The first time I stayed in the area and visited this pub with friends I found the owners rude and unwelcoming. We wanted to get some lunch however when we discovered food wasn't being served we were practically laughed out of the pub by the owner when we asked if anywhere else may be at 3pm in the afternoon. Something that I felt was unnecessary. When we loosely mentioned we might go back in the evening the owner was very abrupt stating if we were likely to come back we better order in advance and give them enough time to prep because we were a large group - which ordinarily would be an understandable request with a small village pub but the tone was clear that they'd rather we didn't return.
Several months later we were in the area and decided to give the pub another chance. After a few afternoon drinks we decided we'd book for a meal the next evening and luckily the landlady was slightly more accommodating of us this time - initially. Although we accepted that the pub was busy and there may be a bit of a delay, after ordering drinks the owners brought over 3 pints for the men and left 7 empty glasses on the table without the bottle of wine for us for over 15 minutes. Meanwhile we watched both owners flit back and fourth between other tables and rooms before bringing over our bottle. Eventually our orders were taken and we waited for our homemade pub food.
Once all of our mains were delivered to the table it became quite clear that the quality was low - especially in comparison to the price. Several members of our group could not finish (or in some cases really start) their burger as they felt the quality and taste was extremely low considering the menu stated these were 'homemade'. Only some time after finishing with our mains did staff appear and ask if everything was ok - which is when we brought up the fact that the burgers were not. The complaint was greeted with an argumentative tone and extreme rudeness - something I have never witnessed through any kind of 'customer service'. The argument continued until the owner agreed to remove the cost of one overpriced burger (despite stating this was 'average' for the area - it seemed somewhat steep in cost from my perspective of living in London where prices are usually higher than average).
I am genuinely shocked at the amount of great reviews this pub has received and can only assume that the owners of this pub have a very clear outlook on what kind of customers they'd like to have in their pub and a group of late twenties-early thirties in the area for an outdoors type holiday are apparently not welcome.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Country Pub with Dining and Accommodation. Good Beer Guide from 2009. Home of the Naga Viper Madras. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Engine Inn Cartmel, Cumbria