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A long and disappointing evening

Somewhere between walking in and being pointed (not shown to) a tiny table along the wall, and walking out through a haze between the smokers, Lisa and I tried the food in a nearby new eatery last night, and decided that it wouldn't be high up our list to recommend to our guests.

Is it just because we're in the business that we notice things like spare glasses being removed, gripped with a thumb across the rim yet returned to the clean spares? That we notice the cleaning products left on a table, for quite some period, and that table being used as a tray holder for drinks and food being delivered to other customers around at the same time? That we notice the curled up carpert corner that customers and staff were tripping over, as the bluetac holding it down had given up the unequal struggle?

Sometime in the 2.5 hours between us setting out and getting home, driving to a place that's about a mile away, we ate. It's always a poor portent when walking into a restaurant to look around and to see food being eaten only at a tiny sprinking of tables, because that indicates long waits. Lisa and I call it "Valentine's mode" because the most extreme service we ever had like this was on Valentine's night when - perhaps - a resturant has something of an excuse. But here we waited, on a Monday in late December, while the gaggle of waiting staff gaggles away at the till even before taking our order. The starter was slow enough in arriving for me to look at my watch when we finished it, secure in the knowledge that I would be able to report a long wait for the main. So I can say now, with confidence, "35 minutes". Our waitress came over after about 30 of those minutes and explained we were behind a large party, and that made us feel really great and important.

The hot sauce on the starter was hot. But the blue cheese dip seemed like herbs in cream, and even Lisa (who hates blue cheese) tried it, and tried it some more because she couldn't taste the cheese. And under the sauces - finger food - which the suace had been just poured over rather than marinaded, it felt like old stock crisped up.

Neither of us got what we initially ordered as main, as we were told on ordering that they had run out. When I asked if I could have XXXX instead, I was told "of course you can" and I felt like suggesting there was no "of course" about it, having just been rejected on two other dishes. The main was reasonable, but underquantitied, and overpriced for what it was. We braved the wait for a desert, and when it arrived it too was overpriced - I joked to Lisa that it was from page 126 of the Brake's commercial catering catalog, but although I joked I think many a true word may have been spoken in Jest. I would suggest they paid perhaps 48.5p for something they charged us [c2]ã4.85 for.

I will admit that we tried out this place without huge hopes, having read other local reviews. We went for the experience, and to be able to tell people what we thought. The team that looked after us exhibited little interest in our experience, and making any comment to them would have been water of a duck's back - no "how is your food" check, for example, no interest in the customer. So they won't know that their performance last night has placed them way down the list of places I would suggest to our customers, and they won't know that would have amounted to quite a lot of covers through the quieter winter months when customers who help keep them in work might be hard to come by. Sad - I would love to have been able to give you a positive report, tell you where I'm talking about and saying "go there". I can't, though. Some others who have been, may work it out, avid readers of other sites may guess, but I would be surprised if the management hears of this report or is aware of the multiple other like it that are out there on places like Facebook. Just in case they are, these are of course just our personal experience and views, and you may find it different if you go. I doubt it though, at least until they pull their socks up.

P.S. No disappointment in the company last night - good to pop out with Lisa, long pop though it was!
(written 2014-12-30)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
M401 - Well House Manor - Seeing how others do it
  [4443] Seventh stay away this year - and it's still only February! - (2015-02-25)
  [4348] Taking my life in my hands in Swansea - (2014-12-11)
  [4321] Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable? - (2014-11-20)
  [4255] Making a personal gain from a more expensive business hotel stay - (2014-04-02)
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  [4093] More things to make sure that we do NOT do ... - (2013-05-18)
  [4091] A reminder of why we opened Well House Manor for our customers - (2013-05-17)
  [4081] Pushing down the advertised price, pushing up the total price charged. - (2013-05-08)
  [4058] The highs and lows of customer service - Cheltenham - (2013-04-03)
  [3975] Being an amateur hotel inspector helps me run a professional hotel - (2013-01-14)
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  [3900] The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed - (2012-10-20)
  [3794] Should hotel staff sit on the toilet in the customer bedrooms? - (2012-07-02)
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  [3368] Well House Manor hotel, Melksham - recommended to you by our customers - (2011-07-23)
  [3333] Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way - (2011-06-25)
  [3054] Longhope Hotel - (2010-11-16)
  [2911] Feeding the Grockles - (2010-08-09)
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  [2502] Monday night, Tuesday night - (2009-11-13)
  [2441] Not your cup of tea? - (2009-10-08)
  [2413] Sanity checking the price, and selling up to increase income - (2009-09-21)
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  [2127] Call in the professionals! - (2009-04-12)
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  [2007] Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival - (2009-01-24)
  [1915] Quietly putting prices up - (2008-12-02)
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  [1547] New bathing idea for hotels from Hotelympia - (2008-02-20)
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  [1458] The wrong way to put up prices - (2007-12-05)
  [1454] From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans - (2007-12-03)
  [1413] The little gestures that can really count - (2007-10-27)
  [1406] Away or home - which do I prefer? - (2007-10-25)
  [1374] Maidenhead Coffee Challenge - (2007-10-02)
  [1356] Crystal Ball - How long do I need to be online? - (2007-09-18)
  [1354] Match the Bedroom to the Hotel - (2007-09-17)
  [1347] Wireless Internet Access at hotels - an update and some pitfalls - (2007-09-12)
  [1333] Kasteel Elsloo - Michelin rated hotel. - (2007-09-05)
  [1301] Plastic or China - (2007-08-12)
  [1287] Work and play at Well House Manor - Football and Shell Shortcuts - (2007-08-02)
  [1205] Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel - (2007-05-26)
  [1091] The Psyche is all wrong. - (2007-02-24)
  [1026] The Wheatsheaf 2, The Bell 0 - (2007-01-09)
  [1011] Well House Manor and Beechfield House, Hotels, Melksham - (2006-12-29)
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  [736] New Tape Librarian - (2006-05-28)
  [714] Room for Octopuses - (2006-05-08)
  [699] Extremes costs of getting on line - (2006-04-25)
  [693] The on line booking experience - (2006-04-21)
  [619] If its Sunday, it must be the Norland - (2006-02-23)
  [514] Crazy Day-sies - (2005-12-02)
  [17] Differing tastes - (2004-08-17)


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Test driven development, and class design, from first principles (using C++)
A long and disappointing evening
Template / design pattern for C++ constructor and accessors
Why are people using the TransWilts?
Conditionals, loops and methods in Ruby - a primer with simple examples
Ruby - the second rung of learning the language
Shuffling a list - Ruby and Python
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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