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“Act now or lose your regulars!”
Review of Port Gaverne Hotel

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Port Gaverne Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Port Gaverne
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 June 2014

We have been regulars ( as are many other customers ) for 15 years and readers need to see our review in 2013 which explains why.
We had learnt that the hotel had now changed hands so wanted to check it out this week.

Rooms are still smallish but the staff, menu and food previously made up for that........but not now.
Some staff remain from the previous owners and they are great, understanding needs and attention to detail on tables etc. but the menu is now the same in the bar and the restaurant and is, in the words of the new management, " modern ". For modern read complex, over-priced, lacking decent vegetables and variety. The menu changed regularly in the old days but stays the same now...we found it difficult to pick any thing different (that we liked) in the 3 days we were there and seriously considered eating elsewhere on day 3.

As usual we were looking for good fresh fish dishes, simply cooked but what we got was good fish swimming in a Chorizo oil or a Dover Sole in a watery grape juice......not good. The rib eye steak was good but we were forced into this due to distrusting the way the fish and other dishes were cooked. We mentioned our concerns twice but whether the new owners will take the comments on board (see also other recent reviews) we wonder?

A personal survey of other customers this week also teased out the same concerns. We all loved this place and were so disappointed to see how it has changed.

We have written separately to the owners to emphasise that change is accepted for rooms, restaurant tables and decor but please, please, do not tinker with the previously brilliant menus and ingredients. Unless this changes we (and our group of golfers) will not be back, sorry.

Room Tip: See 2013 review.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Graham P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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373 - 379 of 557 reviews

Reviewed 31 May 2014

we have stayed in the Green Door cottages four years running and previously ate in the hotel every evening.m This time we ate twice..quality of food ok..not fantastic, but not suited to families..expensive, limited menu and overly complex. I had mussels twice..same menu but presentation, quantity, texture and taste of sauce completely different. second time v. Small portion..about one third closed and quite a few gritty ones. No bread second time.
Bar devoid of friendly locals and all tables in the bar laid up for food all day!
Sue and graham behind the bar still wonderfully warm and remain the saving grace.
we left this morning and hoped to eat breakfast before we left but were informed there wasn't sufficient gas to cook for non residents!!!! Priceless..isn't this fundamental to running a great kitchen..planning and resourcing?
our bar bill is usually over £500 for the week for food and drinks. £130 this time....multiply by 10 cottages, doesn't seem like a very sensible business model for me.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Schofieldsofbushey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

We stayed in a cottage in Port Gaverne and were planning on eating at the (previously wonderful) Port Gaverne Hotel every evening. We arrived in the week that the hotel was taken over by St Austell Brewery and its unfriendly new owners. We went in for dinner on the first night of our stay to find that there is no longer a bar menu and that the limited restaurant menu is the only choice, with prices having increased by at least a third! The friendly local staff did their best, but the whole place felt shambolic. Generally I feel that change is a good thing, but not in this case...this wonderful pub, with good food and a great atmosphere now has pretentions of being a yuppy gastro-pub with prices to match! By the end of our stay the locals seemed to be driven out, we felt uncomfortable going in there and how long before children and dogs are no longer welcome? This was previously a good hotel, with wonderful above average pub food, a great reputation and the heart of its small friendly community...now it has pretentions of joining the Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw brigade and no longer feels friendly and welcoming to the legions of 'normal' holiday makers with kids and dogs who used to jostle to get in! Two years ago (under the previous owners) we ate here every evening and never got bored or felt unwelcome...this year one visit was more than enough!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank HolisticChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Have been coming to this wonderful hotel for many years. Was so disappointed when the bar was set for diners and no where to sit and have a drink. All the Locals seemed to have gone. The dining room had been completely changed and for some poor diners there were low leather armchairs to eat at, my husband was sat lower than his dinner! Then all 3 of the fish dishes were either well undercooked or cold, mine was advertised on the menu as having asparagus and broccoli, it worked out as one piece per person, also well undercooked. Not sure I will be rushing back anytime soon.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
5  Thank Joanna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

We've been eating in the hotel bar for many years and have always enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, excellent service and variety of food available. It was a pub well liked by locals and visitors alike.

Since St Austell purchased the pub a few weeks ago, some of the changes were predictable (gone is Doom Bar), some welcome (finally a new carpet) and some less welcome. Gone are the pub regulars of Ploughman's, excellent burgers and lunchtime sandwiches to be replaced by 'high end' food created by an army of 5 chefs such as Pork Belly with Razor Clams and Samphire - his may attract some from afar but many will prefer a more traditional fayre.

The reason for the 2 stars however was the service which was dreadful. As our finished starters were taken from the table, the main course arrived immediately (not enough chips!) and we asked for ketchup....despite 3 visits to the bar and asking for ketchup, it only appeared as we completed our meal.

Very disappointing - no amount of fine food can excuse poor service.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Shaun O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

just a short walk down the hill from Port Isaac(Doc Martin territory)there is a lovely hotel in Port Gaverne which is worth going to for itself but about 2 weeks ago a new chef(Chris?)took over the kitchen.He is classically trained at Le Manoir and has brought the intense flavours and subtlety without the price!! He uses local produce where possible which accentuates the freshness as the fish comes(generally)from a mile down the road,Port Isaac. We had St Enedoc asparagus,poached egg and shaved bottargo and salmon,roast lettuce,asparagus and buttermilk. It was so light and delicious that we returned the next day and had the same!! I would never have thought that roast lettuce and buttermilk were my taste but they were superb and complemented the dish perfectly.This is a man to watch but his cooking to be enjoyed,all at amazingly reasonable prices. Go there if you are in the area or make a special trip-it's worth it

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank JNDawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Been coming here for 40 years. St Austell are only the 3rd owner.
Stayed in March for my 65th when Graham was still in charge. A great weekend. So just a little. Surprised to find new owners this Saturday. Most staff still the same, service and attention to detail just the same as ever. An excellent evening meal and breakfast with absolutely no complaints.
If this is the future and the changes/improvements remain subtle then I shall be returning for years to come. Congratulations to Dave and the team. Best wishes to Graham and Annabelle for what ever they do next .Dave Green 26/05/2014

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Port Gaverne Hotel

Address: Port Gaverne | Port Issac, Port Gaverne PL29 3SQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Port Gaverne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Port Gaverne
Price Range: £130 - £175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Port Gaverne Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The AA 5 star, 2 Rosette rated 17th-century Port Gaverne Hotel is nestled in a beautiful secluded cove on North Cornwall’s dramatic coast. Enjoy seasonal, star-quality food inspired by the bounty on our doorstep. Relax in our traditional old bar with slate floors, wooden beams and a wide range of proper ales. Your dishes will be cooked simply and with integrity by Head Chef James Lean and his team, who have learnt their trade under some of the UK’s top Michelin-star chefs. With antique furniture and traditional features, no two bedrooms are the same at Port Gaverne. Facilities include free wifi, Sky TV, Nespresso coffee machines, en-suite bathrooms with a hairdryer and Molton Brown toiletries. And a hearty full Cornish breakfast is always included in the price. The beautiful, peaceful North Cornwall Heritage Coast is on our doorstep, with the beach just moments away. Port Isaac is a 5-minute walk away, or the large sandy beach at Polzeath is a 15-minute drive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Port Gaverne Hotel Cornwall

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