Thursday, 23 October 2008

Beware the amateur review

I came across the following reader's review today, on a well established web site, of Cote in Wimbledon, a relatively new local restaurant which has impressed me greatly: "Great food, a nice atmosphere, but the most truly French thing about this place is rude service".

Here we go again, I groaned. It was not just that I had found the service there to be perfectly in order - more that the post yet again highlighted that tired old anti-French prejudice which seems to run and run whatever the reality.

How is it that in countless visits to that country during more than four decades, I have rarely if ever encountered this legendary rudeness?

Indeed, while the British have improved in recent years, service in French restaurants - never regarded there as a demeaning job - has been consistently better.

Reading the post was no different, I suppose, to listening to a man in the pub. But it was a reminder nonetheless of the downside of Internet chatter and the need to take on line amateur reviews with a large pinch of salt.

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