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“Lovely staff, disappointing dessert”
Review of The Priest Hole

The Priest Hole
Ranked #19 of 122 Restaurants in Ambleside
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$14 - US$24
Cuisines: Steakhouse, British, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: The Priest Hole Restaurant and Tea Rooms are part of Kelsick Old Hall, one of the oldest buildings in the beautiful village of Ambleside in the centre of the English Lake District. With many original features the atmosphere may not be edible, but it does play a huge part in your dining enjoyment, and our friendly young team work hard in a refreshingly casual, but attentive way, to provide a relaxed and enjoyable experience.We are happy to accept single diners and large groups. We have a delightful outside terrace for alfresco meals on those warmer days, or just to sit and have a coffee and watch the world go by. (Dogs welcome on the terrace.) Seperate dining area for special occassion group dining.
Reviewed 27 August 2014

Went here for dinner my first night in Ambleside on a recommendation from a local couple. It was steak night that night, and I indeed had steak. The steak was fine. A well cooked normal steak, nothing too fancy or flashy about it, with sauce and veggies I ordered in addition. It was a good size and came very promptly. The two ladies working the restaurant were incredibly friendly and helpful.

The dessert I had on the other hand was possibly the worst dessert I've had in some time, and left a bad taste in my mouth literally and figuratively. It tasted like it had just come out of the freezer, and was so saturated with the juices of the berries that you couldn't taste the bread component at all (to be clear it was the berry bread pudding dessert). I don't know if it's normal in the area to serve bread pudding cold, but I've never had it served that way. And I usually LOVE bread pudding!

So, I'm not sure if it was just me, but I ended up being pretty disappointed. Overall I'd say the experience was fine, which is why I'm giving three stars. There was nothing in particular that pushed it to four stars for me, or a very good rating. Truly the best part of the whole evening was how friendly the staff was.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank JDP8787
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ThePriestHole, Owner at The Priest Hole, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2014

Thank you for you review.
I am glad that you enjoyed your meal with is but sorry to hear the dessert was not to your liking.
The dessert in question is a classic summer berry bread pudding which is a British dessert made with sliced white bread, which is left to soak over night with the fruit and fruit juice. It is very different to the classic bread and butter pudding which is a hot dessert.
I hope if you are ever in the Lake District again you will give us another try.

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Reviews (1,068)
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688 - 692 of 1,068 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2014

We ate dinner here during our recent visit to Ambleside. The atmosphere and service were terrific, however the food left a little to be desired. While I personally am not too picky, I found the pasta to be rather bland and the tomato sauce to taste similar to "Spaghetti Os" My wife ordered a steak and mentioned it was good if not great. The desserts were very good and definitely saved the day.

I would say eat here if you are finding it hard to be seated elsewhere. It wasn't bad, but it certainly was not good.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Keith T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGWG, Owner at The Priest Hole, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2014

We thank you for your review and our staff were happy that you gave them such high praise. They were however saddened that your mains were not good and that you chose not to bring it to their attention at the time. We accept that sometimes we may not get things right, but we would have liked the opportunity to deal with your complaint at the time before you left the restaurant and went to print.

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Reviewed 24 August 2014 via mobile

This restaurant genuinely home cooks.... The generous portions are perfect and wholesome after a day of adventuring around one of the Lake Districts most popular towns.

We secured a table at 8.30 (open till 9pm) and were welcomed and well looked after. Inside is bigger than you expect but with a relaxing dining experience even with most of the other tables full.

As a vegetarian and a carnivore there was lots of choice for both of us, prices were good too!
Happily recommend to anyone and would not hesitate eating here time and time again.

1  Thank sevenbrash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGWG, Owner at The Priest Hole, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

Lovely review from lovely people - thank you. Chef and staff much appreciated that you took the time to review our restaurant, which as you quite rightly point out prepars and cooks everything on the premises. Glad you also enjoyed your day on the fells and look forward to welcoming you again. Thank you.

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Reviewed 22 August 2014 via mobile

Title says it all really, the food was great, especially for the price. There are a lot of restaurants in Ambleside that are more expensive, but I doubt they would be any better than the Priest Hole. Service was excellent too, it's a shame we only discovered it on our last night here.

1  Thank Jamie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGWG, Owner at The Priest Hole, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

Thank you for your review. Chef and staff take pride in helping us to keep our prices down, by sourcing good food from good suppliers. This allows us to prepare everything ourselves and provide you the customer with good value for money. Sorry you only found us on the last night of your stay. Hope that you manage to get to visit us again in the future.

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Reviewed 22 August 2014

We went on Steak night (Thursday) and I had veal with new potatoes and a 'confit of mushroom and roast tomato'. The veal and potatoes lacked any real flavour and the confit was just a grilled field mushroom and tomato. We were in a good mood so laughed it off. Lamb shank was equally tasteless. The best meal seemed to be the barbecued pork 2 ways. The pork was moist and the barbecue sauce was good.

Very average.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank othersideofthewold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGWG, Owner at The Priest Hole, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

Dear othersideof the world. We were sorry to read your review as we had no inclination whatsoever that anything was wrong. We wish that you had shared your disappointment with the taste of your food with us. This would have allowed us to check your complaint and put things right if if possible. Unfortunately in this industry - one mans bland is another mans too seasoned. We can only know this if you let us know. We hope that you will come to visit us when you come to Ambleside again. Also thank you for the other reviews you have done onsome of the other Ambleside Restaurants. Interesting reading for other Trip Advisor reviewers.

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