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BITE user profile - MissAlpha

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Username: MissAlpha

Age: 44

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The Royal Oak, Kinnersley

This is a lovely country pub / eaterie with just the right attention to detail. The tables are nicely distributed between the conservatory area and the pub itself, and there is just the right amount of decor (much of it themed around horses) to add interest without a feeling of clutter. Add to this a warm and not complacent welcome from the landlord, and this is a pub which hits the right notes.
The food - well, having eaten here several times now I cannot fault it. It is beautifully presented, but this is not a case of style over substance - the portions are generous and the standard of cooking very high. The Sunday lamb melts in the mouth, and the vegetarian option - yesterday a risotto - was flavoursome and well thought-out.
Well worth a visit. Just be aware that if you go for a starter, you may struggle to fit in a pudding after the generously sized main course - which would be a pity, as the Eton Mess with rose petal syrup is, if you can find room for it, a real treat.

25 Aug 2008 20:33

Live and Let Live, Bromyard

I can only assume that the name of this pub is ironic. Having visited the Live & Let Live once a couple of months ago, and been extremely disappointed by the unfriendly service and cold hostility of who I can only assume was the landlady, I decided to give it a second chance yesterday evening, and ventured along for a drink with a friend. He went to order the drinks (I had asked for a dry white wine) while I found a table in the downstairs bar area (dutifully ensuring that I selected one WITHOUT a white plastic "reserved" sign on it). When my friend came back with the drinks I was amazed to see that my wine had been poured into a tiny wine glass and filled up to the very brim so that it was virtually impossible for him to carry without some of it sloshing out. Then, within a couple of minutes, we were approached by a waitress who asked if we had ordered food. I explained that we were just having a drink. She waved a plastic reserved sign at us and said that our table was reserved. I said that there had been no sign on it when we sat down and we would like to enjoy our drinks in peace. The girl persisted that she had been told to come and tell us that the table was reserved. I was growing annoyed by this point so I said to her that maybe she should go and find out what time the table was reserved from, and that as far as I was concerned, we would be sitting here until we had finished the drinks we had paid for. Live and let live - hardly!
The girl beat a retreat, only to return a few moments later and place the reserved sign on the table next to ours - which had been unoccupied the whole time. While we were drinking our drinks, a blonde lady I can only assume was the landlady proceeded to walk down to the far end of the pub where we were sitting (which was not visible from the bar) as if to check whether we were still there or not. I would say she repeated the exercise about 6 times in the 10 minutes we were sitting there.
Seething, I gave up on the idea of a peaceful drink. I approached the bar as we were leaving the pub and represented to the landlady that I did not feel that, as paying customers, we should have been asked to move from the table we had selected. The landlady did not apologise and her manner was just as hostile as I had remembered - in fact she implied that I was making the whole thing up!
I believe that if you are going to work in a service industry, you should not have a problem serving people, and from her demeanour I can only assume she is in the wrong profession. I believe that as the economy takes a turn for the worse and eating and drinking out becomes a luxury we can less often afford, we should demand more from the experience than quaint surroundings and passable products. Customer service should be paramount. I don't know whether this landlady has ever heard the adage that the customer is king, but she would do well to bear it in mind.

25 Aug 2008 17:38

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MissAlpha has been registered on this site since 25th August 2008