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“Lovely setting, Good food but quirky!”
Review of Riverside House

Riverside House
Ranked #60 of 88 Restaurants in Bakewell
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 1 May 2009

I read with interest the last review as we had a similar experience at this hotel. We arranged to spend the weekend here with two old friends who live far from us. The hotel was very pretty and the food good (but possibly not as good as the manageress kept telling us!!). The bedroom was good but quite cheaply done but the shower was done as a wet room although you had no choice but to soak the whole floor when using it!! The strange part of our stay was the manageress who went out of her way to give us her loud opinion on everything (quite often when we were not speaking to her). On the first night they ran out of halibut and my husband had an alternative, the second night fish was still off and there was no alternative. This seemed a shame on a small and unvarying menu. The hotel seemed to be very short on any beers we wanted to drink and all in all we felt as though the manageress found us a complete nuisance. The hotel and drinks were expensive ( I think from memory our two nights came to over £400) and it is a pity she was not more accomodating. When we were giving our order to the waiter for instance she strode over and took his pen so she could take the order for her wedding party!! Very odd but very entertaining for us as she was so quirky! I had throught it a good place for friends small wedding but am not so sure now.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank LouiseS47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 - 18 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2008

Finding a high standard restaurant for a special celebration is always tricky, especially when it's your first visit. Set in the quaint, picturesque Derbyshire village of Ashford-in-the-Water, Riverside House is a lovely old building, full of character - at least as far as the decor goes.

Although Riverside House wasn't local for us, we are prepared to travel for good food. Although I had phoned earlier to say we would be a little later than we had originally booked, when we arrived, were met with the most chilly reception, and the manager had to "check with the chef" if it was still OK to serve us! Had we travelled all this way for nothing? We had booked after all, so they knew we were coming! Anyway, once we got the green light for food, we were hurried into choosing our drinks, and then directed to our table by a half-mute, robotic waitress, before we had even finished our aperitif.

The robot brought our starters, with clinically rehearsed lines. There was only us and two other couples dining - the others were clearly staying at the hotel, so in theory it should have been cosy, but with absolutely no background music or anything to give a little atmosphere, everyone's conversation was reduced to a low mumble against the clatter of cutlery, making the whole place feel cold, unsettling and unwelcoming.

Fortunately, the food was fantastic. Everything was cooked to perfection and presented delightfully, clearly worthy of their AA awards. If only we'd felt welcome and able to relax in order to fully enjoy it.

We finished our meal in a deathly silence and went back into the lounge for coffee and homemade chocolates. Two drunken youths staggered into the bar, trying to persuade the manager to let them have some beer. Once he had finally managed to usher the idiots out, he lightened up and suddenly the place became warm and relaxing, with us engaging in friendly and humerous conversation - and even the robot started talking! If only we'd seen this warm and friendly side on our arrival. After a delicious meal, we finally felt welcome and at ease - unfortunately it was too late and we would have to shortly leave.

Overall a frustrating visit. We went for the food, and the food we got was, without doubt, top quality. However the staff need to be more human and welcoming, and the place needs some background music - something classical perhaps or non-intrusive; something to at least provide some ambience and atmosphere while you enjoy your delicious meal.

A place serving food of this quality should have more than just three tables dining. Maybe we caught them on a bad night, but 2 customers or 20, everybody should be made to feel welcome in a place of such standard. Hopefully a return visit will change my opinion - I would certainly go back for another meal, hoping for a warmer reception.

5  Thank foodeater78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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