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Read the thread 31 January 2013
Glad it's not just me, Jojo!
Don't forget the weird “survey” requests on here – almost as bad as spam More
Read the thread 30 January 2013
Someone called “London Gourmet” has posted 87 reviews within the space of the last 4 days…whilst I appreciate that we don't always get time to post immediately after dining and there is sometimes a case to post a few at the same time, this is somewhat of an overkill, isn't it? Be interesting to see how many of these hit up as “Editor's Picks” or win any of the reviewer prizes… More
Read the thread 13 November 2012
Ever since the new SM website was unveiled, it appears that member reviews are now somewhat of a poor cousin. The link to new reviews is buried towards the bottom of the page and behind Editor Picks – which do not appear to have been updated in months and there does not appear to be the facility any longer to look at all but the most recent reviews. What's happened to the list of “most prolific reveiwers”?
SM still appears to be running prizes for reviewer of the quarter/year, so why are we being overlooked on the website? More
Read the thread 25 September 2012
I was recently invited to a private party at Bentley's and we had a fab evening. Staff were absolutely brilliant and nothing was too much trouble even when we stayed long after the last diner had vacated the main restaurant! Our party was about 12 and whilst we had a truncated menu, it catered for both fish and meat lovers with all plates returned empty. I'm not a huge fan of the restaurant itself as whilst the food is great, the atmosphere is a bit muted, but would certainly not turn down an invite to a private gathering there should it ever be offered again. More
Read the thread January 2012
Totally agree John – I recently called to book a table for 5 people at a nice, but not particuarly fashionable establishment. No problem at all in getting the reservation for 7:30 on a Friday evening, but then came the somewhat ungracious “you can have the table until 9:30”. They didn't seem to appreciate my retort of “fine, if you can serve a party of 5 comfortably and fully within 2 hours, we'll vacate at that time”. As you say, there are discreet ways of doing this and surely they are far better to say, that they may need the table back rather than putting the diner on clock-watch. If I'm spending £100 a head on a wonderful meal, no way am I going to wolf it down to meet their schedule. I remember the times when this problem was usually solved by the suggestion of taking coffee in the more comfortable surroundings of the bar/lounge area – a much nicer way of getting tables vacated and still keeping the revenue for after dinner drinks. More
Read the thread August 2011
Thanks Nicky, but I have to say it is a bit lame for the reviews to appear on the website, but mention of any prize giving is only made on the website “when space allows”. I'm a bit of a pedant and have no desire to join in the Twitter craze so I guess the announcements of the plaudits will have to remain a mystery to me. Not that it particularly matters any more – I've decided to take Arabella's advice and now seek out restaurant blogs and sites that are better balanced than some of the reviews and reviewers now finding their way onto Square Meal. Another practice I've noticed is the first time reveiwer who starts with “having had many wonderful meals in this establishment, I just have to tell the world about the awful meal I had there last night” – perhaps if you had told the world about the fab meals, the restaurant may have been more successful with the increase in bookings that may have resulted from your good review… More
Read the thread August 2011
Was he ever a host? I dined at Claridges many years ago, probably just as he was getting the reputation as the foul mouthed TV caricature, and he was on site that evening. He was forced out of the kitchen to go and congratulate a couple who had just got engaged, but after raising a quick glass to them, he scuttled straight back into the kitchen as fast as his legs would carry him, looking highly embarassed to be seen in the actual restaurant. I know things have changed in the intervening years, but he has never struck me as being completely comfortable with his bill paying clientele…unless you have links to the Beckhams I guess… More
Read the thread July 2011
I've used Square Meal for more years than I care to remember and thought the addition of the facility for bill-paying members of the public to contribute their own reviews was a great idea. However, can anyone explain the increase in the practice of submitting huge amounts of reviews all in one hit? Someone has recently submitted over 20 reviews in the space of two days! I bet even professional critics aren't subjected to that many meals in such a short time period. What did they do, make copious notes and write them up when they can be bothered? What's the point of that? I often consult the public reviews to see how a restaurant is developing over a period of time – hard to do that when you now cannot take the submitted date as being legitimate. Also, has anyone ever won any of the reviewer prizes that SM advertises? I cannot recall seeing mention of the winners on a regular basis… More
Read the thread February 2011
Having recently taken advantage of a £40 voucher priced at £20 for the a la carte menu at Cinammon Kitchen courtesy of the Spotlight section of Top Table, I am a big fan! Not been enticed by any of the Groupon offers thus far as the only ones that have interested me in terms of venue, have been somewhat limited in menu choice. But am keeping an open mind and daresay I will be tempted at some point.
But yes Peter, I agree that it is good for all involved. More
Read the thread February 2011
Was just about to book a girlie “evening meal” and stumbled across a seemingly inviting special offer at Brasserie Blanc in the City – dinner two courses £16.00, three courses £18.45, even included an upgrade to a glass of Perrier for £2.75 – bargain! Not bad I thought in these days of austerity. Being the pedant that I am, on reading the not-so-small print I discover that this offer is available every day until 5.30pm ONLY. Even as a child I don't recall ever having an evening meal that early. Bearing in mind this restaurant is located in the City where most of us would be sacked for leaving our desks anything before 5pm, what's this all about? Has something been lost in translation? Is this timed to enable us to eat and get home in time for Monsieur Blanc's new tv series peut-etre? More