With two canalside pubs in Hopwas, our mooring last night, we intended to take advantage and eat out. So, ablutions completed, including giving Joe a very public towpath haircut (well I don't want all that grey stubble on the boat do I?) we headed for town... Which hostelry would it be? The Tame Otter or the Red Lion? Both were busy with most customers drinking or dining in the pub gardens but the slightly quieter of the two was the Red Lion so we chose that. We ordered our meals and taking our drinks, went out onto the terrace. I should have spotted a problem when the young 'waitress' brought just ONE set of cutlery and looking at TWO of us sitting at the table hesitantly asked if in fact we were BOTH eating? Yes dear. Off she goes, arriving back with my utensils moments later.
Joe's meal is duly presented. Joe eats his meal. Joe eats all of his meal. Waitress appears and apologises for the delay, saying the 'ticket' had been lost. Twenty minutes or so after Joe had dined my meal arrives, a simple pasta dish in tomato sauce with a side salad. It looked a bit dried up. It was dried up! I suspect it had been sitting lost and lonely in the pub kitchen for sometime before it was presented to me. "I can't eat that." I went to the bar and quietly asked to speak to the manager. The manager wasn't available. I asked to speak to the Chef then. The Barman goes off to the kitchen. The Barman returns and says the Chef is too busy to speak to me. What do you do? What can you do? I went back outside to our table, picked up the dried up meal and took it back to the bar. I must admit to a fleeting moment of temptation; I could just see myself hurling the offending meal at the bottle display behind the bar. It was only a fleeting thought though or I might have been writing this in a police cell somewhere. No, I simply asked for my money back and I was simply given it back by the flustered and embarressed barman. I will not eat here again sadly. Things go wrong from time to time, I do not expect perfection anymore than I can deliver consistant perfection - only sometimes she jests - but an apology goes a long way doesn't it? No apology from the Red Lion though.