NB ‘TA’ stands for Trip Advisor. You will see my review here when it arrives.
We arrived today, Valentine’s Day, at the Old Station Inn, Hallatrow, at lunchtime, 1pm to be precise, to find an empty restaurant. There was a lady behind the bar – she sounded Irish – and when I said I made a booking she looked at me as if I was like something from outer space. Eventually she roused her mind to give me an answer and asked me if I wanted to sit inside the main pub or whether I wanted to sit in the adjoining railway carriage.
I asked her if it was warmer in the pub or the carriage and she said ‘much warmer in the carriage’ but there was no sense of emotional involvement, enthusiasm, or anything.
We were sat at a table and given the menu. She asked us whether we wanted drinks whilst we were taking off our coats and even before we sat down. She bought the drinks and gave us the menu. Some considerable time later she turned up and asked if we were ready to order.
My partner asked for a salmon and I asked for a duck. The food was good 7/10 and there was enough of it. Sometime later after a long pause she came to collect the dishes.
Normally you bring the menu and ask people if they want a sweet course but nothing happened for about 20 min. We then had to get up and get our own menus. We were at the point of going to find her when she turned up, took the order for sweets which turned up about 5 min later.
While my partner went to the toilet I paced around the railway carriage where you get all the old railway photos and she turned up and asked us if we wanted coffee. I said no thank you and she replied ‘when you have finished come to the bar and pay’ almost in the tone as if we were going to walk out without paying.
Bearing in mind it was Valentine’s day and we were trying to be as jolly and positive as possible this really put a damper on things.
My impression is that this person had not been trained as a waiter. When I commented on the food she said ‘I will tell my husband’ so I assume she is the wife of the chef. Clearly, she does not enjoy her job and frankly does not like people. We shall not be returning there for a meal because there’s plenty of other restaurateurs who do offer cheerful service.
My recommendation to the establishment is that they should find someone who loves serving. It may be that I caught them on an off day when the regular waitress was not there but looking at some of the other opinions I don’t think this is the case.
To be fair to her, there was no one else behind the bar and about half a dozen people in the pub. She could have said this.
To TA readers: I’m very sorry to have to write this. It is my first review for a year or so adding to the 2,000 plus reviews from 17 countries.
Date of stay: February 2020