While France continues to delight with its new generation of wonderful new chefs and artisans determined to infuse everything that made French cuisine famous but with a much less Franco-centric, Anglo-phobic attitude, there are bound to be one or two exceptions that prove certain prejudices, particularly about attitudes to 'customer service', still prevail, Despite its beautiful location and, on the face of it, potential ambiance this restaurant, I'm afraid, falls into the latter category.
Things didn't start well when we announced my wife and daughter were vegetarian. We were brusquely informed that the chef could not accommodate a change to the menu and that they would have to 'make do' - which involved eating two starters from which the meat and fish could be removed. Not only that, the attitude of the waiters(with one notable, and noticeably embarrassed, exception) continued to be frosty for the duration of the evening. When our main meal arrived - almost cold and after what seemed like an interminable wait - we decided to complain, something I think I have done I think twice in my adult life.
Please don't get me wrong - I despise rudeness in anyone and like to think (having worked in customer-facing roles myself previously) I always empathise with overworked, poorly-paid staff. I don't want 'customer service' to become the excuse for modern servitude that some employers and, regrettably, many consumers, seem to think is perfectly acceptable these days. However, neither do I expect to be either blatantly ignored or the butt of sarcastic comments from staff (I speak French fluently - which visibly shocked them once this was finally known).
I'll spare you all the litany of incidents, but suffice to say I have never left a restaurant as angry as I did that night.
I picked the restaurant after having popped along to look at the place earlier that day and, on the face of it, and with a bit of tweeking, this place could be a real gem. However, memorable it was but only for the wrong reasons and a 'last night of the holidays' treat for friends and family was ruined.
It has taken me six months to write this review. I always prefer to comment on negative experiences once I have had time to reflect and possibly reconsider. However, after months of deliberation, my calm and measured opinion is...just don't go there!
If you want a real 'experience', try the Manoir d'Hautgente hotel/restaurant at the edge of the village of Coly just along the road instead. This is the real deal. A little more expensive, but an altogether different experience - and beautiful setting to boot. And - at the end of your sioree - you may get to leave with a little less money but a lot more self-respect...
Vive la France Nouvelle!!!
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