Around a 15 minute drive away is a large out of town Shopping complex set upon a large lake. Around one side of the lake are a multitude of eateries and drinking establishments where you can have a bite to eat, a cocktail or a restaurant that just serves desserts!
Sunday 19th June was Fathers Day and it was decided to head to a cafe/restaurant called Jamaica Blue for brunch as a family.
Seven of us arrived at 1000 on a sunny yet nippy morning and immediately headed for the inside of the establishment. Sadly there were no seats to be had so we opted to sit outside.
Now as I have mentioned, it was sunny but not warm at all. Couple that together with the fact that all the tables were in the shade, the wind was whipping off the lake and it wasn’t the best of days.
However, we knew that this would soon be rectified when we got a marvelous plate of food inside us.
Initially we sat at a table that was exceedingly cold. After five or so minutes, we all elected to move to a table near to some patio heaters. Unfortunately the table was dirty but Baby Bear asked a server to come and clear the mess for us.
Moving nearer to the heaters was a good move and we started by discussing our orders as you have to go inside with your table number, place the order and pay.
Baby Bear took all our choices and as the server was cleaning the table she heard my choice; Eggs Benny.
She stated that unfortunately they had no Hollandaise Sauce, but could still provide Eggs Benedict without it.
Surely that without the sauce that makes it Poached Eggs on Toast?
I decided against it and went for Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Bananas.
Baby Bear went inside with the orders; two fish and chips, two big breakfasts, 2 pancakes with maple syrup (1 with banana and 1 with bacon) and a Veggie Breakfast without mushrooms.
We wanted two hot chocolates, an iced latte, a black coffee, a Rum Granita, Earl Gray Tea, sparkling water and a caramel latte.
Except being that it was a Caribbean themed restaurant they had completely run out of Rum. I don’t even know how that happens especially as there are three supermarkets all in walking distance.
Ordering an extra Hot Chocolate, we settled in to wait for the arrivals and had been told that it was a 55 minute wait. We assessed that an decided that it was not too bad a wait especially now the sun was coming out!
We were chatting away when the server appeared and with a bit of a sheepish face stated that there was a bit of a problem with the Fish and Chips.
Basically they had no Fish!
Well that set the cat amongst the pigeons. Two of the party now needed to come up with alternative food choices, which they did quite quickly; the Steak Sarnie and the Veggie Roll.
I questioned the issue given the restaurant had only been open for an hour. The server told me, completely straight-faced that they didn’t expect to be quite so busy.
On a Relative Sunny Fathers Day!?!?
The looks of disbelief on our faces went completely over our servers head as she went back into the restaurant and changed the order for us.
That had killed about ten minutes so there was only around 45 minutes to wait and that surely should go quickly.
I honestly could not have been more wrong!
An hour passed and still no food had arrived. The wind had died down a bit however it was not very warm and a couple of our party were absolutely freezing.
Popping across to one of the shops, they bought a couple of hoodies to wear. We also ordered another four drinks; two cups of tea, one iced latte and a black coffee.
Thirty minutes later and we had neither drinks nor food. Whilst it was a lot longer than they had advised, it was at least a little better than one of the tables near us.
Half of their party had finished their ‘Big Brekkies’ before the others had even received their orders at all! It wasn’t boding well if I am completely honest.
Baby Bear spotted one of the waitresses and enquired as to how much longer it would be before our food arrived. The server went to ask and came back to tell us that it was just being done now and would be 15 minutes. The time was now 1145am and we had almost reached the end of our patience.
Fed up of all the messing around, Baby Bear replied that if it wasn’t here in that time, then we would be calling time on the whole order..
Dead on noon, the servers started bringing our food out.
Or not, in this case.
First to arrive were TWO vegetarian brekkies, both with mushrooms. As we had only ordered one, without mushrooms, we told them that the order was wrong.
They took both plates away whilst another plate arrived. One steak sarnie which actually looked fantastic.
Apart from one thing….There was no steak in the sandwich at all!
Pointing this out to the staff, it was also whisked away to sort out whilst the two plates of pancakes were placed in front of us. I have to admit mine looked blooming lovely and I couldn’t wait to dig in.
Mum’s veggie roll turned up but was missing the poached egg. It was also stone cold and looked far from appetizing. By this point we were all just completely at a loss for words given that it was now almost two hours since we turned up.
Baby Bears partner and I thought we had been the lucky ones as our pancakes looked great but this was not much of a consolation to the rest of our party.
The steak came back as well as Mum’s poached egg. One was chewy with no seer in sight and the other was more ‘hard boiled’
By this point it was a complete disaster; I genuinely thought there was nothing left that could go wrong. But surprisingly, there was still time!
The last two plates came out; big brekkies.
And there, right on top was a long hair. One the plate of the one for whom we all went out for brunch on Fathers Day for.
That was the final straw or should I say the final hair.
Enough really was enough and we told our waitress so. She said she would go and ask the Manager to come and speak with us. In my desperation I took a bit of the pancakes only to find the middle was still wet, floury and not cooked at all.
The second set of pancakes were tested and they were completely the same.
At this point the Manageress came over and asked what was wrong. I don’t think she had a clue about what we were going to tell her and even then she had no excuses or reasons for the complete shambles.
We had paid £129.65 for our brunch and the Manageress gave us a refund for the food at £89.40. She then proffered a card which she had written “8 free hot drinks” on the top of.
Whilst the gesture may be heartfelt, I honestly don’t see there being much chance of us going there in the near future. Based on the amount of time wasted, the lackadaisical service received and the disgusting food, it has completely ruined our faith in the restaurant.
Baby Bear was absolutely gutted that her recommendation for the location went so wrong and by the time we got our refund and went to see where else we could eat, everywhere was booked up with large queues for tables.
We tried two other places and neither of them could fit us in so the decision was made to simply drive home and forget about the whole Fathers Day debacle.
I have written an email of complaint to the company as service and food as bad as this really shouldn’t be brushed aside.
Hopefully they will respond in a quicker fashion than their staff did today!
I will let you know
till next time,