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|Address:||101 Westbourne Park Villas, London W2 5ED|
|Tel:||020 7221 1332|
|Price: £36.00||Wine: £16.50||Champagne: £26.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)|
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Over the last few years, I’ve ended up at the Westbourne, and always wondered why afterwards. I’m usually drawn there for a bit of sun outside on the terrace, which is great for relaxing with a drink when it’s calm and sunny.
The service, though, has always been ropey. Waiting and bar staff who seem annoyed to be working, or even have a basic idea of what they are meant to be doing (providing friendly, efficient customer service – if you were wondering what the answer was…), really let this place down. Yesterday, I experienced the worst service and attitude imaginable.
Simple things like not bring meals out at the same time, not thinking that people might need cutlery to eat, that glasses would be useful with water. Not uncommon errors perhaps, being told that your waitress ‘doesn’t do drinks – go to the bar’ when you’re sitting down to a meal seems incredible. So too does being charged for bread, and not being told that you can’t order a side of fries, when fires comes on several of the other dishes. It just demonstrated a completed lack of understanding about what customers might want or indeed expect. That coupled with the unhelpful attitude made the whole operation comedically bad.
Though, the worst was to come. Deciding to stand-up for my consumer rights (not something I would normally worry about), I asked the waiter to remove the service charge from final bill, as service was something my table of five certainly did not receive, giving him an explanation. Not surprisingly perhaps, his response was not a helpful apologetic one. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to run a tab in the future if I wasn’t willing to the pay service charge, which really had nothing to do with my complaint. Even worse, the manager then came over, also with a shirty attitude to explain that I was, “being unfair to the waiting staff who don’t get paid much and rely on tips to get a decent wage”…
In effect, I was being blamed for the Westbourne not paying their staff properly, and being told that service charge had nothing to do with the level of service that we had received. We were all dumbfounded to be honest. Perhaps if the staff were really in such a dire need of the £16 to share between how many of them, they might actually smile, be polite, and try to maintain a basic level of service so that they would get a tip; incredible…
The will certainly be my last time to the Westbourne, which is a shame because the food, as it happens, was very nice. Isn’t it a shame for the kitchen staff that their hard work is ruined by front of house? Next time on over in W11, I’ll be spending my money at the Cow (as I should have in the first place). Being trendy doesn’t mean you’re allowed to have low standards. This is London, there are too many good places to go to deal with treatment like this.