A list of hand-picked entries in the visitors' book over the previous fourteen years would make boring reading. Long live Tripadvisor. Much easier if you want to check the opinion of previous guests. I promise you I did not enter fake reviews as some hoteliers seem to be doing. Just Google Langsmeade House and click the Tripadvisor option or click the following link here. At the time of writing there you will find 42 reviews, 33 excellent, 8 very good and 1 poor.
The review that mentions the inconvenience of running out of hot water was absolutely correct at the time. Shortly after their experience the boiler broke down and has been replaced by one with double capacity.
The remarks about the humming noise from the traffic on the M 40 are spot on. It is beyond doubt a busy motorway and under certain weather conditions such as rain and wind direction it can be audible, even though the rooms are double glazed. I have tried to convince the Highways Agency to move it a wee bit to the south or do away with it altogether, but this authority has proven to be rigid and stubborn by nature.
The review that labels a stay at Langsmeade House as of poor quality due to the misjudgement of my dog Tom toward their daughter, but mostly because of my "lack of concern", requires some explanation. Tom and his sister Coba had been playing with a girl guest of the same age a few days before their visit. When the daughter kicked the dogs' ball across the lawn, they thought they were in for another game. Coba reached the ball first, the girl started screaming and tried to kick Coba away. Tom grabbed her leg to stop the movement that he perceived as threatening to his sister. The child fell to the ground, yelling that she was going to die, demanding an ambulance at the top of her lungs. This was high drama. When I called the dogs in, Tom let go immediately. I then calmly walked over, put a plaster and disinfectant on the spot where Tom's tooth had made a minuscule mark (he had been gentle considering his powerful jaws easily snap a large rabbit in two halves) and offered to call the local surgery for an emergency visit, which they declined. In these emotional circumstances I deemed it best to stay controlled and focused rather than add to the panic. I made a mistake, I did not live up to my guests' expectations. And Tom . well, he was in the dog house for a while.
Dated July 4th 2009, there was a magnificent review on Tripadvisor from a couple from Paris. They classified my service and location as poor, the room as average but cleanliness and value as very good. As reviewed hotelier one can write the reviewer a message and ask for their identity. I was puzzled because I had no guests from France during the Garsington opera season that year. Little did I realise that it is Tripadvisor 's policy to remove a review if the author does not reveal himself. That was a shame. The writer really had gone to town by taking so much trouble to describe my abject personality, that I almost felt flattered. I do not want to keep this exercise in psychology from any possible future guest, so here it goes. "Hospitality was not effusive. Some may like this, some may prefer more warmth. Mrs Aben is, as other reviewers have indicated, Dutch and that implies a certain Calvinist reserve. She also bears a striking resemblance to the late Princess Margaret which can be alarming: when she enters a room suddenly, you want to stand up." If you still want to book a room, don't tell me you have not been warned.
My favourite entry in the Visitors' Book on the piano is one by a lawyer diplomat from Geneva working for the UN's anti-discrimination department. He had booked the twin room with 2 single beds for himself, a baby and a 4 year old for a couple of days in January 2010. No problem, we have a travel cot. On arrival, it appeared that he brought an elderly lady along, who slept in a chair. On the last evening, he tried to smuggle his rotund American wife into the room. Every few hours, he locked the little boy and the lady in the room while he drove off with the baby to an unknown destination. Later it became clear that the wife attended a seminar in Oxford where she stayed in a hotel. The baby needed to be breastfed. No wonder it cried full blast continuously day and night. None of the other guests could sleep. Some left without paying. I organised a more suitable room for the same price in a nearby hotel and asked them to leave. He refused and threatened to take me to court for discrimination. "This is the most nasty experience I've ever had. Once you admit children, you must know that children can cry from time to time. There was nothing extraordinary with our children. Asking us to leave was just horrendous. I hope this improves in future." No, it won't. See the Facilities page, heading Children & Pets.