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I Would Rather Sit on The Sandhills in The Rain With An Old Baguette!!!
Sandhills (West Lytham)
Member Name: Samm0
Sandhills (West Lytham)
Date: 05/06/10, updated on 20/04/11 (211 review reads)
Disadvantages: Staff attitude
The Sandhills pub, 18-20 St Annes Rd West (more commonly known as St Annes Square) opened in January 2008, it is part of the Smith & Jones Chain. As is the case with any new pub, it was extremely busy and was for a short time 'the place to be seen' in St Annes on a Friday/Saturday night.
It has become much quieter of late, although I think most pubs have seen a downturn in business in the last few months.
The lay out is pretty good. As you enter through the front doors there are seating areas to the left and right, you can watch the world pass by whilst enjoying a quiet drink.
There are high tables and seats opposite the bar in the central area, it doesn't get too crowed and there is plenty of room to manoeuvre. Towards the rear it there is yet more seating, diners generally use this area during the day. There are three or four flat screen tv's showing Sky Sports/News.
The small covered smoking area can be accessed via a fire door at the end of the bar. There area couple of tables and chairs but hardly luxurious - being an ex smoker, I still look out for these features! Normally so I can avoid them!! Or the visuals after a few pints :-(
Both sets of toilets are upstairs.
Drinks are competitively priced, although cannot compete with Wetherspoons round the corner! There is also a varied menu (more later) with various special offers. At the moment the pub is offering two for one Sunday lunches.
There are signs stating that children are welcome when dining but must leave the premises by 7pm.
In my experience, this is a bit hit and miss. I have been in during the day and there are children in prams with parents who have obviously had a few too many and there has been little evidence of food!
When it first opened, I had no complaints. Although busy, it wasn't too difficult to get served at the bar. The staff were polite and friendly and the food above average for the usual bar snacks. Unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worse.
We visited on Mothers Day at around 6pm. When I asked at the bar for a children's menu, I was told I had better get a move on as we had to be out by 7. The barman was not at all polite and very matter of fact. I didn't much fancy staying after that so didn't bother ordering.
As I left the bar I heard the barman say to his colleague 'that's one down, one to go' nodding towards another family sitting in the corner!
Unfortunately, Tesco then added Smith & Jones pubs to their Clubcard Reward Scheme. £2.50 in club card points = £10.00 to be used when dining. Hoping that my last visit was a one off, we converted our pints to vouchers, I think we has £30 in total.
A couple of weeks later we decided to try Sunday lunch.
My partner is a vegetarian, so I said I would enquire as to Veggie option. The barman shouted over to the chef who was standing at the end of the bar 'vegetarian Sunday lunch - we don't do one do we'? And they didn't!
Back to the table I went. On the menu was an all day breakfast. There was not a veggie all day breakfast but they did serve one up until 11am (ish form memory).
I came up with what I thought was a sensible idea - ask if it's possible to have a veggie breakfast and pay the extra £2+, the price of the regular all day breakfast.
The bar had become quite busy, so I tried to catch the attention of a member of staff to enquire. My polite 'excuse me' resulted in a finger being waved in my face and the bar man disappearing through a door at the edge of the the bar!
To cut a long story short - I was told in no uncertain terms that a veggie all day breakfast could not be served as there wasn't one on the menu. When I pointed out that there was, I was told the menu was out of date and they should not have been put on the tables.
Our final attempt to use our vouchers was about three weeks later. The bar was absolutely heaving. It wasn't particularly busy, the pub was pretty empty. It was the general lack of bar staff that caused the problem. Whilst waiting ten minutes at the bar, I was to learn that it was 'Steve's fault as he was pi***d up in town'.
The bar maid then left to phone Steve as he would probably answer her call and not the managers (I'm pretty sure he used to work in The Litten Tree in Blackpool town centre - so in theory should be able to cope with a busy pub!).
I eventually ordered drinks and food for myself, partner and son. When our meal arrived I realised that my son did not have his drink (part of a meal deal) so once again braved the bar! I was suspiciously asked who had served me. Would I really queue for another 5 minutes for the chance of a free lemonade?!
My mixed grill was appalling, I had asked for it to be cooked medium rare and it looked as if it had been left on a bbq overnight! It was inedible.
When the 'manager' cleared out plates, he looked at my barely touched plate and said to my son 'at least you have been a good boy and eaten yours'!
No query as to why I had not eaten it.
In any other situation I would have complained, in here there seemed little point. The staff are over stretched and really don't seem to care about what they are doing or about the customer service they provide.
They really need to get their act together, what once was a pleasant eating experience has turned into an inedible shambles.
We will use our vouchers more wisely next time!
Summary: Go elsewhere
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