The Castle was a former favourite of mine back from the days of when I worked for what was the brewing and pub retailing empire that was Bass. In those days the Castle was one of the flagships of a 4000 pub estate and we would hold management and other meetings there. Many years on, I took my family there this weekend expecting the same former greatness. What a disappointment in comparable terms. The board on the roadside advertising for a head chef and around 5 other key staff started the alarm bells ringing. We stayed overnight and ate in the restaurant. The food element of our stay was a series of disappointments, with two of our 4 main courses not to the standard that should be served resulting in a bill reduction, warm wine and grumpy restaurant service....not good. There was more but I don't want to 'moan' necessarily and the young bar staff were trying valiantly whilst clearly up against it. I sincerely hope the management team of Innkepers Lodge have a fundamental roots and branch review of the pub and staff it correctly as it has the potential to return to its former glories. Disappointed, but won't give up on an old favourite........just yet. Come on the management team of the parent company. Being in a prime location is not sufficient to survive these days. It feels like a sink or swim moment to me and I hope the business can return to its former position at the top of the pile instead of languishing almost at the bottom.
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