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Thursday, 10 November 2011

#031 The Harvester, Long Itchington, Warks : 1997 to 2011

We visit Long Itchington many times on our canal trips, but usually we stop at the Two Boats which is on the bank of the Grand Union Canal and we can moor up right outside. However, this weekend we stopped in the evening and, with the clocks going back an hour, we had more time to kill than normal. So, we wandered into the village for the first time since 1997!

Long Itchington is a relatively small village, but it has SIX pubs! We managed a pint in FIVE of them! My first subject, though is the Harvester. In 1997, this was the pub we ate in and, as I remember, it was very good.
Sadly, it's not the best picture. I do remember that it was a small friendly pub and we just managed to get there in time for the last orders for food. This was the evening of 24th August 1997.

Fourteen years later and we're back in the village on the evening of 5th November 2011. We'd had a pint in the Duck on the Pond and the Buck and Bell (which I don't remember being there in 1997, but it probably was! Late Edit: No it wasn't open in 1997 - closed in 1980's and reopened in 2005. Website here) and were ready to eat. The outside of the pub has changed little over the years and the inside seemed to be about the same as before.
The pub part of the Harvester was quite busy, but the restaurant was quite quiet. This was possibly because of the Bonfire Party at the nearby Green Man. 

And then it went downhill!! The ONLY lager available was Budweiser Budvar in Light, Dark or Half & Half. This was not ideal, but not the end of the world...until...our pints of this premium lager were served in Wye Valley Bitter glasses. These don't have the nucleation on the bottom and so the lager goes flat very quickly and it doesn't taste as good.

The landlord's first response was sarcasm, suggesting that it would be a disaster if it tasted like Wye Valley Bitter because it was in one of their glasses. Then, when that fell flat, he passed us proper Budweiser Budvar glasses and suggested that we pour it into them!! I told him that wouldn't work as this would over froth the lager and 'kill' it completely.

Needless to say, because of the landlord's attitude he lost out on our patronage for a meal and, probably, several more pints! When will these people learn that poor customer service costs a business money?

LATE ADDENDUM: I contacted The Harvester and sent details of this blog to them. They replied promptly and have apologised for the glasses. So, I'm now a happier bunny. This is how customer service should work!


  1. The "ONLY lager" happens to be the world's best lager. I'd drink it out of a wellington boot rather than opt for he usual tasteless multinational rubbish we see in most pubs

    1. And there lies the root of poor customer service in this country! Do you prefer it Light, Dark or Half & Half? Do you think it tastes better out of a properly designed lager glass or out of a standard bitter glass? As long as there are customers who don't care how their beer is served to them we will continue to get retailers who don't care either!

      Anyway, as I said in the post, it wasn't the end of the world, but when having a 'session' I can't cope with 5% lagers!!