That’s a bit urgent

Because our flight leaves at such an ungodly hour tomorrow morning, we decided it made a lot more sense to stay at a hotel near the airport. The only hotel near Southanpton airport is the Premier Inn which boasts that it is ‘next door’ to the airport. Which is not altogether true though it is actually quite close.

Something else we decided to do was leave Max at the short stay car-park for the week. Though expensive it was still cheaper than two taxi trips and we had the convenience of our own car waiting for us. And it meant that Mirinda could faff around most of the day before we actually left.

The rain drenched garden just before we left

Mind you, the weather was so shit it made more sense to wait until the rain sort of stopped before setting off. Though, as we cruised along the M3, the rain lashed against our windscreen like the breath from some sort of demented dragon. (See the video below.)

To be fair the rain stopped as we arrived so we could walk to the decidedly not next door hotel without getting wet but, all day, it was wet and drizzly.

It held off enough for us to take the girls to the kennel at least. Emma was not happy though. As soon as we drove into the kennel car park she started shivering and looking very miserable. She looked back at me with eyes that wept great sadness.

We then went to the Holly Bush for a lovely brunch before heading back home.

But home was merely an interlude before we were subjected to possibly the worst meal we’ve ever had in a restaurant. I call it restaurant because that’s what they call it. I think that’s being generous. I’d call it one of those vans on the side of the road without the benefit of being tasty.

Not recommended

I think the worst thing was the waiter deciding that we were concerned about the price of a bottle of wine (£15.00) enough to take their offer of buying two glasses and getting the rest for nothing (£13.00). I just wanted a beer and Mirinda just wanted a big glass of white. I dread to think what the waiter would think about the wine we normally drink. But, wow, we saved £2.

Even so, I really wanted a beer but didn’t want to waste half a bottle of wine so I forwent the beer and drank the pinot. It was probably the best thing about the meal.

To be honest, the worst thing wasn’t the waiter, though he came close. The worst thing were the people dressed in trackies for dinner. I mean really. I don’t expect a tux but I do think wearing appropriate clothes should be mandatory in an eatery no matter the level of food and service. Perhaps one thing attracts the other. I don’t know.

Actually, the waiter was interesting because he didn’t look at me much which is generally an indication of not very good service. He directed everything at Mirinda which was pretty pointless because she couldn’t understand his faux Arthur Daley type accent and demeanour. The fact that he didn’t seem to know what balsamic vinegar was should have been enough.

That was the main problem. The staff didn’t seem to understand substitutes. The first waitress Mirinda accosted had no idea what Mirinda was talking about when she asked if she could swap the potato chips for sweet potato chips. The waiter sprung into action and sorted it out. Then, when the meal arrived, it was potato chips and had to go back to be changed.

I was easy, but my tuna (which should have taken about six minutes) took an age. In fact Mirinda had finished her meal before mine was put in front of me. And the tuna was well over done. And the salad on my plate consisted of tomato. Okay, it was various different types of tomato but tomato alone does not constitute a salad if you ask me. Or maybe I’m being too harsh and a bit of lettuce to go with my tomatoes is a bit much to expect.

Above is what I ordered. It was not what I was given. The tuna was about as succulent as a truck tyre, they seemed to have run out of red peppers and the dressed rocket was actually naked cress. Obviously I cancelled the potatoes. Overall, it was not good. And Mirinda’s half a roast chicken was extraordinarily anaemic. If this is how the other half live, forget it.

I’m very glad we’ll be in France tomorrow eating proper food in a proper restaurant with wine that has corks in the bottle and a glass of beer if I really want one.

What a night. What a meal. What a ghastly experience. From the over zealous waiter to the waitresses who dare not smile, the whole experience was awful.

Then, to cap the night off, the lift tried to eat me when a man carrying a small girl pushed in front of me. He uttered “That’s a bit urgent,” and his child look petrified. They left the lift without a backward glance or any query into my well being. But I guess that’s the type of clientele you get in a Premier Inn.

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