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“Great staff, great food.”

The Old Court Hotel Restaurant
Cuisines: Pub
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 14 October 2018

Staff are excellent, nothing is too much trouble. Food is wonderful. We had a bar meal and a restaurant meal, both generous.

Date of visit: October 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Dennis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 325 reviews

Reviewed 11 October 2018 via mobile

Visited the old court last night for my daughter's birthday and I have to say I was very shocked. I ordered steak pie and mash. The mash was lumpy and reheated. The veg was frozen peas & sweetcorn 1 little piece of broccoli and some courgettes!! My daughter ordered a pasta dish with a creamy sauce. It had no flavour and was very thin. The garlic bread was just a piece of bread with garlic butter. The only thing that was good was the fact it was half price. Very disappointed last night won't be rushing back.

Date of visit: October 2018
1  Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2018

We stayed in the accommodation converted barn next door. A~ma~zing. Loved every minute food fantastic surroundings sublime

Date of visit: August 2018
Thank sandrwoodward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2018

While appreciating the building has a long history, it is tired and in need of decoration. The food ordering procedure was a system that had no personality. Just a flow of short questions. The staff were not engaging.

The meat in the steak pie was acceptable but it was served with a huge puff pastry lid. This is baked separately from the meat in the dish and placed on top prior to serving. It is so light it is almost impossible to eat, the pastry flakes cause a mess. It added nothing to the enjoyment of the food its only purpose was to create an impression on serving. Best removed and placed on a side plate. The dish would be better with a short pastry crust or lid.

This restaurant did not appeal to us so we will not return.

Date of visit: September 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2018

Crimescene – The Old Court Hotel, Whitchurch

After previously spending a happy 10 years visiting the Old Court for a meal, we moved away but returned for old times sake last Autumn. We shocked at the poor quality of the food, but put it down to a one off. Returning this week – 17/09/2018 @19.50 – we were hungry and wanted to give Scampi and chips a go.
I mean, what can you do to Scampi, chips and salad? The two plates arrived and visually looked like a lot of chips and a few scampi, with some salad. This is an £11.95 meal and I had some expectation of it being quite nice. The few scampi were ok, and the salad though unimaginative had a pleasant dressing, but the chips were inedible – warm, dry, rubbery, hard. I don’t know what process they had been through, but they were dead and destined for the food waste – and that was half the meal! They were very few what I would call ‘full’ chips, but mostly little ‘chippings’ that normally fall to the bottom of the packet. I will normally have a go at chips that are under cooked or over fried, but these couldn’t be chewed.

I returned the two plates of chips to the bar to complain to the Cashier/Barman.

Shortly, a lady I took to be the Manager or Proprietor came to my table to ask what the problem, and without much empathy declared that she was sorry that I didn’t like her chips – as if it was my fault for not liking the food! [I noticed that the four people on the next table left a lot on their plates too!]

I’ve been in pubs where the landlord gave us our money back because he thought we had waited too long (a bit extreme but we became regular customers), or more commonly you’d be offered a free drink or a pudding, as a peace offering. Here, there wasn’t even what I would call an apology. I have never been anywhere the landlord showed so little concern or empathy!

There’s only one thing to do when you are so furious, but the pub/hotel are so disinterested – trip advisor / Facebook, but even I was shocked when I saw previous comments from so many people having the same experience of poor food and bad service. I’m not alone. This problem has been going on for some time.

Whilst few people go on Social media to choose a place for a pub meal, they do go there to research, if they are planning an event – a party or wedding. How can the Old Court continue to thrive if it is beset by ‘bad’ word of mouth – all of my friends now know – and adverse Social media posts.

Crimes -

Crime against Culinary standards – but don’t just blame the cook/chef, since the fault lays in the supply chain for awful food, and management guidance on portion control.
Crime against Hospitality standards – I am probably more shocked by the attitude of the Manager / Proprietor and her lack of interest or concern.
Crime against Business standards – you are supposed to be encouraging customers to return and bring their friends, and not tell all their friends not to go. It takes years to build up a reputation but moments to shatter it.

I have learned my lesson. Not to return.

Lessons for the Old Court -

1. reading the Trip Advisor feedback, the Hotel is rather ‘Marmite’ in that some people love it, and some have a really bad experience. So it’s not all bad. The management need to identify what, and especially when, the problems with food and service occur. Then they may have the data to identify how and when to improve their service.

2. the kitchen need to ensure quality control over food leaving their domain. There should be no excuse for ‘cold’ cooked frozen food, nor dried, hard, rubbery inedible chips. Customers don’t want to argue about the quality of food, so give them no excuse.

3. you all need to look at portion control, and pricing. Some food sourcing, processing and cooking methods need re-consideration. People expect the same quality food at 7.30pm in the bar as they get at sunday lunchtime. If you cannot offer consistency, you need to reconsider the hours you offer food.

4. probably the most difficult thing to change is bad attitude and poor service. There’s no excuse for this in the 21stC as there are some many competitors, and social media through which to complain. Staff should be trained, re-trained or sacked if they are getting it wrong. The management is sometimes the problem, and they should be big enough to take fair criticism and do something about their attitude. If Management fail to address these issues, the business will under-achieve or fail.

The advice is sincere and free. Although I have said I would not return, it would be nice to be able to come back in a year or two and find some improvement, and not find it under new management or closed.

Date of visit: September 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank Laurence M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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