Posts Tagged ‘British’

Hong Kong Chop House, 33 Swinegate, York, YO1 8AZ, England

My husband and I were visiting York, England recently with my mother. Her favourite kind of food is Chinese.  So when we met my cousin and his wife for a meal on the Saturday evening we booked a table at the Hong Kong Chop House.  It is in the centre of York, situated in the Swinegate and is on the ground floor so access is easy for those disabled people who may have mobility problems.  We were originally shown to a table with benches on either side, but there is no way my mother would have been comfortable there so we chose a table in the window with chairs, instead.  The restaurant is warm, but not particularly spacious and when I ordered a gin and tonic and was offered a gin and soda water in the absence of tonic, I suppose I should have been warned.

ImageThere were five of us at the table and the waiter decided the best time to take our order was when one of us was in the restroom!  We ordered a variety of starters from vegetarian spring rolls to spare ribs, but they arrived very slowly and at varied intervals.  However, the dishes were tasty when they arrived. There seemed to be too few staff and those that were there seemed more interested in the “take away” side of the business than caring for the patrons in the restaurant.  We sat with the empty plates from our starters for a long time before they were taken away and it was even longer before our main courses came out from the kitchen, one at a time.  Indeed, my cousin was presented with half of his meal and was nearly finished that before the rest of it arrived! My husband’s meal was a small portion and only luke warm at best.  The serving staff were sullen, slow and humourless.  The service was truly atrocious.

When someone finally came to take away our plates from our main course, after my cousin had asked them to do so, we decided not to have a dessert, we asked for teas and coffees.  Even that was a challenge!  The restaurant was out of coffee.  Not out of a particular blend – they had coffee on the menu but no coffee on the premises.  They also had no Indian tea.  The offer was Chinese tea or Jasmine tea.  Now I know this is a Chinese restaurant, but they are catering for a British clientele and not everybody enjoys Chinese tea.

However, having been to China several times, I am quite partial to it, so my cousin, his wife and I all had some Chinese tea. The teapot was quite pretty, however the tea tasted of virtually nothing, possibly dust, but nothing delicious. Either the tea was very old and dry or there was little tea in the pot. hong-kong-chop-house-york-1So, could I recommend this restaurant? Not favourably. Would I go there again? Not by choice. Did I leave a tip? Yes, stock your restaurant properly and serve the food warm, timeously and with a good grace.

Valerie Penny

Kama Sutra, 331 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland

I was in Glasgow recently for the Glasgow leg of the tour of Broken Records, my nephew’s band. My sister suggested we all go for a meal before the show and, there are many excellent Indian restaurants in Glasgow, so I suggested we go for a curry.  As my niece’s flat is in Sauchiehall Street, she suggested Kama Sutra.  it was only after we were seated she admitted that, although she lives near the restaurant, she had never actually been there!

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The restaurant is warm and welcoming and the staff are very kind and helpful. The restaurant has good access for disabled people and also does a very good value early evening meal. Two courses for only £9.95. The choices on the early menu include traditional British fare like a prawn cocktail starter and a fish and chip main. It also includes vegetarian starters and mains too. All are served with a choice of naan bread or rice (even the fish and chips)! Although we were right at the limit of time for the early meals the staff were happy to ensure that we could all choose from this menu. It was a nice touch and done with good grace.

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The starters were all quite tasty and the meat eaters enjoyed their mains. However, the fish served in the fish and chips main was quite mean. It was also not well filleted so my friend did not eat all of this. She was laughing though at the idea she would want to eat a naan bread to accompany her chips! The vegetarian main dishes were seasoned so similarly that those that tasted both could not tell the difference. The vegetarian meals were hot and spicy but not very tasty.

I quite liked the ambiance of the restaurant and the staff were very nice. However, as I am vegetarian and the veggie mains were not amazing, I would not seek out this restaurant again. There are many Indian restaurants in Glasgow. I will try another next time.

Valerie Penny

Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, 1 William Street, Glasgow, G3 8HT, Scotland

me-dave-amamndasI have always liked the Hilton Hotel chain and have stayed with them all over the world.  I particularly like this hotel, Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, Scotland once you discover the route into it!  It is centrally located and the Hilton Glasgow Hotel offers superb city views, family rooms, spa and indoor pool. The last time I visited this hotel was when my friend, Amanda, had a party there in December and my husband surprised me by booking a room so we could stay and better enjoy the festivities.  It was so kind of him and the party was lovely. A fantastic four course meal was served and it was a lot of fun.

The reception area is is spacious and grand, however the hotel bar is hilton-glasgow-1small for the size of the hotel.  The staff are helpful but unobtrusive and the hotel is spotlessly clean. Our room was on the fourteenth floor and we overlooked the motorway, but the room was quiet because of the soundproofing and the good quality glazing.  We hilton-room1were delighted with it.  The bed was also very comfortable and we slept well.

 

I also enjoyed using the indoor pool at this hotel.  We did not use any other fitness equipment, but the pool is large and well-maintained.  It was not busy either time we used it and the towels provided are lovely and fluffy.   There is a great fitness centre too, but we did not use that.

Breakfast was marvelous!  It is a usual wide hot and cold buffet with a wide variety of  hot and cold choices.  As well as the traditional British fry-up, I told the chefs I was vegetarian and they brought me Indoor Poolvegetarian sausages too.  It was unexpected and kind.

As I live relatively close to this hotel, I rarely have a chance to use it nowadays, however, I highly recommend it and am pleased to have a chance to stay there when I can.

Valerie Penny

Travelodge, King’s Cross Royal Scot, London

Well. my Mother and I were looking for a central hotel in London, England to allow us to visit family and friends in the big smoke on a budget. The Travelodge, King’s Cross Royal Scot, London provided it.

This is not the best hotel in London, it is not even the best Travelodge in London nor the best budget hotel in London. It is all a bit shabby. However it was generally clean and the majority of the staff were British. All the staff were friendly and helpful but not pro-active.
The hotel is enormous and there is only one bank of elevators. Only 2 out of 3 of the elevators worked all weekend.

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We were there over a rugby weekend and the hotel was very busy, so breakfast on Saturday was a bit of a scrum! The breakfast buffet is adequate but not sensational. The evening menu in the hotel restaurant is excellent so the evening meals were very varied and tasty.

We were in a twin room. The beds were very narrow but the mattresses were comfortable. If my husband had been there his shoulders would have been broader than the beds and he would have been longer than the bed! There was no chair in the room, but when I asked for one I was told that the hotel did not offer a chair in the room but if I wanted one I could take one from the breakfast room on the first floor as that was not being used, so the problem was solved by me doing the furniture moving. Our room was not cleaned until after 3pm on Sunday.  It felt as if there was either not enough staff or the staff were not well trained or perhaps both.

Did this hotel serve its purpose for us? Yes, but not with any flourish! Would I use this hotel again? Yes, but not with my mother or husband!  They are much fussier than I am!  It is not great, but it is a budget hotel in a budget chain. It is central and is clean and functional. I won’t avoid it but don’t rate it highly.

Valerie Penny