We booked for 8 people (several quite elderly) for New Years Eve. It was advertised as a buffet with eatting times of 8 or 9 pm. We choose 8 as our elderly parents eat early and our children were going into town afterwards.
kept waiting for half an hour at the bar as the bar staff were unable to take the money for a bottle of wine. Staff told me that they had the two least experienced staff on the bar which does not make a good first impression.
The starter was served your table and then they started calling tables to visit the buffet. We were sitting right next to the buffet but they called tables from the far end of the hall first- mainly couples and small parties. We didn't get to the buffet until about 9.30 by which time we have watched people leaving with their plates piled high but we didn't have the choice of lamb as this had run out and apparently the beef are too rare for most people and by this time we were being served the food to you and my husband ended up with 1 slice of beef, two potatoes and a few vegetables for £60! The next and last table to us fared even worse as they served them what looked like scraps of ham from the kitchen! They did serve everybody a glass of Proseco at midnight which hadn't been included in the cost.
I emailed the hotel in early January regarding our disappointment with the evening. After not getting a reply within a week I emailed again stating that I was waiting for their response before posting on Tripadviser. Interestingly enough this got a response.
The manager left a message on my answerphone stating that he had been trying to contact me (he hadn't!) and he would call me back in a few days time. When I eventually spoke to him he was full of excuses and an apology 'the chefs last day, his idea to do the buffet, just got the hotel and re-training staff etc etc etc'. He offered us a complimentary 3 course meal for 8 which we decided to give them another chance.
I emailed him towards the end of January with a date in March for 8 people (in fact the weekend of my daughters 21st birthday). He emailed me back starting he wasn't sure he could do that date.......... eventually he emailed me back and said that the date was available.
The week before I emailed to confirm the reservation. No response. On turning up at the hotel on time, the receptionist told us they didn't have a booking in our name and after saying the reservation was made with the manager, the assistant manager? asked us to take a seat in the bar. This was embarrassing to say the least in front of our guests.
We sat in the bar and were handed menus and a waitress came to take our order. My mother who was sat in the middle of the group gave her order and as I wanted the same thing I said make that two of those. The waitress replied that she wouldn't remember who'd order what so could we please start at one end of the table and work around! I can't remember exactly how long we waited in the bar but I'm sure we didn't sit down to eat until after 2.00pm. The meal itself was ok and the service was ok (not brilliant considering we were returning disgruntled customers). On paying for our drinks the assistant manager again apologised for New Years Eve.
I can't put my finger on what's wrong with this hotel/restaurant. Staff training is definitely an issue - a lot of the staff seem to be very young and therefore cheap? - may be they are understaffed? and that's why timings are an issue? I don't know but I wouldn't go along unless a long wait and mediocre food doesn't detract from your enjoyment.
The surroundings are nice but the service and food don't live up to the décor!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- New ownership from December 2012 has seen this beautiful building tastefully restored to its former grandeur with extensive refurbishment to the Restaurant, Bar and Reception areas. Boasting 16 individually designed en-suite bedrooms with Jacuzzi baths and usual amenities such as tea and coffee facilities, free wi-fi and TV and telephone. The all new "Ramsey's Brasserie" the hotel boasts, offers the business or pleasure traveler an extensive range of quality food and drink with friendly professional service and accommodation. For business meetings and functions there are two conference and event suites available and the premises are licensed for civil wedding / partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions catering for small or large numbers with individually tailored packages, along with a great venue for events and parties. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Slepe Hall Hotel And Restaurant
- Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant St Ives, Cambridgeshire