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Username: laurali

Age: 32

Sex: ?

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The Essex Serpent, Covent Garden

I went to this 'pub' on a recent day trip to London with some friends. None of us would ever visit again, a decision we made before our food even arrived!

After waiting far too long to be seated, we ordered our food, only to then be told that in future they would require all of us to order food (two of our party had already eaten), because apparently rather than admit that it was a pub they felt the need to act like a jumped up fancy restaurant.

The food arrived, minus one meal (the soup of the day) which the waitress claimed had never been ordered, even though she had taken the order herself.

The veggie burger I had ordered, which had been described as 'a portobello mushroom with goats cheese', actually turned out to be a soggy microwaved mess of potato and tiny bits of vegetable. When I told the waitress that this was not at all what I had ordered, she said that the menu had changed and she'd 'forgotten' to tell me, and to just try it to see if I liked it. Since the issue was that I had not been brought what had been described on the menu, I said I would not be happy with that and decided to order a starter which looked like it wouldn't take long so as to avoid holding up the whole party. As it happened, it took so long for the forgotten soup to be brought out that I might as well have ordered a whole separate meal anyway.

When the bill arrived we saw that the incorrect meal had been added to the total, which we crossed out and amended. We paid the bill and left, only for the waitress to run out after us claiming we had underpaid. It seemed she was correct that even accounting for the incorrect meal, we had underpaid by 10. Being unable to figure out how, we paid the 10 and took the bill so as to work it out while we stood outside. We realised we had forgotten to pay for a couple of drinks, accounting for about 3.50... And then noticed that the remaining amount was a SERVICE CHARGE (!!!) which they had added. Goodness knows how they had the cheek to demand that after their service had been less than awful, but we decided to get on with our day and not bother arguing with them.

Apologies for rambling, but I felt the need to explain the terrible dining experience and hopefully prevent other people from having such a fiasco of a meal and being made to feel as cross as we did, marring an otherwise lovely day out.

Hopefully this place will soon close down and the building will be free for a proper establishment to be set up.

5 Feb 2012 15:52

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laurali has been registered on this site since 5th February 2012