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Archive for August, 2008

Last night we went for a meal to the three ponds in Nottingham. It was the first time we had been there since they have re-fitted the interior. They’ve changed it from a nice pleasant pub to one that looks like it’s been decorated by Stevie wonder. It’s an appalling improvement and as such the three ponds have taken several steps backwards in the process. Now, there’s not enough tables for eating at and what little bit of seclusion there was for dining, that has gone to. Basically, they have removed all the unique features such as the wooden floors and dividers, replacing it with an extremely old-fashioned look. It’s not somewhere that is very nice to eat a meal at no longer.

Things started to go wrong almost instantly upon arrival. For a start we had specifically booked a table the previous night since there was 8 of us and upon arrival the staff on duty had no idea we were even coming. They quickly pushed to put two tables long together right in front of the door. So, every time somebody came in or out we had a sure sharp breath of cold air. Never mind the continual flapping of the rubber seal on the door. As it happens though since we were not sitting in the air conditioned area, we’ve all got very hot indeed as the night progressed and was glad when the door opened to let in some cold air. It wasn’t exactly the most fantastic atmosphere for celebrating my mother’s 70th birthday especially since they have completely forgotten about our booking!

We ordered our starter and main at the bar for all eight of us. As the starters arrived we noticed that the garlic mushroom and Stilton cheese that we ordered had turned into two side dishes of garlic mushrooms, also the chicken wings were badly burned and looked like they have just come from a furnace or had been blow torched by any angry Irishman. It was presented with a small bowl of barbecue sauce had the consistency of cat sick. We complained about having the wrong order of mushrooms and the waitress tried to convince us that as we were ordering eight starters we had somehow got mixed up and ordered 2 side orders instead. This of course was absolute crap! And what has actually happened is that they pressed the wrong button on the till and ordered the wrong thing for us. They offered to take back the order and replace it, but this would have meant a couple of us having to wait a very long time for our starters.

We decided to shut up and eat our mushrooms. These were not the best garlic mushrooms I have ever tasted, bordering on the worst would be closer to the mark. I could hardly taste any garlic and the mushrooms were so small and dry that I think they probably just come from the freezer. What happened to this place, they used to serve fresh mushrooms that were huge and now we get stuff they probably just purchased from Tesco’s. They were absolute rubbish and certainly not worth the money. When you go out for a meal you don’t want food you can prepare better yourself to be presented to you, you are looking to something much nicer than that!

The main courses were not much better. Three of us had beef; my father said that it was burnt at the ends even though in between he was quite tender. I had what they call drunken beef, which was supposed to be beef in a red wine sauce. It turned out to be beef stew with a lump of purified mashed potato that was too cheesy and shrivelled vegetables. The cabbage they put on a plate was brown and extremely dry. As I quoted to my niece next to me, this cabbage has as much life in it as Elvis Presley. It was pretty awful and really embarrassing to be served such dire vegetables. My brother had a Mexican chicken dish which had way too many peppers in it. If he ate that many he would have ended up in hospital! Who was the cook in this place? Did they have a cook? Or was it somebody that they had pulled randomly off the street?

My mother’s lamb shank arrived five to 10 minutes later. As everyone else started their meal, she had to wait and my brother was really upset about the low quality of service that was being provided to us — he was paying the bill today and so had a right to complain. It arrived eventually, though it looked extremely poor in its presentation. The lamb was just piled up on the plate and mash was slapped down pretty much as you would get in a greasy spoon cafe. Afterwards, Mum said it wasn’t very nice at all. Yet another disappointing course! By this time we were quickly wanting to get to the pudding stage.

There wasn’t any puddings I fancied and so I just asked for a mixed selection of ice cream’s. On arrival this turned out to be 4 small scoops of vanilla ice cream presented in a Soup Bowl. My brothers partner thought this was extremely funny and couldn’t understand it at all. I thought he was a bit weird to, but I got to the stage where nothing surprised me about this pub any more.

On the up side, I found the staff to be very pleasant and they tried to make the best of a bad situation. The weakest link by far was the cook closely followed by bar staff and of course the manager that hired all of them. The three ponds has been changed from a decent place to eat and hang out with your friends to an old-fashioned smokers pub, but without the smoking! We won’t be going to eat here again, as you can imagine the three ponds is now firmly on our shit list of places to visit. Certainly I would recommend it for a pub crawl but if you fancy something to eat just go down the chippy instead!

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