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The Charles Dickens, Broadstairs

Great Expectations

We had a very pleasant lunch at the re-vamped Charles Dickens pub on the sea front in Broadstairs a couple of weeks ago, so when our daughter-in-law Lorna wanted to take us out for dinner on Saturday night we suggested that this was a nice place to go. My husband and I were a little late arriving and on entering the pub we were met by a crush of people downstairs and a “doorman”. We left and telephoned our son from outside to suggest a different venue, he said they had gone upstairs to the newly opened Copperfield Restaurant so we met them upstairs. There was an empty table behind where they had been seated. They were told they could have the table but not until 8.30pm about half an hour or so later. We all thought it rather strange that we had to sit at a different table about ten feet away rather than at the meal table that they said they had now reserved for us.

As my husband and I were late arriving my son gave me £10 for our drinks and we were charged £6 for my J2O and his half pint of cider, when I queried this it transpired that I had been charged for a pint of cider, and the girl behind the bar complained to Paula (the restaurant manager?) that the till was not working properly and drinks were pricing wrongly and not being put to the right table. I told my daughter in law to watch out for this on her bill at the end of the evening.

8.30 came and went and we were still waiting to be seated. At 8.40 on the second time of asking Paula (who appeared to be in charge) sat us down and gave us another copy of the menu to look at. The same one we had studied for at least 40mins already. Then she said she would come back and take our order. Twenty minutes later I went in the main restaurant and asked if she could take our order. She was off hand and argued about how long we had waited and then sent someone else out to see to us. We ordered our meals and were told that we would have to wait as they only had two chefs working that night. (Why did they not turn us away when we arrived around 8pm?)
The people on the next table called the waitress over and told her they had to go to work on Monday and that if their meal did not arrive in 5 mins they were leaving. The meal came and they did not appear impressed. When they left 20 mins or so later, they wished us luck. We were still waiting for our starters. When the starters finally arrived the mackerel was mostly mousse and our young grandson who had ordered it could not eat it so I gave him the most of my seafood medley. The small mackerel slithers were inedible and the mouse was very salty. I tried it and gave some to my husband who was not overly impressed either.

We were asked if we enjoyed our starters and I pointed out that the menu was not clear about what would turn up and we had not enjoyed the mackerel at all.

Our main meal turned up after yet another long wait and fell short by quite a long chalk only two out of six meals were fully eaten and our grandson said his goujons of chicken were the worst he had ever tasted. I took all the batter off them but he was still not happy. He enjoyed his six chips!

We were asked if we enjoyed our meal and I said not really.

I asked for the bill and when it came out Paula apologised for the delay and said as we had not enjoyed the mackerel it had been taken off the bill. My daughter in law following my advice checked the bill to find that the mackerel was still on there. (She does have a 2.1 degree in mathematics. )
Paula assured her it had and Lorna went through the calculations with her and she went off with the bill to check it. She came back with the cash as “surprise! surprise!” Lorna was right and it had been charged after all. There appeared to be a problem with the till! (The receipt saying void and it still being added on.)

How many people paid too much for their meal on Saturday night is a mystery maybe we will never know.

How many people enjoyed their food, may become evident in the future, as we wait to see what a success or failure Thorley’s make of this new venture.

Unlike Oliver I don’t think I want any more!!!



14 May 2012 11:23

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glendag8 has been registered on this site since 14th May 2012