Monday, September 21, 2009

Meal with Mags and Ian

image I drove over to Stratford and dropped into Ian's beforehand to solve a few little niggles on the new Netbook he'd bought for (his) Ann. That went pretty well with email up-and-running and all their photographs transferred across without a hitch.

Restaurant-wise, Mags had booked the imaginatively titled: '1 Shakespeare Street' in Stratford. I think after eating there, the best thing about the place was its helpful name – it had nothing else going for it! When Ian and I arrived (after some challenges finding somewhere to park nearby), Mags was already there and the waiter then hurriedly brought knives and forks for us to eat with (always a nice touch that!) – he obviously didn't realise were were coming! This was to be an omen for the rest of the evening!

The place was almost empty, but it was a Monday, so we initially didn't pay too much attention to that. The menu was uninspiring and we settled for a burger – Ian and Mags had steak whilst I went for the cajun chicken version with some olive-oil and bread to keep us going whilst we waited. Luckily we ate the bread pretty quickly because the waiter, on collecting the plates, asked if we were now ready for the main course – surely he should have been preparing that whilst we tackled the bread.

Talk about over-attentive! It seemed like every five minutes, he was back to our table to see if everything was 'OK'. It's was a good strategy the first couple of times…but 10 visits later inside what seemed like half-an-hour, it was just too much! Then, just when we needed him most – after we'd finished the main course, he was nowhere to be found.

Initially we were all considering dessert, but we got bored waiting and settled for tea and coffee – and I had to go to the Bar (to find him serving there!) to place the order. I presented him with a discount card that Mags had acquired but he said they didn't take it. Our teas a coffees arrived and Mags challenged him about the voucher as she'd received a confirming email from the restaurant a few weeks back to say the voucher would be OK to use. Mags explained all this and when she asked him what he could do for us, he proudly confirmed 'nothing!' Mags asked him if he was the Manager – he was! Ouch!!!

He then scurried back to the Bar whilst Mags fumed! Five minutes later, he was back saying he'd thought about it, and he then gave us the 25% stated on the voucher. A result!

After that, we left pretty sharpish as Mags was driving up to Sheffield for a Course she's running tomorrow and there was no reason to hang around.

A characterless place with no atmosphere and a waiter who just got it all wrong. What a disappointing evening!