Confessions of a Bad Brunch…

The most disappointing Brunch I've had in a LONG time

Brunch is a meal that should be eaten in delightful surroundings [CHECK!]  whether in bed, at a drive thru, or with your mum, step-mum and little sister in ROYAL Tunbridge Wells…

As a group we can be pretty hard to handle, we all have our own little quirks, things that we enjoy when eating out.  My mum likes comfort, food that fills you with that ‘MMmmmmMmm’ feeling.  My  sort of kinda Step-Mum, likes something with raisins, eccles cake, fruit cake, tea cake…anything raisin and cakey she’s on it!  My sister and I are pretty similar, we both TRY to watch our food and are both watching the weight [both going in opposite directions she goes down, I go up]  but all in all we like good food, helps if it’s cheap and  we can’t abide dirt or rudeness…(oh dear,oh dear)

WELL HOW DISAPPOINTED WERE WE, I CAN’T BEGIN TO EXPLAIN…

I should start at the beginning as that is where it all began, the bad food was definitely overshadowed by the bad service that was apparent from start to finish.

We sat down outside the delightful WOODS restaurant, it was a casual Saturday so we didn’t expect too much, a light lunch/brunch with a few cuppa-T’s to see in a lovely sisterly weekend.  We sat down and after shuffling round chairs [wobbly] and moving tables [also wobbly] and we settled on the prime position equidistant from sun and shade.  Everyone outside seemed jolly and happy, pleased to be outside on a gorgeous sunny day enjoying the warmth with friends and family alike, that is all except the waiting staff.

With sour faces, and blunt and hardly even there voices I can say the customer service skills were matched by….well no one, I’ve had better service in a packed out kebab shop full of drunks at 4am.  My sister and I commented on the lack of cheer from the café elves but stuck with the place due to the Mothers’ interest in the interesting menu….ohhhhh YES

THE MENU

The location of WOODS, gives it a certain precedence when it comes to pricing.  A restaurant, in The Pantiles, in ROYAL Tunbridge Wells gives WOODS an initial excuse when it comes to their outrageous prices.  What makes that excuse an outright disgrace is the quality of the food which is served to your table…

THE FOOD

As stated above, we all had different tastes at our table… and it went a little something like this…

Customer 1 decided upon a hearty Wintery Soup, still suitable for spring with it’s combination of  crisp carrots and I hear alot of pepper

CUSTOMER No. 1

[the cracked black kind]  it was definitely a warmer of the winter kind.  The butter was served in a neat little black dish, although very hard and rather salty it was butter all the same, accompanied by some beautiful breads, fresh and fluffy, the soup was a winner.  Customer 1 gobbled it straight up and didn’t have a bad word to say about their suitable dish for when the grey sky clouded our day and cast a shadow upon the meal…

Customer 2 decided she would go for a suitable snack to go with her tea as the weather started to turn chilly.  We ordered our drinks about 15 minutes after sitting down, and after asking for some sugar twice, and doing that weird gesture to get the attention of the gentleman waiter who seems to have an automatic sight level of…STRAIGHT OVER MY HEAD, in the end we had to pinch the bowl of rancid looking sugar’cubes?’ from the empty table next to us.  Once customer 2 got the sugar for her now lukewarm tea, and was served her toasted teacake, she was again, similar to Customer 1 reasonably pleased…until that is, she spotted the bottom of the crockery her food, specifically her butter pot and the tea pot.  Now as someone who has worked in kitchens, I know the standards to which lesser restaurants and establishments have adhered to  having had to be the one to individually polish the knives and lose break-time to de-stain the crockery.  What I am about to show you is, in my opinion, not acceptable in a greasy spoon, let alone a restaurant charging above the odds for a mere cuppa!!

This ran down the entire length of the spout, and lined the entire inside of the lid, it meant that the tea had an odd look, like an oil slick, atop the tea…

This was not created by Customer 2 may I add as we tried to scrape some off to no avail,  just in need of a damn good soak…

So, food is going well at this point, crockery, service and drinks…not so good, but I’m not entirely disgusted, I’m hanging on by a swag of delicate muslin fabric not quite a thread…

Customer 3, myself, and I went for Eggs Benedictine, which I must say I love seeing on a menu.  It’s not often restaurants take the time to think of those who don’t like to smell like the ocean at breakfast.  Eggs Benedict is always on menus and I was delightfully surprised to see the ‘TINE’ at WOODS, so finding that nothing else tickled my fancy, I ordered it straight away.  [wish I had gone for the fish fingers and chips on the kids menu]  My eggs were revolting, clearly a chef who was not well trained enough to cook a poached egg without using alot of vinegar in his water because my eggs were overpowered by the stuff,  it filled the small pockets of water in the snottiest of eggs.  I stuck with it because by the time my food arrived I was starving, but ended up leaving 1/3 of my meal.  for £7.75 I expected the smoked ham to be the type that at least looks fresh, not straight out of a packet from ASDA, I expected it to be thick and sumptuous, it was not.  I expected the Hollandaise to be bright and luxurious in flavour, but the vinegar from the snotty eggs mixed strangely and caused the sauce to become bitter, all this on top of a soft and soggy ‘toasted’ English Muffin was to say the LEAST, outrageously disappointing on every single level.  My Mum had to stop me from complaining, and had I not had a small-ISH hangover I would have told the Manager where to go and where to send their chef back to school!

AND FINALLY…

Customer 4, the little sister…Now I need to state here and now, my sister is a wonderful creature, ‘Jade Lantern’ has a loud voice, a beautiful smile and a similar tolerance for bullsh*t to myself.  Having worked in customer service [again, similar to myself] ‘Jade’ knows the importance of looking busy and keeping the customer happy, hence her similar distaste for the NON-EXISTENT service we received.  ‘Jade’ ordered the Steak and Caramelised Onion Ciabatta, with grilled mushroom and side salad.  She was not asked how she wished her steak to be cooked, a vital error as we were in the middle of talking and she in turn forget to say ‘you best not bring that thing out moo-ing!!’  When it arrived, it has to be said, not only did her dish look spot on for the price [£7.95 only 20p more than my EGGS!] but it looked wholesome, tasty and mighty munchworthy.  Now, since when do you have to use a knife AND fork for a pre-cut essentially sandwich? DING DING DING you guessed it WOODS!!!!  I’m so past the point of badmouthing these guys now, I’ve got to the point where I feel sorry for them, times must be hard if you have to charge top drawer prices for a brunch that would have been more enjoyable in every way [barr the sunshine outside] at a McDonald’s Drive Thru….

Apologies WOODS, you have for now lost a customer due to your below par standards.

Don’t worry, in Arnie’s words ‘I’ll be Back’ to see if this review and the many others I have found online gets your butts into gear and starts you off on a little journey of improvement.  If you need some help Holla at your girl, I know customer service!!

So keep a watch out, I may come tomorrow, next week or 6 months from now, but I will be waiting, I will be watching and I will be inspecting those teapots!

Happy blogging, Cheers for Reading,

L.J x

_________________

http://www.woodsrestaurant.co.uk/pantiles/

If you fancy checking it out for yourself readers the website is above and it’s in Tunbridge Wells, KENT! ADVANCE WITH CAUTION but do give them a chance…

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7 thoughts on “Confessions of a Bad Brunch…

  1. That’s an awful lot to pay for yuck. C’mon over and I’ll make you some nice waffles. My apartment isn’t much to look at but the table and chairs do not wobble and I will try my best to serve you as little cat hair as possible.

      • They do knwo their waffles, my cousins are from bloomington,st paul! I absolutely love it out there, hopefully one day I’ll move out there, but getting a green card to live over there is really hard when you live in england for some stupid reason 😦

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