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“Almost ticked the boxes but not quite there..”
Review of The Hambrough

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The Hambrough
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Ventnor
Certificate of Excellence
Bath
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Almost ticked the boxes but not quite there..”
Reviewed 19 September 2009

My wife and I had dinner in the Hambrough restaurant last night as non resident diners. Although the food was nicely cooked and seasoned we were expecting a little bit more from a restaurant boasting 7/10 in the Which good food guide.
Being in the industry and having eaten in many other restaurants with the same guide book achievments I felt that the subtlties that could go unnoticed in this case were over looked. We arrived 20 minutes early for a pre-dinner drink. We were taken to a souless room at the very rear of the hotel. The room did have a nice decoration of lillys and red roses. The room was empty with no music and no atmosphere. To me it felt odd that the only noise was coming from the kitchen below.
The waiter mumbled to us that our table was ready, I would have liked to have finished my gin and tonic at the table, although the waiter dutifully took the glasses for us he clearly felt I had finished.
Some long thin bread sticks were served in a chipped glass held in place with wild rice. The bread was nice but again the fine detail missing. My wife and I had the tasting menu, with a supplement for wines to match, the wife was driving. The wine matching and quality of the wines were by far the highlight of this restaurant, with the Restaurant Manager passing on his knowledge with each glass.
The cauliflower veloute with cepe cream was nicely seasoned and executed but not completely original. A little disappointing considering the appetiser complimtents of the chef was also a veloute, celeriac, again nicely seasoned but not bursting with flavour. We did find that even after the main course the cep and truffle oil used in the first course was still repeating on us.
To follow was a small Kilner jar of foie gras mousse with nuggets of pan frying foie gras, peach pieces and sauterne jelly. Nicely put together, the pain d'epice had gone soft and the presentation was a little basic with the doily sliding all over the plate as it was placed before us. Michelin star restaurants and doilys for me do not work especially from a restaurant with an image of a young and vibrant Chef.
With a small but still unique fishing harbour on the doorstep in Ventnor, I found it a touch odd that the menu displayed Orkney Salmon and Cornish Brill. The cutlet of salmon dish was probably the strongest dish on the menu.
The venison was nicely cooked, didn't really like the pancetta around it. Spatzli was nice but not wow and the trompettes were washed atleast. The dish lacked nutrients, fresh veg.. The Grand Veneur sauce was a clean example although not bursting with flavour.
Chocolate fondant for pudding was nicely cooked but not as good as the Michel Bras original but a good example of the gooey cake version which has been adopted by the Uk in gastro pubs and bistro's.
One of the high lights of the dining experience was the silver needle White tea. Being a bit picky I guess but the water temperature was too high and the last of the pot would have been over brewed had I not poured it in to the water glass. The offer of extra water for a second flush was not thought of or offered.
Some attention or training with the Front of House team is needed, the extra piece of bread I asked for to go with my first course never arrived and the mumbling waiter was a bit of a let down. All in all a nice evening with my wife although a little disappointed with the dining experience.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MButch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 September 2009

The Hambrough is a fabulous hotel and restaurant in a stunning location offering five star facilities in a small boutique style hotel.
We had booked another hotel in Ventnor (The Wellington - atrocious) and considered ourselves very fortunate when there was space in The Hambrough. Rooms were spacious, chic and contemporary and the hotel had a very restful, laid back, relaxed feel - a real home from home. The breakfast, taken in one of the two restaurant rooms, has fabulous sea views, and was a wonderful start to the day, with each breakfast dish being presented as a work of art. Dinner was a fantastic experience, living in Central London I am spoilt and therefore hard to please, but we had an exquisite five course tasting menu (with a couple of intermediates thrown in as well), at a reasonable £58. I've read that some people complained of car parking problems but we managed to park for three days in a row virtually outside the front door of the hotel and there were always spaces in Hambrough Road, which can be walked from end to end in five mins.
Our whole experience was made perfect by the personal attention we were given by the young, handsome, owner chef Robert Thompson who was thoroughly charming and couldnt do enough to make our stay as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Nothing seemed too much trouble. In fact you could say that he was certainly my best 'dish of the day'!
This is definitely the place to come for a luxury, relaxing break.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank princesspricey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 274 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2009

Firstly, let me point out if I could allocate half points on here it would have a 4 1/2 points instead of just four as overall it is a fabulous restaurant with rooms and the rooms are beautiful.
Our room, room three was decorated in cream and white (yes even I commented on who would put a cream carpet in a hotel! There was the inevitable odd stain on the carpet here and there, they have certainly got their work cut out keeping that clean!) with dark wood furniture and would not have looked out of place in the most exclusive of Chelsea homes. Fully specced with flat screen TV (yes only four channels but who needs TV in a room like this), DVD player, sofa's, coffee maker and sea view this was the perfect romantic getaway in the heart of an old fashioned British seaside resort. The bathroom was ok, nothing special like some of the rooms, standard sized bath but clean bright, modern and pleasant. On the whole I can't imagine you will find better rooms on the Isle of White.
So what wer the problems I hear you ask? Well call me a bore as you will have read it before but, parking is a main issue! It took us nine hours to get to the Isle of White from London due to traffic that day, the last thing we needed was to have to drive around for twenty minutes looking for parking and then walk for another twenty minutes back to the hotel. The service issues I talked about in the title were to do with reservation; we were told we had been allocated one room but when we got there we were given another. We had written confirmation of our dinner reservation for 9.30pm but when we got there they had us booked in for 8pm?! At dinner service really wasn't up to scratch either. We were asked three times by different people for the same drinks order yet no one offered us any bread and we actually had to ask for some in the end (excellent bread by the way right up there with The Square, Le Manoir and The Ledbury) was begining to lose hope of being offered a second piece until thankfully just as the main course arrived the young girl took pity on us and offered us some - I have never had such slack service in a Michelin star restaurant and it wasn't due to lack of staff. The rest of the meal continued this way in the service stakes although the food was very good more than worth the money they were charging for it, (review and photos on other site) such a shame it was let down by front of house.
Breakfast continued the let down in the service theme. You'll be pleased to hear that a full english is now included in the room rate (still have to order night before), I however merely wanted toast, pastries (liked the sound of the custard danish that everyone had been talking about on this site) and fruit. We thought we would take advantage of the free room service (nice touch)and ordered it for 9.30 the next morning, half of it arrived at 9.45am, the other half at 9.50am , there were only four pieces of cold toast between two, no sign of the custard danish I had heard so much about although the pain au chocolate was warm and gooey and the fruit had been forgotten about completely! My partner had better luck, his english breakfast was excellent, good quality sausage and he declared it the best black pudding he had ever eaten! I decided to eat some of the fruit from the fruit bowl in our room seeing as I hadn't recieved any and wasn't a fan of apple pastries or croissants that had turned up (partner had a feast on his hands!) sadly on picking up the peach, I found it was mouldy and rotten underneath, I decided not to venture further and settled on a diet coke!
But they were the only down points and I guess at the end of the day they were annoyances that didn't upset the grand scheme of the weekend. The cooking is superb and the restaurant a destination in itself. The rooms are gorgeous and on the whole someone has taken a lot of time,care and money to make this a wonderful place to stay. Would I come back? Yes of course.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lulublue32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wales
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2009

Stayed here on a business trip. Had salmon and scrambled egg in the morning in the dining room overlooking the sea. Restaurant staff were all fantastic, Housekeeping very friendly and new my name when I passed.

Espresso Machine in the room

Honesty bar in the room

Amazing bedrooms and bathrooms.

Very impressive touches in a relaxing kind of way, michelin without the stuffiness. The only Michelin Restaurant / accomodation that I have felt at home in .

I would definately return with my partner.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jollytravells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Wittering
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2009

My chef husband and I booked a last minute weekend away for my birthday and stayed at the nearby Winsdor Carlton, we booked to eat here on Saturday night and decided to book a table fairly late at 9.00pm so we could make the most of the early evening.
We had a couple of G&T's in the very comfy rear lounge while we had a look at the menu, it was worth noting that the head waiter had a good knowledge of the dishes when my husband enquired.
We were taken through to our table about half an hour later (don't eat fine dining if you are on any kind of schedule and then complain) the decor and tablewear was beautiful and we we presented with unusual tall breadsticks, tasty bread, and a very delicious and spicy Lakka Amouse Bouche. Both my husband and I had a fantstic meal througout, however it was spoilt only very slightly by the very roudy and drunk table of 8 50 somethings right next to us, as I am sure ourselves and another couple could not here what the other were saying at some points, this is why we did not stay for coffee and petit fours in the end.
They asked the waitress to meet chef and spent the next 10 minutes asking her where 'cook' was so they could fire quite personal questions at the poor bloke, such as how did he afford such a place, quite crass, they would have been better off at the Spyglass ;)
Luckilly for us we also got to chat to Robert which my husband found very interesting as we plan to do a similar thing to this in the future.
Would really reccomend this place although maybe ask for a window seat to get away from the doorway, look out for the lovely glass shell plates and the fantastic souffle's.

Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank katydive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln&Liverpool
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 6 July 2009

We visited the restaurant at the hamborough for lunch and had a superb meal. The set menu lunch is exceptionally good value and the food was wonderful. We sat in the indow, overlooking Ventnor bay, although the view into the didining room itself is pleasant, with the beautiful glass plates on the tables.

The service was faultless, which, sadly is something you can't say very often anymore.

We had a wonderful meal and will certainly be coming back when we return to the Island in August - I just hope that the Chocolat fondant is still on the menu as I keep dreaming about it!!!

It really is a must do for any visitor to the IoW!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank L0uLinc0ln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester UK
Level Contributor
43 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2009

We stayed here for 2 very sunny nights in June and cannot fault the value as we had an excellent deal through Laterooms.
We cannot comment on the theme of parking problems as we arrived by bikes which were happily and securly accommodated by the staff.
We ate dinner for one night in the restaurant- flawless service and superb food. Well worth the Michelin star. This is what you come to this hotel for.
Our room was modern, clean, airy and comfortable. Breakfast was selected from a wide range of continental or hot.
The staff were friendly and accommodating and helped to make it a memorable stay

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JulianandGillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hambrough

Property: The Hambrough
Address: Hambrough Road, Ventnor PO38 1SQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Isle of Wight > Ventnor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Ventnor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Hambrough 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sitting high above the fishing harbour in Ventnor, The Hambrough (AA 5 Star Accommodation) offers accommodation by the sea on the southern tip of the Isle of Wight. All but one of our seven spacious bedrooms has magnificent views of the sea and our award winning breakfasts are legendary. Although our restaurant is closed for the time being our bar is open where we are serving delicious afternoon and cream teas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Hambrough Hotel Ventnor
Hambrough Hotel Ventnor
Hambrough Ventnor
The Hambrough Ventnor, Isle Of Wight

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