<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
13 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Cotswold Life today click here

Editor’s Comment: May 2017

PUBLISHED: 09:43 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:43 25 April 2017

(c) Wolfgang Zwanzgr / Shutterstock

(c) Wolfgang Zwanzgr / Shutterstock

Archant

“One man’s bistro is another man’s burger joint”. Cotswold Life editor Mike Lowe wages war on keyboard warriors and “take with a pinch of salt” TripAdvisor reviews

I am quite fond of the general public. It wasn’t always thus. When I was editor of the Bristol Evening Post I sometimes seemed to be at war with half the city (although in reality it was probably just the soap-dodging, illegal-squatting, vegetable-chomping, professional Leftie, lurcher-on-a-string tendency).

Cotswold Life is, of course, very different – a much more refined, reasonable and genteel audience. Yes, we get the occasional angry letter of complaint, often about something quite inconsequential, but I find that a prompt and polite reply quickly takes the sting out of the situation and usually elicits a further missive saying “Oh, so sorry to have gone off on one. I was having a bad day...”

For me, a bad day for a customer results in nothing more than a spittle-spattered email. For a restaurant or pub, however, it can be much more serious. Which brings us to the modern-day menace that is TripAdvisor. If a reader is disappointed or annoyed with something in Cotswold Life, they might tell their family and friends, but that’s about as far as the collateral damage extends. If an anonymous diner is disappointed or annoyed with a restaurant or pub, TripAdvisor allows them to tell the world and his uncle, causing untold damage to a business that might just be starting out or might just be having one of the aforementioned ‘bad days’. And yes, there might be 100 ‘excellent’ reviews, but it’s the ‘terrible’ one that draws the eye, as every national newspaper food critic knows.

The issue is that of judgement and expectation. One man’s bistro is another man’s burger joint. And what does the anonymous assassin know about food anyway? Or the incredibly tight margins under which most restaurants operate? I’m always amused when a TripAdvisor critic feels the need to establish their so-called credentials before launching an attack: “I have eaten in some of the world’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants, but I have to say that the thumbprint I found on my glass of tap water in Fred’s Roadside Diner on the A404 made a mockery of the outrageous £4.99 price for the all-day full English breakfast...”

Of course, that’s if they ever went to the establishment in question in the first place. TripAdvisor allows any rival business to trash a new arrival while praising their own without any evidence as to the honesty or accuracy of the reviews. (A clue: fake positive reviews tend to provide way too much detail about the dishes on the menu). It has been suggested that contributors should have to provide a copy of the bill to validate their views, but this is apparently too complicated.

The internet has brought us many wonderful things. TripAdvisor isn’t one of them. Please bear that in mind when you’re next choosing where to eat, and have a considerable pinch of salt at hand when reading ‘reviews’.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After more than 400 years the ancient sport of shin-kicking has come a-cropper, and this year’s Olimpick Games on Dover’s Hill near Chipping Campden has been cancelled. Organisers cite a drop in the number of attendees, lack of finance and a shortage of volunteer organisers. All quite understandable, but there is also mention of “Health and Safety issues”. Yes, well I thought I glimpsed some hi-vis jackets lurking in the background.

The Fun Police have already launched a full-scale assault on our cheese-rolling tradition which, thanks to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the people of Brockworth, has survived relatively unscathed. If we’re not careful those toddlers dangling perilously over a bridge playing Pooh Sticks will be next, requiring licences, stoutly-anchored rope harnesses and lifejackets.

We sincerely hope that the shin¬kicking returns next year once organisers have found a way to circumvent modern¬day pressures. Robert Dover would have expected nothing less.

For more from Mike, follow him on Twitter! @cotslifeeditor

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Cotswold Life

Cotswold designers, growers and artists have picked up medals across this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Read more

Walk in the footsteps of Cider with Rosie author, Laurie Lee, as you explore the glorious Slad valley, ending up at his favourite local, The Woolpack

Read more

If captivating grade-listed buildings with landscaped gardens are your thing, you’ve come to the right place. We pick 10 of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring stately homes you simply need to visit this year

Read more
10:38

Once the preserve of high society, an afternoon tea is now widely available in cafes, tearooms and restaurants across the UK. This is no less true in the Cotswolds. We pick 19 of the best places to enjoy this indulgent treat in the region

Read more
Yesterday, 16:36

The weekend is fast approaching and for those still deciding how to spend their Friday through to Sunday, we pick 5 of the best ways to spend your weekend in the Cotswolds

Read more

Are you one of the million-plus viewers tuning into the new BBC mockumentary This Country? Filmed in Northleach, it follows cousins Kerry and Kurtan as they battle the lows and the even-lowers of growing up in the rural Cotswolds... Boredom, unemployment, petty crime, and constantly bumping into Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen in the Coop. Katie Jarvis meets This Country’s creators, Daisy and Charlie Cooper

Read more
Yesterday, 11:40

The 13th Quenington Sculpture Show will take place from June 11 to July 2 at The Old Rectory, Cirencester

Read more
Yesterday, 10:56

Guests can expect afternoon tea, Prosecco and live classical music in the beautiful grounds of Mallory Court, Leamington Spa on Monday May 29. The event will celebrate the 90 years National Gardens Scheme charities have dedicated to UK palliative care

Read more
Friday, May 19, 2017

Giffords Circus – Any Port in a Storm, 2017 tour, at Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

Read more
Friday, May 19, 2017

We look through the keyhole of some of the Cotswolds’ most luxurious houses on the property market

Read more
Friday, May 19, 2017

“We mere mortals have grudgingly accepted that we may have to work until we’re 75; Prince Philip is 95. He has more than earned what we dearly hope will be a long and healthy retirement.”

Read more
Thursday, May 18, 2017

They say Cirencester is the capital of the Cotswolds but the quintessential villages that adorn the northern half of the region are equally as beautiful. In no particular order, we pick 10 of the prettiest north Cotswold villages you need to explore

Read more
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Renishaw’s hot air balloon, G-RENI, has participated in a successful world record attempt for the largest number of hot air balloons to cross the English Channel

Read more
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Open to all regions, members and non-members, are welcome to attend this fantastic visit to the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry organised by Circle2Success

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Cotswold Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search