Richard Bridgman came to my attention because he disapproves of me encouraging those who have bought a square foot of Scotland to take the title of Laird, Lord or Lady. This is probably because he is the 7th Earl of Bradford and does not approve of the plebs getting above their station. I despise this sort of elitism and take great pleasure in roundly condemning his pomposity.
Wikipedia sums up his life thus: “In 1979, Bradford opened Porters English Restaurant in London’s Covent Garden. He later opened the Covent Garden Grill next door. In January 2015 the restaurants closed and Bradford moved his business to Hertfordshire, where he opened Porters Restaurant in Berkhamsted. The restaurant closed on 30 September 2018“. They do not say why he had to close the London restaurants, but I think I know.
Wikipedia goes on to say what his interests have been outside of the catering trade: “Lord Bradford is an active campaigner against the sale of false titles of nobility and promotes the issue on his website, FakeTitles.con. Bradford has alleged that he has been subjected to an online smear campaign in retaliation for his campaign, with unfavourable reviews being posted on TripAdvisor and the appearance of fraudulent review websites“. Paranoia is one of those mental health problems it is so hard to sympathise with.
Richard’s local paper ran a tear-jerking story a year before his Berkhamstead restaurant closed. Rogue reviewers had, he claimed, been posting fake reviews on Tripadvisor, Yelp and Google.
He told the Gazette: “These websites are totally irresponsible. They just allow people to get away with total lies. Practically everyone in the industry hates TripAdvisor.”
Really? Highland Titles loves them, because we offer a genuinely fantastic experience and our visitors post glowing TripAdvisor reviews. Perhaps Richard’s rogue reviewers were actually unsuspecting members of the public hoping for a good dining experience and expressing their genuine disappointment.
A TripAdvisor spokesman said: “We work hard behind the scenes to ensure reviews are genuine. We’ve taken sophisticated techniques that banks use to detect fraud and adapted them to look for patterns. We also have hundreds of specialists making decisions on the integrity of reviews.” I rather think that is true.
So I thought I would share some of the general public’s opinion of the now closed Berkhamsted “Porters“. I have uploaded 60 of the most delicious to Archive.is, to preserve them should TripAdvisor feel inclined to delete them. But there are hundreds more. Many have a consistent flavour. Customer says “What a bloody awful dining experience” and Richard (writing as “Lord of the Pies”), tells them they are simply Plebs and not Lords, like he is, so they can suck it up and pay the bill.
Here are one or two juicy ones, that will surely be incorporated into text books of “How to irritate your customer” in years to come. Time to retire gracefully Richard. Clearly even the plebs in Berkhamstead want more than burnt overpriced pies, even if you are an bloody Earl.