We arrived in semi-darkness around 16.30, about 15 minutes after ringing, as instructed. We were told to drive around the back, as the pub was shut. First impressions were poor - the place looked deserted and the car park was really rough, with potholes full of water. There was no sign of life, and we tried several doors before knocking on a completely anonymous door to what looked like a store room, which was opened by the proprietors.
The owner (Peter, as I have subsequently learned) led us across a courtyard to one of four rooms in a modern stable-type block. It was freezing cold, and he only then switched-on a wall heater, told us the pub opened at six, and left.
Disappointment was already setting-in, as we had expected the pub to be in the pretty village of Hook Norton (as advertised) when it is 2 miles out, in the middle of nowhere, and we also expected the room to be in the "traditional Cotswold pub" (as described), and not in a modern annexe. It was certainly not "luxurious" as described on their website.
We tried to make the best of it, had a cup of tea and waited for it to warm-up. Meanwhile I sat on the bed (there was only one easy chair) and found it extremely hard and lumpy. Other people came into the rooms either side and we realised that the water cistern for all four must have been above our ceiling, as the noise of anyone else running water or flushing their toilet was really loud. Also, the walls must be paper-thin, as normal speech and the TV could be plainly heard from next door. By 17.20, it felt no warmer and the room seemed even more cheerless, so we decided to cut our losses and leave, handing the key back to the proprietress and saying it did not meet our expectations. She made no attempt to dissuade us or even enquire as to the causes of our dis-satisfaction.
Despite telling the booking agent (Booking.com) that we would not be charged, the full room charge of £60 was taken from my card.
I subsequently rang "Peter" directly, and, I thought, reached an amicable agreement for a 50% refund, but this has not happened, despite repeated excuses for delay, and
he is now ignoring my e-mails.
I have to now conclude that he has strung me along with no intention of meeting his commitment to a partial refund.
We have been frequent weekend visitors to the Cotswolds for many years, always in establishments in a similar price bracket, and I can truthfully say this was the worst ever.
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- Also Known As:
- The Gate Hangs High Hotel Hook Norton