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|Address:||Sprigg's Alley, Chinnor, Oxfordshire OX39 4BX|
|Tel:||01494 483 011|
|Price: £39.00||Wine: £14.95||Champagne: £35.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tue-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -3.30pm) Tue-Sat 7-10pm|
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My husband and I dined at the Sir Charles Napier on Saturday night, choosing it as the venue for our 5th wedding anniversary. Having eaten in many a fine dining establishment both inside and outside of London, including Heston's ‘The Fat Duck’, we were really looking forward to our meal. Given the experience we encountered I doubt we will ever return, which is a shame as the food itself was very good. Though I might add
that ‘The Alford Arms’ in nearby Frithsden is probably just as good and a hell of a lot cheaper and friendlier.
On our arrival at the restaurant we were asked to take a seat in the bar…however we weren't allowed to choose our own seats but told to sit in a tiny corner right next to a large group, which I have to say wasn't particularly romantic!! When I asked if we could sit somewhere else I was told no!! Not sure I've ever experienced that in a Michelin star restaurant before!! We ordered our drinks after a short delay and then were handed the menu. We placed our order and then waited for the manageress to come back and show us to our table…how wrong I was!! We waited and waited and waited and then finally, more than ONE HOUR after our arrival we were shown to our table with not so much as an apology or explanation as to why we had had to wait for so long!! I'm not sure I have ever in my life had to wait this long just to get seated when I have had a reservation…this certainly wouldn't have happened in any of the Michelin star restaurants I have eaten in over the years.
As we had waited so long to be seated we were now playing catch up regarding time as we had to get back for our babysitter who had to go home at 11pm and we still had to make the 20minute drive back home! Starters didn't arrive till gone half nine and it was only because I managed to speak to a lovely waitress, who pushed through our desert order, that we were able to leave the restaurant at 10.30pm, having rushed our food and having paid £160 for the pleasure!! I didn't even have time to contest the service charge, though judging by the other negative comments I have read regarding service, I don't think it would have made any difference. Here is a restauranter who clearly doesn't care whether people have a positive experience of not as she knows that she has enough wealthy local regulars to make up for the negative reviews. They obviously get priority in this establishment!!
We won't be returning that is for sure. I'll stick to the ‘Alford Arms’ for local dining and my regular London haunts for those special occasions from now on!!