Today we decided to treat ourselves, Hub and I, to lunch out. We’re just finishing a two-week break from looking after grandchildren, and Hub goes back on Tuesday. I follow a few days later when I’ve held a deacons’ meeting.
A new Harvester has opened on the sea front. Our recent experiences of Harvester have been very good: when we have the chance of a few days at home, we set out from Surrey early and have breakfast with them at the Solstice services near Stonehenge. The food is always fresh and reasonably-priced, and for us it’s a treat.
Hub popped in yesterday to book a table. We thought it would be very busy, with the end of the Easter holidays today: but no, they said, no booking necessary.
As we went down the steps from the esplanade, we were greeted by rows of bins, higgledy-piggledy, outside. Hmm, we said. They need to tidy that up. Not very welcoming. But then, they are a new business and may still be refurbishing. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
We pushed open the door. We expected a member of staff to meet us and show us a table, but nothing happened and we took ourselves to one in the window. There were a number of uncleared tables: we stacked the dirty cups we found on a tray and put it elsewhere. We found some menus and started to study them.
Then one of the staff walked into our section and announced that no meals were being served where we were sitting. We needed to sit elsewhere … and there was a half-hour wait for a table.
We protested. We said we had checked, only yesterday. We had been told no booking was necessary.
She gave no explanation, simply repeating what she’d already said.
Half an hour? Bah. We put on our coats and moved next door to another restaurant, where we were very promptly and cheerfully served with a freshly-cooked roast dinner.
I hope the Harvester sorts itself out. Otherwise I don’t hold out much hope for its success as a business.
(image from myholidaycottagemarketing.uk)