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Reviews of Waterside Inn, Bray

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Review by Tim de Ferrars on 28th June, 2005

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I first ate at the Waterside Inn six years ago and it was fantastic. When we returned recently, to celebrate an important family milestone, the food was surprisingly hit-and-miss: the calvesí liver was not that well timed, and the lamb was over-seasoned to the point of salinity. (And yes, I am familiar with French dishes such as agneau de prť salť.) I didnít send the food back or complain to the waiter, because this was meant to be one of those perfect evenings together. I was given a "customer survey form" to fill in, and I did so honestly. (OK, itís unusual for a top restaurant to issue questionnaires to its customers, but please donít invite it if you canít take it.) A few days later, I received a phone call from Alain Roux, who was apoplectic and demanded that I withdraw my comments. I refused. Iím not a complete culinary idiot and I live in France. There are good restaurants there that would be ashamed to serve that particular meal at a third of the price. He ranted at length about his art and my ignorance. My mobile phone spewed forth invective for a full 30 minutes, and I had to pull my car over to avoid being a danger to traffic while I listened to this very angry man. Mercifully the phone connection was lost, but Roux Jnr. phoned me straight back and carried on for another 20 minutes. I couldnít get a word in edgeways and politely ended the call. This was not a man you could reason with. I can't imagine any other situation in which I could spend £500 in return for a few hours of service, and then receive a barrage of insults from the person who had just trousered my money. What an idiot. (Me, I mean, for wasting my cash, and more importantly a special evening with my wife.) The only advice I can offer is, if you fancy a meal in the charming village of Bray, try Heston Blumenthal. He presumably wonít take your money and then ring you up afterwards and shout at you.

Date visited: 2004

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