DINING: Disappointing experience

I booked a table at the Hogshead Inn just off the A1 near Alnwick, but oh dear.

Anyone who knows me, will know I am not one to complain at the drop of a hat, but the Hogshead fell well short of what one should expect from an inn where a starter costs near £6 and a main costs from £11.95.

The problem started even before we got our food.

My dear friend has dietary problems (which, according to the menu, we are invited to let staff know about) as she can’t eat loads. Having chosen beef curry, I asked if it were possible to have a half-portion (easy enough, one would think), but no, apparently, as main courses have set portions, which makes one think perhaps the food isn’t freshly prepared, so she chose again and had the scampi, which did come with a choice of a smaller portion.

My son chose a pork-and-chorizo burger, which, sadly, when it came was pink and cold, suggesting that it hadn’t been cooked to the right temperature, although the waitress assured us it had been.

I had chosen slow-cooked pork with black pudding, but the meat was cold.

We sent the food back and hoped for better. My friend’s scampi was OK.

What finally arrived for me was a door wedge of pork, which certainly hadn’t been slowly cooked.

I asked for mash instead of the supposed butter fondant potato. The best I could say about the meal was that the crackling was lovely and the black pudding edible.

The meal cost me £45, which I had paid for up front. The pathetic sorry and the two coffees we were given were by no means compensation for a very, very disappointing meal.

If I had been a secret diner, I would have scored the Hogshead as very poor.

The standard of food, while it has never been startling, it has least been edible, and the service, again although slow, has been better in the past.

Carole Rae,