CHRISTMAS OFFER 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

Yesterday, 13:00

Helping clients through divorce, separation and disputes over children, we talk to 8 divorce lawyers in the Cotswolds

Read more
Yesterday, 11:12

We’ve some extraordinary, and inspiring, women in business in the Cotswolds. We talk to 7 female trailblazers in local industry who offer the business advice they’ve lived by

Read more
Wed, 16:26

Swan Lake. We know the music, we know the iconic imagery of the beautiful ballerina dressed as a swan, but I’m guessing that without reading the libretto in the program, most people don’t know the story. Which is why the audience relies on the dancers to tell us.

Read more
Wed, 11:00

Tom and Louise are being joined by other new academic appointments that have been made as part of the RAU’s £2.5 million initiative to help meet the future needs of the land management and agri-food sectors

Read more
Wed, 10:46

“To win this prestigious award is a real compliment to the wider team in Renishaw’s manufacturing services operation, particularly when we consider the achievements of the other excellent shortlisted companies.”

Read more
Tue, 17:16

Stepping up to receive the world’s first MBA Leading Business degrees at the ceremony were Sarah Bryars, Chief Executive of Target; Luke Freeman, Joint Chief Executive of MF Freeman; and Linsey Temple, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Engineering Training

Read more
Tue, 17:04

“I am thrilled to see InfoSec People win this fantastic award which is a testament to the brilliant team we have built in the past few years.”

Read more
Tue, 16:36

After a stress-free shopping experience browsing designer brands this Christmas? Look no further than the luxury offerings of Mailbox in Birmingham

Read more
Tue, 10:24

This year sees the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Briggs’ original picture book The Snowman. With three performances of the animated film – with live orchestra – coming to Gloucester Cathedral next month, we thought we’d catch up with Rachel Whibley, managing director of Carrot Productions (and occasional snowman), to find out more...

Read more
Mon, 14:10

It’s the season of terrible puns, magic lamps, and generous genies: Aladdin, the all-new panto at the Everyman, has been written by none other than legendary Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, and stars everyone’s favourite clown, Tweedy. The Barnard family from Nailsworth - mum, dad, Harriet (12) and Lewis (6) - made a Wishee (Washee) for tickets; grabbed their car (Window Twan) keys; and dashed off to see A Ladd In Cheltenham

Read more
Mon, 13:45

Crispy, frosty days and perhaps even a dusting of snow, winter is a magical time in the Cotswolds. If you’re thinking of tying the knot during this beautiful season in the region, here are six winter wedding ideas to help you start planning your special day

Read more

Christmas in the Wilson household is a heartwarming, traditional family affair

Read more
Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 13:09

Veganism is the latest food trend to hit the Cotswolds but it’s something we can all enjoy a bite of

Read more

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


Property Search