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“Excellent meal, service was better than expected.”
Review of The Windmill

The Windmill
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$9 - US$85
Cuisines: Gastropub
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Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: British Pub serving Seasonal Kentish Produce.
Reviewed 16 June 2014

We went here for Sunday lunch. The food was excellent. Really well presented, very tasty and the ale was very good. The staff were always attentive and we didn't have to wait for anything, this was surprising after reading the previous reviews. It did seem as if some of the staff were undergoing training so maybe some of the staff have been changed. There was live music which was excellent. The only thing I felt let it down a tiny bit was the quality of the cuttlery. My knife couldn't even cut the potatoes let alone the beef, so I ordered a steak knive which then wasn't that much better. All in all a very enjoyable meal.

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Thank Ben S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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505 - 509 of 797 reviews

Reviewed 9 June 2014 via mobile

We went for Sunday lunch, the Sunday just gone. And it was mixed.

The food was lovely and well presented, the owner/manager is very friendly and extremely helpful, unfortunately the rest of the staff aren't quite of his standard. They didn't know what was on the menu or even what Cutlery we needed.

Such a shame that the service lets down a good pub, good food and a good manager.

Would definitely give it a go, just cross your fingers the service is better.

Thank Foodyinkent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

In a nutshell:

* Nice garden for a drink before dinner.
* Very nice Bloody Mary's.
* Friendly and jovial manager.
* Tables too small, too cramped and too close together - you only have to shuffle back a bit and you bang in to the person behind you (we were sitting by the fire [not lit!] looking out the front of the restaurant).
* The serving staff are lackadaisical - slow to respond, appear to get very confused with who has ordered what, inattentive, almost apathetic and lacking and real urgency or reasonable level of customer service. Our waiter got one of our main orders wrong and was almost adamant it was us and not him!
* Nice selection of wine and food - reasonably priced.
* Idea of nibbles pre-starter is nice, although you have to question why a restaurant would do this given it could either be perceived to draw attention away of delays in the kitchen or made dissuade patrons from ordering full starters. We had the Pork Scratchings with Bramble Apple Compote, Deep Fried Chilli Squid and Scotch Egg with Black Pudding. All very nice and reasonable priced with reasonable sized portions.
* Starters consisted of two option for Scallops, one for Duck Salad and one for a Haddock Omelet (I think). All dishes were tasty and reasonable sized portions again apart from the Scallops; two measly scallops lost on a large bed of pea purée. Very disappointing for c. £8.
* Three mains of Liver and one of Duck Breast. All tasty but where one of the orders was incorrectly taken the last serving of Liver was rushed out with the topping of caramelised onions and crisps bacon with the waiter being completely unaware - highlights the lack of attention to detail.
* No deserts but three bottles of wine (two at c. £36 each and one at c. £19). I noticed when I got home that the bottle for £19 was incorrectly charged as Chardonnay and should have been Semillon Chardonnay incurring an extra c. £3.
* The bill without deserts and/ or coffee was c. £225 but nearly £100 of that was for drinks and wine so the meal for four was c. £125 (just over £30 per head), which is OK for a gastropub.
* We didn't leave a tip because the waiters, and I don't use this word lightly or flippantly, were "crap" bordering on being incompetent.

We engaged the meal and were not put off by the poor service, probably because we had a lot of wine - other people would be!

I would like to go back when the Trip Advisor reviews start to suggest that service is consistently better but, until then, I'll look elsewhere. I hope things improve because The Hengist, also by Richard Phillips, used to be one of my favourite restaurants.

Be warned, I think your experience will likely be `hit or miss' as the reviews suggest.

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1  Thank DCMIT1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

I love this pub. OK its not the 1970s cult village pub it used to be. Times have changed and this place offers so much. You can treat a friend to an awesome meal, equally you can pop in for a natter with friends and munch on bar snacks, or indeed sit solo at the bar, lounge in the garden, and let the kids be free. The food is well sourced, as are the drinks. The wine can be as expensive as you want it to be. Wednesday night is music night and Tuesdays offer a burger/pint deal. The staff are really attentive and look after the locals. Added to this is a fine interior and warm feel. What more can you ask for? Its a gem :)

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Thank Jungle3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

I'm not sure why a pub in Hollingbourne has employed a chef who fancies himself as a Masterchef contestant. I ordered fish and chips and got 4 large slices of potato stacked in a mesh cup, a slice of lemon wrapped in netting, and some peas in what looked like a mini deep-frying pan from McDonalds. The fish - to their credit - was just that, fish in batter. Perhaps the chef forgot to mess around with it before it was sent to our table.

Is this really what people want nowadays? (Of course everything was served on the usual cliched wooden platter too, yawn). I'm all for good food but it wasn't even that nice, quite why the Chef is putting his name to everything even the name of the pub itself, I'm not sure.

Wasn't even that cheap, there are so many better pubs around within a 10 minute drive. I won't hurry back.

1  Thank phatwajones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Hollingbourne, Kent

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