Organisers of a London food festival which promised unlimited cheese and mulled wine have hit back after scores of customers complained it was "diabolical”.
The Giant Cheeseboard, hosted in a nightclub venue in south east London, charged food fans £30 for entry to a six-hour slot of “cheesy heaven” and free mulled wine.
But disappointed gourmet enthusiasts slammed the event and flooded social media with disastrous reviews claiming the organisers had run out of cheese and the wine was “limited to two glasses”.
“The cheese was really poor. The mulled wine was cold and weak,” customer James Young said. “Things that were on your event map weren’t even present.”
Another person who went to the weekend event said: “I have never been to an event where there were so many unhappy people” while others demanded their money back.
Mark Byrne called it the “worst event ever” adding: “Not just bad cheese. Terrible organisation.”
Surprised and disappointed to find no cheese at the #GiantCheeseboard only 1.5 hours after opening. Oversold and underprepared. And you’ve deleted my Facebook review. I am looking for a full refund.— Jessica Walker (@Jeeskababy) December 16, 2017
The people struggle for the last scraps of Camembert. The suffering has gone on too long. pic.twitter.com/Qtyd7CBodE— Tom Capon (@TomCapon) December 16, 2017
I was working at the #GiantCheeseboard event yesterday. Everything about it was diabolical! I really feel for those who had travelled to London to experience such a poorly executed event and for everyone who spent good money to attend. I ended up walking out during the evening.— Daniel John Lynch (@DanielJohnLynch) December 17, 2017
After a day of complaints, the organisers of the event, which was held at Studio 338 in Greenwich, posted a lengthy statement on their Facebook page refusing to apologise as they maintained they had provided what was promised.
The event hosts rejected claims the cheese was supermarket-bought and said there was unlimited cheese on offer.
“If you decided to leave after 30 minutes then of course, we couldn't give you unlimited cheese,” the organisers said.
They also rebuffed accusations that they had ran out of cheese, claiming there were “mountains” all throughout the event, and said the mulled wine was served from heated dispensers so was not cold.
“The fact is that a LOT of people had a great time,” they added. “We have so many videos and photos of all the fun that was happening around the venue - but a small proportion of people had expected something else.”
“As with any event, there were, of course, some queues in the first hour or so for certain things. However, there was loads of stuff happening all over the venue and two large areas where you could get access to cheese almost immediately, plus servers walking around the queues handing out cheese and greeters at the doors with cups of mulled wine.
“We are truly passionate about cheese and have put months of planning and huge investment into this project,” they added.
“We are obviously very upset seeing any negative reactions at all, but to make the statement some of you are in messages and social media is just totally unfair and false!”
Last year, another London cheese event was met with a similar backlash after people complained huge crowds meant the evening descend into chaos.
Like last year, this year’s event inspired many to crack out cheese puns.
Sounds like the #GiantCheeseboard festival blew up spectacularly. All that is left is de brie.— David smith (@Davidsm92204981) December 17, 2017
“If I were one of the guests who paid for this scam, I’d really be cheesed off,” one person wrote, while another said: “Things can only get feta?”
The Standard has contacted the organisers of the event for further comment.