Mindful of the Covid-19 pandemic and in an effort to keep perspective at such a difficult time for the restaurant industry, I've taken a few days to gather my thoughts on our experience at The Hand & Flowers, hoping to avoid an overly critical, knee-jerk review following my overwhelming disappointment.
Firstly, bedrooms offsite for £325.00 per night? With no facilities, no room service (except for drinks) and a view of perhaps the best industrial bin selection I've ever seen, in addition to a car park and a huge air conditioning generators. No breakfast in bed, no papers and a balcony which doubles as an ice rink/death trap in the rain. If I could post a photo of the bruising all over my feet and legs following my fall out there, I would.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the food was uninspired, grossly over-priced and underwhelming. My lamb bun main was dry and almost grey, with my boyfriends fish also falling short. It's also worth noting that simply dried white bait is not an 'Amuse Bouche'. The bread and the butter were unbelievably delicious and the highlight of the meal. £285 in at this point (and considerably disappointed by what we'd eaten so far) we elected not to have pudding.
In addition to the lack lustre food, there was no somelier, no atmosphere, uninspired decor and loos the size of a small wardrobe.
The one star I have given, is for Declan, who was attentive and courteous throughout.
I could reel of many examples of restaurants serving better food, with better ambience and better service. I could also recommend many more hotels selling rooms at similar prices with all the trappings one would expect in a five star hotel.
I am loathe to be so scathing but I could not think of one person within my family or friendship group who would enjoy the food or consider the experience good value for money. I am absolutely bemused by the scores of five star reviews.