Abergavenny Arms

Frant Road, Frant, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9DB, United Kingdom

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  • Extremely poor service, ranting owners

    by

    Where to start!

    Having spent a thoroughly wet three days, camping in the local area we decided to visit the Abergevenny Arms for Sunday lunch with our aim being to spend several hours eating and drinking, racking up quite a large bill for the pub, we were a group of 10. The pub itself was lovely and in the main room they had a huge fireplace which contained a wood burning stove, fully loaded with paper and logs ready to burn. On seeing this my wife spoke with the barman and asked whether we could light a fire and he said yes. Several minutes later the barman told us the fire couldn't be lit as it was set for the evening. We apologised and said we would let the fire die down, the barman was happy with this. We then ordered from the menu, which wasn't cheap but looked very good fare (prices for mains £9 / £13.) When our food arrived we were asked to move from the comfy chairs to a large table that was set up for us - we were told to leave our coats on the sofas so we could return to them following lunch.

    The food, in the main was very good - I had the marsh lamb, no issues.

    Halfway through lunch a woman started throwing our coats around and when we asked her why she literally blew her top, came over to the table and started to verbally abuse us in front of other guests. Our crime - was that we lit the fire! We explained that we had asked and had received permission and that when told we apologised etc. She continued to rant on and to be honest we were a bit dumbstruck as to her rant, it certainly seemed like she was spoiling for a fight. My wife and I then went with the landlady to speak with the barman who quelle surprise altered his version (though I can see why given the events that followed.)

    We returned to the table and the landlady came over after about 15 mins and in still quite an aggressive voice said 'this is not open to discussion, but I want to say sorry....' Not open to discussion? I'm sorry but her reaction was totally over the top and unwarranted.With our meal ruined, the atmosphere destroyed, we asked for the bill, which for 10 people came to approx £160. We decided that we were only going to pay £125 (about half the price for the food) and take our custom elsewhere. We explained this and then left the building and we were followed out by the Landlady and the Chef who I assume was her husband.

    We asked for the Police to be called due to the situation that was developing. The Chef went to his car and blocked our car in their car park - a Mexican stand off then ensued. No point the whole group remaining so half left, so my Wife, Myself and two friends remained, waiting for the Police. After about an hour the Chef came out with two of staff to confront us. Face to Face, he hurled obscenities firstly at myself, spittle covering my face, my hands firmly wedged in my pocked. Seeing I wasn't rising to his verbal assault he then moved on to both my other friends doing exactly the same. He screamed that he had a 'restraining order' and that he could not hit us though if were to hit him then all hell would break out. His two staff behind him look terrified and no doubt the Chef and the Landlady are a pleasure to work for.

    Eventually the Police arrived and to cut a long story short we were advised to pay the missing amount which we begrudgingly did - however if we'd only left our name and address with the Pub then we would've been well within our rights to take out custom elsewhere, which we did. Reading the other comments, it's quite clear that this couple have serious issues going on and both are thoroughly unpleasent to the point of being foul.

    I would not recommend this place to anyone.

    Unique Quality: Nice building.

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