Put simply: this place ruined our Christmas. Avoid at all costs. This was actually the second time that we have not been served here and also the second time that we were offered free drinks as compensation for being 'overlooked'. The second time, it wasn't even done with good grace but we were made to feel like we had done something wrong ourselves. Avoid this place. Now, I'm the first to give a place a chance and that's why we came back even after the first failure but to have exactly the same thing happen twice in a row and then on a family Christmas lunch is simply not on. Here's the full story: We had rung a week before in order to book a table for Xmas lunch. We were told Xmas day was full already and we were offered Xmas eve instead. We booked for 1230 and then we asked about the menu. We were told to look at the festive menu which was available online which we did. On the day, we got to the pub early and the manageress acted surprised when we said we'd booked. She said she hadn't prepared anything and then she told us to choose any table. Another group and I all chose tables and I waited for my two other guests to turn up. Whilst I was waiting I was told that I might have to move since they were expecting a group of 12 and they might have to push two tables together. I offered to move to another table immediately but was told, 'it's ok, they're only coming at 5pm', It was midday. At that point, I thought nothing of it but more was to come. Once my two other guests arrived we ordered, or at least we tried to order. Now the story was that there was no Christmas menu after all and we should order from the regular menu. After protesting, the story changed to insisting that we should have pre-ordered. Yet we had rung a week before and specifically asked about the Xmas menu and no one had told us then that we had to pre-order. We were made to feel as if we had made a mistake and grudgingly the lady, who may have been a manager, changed the story for a third time and told us the festive menu was on after all but without the salmon and various other options. This was the menu that we'd been informed to look at the week before and since two out of three of us had wanted the salmon, it was already a disappointment. Nevertheless, we persisted and ordered what we could, two nut roasts and a beef pie, not exactly festive. We also ordered a starter. This was at 1230. After we arrived two other larger groups turned up and within short order, their food started to turn up. Half an hour passed with no sign of our starter. 45 minutes passed and still no starter. By this time all of the larger groups had mostly finished their main courses. By around 55 minutes my two guests, two senior citizens in the 70s had had enough of waiting and wanted to go home. I went to check on the food and instead of apologies, the manageress simply got defensive with me and again made me feel like I was in the wrong. When I suggested that it would be reasonable to expect our starters at least to have arrived within the last hour, I was told that in her view, it was reasonable that because another group had ordered before us then they should have been served first. There was no attempt to apologise in a meaningful or sincere way, only in a grudging way which was no apology at all. Again and again, I was made to feel as if I had done something wrong by complaining about the poor service. Returning to the group, the two senior citizens I was with were fed up and had decided to leave. As they prepared to leave I informed the manageress that we were leaving and to cancel our meal. More than one hour had passed at this point and all we'd received were glasses of wine that we ourselves had ordered and picked up ourselves from the bar. In fairness, this is a converted pub so getting our own drinks was not an issue. The manageress was clearly upset that we were leaving but again her manner was combative and not in any way helpful and her throwaway offer of letting us off paying for our drinks came across more as a way of getting us out than a genuine effort to offer redress. Now the thing was, our group had been in this place six months previously and exactly the same thing had happened then. On that night, an Irish barman called Steve had been working and he had gone out of his way to apologise and get us free drinks after our food had failed to turn up. He came over to our group, apologised, told us stories and eventually sat down with us and dealt with the issue with grace and charm. He is the reason that we came back at all. This time in contrast, when one of my guests, the wife of the elderly couple, also in her seventies, tried to tell the manageress why this had been the second time it had happened, the manageress refused to even listen to her and instead ignored her and insisted that I had not given her a chance to speak even though I was not even speaking! In a kind and reasonable way, the elderly lady in our group tried to point out why the service was not good enough but she wasn't listened to. At this point a man who was sat at the bar stood up and started to threaten our small group, one man and two senior citizens. We left. The whole experience ruined our Christmas and if Steve, the Irish barman, had been there, we're sure it could have been handled sensibly. After all, we came back after the first time. We won't go back now. Avoid at all costs.
The Crown & Anchor
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Posted: Fri Oct 19 2012
Chiswick dwellers know the Crown and Anchor as their stylish local on the High Street, but those from further afield will love the part industrial-chic, part Cape Cod interior along with the unfussy modern Euro menu. The Crown and Anchor with its tiled exterior and flower boxes has become a fixture on the Chiswick dining scene, and the interior is dressed up with warehouse-style pendant lamps, chi-chi candelabras, duck-egg blue walls and over-sized silver-framed mirrors. The kitchen is open-plan, and signature dishes include the slow-roasted pork belly with braised red cabbage, honey and a sweet chilli sauce; the mussels in a Tom Kha Thai sauce; and the char-grilled beef burger with red onion jam, cheddar, bacon and hand-cut chips.