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"We forgot to cook your food"
Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa (Wootton Bridge)
Member Name: JJJJ
Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa (Wootton Bridge)
Date: 01/08/11, updated on 01/08/11 (146 review reads)
Advantages: Great Location, Food is nicely presented
Disadvantages: Awful service, Hotel building is ugly
Having heard generally positive reports about the Brasserie at the Lakeside Park Hotel on the Isle of Wight, we decided to visit for dinner. The Brasserie is part of the Lakeside's four star rated hotel and spa complex which opened only a few years ago. Although this review primarily focuses on the restaurant, I should point out that the hotel's room tariff per night ranges between £130 - £175 in peak season, and all hotel guests may use the spa facilities free of charge - this includes the hydro pool, jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna.
The hotel is situated in a magnificent location overlooking the beautiful Wootton Creek, and there are few places to eat on the Island which can match the excellent views. It's a real shame that more thought hasn't gone into the design of the building itself, as it looks a more like a set of council offices than a quality hotel. For the drivers amongst you, finding space for your car won't be a problem as there is plenty of room in the large parking area.
Upon arrival we were shown to a comfortable lounge area to order some drinks whilst we looked at the menus. Our waiter wasn't especially friendly, appearing awkward and a little grumpy - I can honestly say that he didn't smile once during he entire evening, and had no charisma whatsoever. The menu itself was fairly limited, but we didn't mind as there was something which we were all happy to try. To give you an example of the prices, the Beer Battered Fish and Chips cost £9.50, whilst the Half Lobster that I chose retailed at £14.50.
- The Eating Experience -
One of the first things that I noticed was the fact that there wasn't anyone else eating in the restaurant (which is a always a bad sign at 7.45 in the evening), and this made for a lack of atmosphere in the brasserie's large interior. On the plus side, the décor inside the restaurant is very pleasant - clean and modern with big windows that allow the diner to look out over the water. For a starter I chose the ham terrine with pickled vegetables - it arrived fairly quickly along with the other starters, and the presentation was immaculate. It was a little nouvelle cuisine-esque in dimensions, but as a starter it was perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately the taste couldn't quite match the appearance, and the flavour was a little reminiscent of tinned ham.
After our starters were done and dusted, the main courses arrived without too much delay - or I should say, three out of four of our main courses arrived. One of our partie's dinners had been completely forgotten about and not cooked. The waiter who brought out the food said something along the lines of "is there another meal to come?" before asking what it was, and shuffling back toward the kitchen. We waited and waited, not knowing how long the missing meal would take to arrive - in the mean time, no-one came to apologise. Around twenty minutes later, the food eventually turned up... by which time the rest of us had finished our dinners. The waiter wasn't very apologetic, although in the end we didn't end up paying for the meal that was late - it really was like something from Fawlty Towers!
In terms of the food's quality, the main courses (like the starters) were very nicely presented - my half lobster in particular looked great, although it didn't come with a finger bowl, which made for a messy eating experience. One of us chose the steak, which was a little chewy and verging on 'Well Done' rather than 'medium' as requested. Overall, out of the four diners in our party, the best complement we could pay to the food was "it was OK", which really isn't good enough when the cheapest main course costs around £10. We finished with desserts (my cheesecake was very pleasant) - although they took a long time to turn-up, and there was another mix up with the waiters when they tried to take our order twice (by this time we found the whole thing quite comical... we had already decided that we weren't coming back!)
- Additional Services / Final Word -
Inside the restaurant there are nicely furnished washroom facilities which are tiled to a high standard and finished with modern fittings - that said, in one of the cubicles there was toilet paper scattered around the place, and the contents of a handwash bottle spilled all over the floor. So what can I say about the Brasserie at the Lakeside Park Hotel? - well it's in a stunning location, and the food is excellently presented, but an incredibly poor level of service really let the venue down - in fact, it was some of the worst service I've ever experienced, and I eat out a lot. I could perhaps forgive the moody waitor and the missing food if the restaurant had been full of people, but seeing as we were the only people eating it really wasn't acceptable.
Summary: Poor dining experience
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