The Highwayman in Berkhamsted

The Highwayman in Berkhamsted

The Highwayman in Berkhamsted

The Highwayman in Berkhamsted used to be a Blanc Brasserie restaurant, it catered for people who use a wheelchair admirably. There was a good disabled loo at pavement level. The dining area is over half a dozen steps lower than the entrance but there was a lift for wheelchair users to get to the dining area. In summer 2015 it was converted to a pub brasserie and renamed The Highwayman; it remains a part of Brasserie Blanc. It still has the same disabled toilet.

The Highwayman in Berkhamsted

The Highwayman in Berkhamsted

The Highwayman in Berkhamsted

The menu is devised by Raymond Blanc. The basic layout of the restaurant was not changed and the website states that there is disabled access. I have just come back from lunch and the restaurant area is definitely not accessible if you are a wheelchair user. You can eat in the bar area but there is a much smaller menu.

Getting to the restaurant

Steps from the bar to the restaurant at the Highwayman in Berkhamsted

Steps from the bar to the restaurant

The entrance to the restaurant is down ten steps from the bar. The lift from the ground floor to the dining area has been removed. The only way to gain access to the restaurant from the main entrance is to leave the premises and enter via the courtyard. This is about 100 m from the main entrance.

A group of us went out for lunch and ate in the dining area. I had to enter via the courtyard and this entrance is definitely not wheelchair friendly. There is a 15 cm step down into the courtyard. and another 15 cm step up from the courtyard into the restaurant.

Challenge

I can walk a short distance and steps are a challenge. Help with my mobility scooter to get in and out of the restaurant through the courtyard would have been appreciated.

I have to ask four questions

  1. Why was the lift between the bar and the dining area removed?
  2. Why is there no ramp for a wheelchair user to gain access to the dining area through the courtyard?
  3. I had to go to the disabled loo during the meal and none of the staff asked if I needed assistance to get up the stairs to reach the disabled loo.
  4. No member of staff offered me help to get my mobility scooter into or out of the dining area.

Would I go again?

We enjoyed ourselves, the food was good. Whoever redesigned the restaurant needs to be tied into a wheelchair for a few days. I very much doubt if I will go back to the Highwayman in Berkhamsted again unless access to the restautrant is made disabled friendly.

 3 Jan 2015, News update

I have been told that a ramp is available but you need to ask the duty manager. No member of staff offered to tell me a ramp was available. I think some staff training is required or messages put up for visitors to read.

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