Lovely staff and great food.
Nice bar and my cocktail was lovely
Don't think my table expected the size of the mains to be that small especially if you have decided to have two courses
Lacked atmosphere (there were only two other tables eating in the restaurant besides us) especially for a Friday night
Booked a table in the Merchants Restaurant on line, of the options offered I chose the a la carts menu, this was confirmed by e-mail, including my choice of the a la carte menu, on arrival was informed that the a la carte menu was not available at lunch time, due to the limited choice on your lunch menu I gave my guest lunch in the bar which we enjoyed very especially the service from the gentleman on duty, this went some way in lessoning my disappointment over the lack of a la carte.
Fantastic evening all round - setting was great; food was sublime, and service was excellent. We dined as a table of three and we all had to taste each other's dishes as they looked and tasted so fantastic. Had the three course menu but we are all in agreement we will have to come back and try the 5 or 7 course taster menu!
set lunch is very good value for the quality of the food
Our initial impression was very positive with a creative selection of cocktails in the lovely bar. The menus looked very interesting and we decided on the chef's selection. The food was indeed incredibly well presented and tasted divine so we thought it was excellant value. However to the detriment of a clearly talented chef the restaurant service was simply unacceptable in a fine dining establishment. This spoilt the entire evening as it was wholly unprofessional and it's apparent that front of house staff need proper training as to the service levels required. For example the wine was poured in the glasses up to the brim rather than being topped up throughout the evening and the bottle was simply emptied into a glass rather than being shared around. However the worse case of unacceptable practice was the clearing of the dinner settings from the unused tables and then resetting all the tables for breakfast with plates and cups etc. This disturbance started around 9pm and carried on throughout the rest of the evening meaning that when we left it looked like we'd been sitting in a breakfast room! If hotel management have instructed staff to do this they need to seriously consider the consequences, alternatively if the staff decided to do it so they could leave earlier they need better supervision to prevent it from happening.
Given the wonderful food we were surprised at how empty the restaurant was on a Saturday evening but this lack of clients was obviously explained by the incredibly poor front of house experience. We were so disappointed for the chef, as we loved the food but we would not return so I hope the lack of bookings is not blamed on what the kitchen team is capable of creating.
I booked Merchants on the basis of the new Chef and Menu....
In short the food was superb BUT I was very disappointed with the service and overall experience. We booked for 7.30 but werent taken through to the table for at least 30mins.... The Bar staff seemed to be torn between the diners and people just drinking in the bar.
I fully understand this is a hotel and the dining room is used for breakfast the following morning BUT when the staff start changing the room around for the breakfast service whilst we are still eating is not what I was expecting .....
If they want to complete with the likes of World Service and Harts in Nottingham ... they need to sort this out
We really enjoyed it needs more of a menu selection though.
Offhand and virtually non-existent service from start to finish. A receptionist who (through his poor grasp of English) did not understand that we were booked into the restaurant and put his energies into barring us from going into a private engagement: which we had no intention of entering. we were sent to the bar: where we were studiously ignored by the 3 staff (including the maitre D, who then attended to people arriving later than us) for 10 minutes. When ordering bottle of wine this was unceremoniously plonked on the bar: the bottle not opened, no drinks poured, no ice bucket proffered - as if it were an off licence. When finally some seats were pointed out to us (i.e. "sit where you like") (40 minutes after arrival) no bread was offered (despite incongruous side plates), but 2 small glasses of water were poured. Eventually we were given menus. My starter was not brought until they also brought my main (with no explanation and a very annoyed countenance when I asked them to take the starter away). By now we had been there 87 minutes! The main was delicious but so small it should have been a starter. The staff were offhand throughout. They said they were too busy: even though only abut a third of the covers were taken. One of the worst dining experiences ever! I've been to Merchants on myriad occasions under previous owners. I won't be going back.
Overall a very good experience for afternoon tea. - Amazing and friendly staff!