I visited Brown’s of Bath this Saturday last with my husband, daughter and her boyfriend. It was intended to be a relaxed and informal meal that would be the expected norm for this type of eatery.
I chose Browns for two reasons:
Firstly, both my daughter and I are ex alumni of Bristol University,so we tend to make the Browns of Bristol our usual stop, as I have so many mixed memories of the building. In my day it was the University refectory, and the food was, shall we say, a little different to the current offer. Nonetheless, its historic ambience holds a certain charm for me, and its bistro style food usually hits the spot. We always have a decent meal, as bistro food is pretty hard to get wrong. Or so I thought.
I expected the same in Bath, but was disappointed.
We were quickly seated, and orders taken for drinks and food.
Our first course was a shared platter, and arrived promptly, and was quickly devoured.
Around 2.30 the restaurant visibly emptied, as there were numerous rugby fans in there sheltering from the cold and racking up the calorific intake.
We chatted away for the best part of an hour and the main courses didn’t appear. We came to the conclusion that 2.30 must have signalled a down tools for the kitchen and they were on a break.
When the food arrived, it was nothing short of a disaster. My burger roll was grey and half-cooked and my burger dry and overcooked, my hand cut chips had all the scrapings of the deep fat fryer in the bottom of the bowl. All four of us felt the presentation and the taste of the food was very poor.
We all know that these establishments use pre-prepared foods, so a slice of cheesecake is hard to get wrong, which is what three of us opted for.
My husband opted for Eaton Mess, and that’s exactly what he got – the waitress tripped en route to the table and it looked rather worse for wear when it arrived. I can understand someone having an accident, but surely it should go back to the kitchen rather than out to the customer?
My daughter and I ordered two glasses of Moscatel with the dessert, and we were served two glasses of Muscadet.
The manager was sympathetic and apologetic, and waived the charges for the main courses and desserts.
Unfortunately, we had a bad experience, and no amount of apology or financial compensation can account for that.
In future, I think I will stick to the safer territory of Bristol . The head waiter is French and clearly has a soft spot for my daughter.
On a recent visit when she asked for a table he said:
“No problem, wait about 20 minutes and then I will have you to myself”
Lost in translation perhaps?