A hungry family of 16 dined off frozen sausage rolls on Christmas day after they say their £50 a head slap-up lunch was “ruined” by a local pub.
Pensioner Janet Charles saved for months to book the festive treat for her children and grandchildren at the popular Three Trees in Bletchley.
But after waiting an hour and a half to even be seated, they asked for a refund and crammed into Janet’s one-bedroomed bungalow instead.
This week then pub has apologised, admitting Christmas Day was a “nightmare” because four members of staff did not show up for work.
“Everything that could go wrong went wrong,” said a spokesman. “People arrived early, left late and at one stage even the carvery table broke down.
“We did all we could to make things better for the Charles family.
“We gave them free drinks and offered them food from the kitchen. But they wanted to leave and we gave them a refund immediately.”
Said Janet, who is disabled with arthritis: “Our Christmas was ruined.
“We wanted it to be a really special day because it was also my granddaughter’s 16th birthday.
“The Three Trees is normally good but this time it was an absolute joke.
“We were all starving and stuck in a cold conservatory all that time waiting for a table to be free. It was miserable and not how we planned to spend Christmas afternoon at all.”
At 5pm the family decamped to Janet’s Cleeve Crescent bungalow, where the furniture was hastily rearranged to fit everybody in.
“I got some mini sausage rolls out of the freezer and cooked them. Then I found some chicken nibbles. We just ate what we could find but it certainly wasn’t much,” she said.
The Three Trees spokesman said the pub had contacted all its Christmas lunch customers to apologise and offer them VIP treatment if they wish to return.
“We’ve worked really hard to turn this into a good pub and build up an excellent reputation. We are devastated about the series of disasters that meant we had to let people down. It will not happen again,” he said.