Restaurant’s ‘real life Fawlty Towers moment’
A customer told of a “Fawlty Towers moment” at a luxury hotel after waiting staff bumped into each other and spilled coffee over a customer.
A review relating the incident, at four-star rated Eastwell Manor near Ashford, appeared on travel website Trip Advisor.
The hotel was taken over by Champneys in October last year and is currently undergoing a £10 million transformation.
Councillors approved the hotel’s expansion plans at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday last week while work to refurbish the manor is due to begin soon.
But the company has faced some negative reviews online, with one guest likening the service to that of the much-loved 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers, which starred John Cleese as hapless hotel owner Basil Fawlty.
User Frank D claimed he had to wait for 20 minutes before a drinks order was taken in the bar and a further hour and 40 minutes before a starter and main course was served in the restaurant.
The review states: “I asked to speak with the head waiter, who was apologetic and polite. Unfortunately, as he turned away from us, a waiter had just moved behind him.
“A real life Fawlty Towers moment then occurred. As the head waiter turned, he and the waiter collided and a pot of coffee was spilt over the back of a lady on an adjacent table. Everyone in the restaurant was horrified.”
Champneys group general manager William Simmonds said: “We take on board all customer feedback in order to enable us to continually improve and offer a bestin-class service for our guests.
“Service standards and customer care are at the very heart of what Champneys represents. We are investing in staff and all current and future members of our teams are in the process of attending a guest care course.
“Since the purchase we have slowly begun to incorporate the iconic Champneys brand, remaining sympathetic to loyal guests who have cherished the hotel for many years.
“Renovations started earlier this year with a complete refurbishment of the spa and fitness facilities, with hotel, restaurant, bar and lounge area renovations due to begin later this month and complete in September.
“We are investing more than £10 million on the updates and improvements of Eastwell Manor to restore the building to its former glory and bring the standard up to that which the Champneys brand is famous for.”
One TripAdvisor reviewer compared Eastwell Manor to Fawlty Towers