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“Never visit, AWFUL EVERYTHING!!!!!”
Review of The City Arms

The City Arms
Ranked #49 of 94 Restaurants in Wells
Price range: US$7 - US$26
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: We have recently opened after a refurbishment programme. Bar and restaurant are complete. Outside patio area requires planning permission before works can take place - should be ready for the early summer (Target = 1st April). Stocks and shackles in the old City Jail are being repaired and will be used for any customers who over-indulge on our fine ales!. Much done and much more to do to restore the City Arms to its former glory. as one of England's finest pubs.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Never visit, AWFUL EVERYTHING!!!!!”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Took my family out for lunch on a Saturday afternoon, pub was fairly busy but waited over 15mins to even be acknowledged by the rude staff who were too busy chatting amongst themselves. Young so called "manager" was completely incompetent, clearly no idea what customer service is and had an attitude problem towards my wife. We had ordered our food which took near on 40mins to even arrive at our table, when it did the food was cold almost as if it had been waiting around for too long. Extremely disappointed with our visit to the city arms as we had been recommended by a friend who had dinned there back in the Begining of march he couldn't stress enough how great the service was in the pub was especially from the young chap from Essex who served him! Pub has obviously gone down hill since, on that note we shall not be returning to the city arms and would advise people to try somewhere else.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Alanwilson425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phil C, Manager at The City Arms, responded to this review, 4 July 2014
Thank you Alan for your review.
As the new Manager I look at all feedback positive and negative.
As the negative I can understand you were far from happy with your visit, that is understandable. These are the issues as the new manager I have dealt with first. You will see from our recent reviews, they have improved dramatically.
As for the Positive, not only had you been recommended by a friend but it was also busy when you visited. This has to be the foundation to work from. With the changes we have put in place already people will find an improvement and will continue to recommend us again.
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256 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Durham
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Alfresco in the heart of the city.”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Popped in to this busy central pub on a Bank Holiday weekend, hoping to be able to sit outside as I was with a smoker.
We were able to be seated comfortably at tables in a cobbled courtyard area.
Although not needing to eat on this occasion, the bistro looked very tempting. There is an accessible toilet adjacent to the bistro which was clean and had full baby-changing facilities as well. Enjoyed my glass of local cider which was very reasonably priced.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank DurhamAnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phil C, Manager at The City Arms, responded to this review, 4 July 2014
Thank you Durham for your review. We are pleased we could cater for all your needs. Hopefully next time you are in the area we can tempt you to try something from our menu. We have everything from Breakfasts, Sandwiches and Traditional Hearty Pub Food. Not to mention our Specials which have recently included Sushi, prepared by our own Tokyo trained Sushi Chef. Hopefully we will see you again soon when your next in the area.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
125 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Good, Solid, English Pub Food served with eccentricity...”
Reviewed 2 May 2014

The City Arms has a bit of an identity crisis going on. Outside, it's a rather wonderful old building which has served in it's time as the city jail and an abbatoir. Inside, it is many things - a local pub with regulars sitting at the bar passing time with the landlady, a hotel, a restaurant and apparently a somewhat garish purple-painted night spot too. We visited at lunchtime during mid-week, so it's hard to gauge how well it manages all of these roles.

Entrance is via the pleasant looking courtyard, which we may well have lingered in had the morning not been wet and grey. The main bar is modern, spacious and clean with the tables set up for bar meals and snacks. Ordering at the bar, I found the staff a little disinterested - being more concerned with gossiping with locals about 'the man who fixes the credit card machine' - but they managed the transaction well and we were soon seated with two pints of well kept local ale to tide us over until lunch. The trials and tribulations of the bar staff, as revealed to the locals propping up the bar provided a sort of live soap opera while we waited for our meal, with the older member of staff making faces behind the back of the younger barmaid.

Lunch arrived after quite a wait, which was surprising given we were the only customers present at the time. However, the food was clearly freshly prepared and cooked, and was served in generous portions. The cuisine here is classic, hearty and British. I had Liver and Bacon, and found it to be cooked very well indeed. It's a dish which is often overcooked or made fussy with clever twists, but this was simple, flavourful and filling. My wife had Cod Fishcakes, which were large and well seasoned, served with rustic chips and a good salad. The food was certainly worth the wait, though it would have been helpful to know that it might take a while to be served.

The City Arms is an ideal spot for a pub snack or lunch, and the fare on offer is well-cooked and keenly priced. Service is a little eccentric and disinterested, but that's fairly standard for a pub-like venue around these parts perhaps.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MikeGTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phil C, Manager at The City Arms, responded to this review, 4 July 2014
Thank you Mike for your detailed review. Although a little before my time, I have taken on your comments. As you point out The City Arms is now an Inn. That not only serves food and drink, but also is a B&B, which are all very popular.
Our Garish Purple dinning room is our formal dinning area, which sits along side our more relaxed bar area. You can even choose to eat Al Fresco in the courtyard and terrace. Hopefully catering for all needs.
We are currently addressing the issue of decoration and our customer service. You will see on the more recent reviews this has already improved.
One thing that hasn't changed other than the menu, is the quality of food. As we do cook everything fresh it does sometime take a short while. I am pleased though you thought it was well worth the wait.
I hope to see you again on your next visit to Wells, you can hopefully see the improvements we are making.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Rudest landlady ever”
Reviewed 4 April 2014

Like the other reviewer who was told to p**s off we were told to get out just because we dared to ask how long our meals were going to be. We were made to eat in the courtyard - very cold

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank blacksmiths L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Keynsham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
291 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“A GREAT OLD-FASHIONED PUB”
Reviewed 3 April 2014

This quaint pub is located in the centre of the main shopping area of this delightful little city. about 5 minutes' stroll from the market square and cathedral, the pub offers a good array of real ales and food at affordable prices.

Thoroughly recommended!!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JulianFrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phil C, Manager at The City Arms, responded to this review, 4 July 2014
Thank you Julian for your review. It is always good to get positive feedback from our customers. I am constantly monitoring and changing things where necessary. Hopefully you will see yet more improvements next time you visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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