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To feel restaurants are a waste of time and money

(101 Posts)
worldly123 Sun 05-Jun-16 18:16:53

Have been on holiday this week here in the UK. Have eaten at quite a few restaurants, including one recommended, a top hotel, a teashop and a foodie deli.

It all reminded me why I rarely or never eat at restaurants. I splashed out on this trip but usually only cook at home. Without exception they were pretty awful and I ended up leaving most of it. The tough, stringey steak. The pre-cooked roast beef (ordered in like school dinners but presented as a fresh roast I guessed?). The tiny salads totally drenched in dressings. The cheapest, fattiest sausages you ever tasted - at an exclusive hotel! Teashop scones - tasteless dough and water. I felt like crying. Yet all around me people laughed and joked and seem to enjoy their food grin.

When I got home I made my own bacon and salad sandwich on white bloomer, and it was to die for. It probably cost £1, and was the most delicious thing I'd all week smile .

I know overheads are high in restaurants, its labour intensive and so forth. And I've had one or two excellent meals in the last 10 years. But honestly why would anyone eat out at a restaurant when so often it feels like an ordeal from beginning to end. And this at a time when we are bombarded on TV with cookery programmes ...


LaurieFairyCake Sun 05-Jun-16 18:20:08

All that food sounds dreadful.

Which really surprises me as almost anywhere I eat now the foods great. I'm constantly surprised at how good the quality of food is even in quite inexpensive places.

When I was growing up in the 70's it was pretty bloody bad.

Muskateersmummy Sun 05-Jun-16 18:20:46

You are not being unreasonable as everyone enjoys different things. But for me eating out is one of my greatest pleasures. I love everything about eating out whether it's a big social get together at a cheap and cheerful place or a meal for dh and I at a Michelin starred place. Each to their own.

I enjoy cooking at home too, and eating home cooked grub at our house, or having dinner parties with friends so for me food generally is my passion. But there is something nice about not having to do the prep, and the washing up that I enjoy! And the atmosphere of eating out is something I really enjoy.

branofthemist Sun 05-Jun-16 18:21:11

Yabu. There are some great restaurants here.

TypicallyEnglishMustard Sun 05-Jun-16 18:22:13

You're eating at the wrong restaurants! There's nothing I love more than a good meal out in a restaurant: it's my payday treat to myself. But, I live in a town with a string of very excellent and varied restaurants, with lots of fresh seafood to boot, so I suppose I'm spoiled for choice.

Tbh, I don't like the sound of the dishes you ordered. Was it carvery sort of stuff? Maybe go for something totally different next time?

Hodooooooooor Sun 05-Jun-16 18:22:25

Go to better restaurants. There are plenty out there.

glassgarden Sun 05-Jun-16 18:22:54

I agree with you OP, never really liked eating out and I avoid it if at all possible
I like my own home cooked food best and I dont want to pay more for food that isnt what I want to eat.

Each to their own though!

DuvetDayEveryday Sun 05-Jun-16 18:23:34

You're eating in the wrong restaurants.

treaclesoda Sun 05-Jun-16 18:24:08

DH and I are both keen cooks and quite adventurous, so we're not particularly easily pleased. It's very rare that we go to a restaurant and think 'wow, that was amazing'. But it's even more rare for us to go somewhere and think it was really terrible and tasteless. Most of the time it falls into the category of 'that was nice, and I didn't have to cook it myself, and I didn't have to do the washing up afterwards'.

There are some dishes that I always avoid because I know I can make much nicer versions myself at home.

But on the whole I think competition is stiff in the restaurant trade and generally the standards are OK. Rarely spectacular but usually perfectly nice. And that's OK with me.

londonrach Sun 05-Jun-16 18:25:04

Yabu...choose where you go better. Near where we are we have amazing french place doing three course me for £12.95 and honestly its the best food ive ever tasted!!!!! If you eat out 9 times the 10th time is free..... Try trip advisor but advice you avoid the big chains. Food quality eating out is very good at the moment. Mind you due to budgets we not going out much but if we do choose very carefully.

GloGirl Sun 05-Jun-16 18:26:11

I do not go out on a Sunday! I have had too many bad roast dinners.

Artandco Sun 05-Jun-16 18:27:36

Sounds the wrong places

Places like all inclusive hotels will be cheap as everything included in one price

We went out for brunch today, had lovely eggs Royal.

MustStopAndThinkBeforePosting Sun 05-Jun-16 18:30:08

I've certainly had bad experiences but I have also has excellent experiences. Where in the UK were you holidaying? I've had some terrible meals and truly awful scones in seaside towns and touristy destinations but that doesn't apply to the whole restaurant, hotel and café sector nationwide. Leave honest reviews on Google about the terrible places, and keep looking for the worthwhile ones, they do exist.

Sallygoroundthemoon Sun 05-Jun-16 18:30:28

That food doesn't sound nice OP but I think you need to try different places. I think it also depends where you are. I live in London and rarely have a bad meal out as even cheap places are usually good due to lots of competition.

worldly123 Sun 05-Jun-16 18:31:19

wasn't all inclusive at all. some of them were "foodie" places - one was recommended in The Times last month! grin. The teashop was a bit more hit and miss, so just unlucky I guess (National Trust cream teas are the best!). Maybe it does depend on area too - some are more foodie that others (e.g. Norfolk = foodie heaven).

IHaveBrilloHair Sun 05-Jun-16 18:31:35

I rarely eat out, though I love food and cooking.
My friend and I have been to a Michelin starred place a few times and though it's not cheap it's actually amazing value for money, I'd rather go there infrequently than eat crap I can make better at home all the time.

Patterkiller Sun 05-Jun-16 18:33:30

I love eating out but for me it's never all about the food. Sometimes it's mediocre but if I'm with good company I can have the best time. Also had fabulous food while out with a bunch of idiots and had an atrocious evening.

OwlinaTree Sun 05-Jun-16 18:34:14

That's not my experience in all honesty. I love eating out at a whole range of places (except Byron burgergrin).

But then I am a terrible cook!

redpriestandmozart Sun 05-Jun-16 18:37:14

Virtually every vegan choice I've eaten at a restaurant this year I can make better at home, some by top chefs. I put that down to me cooking vegan all the time, I'm very familiar with the ingredients and have a pantry full of just vegan food. Most restaurants trot out the usual veggie curry or risotto but perhaps don't have as much to choose from.

worldly123 Sun 05-Jun-16 18:37:24

What IHaveBrilloHair said is what I think ... I'll have to keep my eyes open next time for Michelin ...

teacher54321 Sun 05-Jun-16 18:42:40

I love eating out. I like being able to choose whatever I like and not have to make it or clear up.

NicknameUsed Sun 05-Jun-16 18:43:27

You were just unlucky in your restaurant choice. I think it is unfair to tar all of them with the same brush. Last week we went out for a meal at a local pub that is renowned fr its food, and the meal was utterly sublime. It wasn't cheap, but worth every penny.

Having said that I kind of know what you mean. We holidayed in Costa Teguise in Lanzarote one year and we spoke to several holiday makers who assured us that everywhere did really good food, and I came to the conclusion that they can't eat very well at home because the food was OK, not great.

I do consider myself a competent cook though so perhaps I have higher standards. Sorry for the boast.

ApocalypseSlough Sun 05-Jun-16 18:45:15

Eating out for a whole week gets boring for even the most foodie foodie!
I love my food, very much, but unless I know a restaurant I'll always go for Indian or pizza express in a new place. The odds of eating well in a random place in the UK are vanishingly small!

NicknameUsed Sun 05-Jun-16 18:46:19

"The odds of eating well in a random place in the UK are vanishingly small!"

That's a bit harsh. I disagree with you there.

notagiraffe Sun 05-Jun-16 18:47:03

Agree with Brillo. Better to eat out seldom in a fantastic restaurant than suffer the bland indifferent food you pay over the odds for in an average place. DH and I used to stick to this rule before DC, but now they're around, we go to good enough local Indian and Chinese restaurants a lot as well as the usual burger an pizza places.
The greatest pleasure of eating out in an average place is no pans to wash!

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