(TL;DR - Extortionate prices for average food, terrible music, and rip-off service charges)
We attended the George as part of an annual outing to the coast. Just before leaving for the coast, one of the group had the brilliant idea to call up to make sure there would be space (being a summer Sunday on the North Norfolk coast) and was pleased to report back that there'd be room for us. So far so good.
Upon arrival we were shocked to find the place empty, but thought nothing more of it... Until we were handed the menus.
Sandwiches were all listed at £9.95 (yes, even the very cheap-sounding cheese and tomato), and a Sunday Roast would set you back the princely sum of £16.95. Clearly not being the kind of folks that The George expects to be gallivanting around the North Norfolk coast on a summer Sunday, we opted for the sandwiches and hoped that they'd live up to their price bracket.
(As an aside, as we were paying we saw a couple of the Sunday Roasts being brought out, and noticed that they looked very much of the quality that one might find at one's local hostelry. Certainly not the gourmet treat that a £17 roast should afford.)
We sat in the deserted restaurant 'enjoying' our poorly kept beer (tasteless and flat), and being serenaded by a poorly-curated playlist (of all of five songs) courtesy of Spotify Free. Not only was the music a baffling choice for a place that likes to think of itself as an up-market eatery ('School's Out' by Alice Cooper, and 'Knock Three Times' by Tony Orlando), but to publicise your inability to afford £10 a month for advert-free music somewhat made a mockery of the extortionate pricing.
Whilst we were supping on our flat ales, and dreaming about the gastronomical delights that our £10 had bought us, the young spotty waiter appeared from nowhere and informed us that, on one of the busiest days of the week, at one of the busiest times of the year, in one of the busiest areas of Norfolk, they hadn't got any granary bread. I fail to see how the few customers present would have managed to chomp their way through a whole day's supply of bread, so one can only assume that The George doesn't bother to buy all of the ingredients needed in order to provide a full menu. We accepted this with good grace, and looked forward to receiving our wonderful meals on white bread. That said, when it comes to bread, brown/granary is savoury, and white's the treat, so we all ran out winners if you think about it!
When the food came out, it was perfectly serviceable. The sandwiches contained the advertised ingredients, and came with the advertised chips (which were, at the end of the day, deep fried sticks of potato), so The George can't lose any points for lying on the menu. As well as that, none of us (at the time of writing) have died of food poisoning, so I guess that's a positive as well.
Some of the portions were a little lacking. A £14 halloumi burger seemed to be less substantial than a £10 sandwich, and even came with fewer chips to boot, but being the reasonable souls we are, we didn't feel right to mention it (clearly with not being able to afford £10 a month for proper music, the proprietors must have enough on their plates as it is).
The final nail in this coffin of cr*ppiness came when it was time to pay the bill. It hadn't escaped our attention that a discretionary 12.5% service charge was to be added to our bill (broadly translated as "you're English, so there's literally no chance whatsoever that you'll ask for it to be removed, as that would entail 'making a scene'"). We politely asked that it be removed so that we could tip individually if required, at which point the young man on the till replied that he was unable to remove it, a position which he very quickly back-tracked on when reminded as to the meaning of 'discretionary'.
So we left the George, slightly fuller, a whole lot poorer, and mildly disappointed at the experience of the last hour or so. It didn't, thankfully, spoil an enjoyable afternoon, but needless to say we won't be heading back there in a hurry.
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