things about the food. There were 4 of us and they said that if we didn't mind sitting in the bar, they could accommodate us.
Our table wasn't ready when we arrived, which we didn't mind, as we said we'd sit and have a drink while we waited. The barman was surly and offhand but we took our drinks and sat on some comfy couches in the bar area. A waitress told us our table was being prepared and a few minutes later we were seated at the table along with our menus.
After 45 minutes, no-one had come to take our order. There was no-one behind the bar so I ventured into the lounge bar and asked someone behind the bar there if we could place our order. A few minutes later a waitress came and we ordered our meals. Our starters came pretty promptly. The food was ok - cheesy garlic bread was lovely but my mushrooms in tortilla basket lacked flavour and the prawns in filo were clearly not homemade.
We then waited an eternity for our plates to be cleared. The couple next to us had arrived just after us and, having not ordered starters, were also waiting for their main courses. Eventually I went and found a member of staff to chase our main courses. Soon after this a waitress came with food for the couple next to us and that was followed by our meals. The food was a mixture of good and acceptable -- the pie had a massively thick pastry crust on it but overall was good. The battered fish was bland and my son left most of that. The burger was delicious, as was my pork and black pudding.
We then endured another long wait for them to come and clear our dishes. By this time we were well and truly fed up -- as was the couple next to us. My daughter had not had a starter as she wanted a pudding but by this time it was almost 10pm and we simply couldn't bear to wait any longer. I had to ask for the bill THREE times before it eventually came -- the poor service became a running joke between us and the couple next to us.
We then went into the lounge bar to pay as no-one came to us and this is when things got even worse. I complained that the service had been slow. At this, the surly barman who had served us when we first arrived challenged me very aggressively, asserting that as the food was homecooked, we had to be prepared to wait ... and that no-one else had complained! When I countered that he seemed intent on arguing with me! Another waitress then stepped in and said that she would "check what time was on the food order ticket". The fact that we had waited 45 minutes to even place that order didn't seem to matter! Incidentally, as I looked round the lounge bar I noticed a board showing the day's special dishes of which our waitress hadn't informed us.
Eventually they knocked £10 off the bill but by this time I couldn't have cared less. Frankly, I would rather they had said when we phoned that they were fully booked rather than accept our booking and treat us like second class citizens.
There are dozens of lovely places to eat in and around Nantwich so I will not be bothering with the Farmers Arms again.
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