A LEDBURY pub has hit back after receiving a “baffling” one-star review on Tripadvisor.

The Oak Inn at Staplow, which is the top-rated restaurant in Ledbury on the site, was marked down by one reviewer for allowing dogs in the pub.

“I always avoid dog-friendly pubs, but the website said they were not allowed in the dining area,” the reviewer wrote.

“So I saw no problem. How wrong I was - there were at least six dogs wandering freely when we visited! The website had assured me otherwise.

“We will not be using the Oak Inn ever again.”

Hereford Times: The Oak Inn received a one-star review for allowing dogs in the pubThe Oak Inn received a one-star review for allowing dogs in the pub (Image: Chris Howells)

The reviewer rated the pub one out of five, despite giving four-star ratings for value, service and food.

Landlords Chris and Heather Owen-Howell said the review left them “somewhat baffled” as the Oak’s website says it is a dog-friendly pub in all areas except the restaurant.

They said both customers and members of staff are welcome to bring their dogs with them to the pub - but added there were only three dogs in the bar area on the night in question.

“If you were so displeased, why didn't you ask a member of staff and ask to be seated in our restaurant like everyone else does?” they wrote on Tripadvisor.

“There is nothing more demoralising than someone leaving us a poor review, which we feel is totally unnecessary and has greatly upset our staff, plus damaged our excellent reputation.

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“Every customer is asked at least twice if everything is OK during their visit, so why didn’t you have the decency to talk to us in person rather than hide behind your pen?

“We are not mind readers and you can’t expect us to second guess that you don’t like dogs.

“The hospitality industry has suffered more than most in recent years with covid and now crippling energy and supplier increases.

“We face an uphill battle every week to deliver a standard of quality and customer service which we believe is second to none.

“So again we question why someone like you would not have the common sense to just pick up the phone to discuss the matter.”

This isn't the first time that Mr and Mrs Owen-Howell have hit back at a Tripadvisor critic.

Last January, the landlords responded to a customer who criticised the pub for cancelling its table due to issues in the kitchen.

Mr and Mrs Owen-Howell said the review had cost the business dearly at a time when many firms in the hospitality industry were struggling.

They said the review cost them to slip from the third-best restaurant in Herefordshire on Tripadvisor to fifth, as well as hundreds of pounds from customers being put off after reading the negative review.