Welsh Witterings: A Visit to Montgomery
Last weekend I decided to tear myself away from both research books and child centered activities and venture out to the pretty town of Montogomery in Mid Wales Marches. Montgmery is a small, yet charming town with a wealth of history and it is a place that will be featured in my upcoming series on Welsh towns.
Sadly I had missed the museum and whilst having a potter around it became apparent that the weather was too cold for my little ones to venture to the castle so a spot of late lunch was decided upon. We decided totry The Dragon Hotel, a 17Th century former Coaching Inn set just below the old castle ruins. With it’s rather impressive black and white facade we were expecting traditional food and service, sadly it was a deep disappointment.
The service on arrival was swift and friendly, but the menu’s were lacking in terms of imagination especially when it came to the vegetarian options. I was presented with the less than enthralling options of a cheese sandwich, a quinoa and beetroot burger or else butternut squash and feta lasagne. As for vegetarian children’s options there was only one and that was quorn sausages served with mashed potatoes and carrots, priced at £7.95.
After deliberations we ordered a beef lasagne for my husband, a quinoa and beetroot burger for me, a cheese and salad sandwich for my two year old and a cheeseboard with a side order or hummus and chips for my two older children. The meals arrived and I first noted that the cips accompanying my burger and my husbands lasagne were actually fries cooked from frozen. The meals didn’t look wonderful, the cheeseboard was very lean on the cheese, there was no butter for the crackers and the grapes came in a very small sauce pot. However, we began our meal and my husbands lasagne was declared, ‘bland and tasteless’, within moments. Served in a dish the pasta was clearly reduced to mush and the meat appeared to be ground rather than minced, it didn’t look appetising and apparently it was dry and unsatisfatory on the taste front.
Well, you can’t go wrong with a cheese sandwich can you? Well, it seems you can. The cheese was not freshly grated or sliced and has a strange processed and dry texture to it, but this is all mere nit picking because the real jewel in the crown in terms of the meal failure was my vegetarian burger, described as beetroot and quinoa. It looked fine on the plate, hand cut chips would have been nice, but this wasn’t an issue for me, however the dreadful taste and texture of the burger was. I removed the top of the burger bun and immediately saw a very small burger drenched in mozzerella cheese, onions and mushrooms resting on a bed of fresh tomato. Upon the first mouthful my mouth was coated with greasy, slimy mushrooms and oily, soggy onions. It was unplesant and cold. The burger itself when sampled away from it accompaniments was acceptable, but it was overwhelmed by soggy bread, the cold and slimy mushrooms, soggy onions and mozerella cheese that had no flavour and was chewy and synthetic in texture. It was inedible , I ate two mouthfuls and decided to complain. No one came over to ask how the meals were and now all staff had disappeared, by the time I got the attention of a member of staff we were ready to leave and my meal remained untouched and no other meal had been devoured entirely. I complained and was met with the classic line of, ‘ really, you don’t like it, we’ve never had a complaint and our chef is highly skilled’. I was offered a part refund for my meal as I had apparenty had the option to eat the fries. The offending meal was scrutinised and it was agreed vthat yes it had not been gleefully devoured.
A badly prepared meal was only matched by the poor customer service. I paid and left wondering if the staff or indeed chef ever tried any of their dishes. This is an establishment that will be featured in my guide to bad food in Wales, they can have a triple star rating for dreadful food and service.
Apart from dreadful meals out I’ve been pretty busy and I am preparing to return to filming again this week, this time I am preparing and talking about one of my favourite subjects, afternoon tea. I’m determined to try and take some photographs this time, but I’ll probably just be so engrossed in what I’m doing that I’ll forget.
Next weekend I am at The Mind Body Soul Show in London where I am giving five talks on mindful eating with children and I can assure you there will not be a single soggy mushroom or burger in sight.
Well until next weekend I bid you a fond farewell from Wales.