Location, location, location. This popular phrase has become even more famous by the popular property TV programme with Kirsty and Phil. It dates back to the 1920’s in writing and is often incorrectly attributed to the real estate magnate, Harold Samuel. Back in my hotel management training I seem to remember it being Rocco Forte’s mantra. However, while location is of course critical, when it comes to experiences, is it enough?

On a trip to Devon recently I had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful setting of Hope Cove for a friend’s birthday treat – with a meal planned at the Lobster Pot. Here there are a series of unique glass walled dining capsules – kitted out with the latest sound technology and with the backdrop of beautiful and natural views. The perfect setting? It should have been quite an experience with our lovely friends and a stunning view of the sun setting over the cove.

However, the Lobster Pot ran out of lobster (major disappointment for all!), and unfortunately the standard of food was poor. While I appreciate they had limited kitchen facilities, in 2019 that is no excuse for poor quality. An expert could advise on a suitable menu revamp to match the proposition to the setting and the facilities available, guide on recruitment of a new chef to deliver at the level consumers expect and to improve the purchasing quality.

We appreciated the view, the service was attentive and our waitress delightful, and I would recommend a sharing board and wine to anyone interested, but sadly on this occasion the great location was simply not enough.