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Diner slams pub for refusing to let her daughter, 19, drink wine

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A diner has slammed a popular pub, blasting its ‘lack of legal knowledge’ after staff refused to let her 19-year-old daughter drink wine with a family meal.

The customer, identified as Nicola on Tripadvisor, said her daughter hadn’t got her ID with her – but her husband had a photograph of the driving licence on his phone, which was shown to staff.

She said she ordered a bottle of wine to share with her daughter during their meal at The Lyttelton Arms in Hagley, Worcestershire, while her husband and son both ordered Cokes.

But when they were eating their starters after their drinks had already arrived, a member of staff returned to ask her 19-year-old daughter for ID.

However, the manager at the Lyttelton Arms would not accept it as ID and took the glass of wine away. Nicola said they asked for the bill and left.

The Lyttelton Arms in Hagley (pictured) has responded to a negative review branding staff ‘rude’, and saying they need ‘more training’

According to the disgruntled diner's review (pictured), the situation was handled 'really rudely and badly', prompting the family to leave

According to the disgruntled diner’s review (pictured), the situation was handled ‘really rudely and badly’, prompting the family to leave 

She said the situation was handled ‘really rudely and badly’ – adding that 16-year-olds can legally drink alcohol accompanied with a meal if purchased by an adult. 

Nicola added that the staff needed more legal training.

The Lyttelton Arms has a 3.5 rating on Tripadvisor – with nearly 1,500 independent reviews.

One recent review described it as an ‘amazing venue, attentive staff and fabulous food’, while another said they ‘had a great time and would definitely visit again’.

But Nicola left a one star rating on Tripadvisor after her visit. Her review’s headline said: ‘Rude staff. Lack of legal knowledge more training needed.’

The review in full said: ‘On arrival we were shown to our table and we all ordered drinks and our meals at the same time. Husband and son ordered Cokes whilst me and my daughter ordered a bottle of wine to share.

‘Drinks arrived first. Whilst eating our starters the waitress returned and asked for ID from my 19-year-old daughter.

‘She hadn’t brought it with her but hubby thought he had a solution and asked the waitress to give us a minute as we were eating our starters. The waitress left, then returned within a minute to take away our daughter’s glass of wine.

The Lyttelton Arms (bar area pictured) responded to Nicola's complaint saying that they have a strict policy when it comes to accepting photo ID, which it does not do

The Lyttelton Arms (bar area pictured) responded to Nicola’s complaint saying that they have a strict policy when it comes to accepting photo ID, which it does not do

‘Again my husband asked for five minutes. Then we assume a manager (who did not introduce herself) came over. My husband had a copy of our daughters driving licence on his phone however this was not good enough.

‘We did not make a scene but due to the impatience and they way it was handled we asked for the bill left and have since cancelled another meal that was booked at the Lyttleton Arms for another family event.’

She included a screenshot from a government website that states that 16-year-olds can drink alcohol accompanied with a meal if purchased by an adult.

‘She was 19 but even so they handle the situation really rudely and badly! More legal training needed! Will not be returning,’ the aggrieved mothr continued. 

The general manager of the Lyttelton Arms, identified as Marc Hyatt, chose to respond to the review. He pointed out that the law Nicola was referring to is at the manager’s discretion – and that it is company policy not to serve alcohol to anyone under 18.

He added that photos were ‘not acceptable as a form of ID’ so they could not serve her daughter. He apologised for the embarrassment caused, but stressed it was a strict policy.

The establishment's general manager left a response (pictured) to the negative review, explaining the policy and inviting the family back to the pub

The establishment’s general manager left a response (pictured) to the negative review, explaining the policy and inviting the family back to the pub 

His response said: ‘I’m sorry we were unable to serve your daughter alcohol on her recent visit, the law you state for 16-17 year olds to drink is also at management discretion and it is company policy across the 100s of sites we run that we do not serve alcohol to anyone under 18.

‘All our staff are trained in this and our due diligence is necessary to prevent underage drinking; to this end like many places we operate a Challenge 21 policy where if you are lucky enough to look under 21 we ask you for ID; this is common practise across the majority of licensed premises not just ourselves.

‘Photos of IDs are not acceptable as a form of ID which is why we were unable to serve you. We have a strict policy and training in place which I need my team to follow, the same way they follow allergy training or any other health and safety matter.

‘I’m sorry if it caused embarrassment to your daughter but please ensure correct Identification is carried for any future visits here or somewhere else to avoid disappointment.

The Lyttelton Arms, which has a 3.5 star rating, boasts some 788 'excellent' or 'very good' reviews (pictured)

The Lyttelton Arms, which has a 3.5 star rating, boasts some 788 ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ reviews (pictured) 

‘Please contact me if you would like to discuss the matter further at enquiry@thelytteltonarms.co.uk as I would like to invite your back and will happily get you a bottle of wine for the table if ID is provided.’

The Lyttelton Arms, off Bromsgrove Road, has 1,481 reviews on Tripadvisor – of which 788 are rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. One recent review said: ‘Amazing venue, attentive staff and fabulous food. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, well worth a visit!’

Lisa said: ‘Absolute amazing experience we’ve had yet again. The service, the food, the drinks as always were fantastic.

‘Good quality and plenty of it. Never any rush nice and easy atmosphere. Sammy our waitress as always was amazing attentive and friendly.’

Another diner said: ‘Great food, great people, excellent service. Cocktails were wonderful and the staff are lovely. I had a beautifully cooked steak and have never had a disappointing experience at the Lyttleton Arms.’

While another added: ‘Visited Saturday evening for another great meal. The restaurant was very busy with nice atmosphere. Food arrived quickly and our server was excellent. Visited this restaurant on a number of occasions always consistent and good night.’

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