I've never had such an appalling experience at a restaurant than I did on Saturday evening at the Drapers Arms. Not sure where to begin.
We made a group booking of 26 people for my sister's birthday. The starters arrived, which was, putting it simply, bowls of ham salad and mussels. However, this created confusion as we agreed on 2 courses for £27, (either starter and main or main and pudding) so we assumed that it was just starters and mains from now on, with no pudding.
The host spoke to the manageress and asked about this, to get a defensive response, blaming the customer, rather than apologising and coming to some sort of compromise or at least appearing genuinely sorry. Instead, we were now told it was £35 each minus service charge and alcohol. The manageress made no attempt to correct the host or clarify the menu choice and instead left it to spring this on us half way through the meal. She was happy to mislead us and take more money despite requesting the 2 course set meal for £27 days before.
Not surprisingly, with friends on a budget, and such a patronising and rude response from the manager, the host and birthday girl got very upset. This then lead to the next stage, of which I am utterly flabbergasted I am even about to write…
The host's partner then went to confront the manager's behaviour, to then be accused of being on cocaine by loudly asking ‘are you on cocaine sir!?’ in front of the entire table and other customers… (just for the record she couldn't have been more wrong!!) If you ask me, this says more about her than anything else! Utterly shameful. I was absolutely speechless when I overheard this, as were others.
After a shouting-match in the restaurant between the manageress and her customer, putting her hand over her face in exasperation demonstrating her antagonistic attitude, when we got the bill, she informed us that we were going to get a discount, but she's now taken it off' – similarly to her fellow manager's comment saying he was going to apologise, but he isn't going to – all of a sudden blaming the people that are about to pay their salary!! Absolutely disgusting customer service.
So the bill came to £1132 (inc. alcohol) with the 12.5% service charge taken off (as we stated we weren't going to pay service charge by this point). However, with the information that the manageress accused one of our party of being on cocaine, the bill was suddenly reduced to £810, reflecting the original price agreed of £27 per head for the food.
We couldn't pay the bill and leave fast enough. The whole evening was ruined and every member of our party was upset and just in shock at the staffs' behaviour. They really need to reconsider their staff and send them all, including the managers, on a customer service training course at the very least.
With regard to the food itself, it was not worth the price or the hype. Certain dishes, such as the chicken pie, were lovely, however, we were given stone cold plates. The shared platter of pork belly was barely warm the time it arrived on our table. So we were soon eating cold meat effectively. The thinly sliced potatoes were watery and tasteless. Wish I'd taken pictures of each dish to prove my point! By this stage, however, it wasn't worth the hassle of complaining, as we would only be blamed somehow!
The pudding, which we said we did not want once we discovered they were going to charge us extra, was definitely not worth the initial argument. The bread and butter pudding was watery and the meringue with hazelnuts and chocolate sauce was something a 5 year old could come up with. Nothing special nor worth the extra £8 per head!!
Never ever going back and advise everyone to STAY AWAY and don't waste your money on such appalling customer service!!