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Dining at Chateau de Pray- buyer beware

In September 2023 I dined at Chateau de Pray and I would advise anyone thinking of dining here to look elsewhere. This is an expensive meal and it was a terrible experience. The service was very poor, and we didn't think the food was very good either.
This is not what one would expect from a restaurant with this reputation. None of the servers seemed very experienced, they all seemed like high school kids with a summer job. In addition, some of the food was not as described on the menu, and the kitchen was very slow. We waited 2 and a half hours for our main course. It was 10:30 when our main course was served, and frankly we didn't think the food was very good. We spoke to other patrons in the restaurant who waited so long for their food that they had to leave before their main course was served. We even saw a server bring dessert to another table before their main course had come out. It was a chaotic mess and we asked for a manager, but nothing was resolved. We have trusted Rick Steve's recommendations many times in the past but this was by far the worst meal on our trip and it was the most expensive. I would say do yourself a favor and eat someplace else. Based on what we experienced this is not a good restaurant.

Posted by
33313 posts

where is this located? It sounds French, so somewhere in France?

Posted by
5118 posts

Sounds like you had a very unsatisfactory meal indeed. I have to say I'm surprised. We stayed at the Chateau de Pray on our last visit to France, and our dinner there was one of the highlights of the whole trip. Something must have gone very wrong in the kitchen that night. I certainly hope this doesn't mean a wholesale decline in the restaurant.

For the poster who asked, the the Chateau de Pray is a hotel and restaurant just outside Amboise.

Posted by
33313 posts

Thanks CJean. I thought it might have been somewhere in Paris.

Love the Loire, never heard of the restaurant.

Posted by
7012 posts

I am very curious about why people come here and for their very first post on this forum, leave a very degrading review. I'm honestly not trying to negate your experience but I just find it odd that someone would come here and create an account for the sole purpose of leaving a bad review (especially for a place that has very good reviews on Tripadvisor).

Posted by
8870 posts

Revenge.

The OP felt slighted and that fueled the desire to post on the Forum.

Posted by
10349 posts

Not necessarily a fueled fire but since he found it in the RS book, the op figures he's giving feedback to either RSE or others that may put absolute trust in the RS recommendations. We aren't really the appropriate audience, but RS guidebooks is where this opinion should go.

High school kids: in summer a lot of hotel/restaurant students at both lycee and secondary level do apprenticeships. Restaurants all over France had a hard time filling staff positions. I could imagine a lot of struggles behind the scenes.

Obviously there was a kitchen catastrophe that evening. The key is to know if it repeats again and again. We can't judge on one anecdote. You need to give places a second try before forming firm opinions.

Posted by
7075 posts

The OP felt slighted and that fueled the desire to post on the Forum.

I understand their feelings completely. When you don't have deep pockets and do a 'once in a lifetime' splurge on a highly recommended, well reviewed place (restaurant, hotel, sight, etc) and then get skunked (for whatever reason), it's easy to feel a bit bitter and feel the need to let others know about your experience.

And some (but certainly not all) first time posters on here are long time lurkers and RS followers so they feel this is a place they can post their complaints. May not be the case, but understandable.