A late lunch in an elegant pub in the middle of Chester Zoo felt more like The Afternoon of the Living Dead. As we entered Pink Floyd’s See Emily Play was trickling out of the speakers – a slightly odd choice for the surroundings but as it turns out maybe not. Like many Floyd fans, some of the staff seemed to be smoking something.

When the waitress brought over what turned out to be a nice latte, she didn’t bring any sugar. This is one of my bugbears –  not putting yourself in the place of the customer and thinking about what they might want. I’m sure some of the young staff might have other thinks on their minds; the X Factor Final, what Pew Die Pie is up to or where to score some Nitrious Oxide on the way home. When I asked if I might have some sugar, one of the waitresses at looked me gone out like I had asked her to milk a camel. One of the other staff seemed to find the whole working thing a big hassle except the bit where they take your money of course when they become positively animated. Another waitress was so unresponsive I think she might have been in a ‘K-Hole’. Not sure if the interview process is quite as rigorous as it should be.

The building and the décor were great but the cost of this refurbishment is reflected in the price. We ate and generally the food was good (if not good value – you’ve nowhere to escape the ‘zoo’ pricing). The one exception was my one of my trio of sausages which tasted like a bicycle inner tube. Maybe Halford’s supply their meat.

As we left ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries blasted out from the speakers. I’m saying nothing…

Verdict: 3/5

Good: Food / Coffee fine. Nice place to be.

Bad: Service. Cost.