Despite being left feeling rather positive from our experiences of the Grand Central Hotel (Champagne Central & Tempus) I rather foolishly wanted to go elsewhere for coffee. I unwisely thought that the Radisson Blu would offer equally good coffee and service to round our night off perfectly. Could I have been more wrong?
The Atrium Bar is a beautiful place, although the glass walls and lofty ceilings make for a cavernous space that is less than hospitable, great for storing a Zeppelin, not so good for a cosy family chat. We sat at one of the tables for four, the big arm chairs were comfy enough, but the problem of space presented itself again. If we sat back in our chair we were metres away from each other, so again not the best for having a blether. A quick look at the coffee menu confirmed all the expected products were there, so we waited expectantly for someone to come and take our order.
Some places you expect to go to the counter and order your coffee, Starbucks for example, or McDonald’s. The Radisson website says “Guests enjoy special attention at 5 star hotel in Glasgow” so table service is not really an option, it's an essential. Well after eight minutes it became obvious that we must be enjoying some special inattention, so I got up and went to the bar. It appears all the other customers did likewise, for we saw no body get served at the table.
The three chaps behind the bar, whose hairstyles made me assume that their day jobs were as a Flock of Seagulls tribute band, were all busy with shaking cocktails, cleaning glasses and pulling beers. These tasks they diligently continued in, despite the presence of myself and another customer stood in front of them. No eye contact, no “be with you in a minute”, not even a acknowledgement of our presence. A female member of staff squeezed in behind the bar and I thought maybe I would get served, but she was just collecting drinks for elsewhere in hotel, then she ran (so far away).
Eventually I got served and ordered three lattes and a hot chocolate. I was told to take a seat and they would be brought over, I did as instructed and returned to the seat I had only got out of because no one had been over. I went back to the family chat and waited for the drinks. I watched with some interest as each one was made and sat on the tray. Even by the time the fourth was made, we suspected the first would be cold. The further delay whilst the eighties throwbacks decided who was bringing the tray over meant that all four were definitely going to be less than piping hot.
So it came to pass that when they arrived they ranged in temperature from tepid to cold. My lukewarm chocolate (calling it hot would be wholly inaccurate) was average enough. The three lattes turned up in coffee glasses, which was an interesting talking point. If they had been double walled modern glasses I'd have been verging on impressed, as it was they looked like regular rocks glasses. Perhaps that is why the coffee is served cold, so you can't burn your hands. Luckily we didn't need any sugar as none was brought over with the drinks.
At nearly three quid a cup (or glass) I expect better. When I got up to pay the bill, after having to wait at the bar again, I also expect better than a shrug when I mention that the drinks were cold.
All-in-all a rubbish end to a great night, we should have stayed at the Grand Central.