6 ISSUES FOR £6 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

11:37

We are delighted to announce our 2018 finalists. We look forward to seeing you all at the awards ceremony at the Cheltenham Racecourse on Monday July 2

Read more
11:36

We’ve teamed up with Cheltenham Music Festival to offer a lucky winner a pair of tickets to enjoy the “witty, lavishly costumed spectacle” of Candide at Cheltenham Town Hall

Read more

Bringing a new puppy into your home can be the most rewarding chapter in you life but it isn’t without its difficulties. We speak to Chris Brierley at Cotswold RAW for his tips on choosing your puppy and helping them to settle into your home

Read more
11:35

‘The Weeks were granted a trading licence by the CDC, although extraordinarily, that licence did not allow them to trade anywhere that was regulated by the CDC’

Read more

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
Friday, June 22, 2018

“We take so much for granted these days. And one of those things is quite definitely ‘choice’.” Our editor Mike Lowe isn’t sure all this choice is a good thing - do you agree?

Read more
Thursday, June 21, 2018

It’s one of the country’s prettiest medieval towns and I can see why the likes of Lord Nelson enjoyed dining here. Burford is quite simply beautiful. Set on the River Windrush, it became a wealthy wool centre and is now a honeypot for visitors

Read more
Thursday, June 21, 2018

There are two sets of dupes needed for a cracking psychological drama – the dupes on stage; and those in the audience. Katie Jarvis is a very happy dupe

Read more
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Walk in the footsteps of Victorian Arts and Crafts visionary William Morris to the picturesque village of Snowshill and Broadway Tower with its splendid views

Read more
Thursday, June 21, 2018

“We’re incredibly proud of our new head-quarters. It marks the start of another exciting era for us developing the latest innovations in world-leading lead acid battery assembly equipment for our customers.”

Read more
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Cotswolds are famous for rolling hills, countryside views and honey-coloured architecture. Here are ten of the best places to catch a glimpse of breathtaking Cotswold scenery.

Read more
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

‘Be loud and proud, and don’t be ashamed of being a feminist’

Read more
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Why elderflower and gin are the only ingredients you need for this summer’s ultimate Cotswold Cocktail

Read more
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Enjoy a day in the sunshine at these wonderful Pick Your Own fruit farms in the Cotswolds...

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search