Family’s anger at £200 Christmas dinner at restaurant which was ‘like prison food’

The Christmas dinner which Simon Smith says he was served at the Black Bush in Washington.
The Christmas dinner which Simon Smith says he was served at the Black Bush in Washington.

A family say the Christmas dinner served up at a Wearside restaurant for which they paid £200 was like “something you’d get in prison”.

Simon Smith and his loved ones pre-ordered the meal at The Black Bush in Washington but say they were badly let down by poor service and food.

Simon Smith with his grandma Pat Smith at the Black Bush in Washington for Christmas dinner.

Simon Smith with his grandma Pat Smith at the Black Bush in Washington for Christmas dinner.

After arriving at the venue for 12.30pm on Christmas Day and being seated by 1pm, Simon claims his party were made to wait 45 minutes for starters and two and a half hours for their main Christmas dinner.

Simon, 30, of Oxclose, in Washington, said the meal put a dampener on his and his family’s day.

A Boxing Day post on the Black Bush’s Facebook page has apologised to customers for problems on Christmas Day, citing unexpected problems and issues in the kitchen.

The venue’s management say they have offered Simon a £40 refund for a meal that was sent back by his party and took drinks off the final bill on the day.

The Black Bush - Village Lane, Washington.

The Black Bush - Village Lane, Washington.

“We just feel a bit short changed by the whole thing because it turned out to be a total farce,” said Simon, who visited with his children Callum, 12, Lucy, 10, Martha, four, their mum Leanne Holmes, his mum Tina Watson and his grandparents Pat and John Smith.

“We paid £200 for it and the food was like something you’d get in prison to be honest. I got soup for a starter and it was tepid when you expect it to be steaming hot, while the others had prawn cocktail and you could see it was something out of a sandwich.

“We had to wait two and a half hours for the main dinner too and when it came there was no breast or leg from the turkey, just cuttings and the gravy was really greasy, the parsnips tasted raw and my roast potatoes had not been cooked properly.

“We only got three bowls of veg between eight of us too which wasn’t really enough.”

Callum Smith with his mum Leanne Holmes at the Black Bush in Washington for Christmas dinner.

Callum Smith with his mum Leanne Holmes at the Black Bush in Washington for Christmas dinner.

Simon added: “It certainly derailed our Christmas Day a bit,” he said.

The post on the Black Bush’s Facebook page reads: “Firstly we wish to thank those who joined us for Christmas lunch and for the patience shown during what became a difficult service.

“Big apologies to all our customers who were affected and for the delay we had in getting the main meals out.

“I accept this was unacceptable and I am sincerely sorry that we were in this situation.

John Smith with great-grandaughter Lucy Smith at the Black Bush in Washington for Christmas lunch.

John Smith with great-grandaughter Lucy Smith at the Black Bush in Washington for Christmas lunch.

“We had a couple of unexpected problems throughout the morning, however; there was an issue in the kitchen which unfortunately left us in a situation beyond my control.

“The front of house staff did a fantastic job under the circumstances and I cannot praise them enough for their relentless hard work and commitment.”

“We fully appreciate that we did not deliver the service and the day that was expected which has disappointed not only yourselves but us as a business too.

“Again, I can only apologise and I wish you all the best for the new year .”