Published: 13:09, 07 June 2021
| Updated: 15:59, 07 June 2021
A woman says her wedding day was ruined by bad food at a 4* Kent hotel - but staff say guests sent back empty plates and complimented the meal.
Nahima Begum, 28, says her friends and family compared the three-course dinner at the Hythe Imperial Hotel to Uncle Ben's packet food, and most of it was left.
The starter, top, from the tasting session, compared to on the wedding day
She claims the food bore no resemblance to the tasting menu she had tried prior to her nuptials at the seafront hotel.
And her dispute with the hotel over the dinner, plus other issues, has been running ever since her wedding day, which took place on September 13 last year.
Mrs Begum has contacted the hotel with her complaints numerous times, but says they have not come back with a satisfactory response.
Instead, the hotel has accused her of harassment and has now blocked her number.
Mrs Begum, who is married to Abdul and lives in Faversham, feels she is due a refund for the food - which included a samosa starter, curry for main and mango sorbet for dessert.
The main course from the taster (top) and the main from the wedding day
In turn, the hotel's managing director says he has a duty of care to protect his staff from Mrs Begum's 'harassment', adding her complaints are not valid.
Mrs Begum said: "I decided to go with the Hythe Imperial for my wedding. It was by far the worst experience I have ever had.
"Once you have paid that’s when the service becomes worse and the attitude is on the same level.
"I had a wedding taster and the food tasted good.
"When it came to my wedding the food was the worst thing I have ever had, all plates went back full but apparently because we sat later this was the reason for undercooked food, different tasting, differently presented and melted food."
The two different desserts
Thirty people attended Mrs Begum's wedding, due to Covid-19 restrictions, and it cost £2,500 in total.
She adds: "I have asked for an answer as to why it was so different and as usual I receive the rudest response and was asked to stop contacting them as this it is seen as harassment.
"I’m well within my rights to receive a refund on this food as it was undercooked and not what I had paid for."
Mrs Begum was also unhappy that the hotel's water fountains were not working on the day of her wedding, and said the entrance looked like a "construction site".
She says she feels shocked by the hotel's lack of response, adding: "I have called on many occasions and I just find it unfair that I paid for a service that I did not receive."
The Hythe Imperial Hotel sits along Hythe's coastline and boasts a spa, golf course, restaurants and a Moët & Chandon champagne bar.
Its managing director Nick Gauntlett has disputed Mrs Begum's claims.
He says there was no construction on site on the day of the wedding and while the fountains were broken never does the hotel guarantee they will working. He added "anything can break at any point in time".
He also said the sit down meal was arranged for 2.30pm, but guests didn't sit down until 4pm.
He said: "We make it very clear to people if they do not sit down on time or within a reasonable period it will have an affect on food.
"Did it have an affect on that day? Not in our opinion.
"They did not keep to their timetable that we went through with them and agreed with them."
Mr Gauntlett also said empty plates were sent back to the kitchen, and staff were even approached with compliments on the night.
He added: "We have gone back to her and explained it all and she keeps coming back and back, and we have told her now she is harassing our staff.
"Our staff have said 'what more can we do?'. We can't do any more.
"We've told her that is the end of the matter and she keeps coming back and back and back.
"My staff feel harassed. I have a duty of care to my staff."