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“Excellent country pub dining off the beaten track”
Review of Blue Ball Inn

Blue Ball Inn
Ranked #66 of 269 Restaurants in Taunton
Price range: US$8 - US$27
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Traditional but unique Olde Worlde Pub / Restaurant. Thatched Roof, Beautiful wooden interior and eaves which form the Bar and Dining Rooms. Relaxed informal atmosphere. Beautiful natural country beer garden with stunning views and surrounded by superb trees on three sides. We could go on but just come and experience it for yourselves.
Reviewed 31 August 2014

Up a narrow country lane in the Quantocks, this charming old country pub surprised us with its slightly more contemporary than quaint interior and definitely not old-pub menu. We hadn't booked but were shown a table for three by a window. Drinks collected from the bar, we wished we had saved ourselves for a larger meal, as there were some good choices in all courses! As it was, we just had mains: sea trout, gilt head bream and 21-day-hung steak, all well cooked, well presented and well served. A selection of bread and butter with a jug of water came without us asking. As we were staying less than a mile away, we didn't have coffee, but we felt more than satisfied with the hospitality. Our only reservation is that access to the dining area is by a flight of steep stairs which our elderly companion found difficult - but we could have researched this before deciding to eat there.

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1  Thank Judith O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 - 153 of 277 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2014

We smelt the wood smoke before seeing the lights of the inn through the November drizzle. Having cycled over the Quantock Hills since early that morning, we were filthy, wet and very cold and tired. The staff of the Blue Ball at Triscombe produced black sacks to protect the furniture and welcomed us around the enormous wood-burner with delicious hot food and we ate and drank and steamed until ready to resume our adventure.

Following that first visit, some 15 years ago, we have returned to The Quantocks most years and always paid a visit to the Blue Ball (other than once when it was closed for a major re-design) and every visit has been a delight whether it was for a full dinner, a light lunch or just a few drinks in the garden.

It is one of my favourite top three pubs and I was delighted when it won a recommendation in the Michelin Guide and as there were to be 11 of us for dinner, I thought I’d better book well in advance.

I sent a message using the online “Contact” form but after 2 days, there was still no reply. “That’s odd”, I thought, “perhaps they have problems with the website”.

I sent an email but received no reply.

I called them on the Thursday lunchtime and they said that they could squeeze us in at 2000 on Saturday and could we pre-order by email in view of the party size. “Fair enough”, I thought, “that’s sensible, no point in making life difficult for the chef and keeping us waiting”.

I collected the Main Course choices from everyone and emailed them through. Having received no confirmation, I phoned on the Friday and was reassured that they’d received the email and that all was in order.

We arrived in good time and were seated at 2000. The waiting staff (who were charming but very young and nervous), asked how we wanted our steaks and offered us “Nibbles” while we waited. The pots of olives, hummus, bantam eggs and bread arrived after about 15 minutes but one hummus arrived a further 15 minutes later.

All the nibbles were delicious.

Time passed

We waited

At 2100 we enquired after our dinner and were told that it was on its way and it was brought soon after 2100. The steaks Etc were plated up with vegetables served separately. Two cottage pies and one pigeon were brought out last and we waited for the vegetables, and waited and waited as the food cooled and the rest the party finished their meals. After 15 – 20 minutes, the vegetable were brought out but one of the recipients had had enough and said “I don’t want it, please take it away and send the Manager”.

The Manager arrived, listened to the tale and explained that all the meals had been cooked to order for 2000 but had been thrown away, because we ordered nibbles, and had to be prepared again.

“Hmmmmm”, we thought.

The Manager said that he would not charge us for the three meals and asked us to leave as “we had sworn at his staff”. This led to a fairly heated exchange in which one of our party lectured the Manager on Customer Service. Eventually he had a change of heart, offered us a free round of drinks and withdrew.

We deliberated, decided not to accept the offer, paid the bill in cash and left.

On returning home, I emailed the Blue Ball and expressed my regret for what had happened, apologised if there had been any swearing and invited a response. I am still waiting……………

When I received my credit card statement, I was rather surprised to find that £50 had been debited. I phoned the manager who apologised, said that £50 should have been deducted from the bill (a practice that I have never come across elsewhere), and promised to credit £50.

A month later, I checked my credit card statement and found no credit. A further call to the manager produced another apology and the £50 refund.

This is a lovely pub in a fantastic location and I really hope that they can resolve their current problems.

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1  Thank whatman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark B, Owner at Blue Ball Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2014

On behalf of the previous owners, we would like to apologise for your experience at the Blue Ball Inn some three months past.

As might be expected we appreciate customer feedback, and we will of course use and add your comments to our established training manual on guest expectations and requirements.

Regrettably, because we have been in situ only three weeks, we are at a bit of a loss as to how we can rejuvenate your warm regard for the Inn, but we will enter into private correspondence with you in a further effort to convince you of our determination and willingness to restore your faith.

Mark Blcker

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We were extremely worried about both the standard of food and service having read some of the reviews here and then discovering the pub had just been sold to new owners . . . we needn't have worried, though, as we had a wonderful time! There was plenty of choice on the menu and some of the dishes were really imaginative, like the ham hock dumpling. Always good to see wood pigeon on a menu, too! Service was fast and friendly and we'll definitely be going back for seconds and maybe even thirds! Only word of warning would be to watch out for all the stairs if anyone in the party has mobility problems . . .

Thank Henwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We were in the Quantocks for a day with the dogs. We had a lovely walk up on the top of the hills around " Dead ladies ditch", and we're looking for somewhere for lunch. We had been told about The Blue Ball in Triscombe and thought we would give it a go. It,s just a short drive down the south side of the Quantocks to the village. A nicer setting you could not wish for and a very pretty little pub. The service was great and the food spot on. We only had a crusty roll each but the choice of filling was great. They were a good size and came with a small potato salad and a leaf salad. To add a little we also shared two bowls of chips between the four of us. All the food was good but the chips were out of this world. The restaurant Menu looked really good and we plan to go back for a proper meal later in the year. If I had to be a little picky the decor is a little dated and slightly let's down what is a beautiful building but that said I would certainly recommend this place if you are in the area.

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Thank Will S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We had a great lunch out, with very good friends, so glad we went there, will definately go again! Just wish this establishment was our local, someone has to drive there! But hey well worth it. Thank U

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Thank wywh1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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