It’s funny isn’t it?
I’d expect a large business to be better in terms of having procedures in place to ensure their income is as much as it can possibly be; I’d think that their customer service would be better than good; that their conduct wouldn’t leave them open to them being sued etc.
Yet, this weekend I learned that this definitely isn’t always the case.
We went away for the weekend. I informed the hotel beforehand that we follow a plant-based diet, which I explained fully. I also requested that they have enough utensils out during breakfast, so that guests aren’t forced to use the same utensil for the meat and vegetarian options etc. I mentioned this because I know that these things aren’t always considered.
However, dinner was awful! I was told that they weren’t aware of my email at all. They blamed Reception for not telling them but I was told by Reception themselves that my email had been sent to the Head Chef, Head of Catering and 2 others to ensure that they had the right ingredients and could plan meal options for us.
I was told that we had a choice of 2 Starters, 1 Main and Dessert would be fresh fruit.
There was a lot of uncertainty caused by the Manager not understanding what vegan meant, the chef feeling pressured with last minute requests and the waiting staff not really knowing what to do or say.
I am intolerant to dairy and I reacted to one of the meals. Not good when you’re staying at a Hotel that’s like a Stately Home.
I was disappointed to find utensils for meat and veg on the same little saucer, even though I’d mentioned this in my email. This is problematic for those who don’t eat particular things for religious reasons, ethical reasons and those who avoid certain foods because of negative physical reactions.
I’d expect a big business to understand these needs better and I think they should be able to organise themselves and provide for paying guests who have specific dietary requirements.
The Manager was so unhappy with the way things turned out for us, she refunded the cost of our stay.
Nevertheless, this was pants!
THEN we went to Stamford. We sat in a small restaurant overlooking the river and had a delicious meal. It’s a small business.
When we asked the waitress what we could eat, she asked if we’d be happy to speak with the chef. We were more than happy to do that, so Charlie, came out to clarify what our needs were.
He was genuine, caring, creative and apologetic. In his mind it wasn’t good enough that we have come into this restaurant and can only eat one thing.
He adjusted a dish so that we could eat it and really took the time to ensure we ate well. We had 2 different dishes and the whole experience made us want to return again!
The vibe was great! We weren’t rushed at all.
Another nice touch is the gentleman call Ron. He greets customers at the door, gives them a tour of the 3 businesses that are based in that building and he makes sure your needs are catered for.
If you go to Stamford, you really must pop in to this gorgeous place called Thierry Daugeron
So the big established hotel left a bitter taste in our mouths whereaswhereas the small business, which has been open less than 3 months, won our hearts.
Some photos showing the experience that we’d love a repeat of!