WHAT was hoped to be a joyous Christmas dinner at a local pub turned out to be a ‘festive day from hell’.
Customers who booked to attend the Fisherman’s Rest in Titchfield on Christmas Day were left mortified and hungry after tables were left dirty and food was not delivered.
One customer, who wished to remain anonymous, booked a table for six of their family members back in October.
He said: ‘We arrived for our meal at 12 noon and nothing was ready.
‘The manager told me patience was a virtue and swore at me to sit down.
The family had paid £375 for the meal.
‘We had paid for a meal we never got and we left without having any food whatsoever.
‘They have absolutely ruined Christmas and I felt what happened was diabolical and on our way out one of the staff just burst into tears.’
The pub, which is owned by Greene King, ran three sessions for Christmas dinner.
Another customer who booked for her family of six after hearing good things, was left ‘shocked’.
The 46-year-old said: ‘This is the first time we have gone out for dinner on Christmas Day.
‘When we got there the table was not ready and the manager was quite rude and dismissive.
‘We had to put two tables together as we had been given a table for four instead of six.’
The family received their starters an hour after arriving.
She said: ‘All my family ordered the smoked salmon and scallops but when the dishes arrived they all looked different and one just had a potato cake on and my husband just had a load of smoked salmon on its own.
‘When it got to 6.30pm and we had not received our main courses, we just left.’
The family were refunded the meal which cost £62.99 per person for three courses.
She added: ‘The refund is not the point as they ruined our day.’
Another customer who frequently eats out for Christmas with old friends had ‘never seen anything like it.’
The 61-year-old said: ‘You only get one Christmas dinner and they ruined it.
‘We thought it would be lovely but it was disastrous.’
A spokesperson for the Fisherman’s Rest said: ‘Every year, we put a lot of effort into making our Christmas Day special for all our guests but on this occasion we did not live up to our usual high standards.
‘We are extremely sorry to all our guests for this one-off and unacceptable lapse and we are now going to do our utmost to restore the faith of those who visited on Christmas Day as we hope they will return to us in future.’