As reported by The Morning Advertiser, Calvin Dow, the operator of the Castle Inn in Skipton, North Yorkshire, levelled a light-hearted dig at difficult customers and TripAdvisor critics in a poem titled Life Behind Bars.
“It’s just a bit of fun,” said Dow. “But the days of social media, TripAdvisor, Google Reviews are starting to take their toll a little bit. Nobody seems happy with anything anymore.”
Dow gave a number of examples of said reviews which had led him to pen Life Behind Bars, with one branding his venue ‘crap’ and another warning 'beware – inedible mushy peas'.
Dow’s poem came less than a month after the operator of the Pandora Inn in Restronguet Creek near Falmouth, Cornwall, criticised the “downright mean spiritedness” of a TripAdvisor reviewer who branded the pub “rubbish”.
As reported by The Morning Advertiser, a disappointed visitor to the inn left a one-star review after finding the pub – which was named Cornwall Tourism Awards Pub of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and is known locally for its isolated, waterside location – hard to reach.
In light of these reviews, The Morning Advertiser asked pub operators for the most bizarre reviews of pieces of feedback they’d had in the past year.
17th century car park
“Sometimes they can be a bit annoyed if they can’t get to park their car in the car park because space is limited so people say we could do with a bigger car park.
"I explain that because the pub was built nearly 400 years ago there wasn’t much call for car parks then and everyone rocked up on horseback and that’s part of the unspoilt charm of a Cotswolds pub.
"Still, on a plus point, we still get people arriving on horseback and we’re hoping to extend our car park soon so where there’s a will… ” - Claire Alexander, Ebrington Arms, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire
“We had one where they came in early one evening. It was a bit cold and the furniture looked a bit disorganised so they left and gave me a one-star rating based on that.
"I like TripAdvisor, but I think sometimes they tell you a lot more about the reviewer than the place.” - Kevin Abbott, the Anchor, Wingham, Kent
"One lady suggested we could improve the pub by adding a children's playground area.
"It would be a great idea if it wasn't for the fact we are right on the Thames Towpath, with no garden and therefore not enough space for a rocking horse, let alone a kids' playground!" - Fiona Sparks, general manager at The Bell & Crown in Strand on the Green in West London.
"One of the best ones I've had, which is almost a compliment, was 'Basil Fawlty is alive and well in Ramsbottom' - I did like that one.” - Glen Duckett, Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester
No Herons inn
"I once got a poor review of my guest rooms because the show at the opera house was disappointing and they then had to walk up a hill back to the hotel. Best part was it was their own son who was in the show." - Ian Howarth, the Queens Head Hotel, Buxton, Derbyshire
We was described as an Eternal pit of hell. Turns out she hadn’t even been in my pub but one up the road!!— brett sanders (@brettsanders1) September 4, 2018
"This week we received a two-star review because, and I quote ‘we read the menu wrong and our vegetarian ended up with a meat dish’. I try to ignore their alerts of new reviews as it is so frustrating. Do the reviewers even stop and re-read what they have written?" - Gina McDonald, the Mill Arms, Dunbridge, Hampshire