Diners' anger over Christmas dinner fiasco at Doncaster restaurant

Nicola Ashcroft, of Bircotes and Lindsay Lambert, of Lakeside, pictured outside The Earl of Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley
Nicola Ashcroft, of Bircotes and Lindsay Lambert, of Lakeside, pictured outside The Earl of Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley
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A number of diners who say their 'Christmas was ruined' due to the poor standard of food and service provided at a Doncaster restaurant are now threatening to take legal action.

Advertised as a 'luxury meal,' around 250 people booked in for either the Christmas lunch or carvery at the Earl of Doncaster hotel in Bennetthorpe on December 25.

However, following reports that those booked in for the second sitting received 'inedible food' and were kept waiting for up to four hours to eat, several guests have now complained with some even threatening legal action.

One such diner is Lindsay Lambert, who is demanding action over what she describes as a 'disgraceful, disgusting excuse of hospitality'.

"It was the worst total car crash experience I have ever witnessed," said Lindsay of Windermere Drive, Lakeside.

The 53-year-old added: "It was totally unbelievable. We got there for 2.30pm for a 3pm sit-down meal and we weren't sat down until after 4pm, and when we were sat down the table wasn't set.

"I had beef and my husband had turkey. Mine was so vile tasting that we asked a waitress to remove the dish, she asked if I wanted anything else which I didn't the beef was enough for me!

"My husband ate his whilst I sat there waiting for him to finish. The desserts took another hour to arrive and if it wasn't for the amazing staff we would have walked out, numerous diners did by the way in fact one lady who still hadn't had her main course at 5.30pm got up and was visibly distressed and crying.

"There was one woman who was screaming so loudly, I thought she was going to faint!"

"It was unbelievable, there was even a waitress who was crying.

"I saved up all year for a Christmas treat for me and my husband and what happened completely ruined that. To pay £75 for a raw pig-in-blanket and one vile slice of beef is just ridiculous!

"I'm so angry that I'm considering legal action."

Mark Kelly, who had a similar dining experience, told the Free Press he is also considering pursuing legal action due to the 'poor standard of service and food' which he says ruined his Christmas.

The 32-year-old said: "Me and my family booked in because me and my partner had just moved into a new house, and we wanted to avoid the stress of cooking.

"And it was ridiculous. Everyone was visibly upset. There was one elderly woman who had to wait so long for her food that she missed the taxi she'd booked to go home - and even though she didn't get to eat the Earl still wouldn't help her," added Mark of Buttermere Crescent, Warmsworth.

"The wait staff did everything they could, but it was clear that the problem was coming from higher up than them. One waitress told me that the on-duty manager was hiding in the kitchen!

"Basically it's the most important meal of the year, and it was completely ruined. I've been offered a free meal - but I want a full refund or more because I don't want to go back there for food after this! If they don't offer me something better I am considering taking it through the courts."

A spokesman for the Earl of Doncaster commented: “We would like to deeply apologise for any upset caused to Guests who attended the second sitting in our Cafe Bar Concerto Restaurant on Christmas Day.

They added: "Following the first sitting we encountered delays in turning the tables around for the second sitting, causing long delays to Guests who arrived at 3pm. This then led to the wait for the food to be served to each table.

"Any complaints sent to the Hotel are being dealt with on an individual basis as they are made to the Hotel, and we can assure each and every Guest we are taking their feedback seriously.

"Responses will be issued to each individual accordingly”.

Food served at the Earl of Doncaster on Christmas Day cost £74.95 per person for the luncheon, and £52.95 per adult, £24.50 per child for the carvery.