Sandra Dean - BACP Registered member

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Author (Amanda Green), Blogger, Life Writing Workshop coach, BACP Counsellor Dip., Aerial Photographer and Orangutan, Animal and Mental Health campaigner in Essex

Cafe Rococo in Leigh on sea, Essex let us down big time!

Oh dear!  After always recommending this restaurant to everyone and going there several times, we were finally let down this evening by the Manager of all people!  The menu looked so good too and the chef’s there have never let us down whether it be a Sunday lunch, a three course a’ la carte meal or a seafood platter – the head chef has always helped us with what we would like to eat, such as special sauces etc.  So, I cannot have any complaint there.

But, tonight we walked in without a booking and after looking at her paper reservation list, the manager, who I do not remember seeing before, told us that we could not sit in the restaurant as we requested as they were fully booked for the evening.  So, we sat in the bar area, although we did not want to.  I got chilly, as the bar area was not too warm and the door is located nearby.  We asked for sparkling water, ice and lemon and she left the unopened bottle on the table for us to pour, which is poor in a restaurant of that nature.

We ordered wine and our first two courses, which sounded lovely.  I got my camera out ready to photograph our food for a new up to date review I was going to write for the restaurant.  Then, three people walked in without a booking and asked if they could have a table.  Again, the manager looked at her reservation list and proceeded to seat them in the restaurant with a smile.

We decided to question her as to why she did not give us a table in the restaurant as we had asked and she had no answer or apology.  I found her attitude incredible since she is in customer services and bizarre that she had no reason to act in this way.  Michael challenged her again and paid for the bottle of wine which we’d barely touched.   She charged full restaurant price and walked off again with no explanation or apology.  We were very upset at this poor service.  And after giving them such lovely reviews in the past, and having been there so many times, it was an insult.  I know from my previous years in the hotel and restaurant industry that keeping customers happy is the key to getting paid and making money.

Those of you who know my site and my writing will know that I do not complain very often, but when I do feel the need I do so as I feel I should share the bad as well as the good and I dont like it when people are treated differently for no reason.  I still cannot believe Michael paid for the wine, because I would not have since it was her rudness that caused us to leave.  (we have since had feedback from a number of people and everyone bar one person would have left the restaurant, not paid for the wine and not gone back.   I have also since emailed the restaurant and they didnt even bother to reply or apologise – it says it all!)

Anyway it all ended very happily as I then suggested we go to one of our local favourites, the Roslin Hotel in Thorpe Bay, for dinner.  We had a fabulous meal – prawn cocktail and salmon fishcakes to start, whole grilled plaice and fish pie for main and profiteroles and apple and plum crumble for dessert, all washed down with a bottle of Sancerre – gorgeous!  The staff are so friendly there since they sorted out their staff issues a long time ago, so I knew that they would not let us down.  I took photos so will post a new review for them soon.  The Roslin and Harrions in Hockley are our current favourites local to Southend on sea, for that British/European style food and the Masa in Hadleigh and Saffron Lounge in Hamlet Court Road are favourites for indian.  For thai, I still like the Rak Chang and, of course, Irmas for a pizza.  I have so many more favourites, but I will not go on…  Apart from saying that the thai massage place in Leigh on sea is fabulous!  Overall favourites when looking further afield, it has to be the Ivy in London and Chapter one in Kent.  There are so many great restaurants in Britain and abroad, thankfully!

Sandra 🙂

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