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A la Colthard /Malmaison revisited

I do pride myself when there is a new hotel or restaurant that I  ensure a follow up. I went to the Malmason f0r breakfast in the week .On arrival the manager had his back turned and was on the phone and noone attended to us. Bad mark. It took some time to supply a menu   . Another bad mark.  The plates were not promptly cleared .Another bad mark. I was in two minds  whether  to invite a couple with demanding standards I know  for lunch yesterday and decided so to do given that the food was good in a  place , Brighton Marina, where it is not .

We arrived at 12-45 and were the only  three diners . Again there was some difficulty in producing an a la carte menu, eventually one arrived and a wine list. We ordered :scallops in pea  purée, tempura  of calamari  and a Mediterranean salad. 45 minutes later it had not appeared . On apprehending  our actress we were told that they only use fresh  produce and it would arrive in 5  minutes.  15 minutes later it  had not. I saw 3 waitresses rushing into the kitchen but to no avail? What could have happened ? Eventually a manager appeared and fessed up that they had to produce 2 buffets for conferences but such a delay  was unacceptable.  The meal was on the house.   This was a more than fair  resolution, most restaurants  would have offered the food free . When it came , mine a New Yorsk strip steak it was delicious but I had to endure the understandable criticism of my guests plus the aggro of dealing with and complaining to senior staff.  It was a horrid restaurant experience though not a costly one.

I will give them  one more chance but why were two chefs allowed to prepare a buffet which can be done  well in advance  at the expense of the diners? Is the management in control of the kitchen? What would   have happened if there another 15 diners in the restaurant? The Malmaison is trying to establish itself  and so far the service leads a lot to be desired.  I don’t like tripadvisor as the contributors are anonymous and not professional critics but such an experience related on tripadvsor can kill off a restaurant.

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About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts