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People who should never write Tripadvisor restaurant reviews

I had a French teacher called Bernie Fitzpatrick who, when I uttered something stupid, would paraphrase a famous quote “Montgomery, it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all reasonable doubt.”

He was an excellent teacher. I often think of him spouting those lines when I read Tripadvisor restaurant reviews. There are many people out there who would have benefited enormously from Bernie’s frank advice had it been given at an early age.

I reference Tripadvisor frequently because it is massively influential. It can be incredibly useful. We use it all the time for pointers, but we know how to sort the wheat from the chaff. And there’s an awful lot of chaff.

The thing I dislike is it can be damaging to businesses who work hard and don’t deserve unfair criticism from people who wield their destructive sword of ignorance far too easily.

There are certain types of people who should be prohibited from writing restaurant reviews.

Good steak

Anyone who orders steak well done It’s just a no-no. If people want steak well done that’s up to them. But anyone who deliberately orders the skankiest piece of meat from the kitchen shouldn’t be making a public judgement on whether a restaurant’s steak is good or bad.

Hard Rock Hotel

People who haven’t eaten in the restaurant A pet hate is when reviewers mark restaurants down even though they haven’t actually eaten there, like the group who turned up at a restaurant to be told all the tables were reserved. They were understandably disappointed, but that was no excuse for the one star review they posted – that’s simply childish and peevish behaviour. Another classic was the couple who planned to eat at a Hard Rock restaurant but aborted because of loud music. Loud music at a Hard Rock venue, who’d have thought?

Lost in translation

Criticise waiters for not being able to speak their language Wrong items turning up on the plate due to misunderstandings caused by communicating in a different language is common. We constantly apologise for our inability to speak the language in places where we don’t have a smattering of words. But some Tripadvisor reviewers expect waiters everywhere to be able to speak their lingo, marking restaurants down if they can’t. “Waiters didn’t speak English, what really surprised me in such touristic place” wrote one about a restaurant that wasn’t touristy at all. It’s arrogant and ignorant.

Proper burger, Corsica

Order burgers in a fish restaurant It’s perplexing when someone chooses a traditional restaurant, orders a dish that isn’t traditional and writes a bad review when, unsurprisingly, their food isn’t what they expected. This was a reviewer about a traditional Greek taberna – “we ordered burgers. Only came as 2 meat pieces and fries. You can’t call it a burger if it’s not embedded in 2 slices of bread.” There’s an argument it shouldn’t be on the menu if they can’t cook it properly but, hey, if you want a burger go to a restaurant known for burgers. Then there are people who do order something the restaurant is known for and are surprised by what arrives – “I ordered grilled fish and got a dorada fish with lot of bones.”

Bao bun an black pig, Haydee, Tenerife

Demand children’s menus in a gourmet restaurant Nothing wrong with taking children to a restaurant known for its creative cuisine… unless you expect a McDonald’s kiddie-type menu for the children. “We asked for children menus which they didn’t provide. So the kids ended up having the same Indian style chicken which of course they disliked.” I’m not sure why there was a given children would automatically dislike Indian chicken. If you’ve got fussy offspring, don’t take it out on restaurants. I applauded the Michelin chef in France who simply said “Non! “ when a couple requested different food for their children. “We asked for something special like fries… we were told that this was not the chef’s style!” His defiant stance earned him a one-star review.

Octopus, Origens, Evora, Portugal

Criticise innovation The people who are most guilty of this tend to be locals who don’t respond well to traditional dishes being messed around with, like this Athenian who complained “it’s a trial to marry Greek cuisine with the modern one and it’s a mess.” It really wasn’t, as most other reviewers felt. Another example was in a little creative restaurant in Evora – “The menu did not have, in my opinion, enough typical Portuguese options.” I’ve heard this a lot in various locations around Europe. If you’re a traditionalist stick to traditional restaurants.

Empty restaurant, Greece

Expect to dine at the same time as at home I could pick any number of examples of reviews criticising a restaurant for a lack of atmosphere and not having many other diners when reviewers are actually dining at the same early hour as they do in their home country, even though the culinary culture of the location they’re visiting is one of eating late. It’s a factor which rarely occurs to this type of reviewer. Of course the Spanish restaurant is going to be empty at 7pm, locals won’t begin rolling in till after 8.30pm.

Paella, Tenerife

Declare somewhere to be the ‘best in…’ I whizz past any review which declares with conviction “this is the best restaurant in…” or “they serve the best paella in… “ It’s a meaningless statement, unless the person making it has actually eaten in every restaurant in the destination they’re referring to. If it’s a small town, maybe they have. Mostly it isn’t. On the other hand, “this is the best restaurant I’ve tried in…” is absolutely fine.

Michelin food

Criticise a restaurant for doing what it says on the label Often I see creative restaurants marked down because it doesn’t serve the sort of food the reviewer actually likes. Sometimes people choose completely unsuitable restaurants for the wrong reasons, maybe for show value. “Over-elaborate, over-priced and a somewhat pretentious menu.” was one reviewer’s judgement of a standout Michelin star restaurant. A Michelin star restaurant pretentious? Of course it was. I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t. Neither was it over-priced for a Michelin star restaurant, quite the opposite.

Bacalhau, Portugal

Haven’t researched local cuisine Another common mistake is reviewers not understanding local dishes, like marking down restaurants for not serving fresh fish when they’ve ordered bacalao in Spain, bacalhau in Portugal, or baccala in Italy; all of which are salt cod. Not knowing what local dishes actually are is understandable, one of the reasons we travel is to learn about the gastronomy. Leaving a bad review when a restaurant serves a traditional dish the way it’s supposed to be prepared isn’t justifiable.

Tuna, La Palma

Think they’re Jay Rayner “… an over abundance of self-proclaimed creative dishes put together with the competency of a toddler attempting to forge a Rembrandt.” Seriously? Honestly, you’re not Jay Rayner. Admittedly it’s a decent turn of phrase and, in truth, some of these type of reviews can be pretty good. Others can be terribly pompous. But the biggest crime is often style over substance. In this case the review was filled with incorrect assumptions; the reviewer’s desire to show their wit more important than the potential harm done to a restaurant where the chef has integrity and passion.

Lots of the above involve travellers not understanding/knowing local ways/food. It’s not always easy to be fully aware of how things work in another country, even when you’ve researched it first. We often take time to get into the groove of any new destination. I’d never criticise anyone for a lack of destination knowledge… until they go public and parade that ignorance like a badge of honour. As soon as someone does that, it’s open season.

To end, here are two of the worst (or maybe best) comments I’ve seen on Tripadvisor restaurant reviews recently.

Tripadvisor restaurant reviews, Small tapas

There was the reviewer who marked a restaurant down because the waiter never warned them the food was hot and they subsequently burnt their mouth. Then there’s the person who ordered tapas then gave the restaurant a negative review because “the portions they brought us were tiny.”

When I read reviews like those, Bernie Fitzpatrick’s words come flooding into my mind with a vengeance.

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Cornwall hotel bribes guests to write good reviews on

Around 30 properties worldwide have been blacklisted by ­TripAdvisor for suspicious reviews

The Cove - Trip Advisor website

A British hotel is bribing guests to write ­positive reviews on the ­TripAdvisor website in ­exchange for discounted rooms and cut-price meals.

Customers at The Cove in Cornwall are offered incentives to give glowing recommendations on the ­influential travel-review site.

The revel­ation comes as dozens of other UK hotels are also accused of ­encouraging guests to write gushing reports in a bid to attract ­business.

Around 30 properties worldwide have been blacklisted by ­TripAdvisor for suspicious reviews. Now the Office of Fair Trading may launch a probe if it decides its rules have been broken.

TripAdvisor, with 45million ­reviews on half-a-million properties, is used by travellers to check other guests’ ­experiences and ratings of hotels.

Bosses at the site say The Cove may have breached its strict reviewing rules. If so, it could join a list of ­hotels given a “red flag” status to warn that their reviews are not trustworthy.

The hotel, which rents out 16 ­apartments from £195 to £375 a night during peak season, is set in picturesque ­Lamorna Cove near Penzance. Guests checking out are handed a letter from owner Lee ­Magner inviting them to join a Friends of the Cove scheme, which asks them to post an “honest but positive view” on the site.

A link to the ­hotel’s Trip­Advisor page is ­included along with a request for the guest to recommend the seaside hotel to friends.

The letter says that when the review is online the guest will get a loyalty card worth 10 per cent off and a room upgrade during their next stay. A ­reduction on all food and drink bills is also offered, plus10 per cent off for friends who stay.

All but two of 26 TripAdvisor ­reviews of The Cove this year have awarded top four- or five-star ratings. Comments include “a dream come true”, “wow – what a find” and “a peaceful paradise that ticks all the boutique boxes”.

Emma O’Boyle, of TripAdvisor, said: “Owners are welcome to encourage their guests to submit user reviews upon their return home. But it is strictly against our guidelines to offer incentives, discounts or upgrades.

“We take serious steps to penalise businesses caught attempting to ­manipulate the system.”

Mr Magner said: “In no way are we paying people to put positive reviews on TripAdvisor. We are merely ­rewarding their ­loyalty.”

A spokesman for the Office of Fair Trading said: “If complaints are made directly to us then the issue could be something we will look into.”

The Cove is not alone in resorting bribery to get positive reviews. Last year a hotelier in the Midlands was offering free bathrobes to guests who post enthusiastic reviews and a ­northern hotel gave away free meals.

Adam Raphael, editor of the Good Hotel Guide, said: “This is very, very common. Some hotels use PR firms to write good reviews. Consumers don’t know what to believe any more.”

Punishments hotels abusing TripAdvisor face

HOTELS which are deemed to have misused TripAdvisor can be penalised in a variety of ways.

THE website claims it has ­automated systems in place to spot fraud – and that its ­40million users are also ­encouraged to report ­suspicious content.

TRIPADVISOR never expels hotels which have been found to be misbehaving from its ­listings, saying this is exactly what some owners want.

THE worst offenders receive a “red flag” next to their name, explaining that “individuals ­associated with the property may have interfered with ­traveller reviews” and allowing users to see a record of their wrong-doing.

HOTELS can be dropped ­several pages down the ­popularity list and excluded from the site’s Top 10 lists, ­annual Travellers’ Choice awards and press releases.

ULTIMATELY it is illegal to submit or encourage ­fraudulent reviews. In 2009, a company was fined nearly £200,000 in New York for ­posting fake consumer reviews. As well as Britain, it is also an illegal ­practice in Ireland, France, Italy and ­Germany.

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Tripadvisor reviews: can we trust them?

Tripadvisor's online reviews now shape the way we plan our holidays but, as Charles Starmer-Smith discovers, they are not always what they seem.

Tripadvisor reviews: can we trust them?

"Get the truth, then go" is the mantra of TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel-review website, which only makes the following all the more alarming.

Log on to its website and type the words "racist" or "racism" into the search engine and you might be surprised by what you find: together they crop up more than 2,300 times in reviews. "Pervert/perverted" features in 353 reviews, "homophobic/homophobia" in 295, "rapist" in 33, and "paedophile" in 10. Often these defamatory terms are used to describe hotel or restaurant staff, b & b owners, waiters and receptionists.

"There is a real risk of getting raped here," wrote one reviewer of a hotel in Munich; "the proprietor … is one of the worst paedophile priests", said another of a guesthouse in Scotland; "the woman that runs this bar is a racist – fact!"

Can we be sure that these reviews really are the "truth"?

TripAdvisor is also awash with references to food poisoning (10,951), bed bugs (31,429), assault (1,064) and theft (7,554) – accusations that leave an indelible stain on the establishment concerned, but which can be made without a shred of evidence. Reviews are the words of "trusted members of the travel community", according to TripAdvisor – and yet no checks are made on the identity of the people who post them and no proof of stay is needed.

In fact, all that is required to upload these travel "truths" is an anonymous username and email address (which can easily be faked).

"Our policy clearly states that, in addition to profanity, no hate speech, sexually explicit language or graphic reports of violent criminal activity will be tolerated. We are a proponent of free speech and we believe many aspects of a traveller's experiences are valid travel-planning considerations," said a spokesman for TripAdvisor.

Earlier this year, I uploaded a fictitious nine-bedroom guesthouse – the 111 Hotel – using the address of the Telegraph Media Group and a picture of the office canteen. I added a couple of "over-the-top" reviews (with blatant hyperbole and five-star ratings). After 10 days of my constant tinkering it was finally spotted – but it was time enough for it to be rated in London's top 70 guesthouses (out of more than 300) and time enough for an unsuspecting traveller to be potentially duped into parting with a deposit or turning up at an address to be met by someone whose intentions would be unclear.

Only a decade after it was founded, TripAdvisor last month became the first travel website to achieve more than 40 million unique visitors in a month. From the outset its warts-and-all accounts were applauded for shaking up a complacent hotel industry. Instead of glossy brochures and toned-down guidebook reviews, travellers suddenly had access to real accounts, from real people, paying real money. The service has also proved popular with many owners of b & bs and small hotels, whose high ratings have earned them high exposure.

"TripAdvisor was a real 'wake-up' call," said Amelia Whitaker, who opened Nearwater, a luxury b & b in St Mawes, Cornwall, in May. "It has enabled us to establish a trading history very quickly, and knowing anyone can go on it is a great motivator to keep standards high."

Others are less delighted by TripAdvisor's rise. September also marked the month when hundreds of hoteliers and restaurateurs threatened to bring a group legal action against the website. For while good reviews can be the making of hotels, restaurants and b & bs, bad reviews can break them.

"To a small business with only a few reviews, claims of food poisoning can be devastating," said Chris Emmins of KwikChex, the company bringing the action on the hotels' behalf. "We have looked at around 100 [of such cases] and there has been no report to the local health authority and we could find no evidence of food poisoning."

KwikChex's lawyers are also looking at dozens of unverified claims of theft or racism.

Reviewers may not be able to remain anonymous for much longer: KwikChex is considering asking the courts to identify those making defamatory comments.

"A legal precedent has already been set regarding disclosure for these type of cases," he said.

TripAdvisor is not the only site to have built a business around user-generated reviews – Holiday Watchdog and Holidays Uncovered are among its rivals – but it is by far the most influential.

Some websites are open about their inability to police reviews. , a website set up in the US to report incidences of bedbugs in hotels, admits that it has no idea whether postings are genuine. "Our reports have not been vetted for accuracy," it says. "We remind readers to take things with a grain of salt. Some reports are posted by malicious tenants. Some are posted by evil competitors. Some are posted by hypochondriacs."

Several travel companies have embraced these user-generated websites, employing staff to contact guests after they have checked out (to right any wrongs and encourage positive feedback). Hotel giants such as the Accor group (Novotel, Sofitel, Mercure) send out emails encouraging guests to post reviews; tourist boards, such as VisitScotland and VisitLondon, include TripAdvisor ratings on their websites.

Other owners are less sanguine. Frank McCready, owner of the Old Brewery Guesthouse in North Yorkshire, set up a website in March entitled to raise awareness about the damage that misleading TripAdvisor reviews can cause. He says: "TripAdvisor's successful business model appears to be based upon a minimum of checks, an arrogant disregard for accuracy and truthfulness, and a customer-service regime that is virtually non-existent. It is too easy for hotels to write their own reviews, or pay others to write them. It is too easy for reviewers to post untruthful or damaging reviews, or for hoteliers to 'sabotage' their competitors."

The impact on a business can be severe. Des Hague owns Thornsett House, a £25-a-night b & b near Sheffield. He admits it is not perfect, but says it is a good-value, simple guesthouse, whose business was crippled by "spiteful" reviews on TripAdvisor. Under the subject of "B & B Hell", one reviewer said: "I have ... visited morgues, abandoned buildings, a sewage works and a coal pit. Each and every one was cleaner, tidier and better staffed than Thornsett House." So dismayed was Hague by the subsequent drop-off in visitors that he is giving up the b & b business after 30 years.

Holidaymakers are increasingly aware of the power they have at their fingertips. Privately, hoteliers admit that guests and corporate groups have tried to use the threat of a bad TripAdvisor review or the promise of a series of good reviews to secure discounted room rates or upgrades. Hotel and b & b owners also complain that it is difficult to have a review changed or removed even when they present proof that it is untrue. They claim that TripAdvisor adopts a "guilty until proven innocent" policy with hotel management. McCready said: "The process involved in posting a management response is arduous, and I have found it almost impossible to have a response posted without censorship."

Complaints have also been made by hotels that outdated reviews are never removed. The Savoy, which is reopening this month with great fanfare, still has reviews dating back to 2003 that bear no relevance to the experience the hotel offers today. TripAdvisor said that its "Popularity Index" gives more weight to recent reviews and if notified with proof of a new owner, it will make "appropriate changes" to the listing.

The anger of owners has been intensified by the emails TripAdvisor sends to users, media organisations and PR companies, with subject lines such as "Don't go there – hotel horror stories", "Meals from hell" and "The world's dirtiest hotels". Emmins of KwikChex claims these unfairly influence the travelling public. "Adding disparaging and out-of-context comments, overemphasising the reliability of unverified reviews and failing to respond to offers of evidence may make TripAdvisor liable," he said.

TripAdvisor said it could not comment on threatened or pending litigation. A spokeswoman said: "Hoteliers always have the option of posting a management response to any review on their property – and therefore ... the opportunity to thank the good and offer perspective on the bad."

It is not just the content of the reviews that has been questioned, but the bona fides of the reviewers. Hoteliers are regularly approached by companies promising to post positive reviews on websites in return for monthly fees. Ed Hasbrouck, a campaigning American travel journalist, reported that at a marketing conference in 2006, one leading advertising agency was already boasting that it had an entire division "devoted to seeding online forums and bulletin boards with targeted content". It added that its employees would spend months creating profiles and posting "neutral" messages to establish a credible background. That was four years ago; the game will have moved on and up a level since then.

A spokeswoman for TripAdvisor claimed that the company was aware of these marketing companies' activities, and had penalised the hotels it suspects of being involved. These measures include altering their popularity rating on the site and posting public warning notices on hotels that have attempted to manipulate ratings.

She added: "Hoteliers understand the tremendous risk to their reputation and business if they attempt to post fraudulent information. It is illegal to post fake reviews under the 2009 EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive."

In the United States last year, in one of the first cases of its kind, a plastic surgery company had to pay $300,000 in damages after its staff were revealed to have uploaded numerous fake reviews. In Europe, however, there have been no prosecutions under the EU directive. One Scottish hotelier admitted to me that he had written several fake reviews to get his hotel up the charts and all were published; a leading public-relations company claimed that fake reviews were "rife".

TripAdvisor has taken steps to counter fake reviews. Last year disclaimers began appearing when reviews came under suspicion of being fake. The company said that it uses specialist software and algorithms to screen reviews and has a team of moderators to investigate suspicious postings.

Even TripAdvisor makes a tacit admission that you cannot trust all the reviews. A spokeswoman said: "Our advice to travellers is to throw out the anomalies that appear overly critical or overly complimentary. What is left is the collective wisdom of the community." She added that the site has more than two million photographs to help people make an educated evaluation.

But the issue is no longer how to reconcile wildly differing reviews of the same establishment – such as "Amazing, Amazing, Amazing", as one review says of Centara Grand Beach Resort in Thailand, next to another that says, "Avoid! This must be the worst five-star hotel in the world". As with British politics, it is the middle ground everyone is fighting for.

Users are aware that little tricks – adding an element of critique to a glowing review, saying something positive before you slate a hotel, using different email addresses and computers, reviewing other hotels to establish a track record – can help them get around the detectors.

There are even websites to help you circumvent the rules. "Writing fake reviews is a great option for almost any business," said Bob McClain of, a site that offers a masterclass in the craft.

So what is the solution? Well, it is certainly not Trip Elated, a site launched last month that shows only positive hotel reviews. Oyster, a US-based site launched last year that uses a team of professional reviewers who take photographs, is a much better alternative. However, its scope is currently limited to eight US cities and six Caribbean islands.

Bob Cotton, the former chairman of the British Hospitality Association, says that at the very least, every effort must be made to ensure that reviewers have stayed in the hotel they are damning or praising. That is a rule on travel-booking websites such as Expedia (which owns TripAdvisor), which states in its terms and conditions: "Only people who have stayed in the hotels [and booked through Expedia] as guests are permitted to leave a review for that hotel, so you can be assured that all reviews are genuine."

Such a stipulation has helped to make eBay the success it is – you can only comment on a provider with whom you have done business. And, crucially, the seller can also leave feedback about the behaviour of the purchaser. Similarly, Apple only permits people to post a review of an app if they have bought that app.

TripAdvisor said that travellers would miss out on valuable customer service experiences, such as when a friend or family member pays for the room, or when a visit does not involve an overnight stay.

Simply making people register their details would be a start, but it would undoubtedly lead to a sharp fall in TripAdvisor's user numbers and its revenue, so it is unlikely to be countenanced.

Cotton said: "Websites have a responsibility to ensure that [a reviewer] has actually stayed at the hotel. You can't ban these online comments – that is like de-inventing the atom bomb. But common sense should prevail."

In the meantime, the hotel trade is waiting to see whether there will be an explosion of court cases and litigation. Can we trust TripAdvisor? The jury's out.

View from the inside

Tripadvisor needs to police reviews

Nobody can deny the immense impact that TripAdvisor has had on the travel industry. During the past 20 years my team and I have had the opportunity to launch and represent the public-relations interests of more than 140 hotels. For a hotel to succeed, guests must leave contented enough to endorse and recommend it to family and friends.

I welcome constructive criticism from reviewers who actually stay in the hotels, as much as praise and plaudits. What is not fair is a growing number of comments on TripAdvisor which are, at best, inaccurate and, at worst, vindictive. TripAdvisor needs to police “comments” more effectively and remove out-of-date reviews. What use are comments about a stay in 2003 when so much may have changed? TripAdvisor must also be aware that untrue comments are regularly submitted by those intent on “bashing” a hotel simply because they own a competing one or because they think it amusing to do so.

Tripadvisor saved our business

After a sharp rise in precious metal prices hit our jewellery business, we decided to focus on converting our stable near Newport, on the Isle of Wight, into a self-catering holiday home. We produced our own website and registered with five holiday sites, but business was slow. It wasn’t until a friend suggested we register with TripAdvisor that we saw a substantial rise in bookings. We do not pay to advertise and yet we are top for speciality lodgings on the island. TripAdvisor offers our guests a way of giving us feedback and we sift the remarks for ways of improving our business. If our guests do not leave contented, then we have not done our job.

Do you trust TripAdvisor? Tell us about your good and bad experiences in the comment box below.

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Review posted by Christina Fowler, which was later deleted.

TripAdvisor removes 'feminist' review

Customer’s description of seeing a waitress being slapped on the bottom is taken down by TripAdvisor for breaching its guidelines

A review in which a customer described seeing a manager biting a waitress and slapping her on the bottom has been removed by TripAdvisor for contravening its guidelines.

Christina Fowler of Bedford left the review on TripAdvisor on 8 March, also International Women’s Day, after eating at The Bell at Westoning in Bedfordshire. In her original review, she wrote:

Today, on International Women’s Day, I saw the pub owner bite a young waitress on the shoulder, which she tried to shrug off but then appeared to complain to her fellow waitress. Five minutes later he slaps her on the bum and made kissy noises when she jumped. A huge reminder that we still need feminism, even in 2015.

Shortly after it was posted, Fowler received a rebuttal from the pub’s manageress, which led to her posting the exchange on Twitter.

I've annoyed a local pub with my boring, inaccurate & feministic views @VagendaMagazine @EverydaySexism @hollybrocks — Christina Sparkle (@xtinasparkle) March 10, 2015

“I posted it on Twitter and it spread like wildfire from there,” said Fowler.

The review gained even more traction on social media after it was featured on tech website ShinyShiny. Then, after more than 100 recommendations, it was taken down on Tuesday night, with Fowler receiving an apparently automated email saying the review was removed because it was not “relevant to trip planning and research”.

The email Christina Fowler was sent by TripAdvisor.

Fowler said: “I was quite surprised – I don’t really understand what was wrong with it. I was allowed to repost it in the end removing the words ‘misogynist’ and ‘feminist’, but I don’t see that either of those words are particularly shocking.”

TripAdvisor spokesman James Kay said the review was removed because it breached guidelines which asks reviewers to refrain from personal political, ethical or religious commentary.

He added: “To be clear, the review was not removed because the reviewer’s first-hand experience was considered irrelevant. In fact, we encouraged the reviewer to resubmit their review in order that their experience be shared with the travel community.”

Fowler’s new review was posted on March 10.

The response left to Christina Fowler's review by the manageress of The Bell at Westoning.

The original review met an angry response from the restaurant’s manageress, posted using the TripAdvisor account of its manager, Roberto Perrini. Now deleted along with the post, it read:

On TripAdvisor we are not here to discuss or comment on feminism or who makes ‘kissy’ noises; the latter is something we believe pre-school children may discuss. It is such a shame that you spent your time focusing on your feministic views and not our food; had you done so you may have actually found something interesting to write about that would be of interest to others.

Perrini told the Guardian the incident was “taken out of context” and that part of the appeal of his restaurant was that he and his staff are “like a family” to one another. He also said the bite was “a fake bite” with no harm meant.

He added: “I bite them, they bite me – we’re like a family. I’m the same with the boys and the girls.

“My manageress was very upset, which was why she posted the response.

“If you look at our reviews, they are mostly five star reviews. And that’s not just about our food it’s about the atmosphere we create. The reason we are successful is because our customers come here and feel at home.

“When I saw the review, I didn’t really know what to say about it.”

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