We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Smugglers inn”
Review of The Smugglers Inn

The Smugglers Inn
Ranked #11 of 94 Restaurants in Minehead
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$51
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Description: The Smugglers Inn offers a cosy bar, a delightful restaurant and accommodation by the sea at Blue Anchor Bay in Somerset. We are on the edge of Exmoor and the Quantock hills and make a perfect base for walking holidays. The West Somerset steam railway runs through Blue Anchor and the station is just along the road at the end of the bay. Blue Anchor beach is a long sandy beach and is just across the road from the Inn.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Smugglers inn”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

This was our third visit we come every year this year the inn is under new management but the food and service was excellent very friendly staff very dog friendly would recommend this to anyone in the area well worth a visit. Thanks Katherine and Rob for a lovely welcome and excellent food

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank AnielaO2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

447 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    264
    100
    40
    24
    19
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Discovered this lovely coastal pub”
Reviewed 26 June 2014

We have just come back from a mini break in Somerset. Whilst on our first walk along the front we were talking about where to eat that night. We saw a sign for Smugglers Inn under new management so wondered up a short drive to a lovely looking pub. Gardens out back were well looked after with a nice pond. Inside the staff were friendly and helpful. We had a few drinks and ordered some food the mussles in white wine were amazing and my husband had the steak & otter oie with mash & veg the food was amazing. We went back the second night of our stay and sampled the same excellent quality of food & staff excellance. We will most definately be back. Thanks to all for two enjoyable evenings.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank 448Matthew1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very good food.”
Reviewed 26 June 2014

I've visited twice, the first time it was merely OK, it has since changed hands and its improved considerably, it was quite quiet when I visited & the new owners are still working hard to rebuild the trade, so it's worth giving this place a go. I've visited considerably worse.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Wazza_G_1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Could do better.”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

The pub in itself is fine. Service was ok at the bar, and we were given a brief history of the building, that maybe the current owner could write up so people can read it. It was a Monastery and is at least 300 years old, has been a pub twice and a private house, and an evacuee shelter etc.

The menu is reasonable in terms of content but the execution is at best poor. If I order bread and olives, I expect a little more than a bowl of brine soaked squishy yuck (massive portion, you could never eat them all and wouldn't want to). The bread was a whole grain torpedo roll that had been cut into small slices, if I'm eating olives I want a Fococcia, and Ciabata, Ciambella etc (not a huge heap just a small selection, and not what is effectively a lightweight granary bap). Similar story with the Antipasti, too much oil over the Balsamic, so when you dip you bread you just get olive oil, oil too light, no better than cooking oil (which I drained off), the balsamic was tart and not rounded so again a poor ingredient cheaply bought. Boiled skinned tomatoes in oil are not the same as slow roasted or sun-dried and when drowned in oil are basically tomato slop, similar with the roasted pepper element, to much oil and not good quality. It may fool the blue rinse brigade but if you've travelled or lived somewhere like London it's frankly amateurish at best, at worst deceitful. At £4.50 for each of these starters I expect a lot more in terms of quality not quantity, you would have had better from a small tub of mixed olives and antipasti bought from a deli counter in any of the big five supermarkets, by a country mile.

The mains were average, the confit pork was pleasant and well presented, but again steep, the crackling curl on top was interesting in so far as it was a tasteless oddity part chew, part corn snack texture ... a loose filling grabber. My other half made no comment about her lamb, so assume average. The veg that arrived was a hotchpotch of (probably steamed) carrots, sweet corn and cabbage, served from a cereal style bowl (as per the olives). This meant there was a pool of water drowning the veg at the bottom of the bowl, and because of the serving bowls shape you invariably ended up tipping lukewarm cooking liquid over you main course.

The menu needs to live up to expectations, either down grade the food to more common fair, or spend a bit extra on quality ingredients. Without knowing the business it's difficult to know the margin, which can't be high, however if you want the repeat business and a reputation that counts for something then bite the bullet. It's a great building a great venue.

The young staff could do with a little silver service training as dumping down a handful of cutlery with a clang in the middle of the table doesn't yell `I know what I'm doing', and I suspect from the money spent on furniture the place has ambition. As with one of the other reviewers, I found the tables outside to be a bit ropey and left untidy too long, without enough bar staff patrols. It needed that little something extra, that ensures everything looks tidy.

This place has potential in spades, sits next to a campsite, that sits next to a holiday park, it also sits right at the start and potential end of a number of country walks, and a twice weekly car-boot sale. The passing trade potential is massive, the board up by the road only tells you when food is served from and until ... not what's available, and gives the impression because of bad wording that the place closes at 9pm.

Teas and coffees, light lunches and gastronomy, this place could fly. But at the moment in my opinion all show no go.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Graeme F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
katherine G, Manager at The Smugglers Inn, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
We do apologise that your meal was not to your satisfaction.

These allegations have not crossed our ears before and we (the two managers) eat in the premises almost every evening.

We have both had the meals that you sampled and found them very enjoyable.

I know for a fact and can assure you that from working in the kitchen some quiet evenings that vegetables are not steamed and all of our ingredients are bought in fresh daily from reputable suppliers.

I do wish that this had been brought to our attention at the time as both myself and the other manager are always available for any comments or complaints to be handled decently and at the time.

Regarding the potential that this building has, yes, I highly agree with you that there is a lot of potential in this building but if you can understand, myself and my partner have only been here 11-12 weeks and cannot do everything over night.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
153 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Nice but not wow”
Reviewed 18 June 2014 via mobile

Ate here a few days back.
My husband said it was the best steak he'd ever had,
Kids meals were good sized portions :)
But vegetarian choice wasn't impressive- Mac n cheese for about £9, veggy burger, pea and mint risotto didn't take my fancy. The specials board had veggy sausages, if had these here back in March when it was under different management and they were gorgeous so I opted for that. Disappointed, they tasted how I'd imagine those vegetable fingers from the frozen food section would taste, and had only a tiny amount of onion gravy on which made the dish a little dry.
Based on the meal I had I would no longer recommend what used to be our favorite place to eat to others. Also I don't think we'll return soon, will definitely try other places first.

Helpful?
Thank jemma s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Smugglers Inn also viewed

 
Minehead, Somerset
 

Been to The Smugglers Inn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing