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|Address:||137 Westbourne Park Road, London W2 5QL|
|Tel:||020 7221 3355|
|Price: £42.00||Wine: £16.00||Champagne: £47.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 6.30-10.30pm Fri-Sat 12N-3pm Sun 12N-10pm|
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I have gone to the Oak many times in the past year for dinner/drinks and often recommend it to friends as we enjoy the atmosphere even if value for money is average. Each time I have been by, the bar and restaurant have been open and so I did not even think that I had to check the opening hours when I arranged to meet friends from out of town at 6pm at The Oak for drinks/dinner on the 21st December.
I left work early as the weather was terrible (snow and sleet) and I wanted to make sure we could get a table as The Oak does not take reservations and my friends were tired from a long day touring. I arrived at the Oak a little early (approx. 5:45) to find it closed. I was told that the restaurant and bar would open at 6pm. As I didn't have long to wait, I asked whether I could wait inside for my friends because it was very cold and sleeting outside and that we were planning to have dinner. I was told NO. I explained that I didn't need to be served but just wanted to wait inside to stay warm until 6pm when it opened. The manager/staff on duty did not budge. Unfortunately I did not take his name.
I have worked in restaurants in the past and there is no harm in letting someone sit at a table whilst you prepare the restaurant for opening even if you can’t serve them. People understand and are appreciative of flexibility, especially when the weather is as bad and cold as it was yesterday. However, as I had no choice but to leave I met my friends at another restaurant (The Cow) where we had drinks and a very good dinner. I will not return to The Oak as I am extremely disappointed in the blatant disregard for its customers. It is hard enough living in London to time one’s arrival at locations with the intermittent tube service and the extremely inclement weather (especially in these difficult economic times) without having to deal with a restaurant that has no consideration for its clientele. If anything I would expect restaurants to be flexible and to try to accomodate their customers during these difficult times. I do not recommend the Oak to those who value customer service.