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Review of Normandy Arms - CLOSED

Normandy Arms
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$7 - US$32
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Reservations
Description: The Normandy Arms is to be found in the lovely village of Blackawton, near Dartmouth in the South Hams Open Tuesday through Sunday.We pride ourselves on the food at the Normandy Arms, with every dish produced on the premises using locally sourced ingredients.Menu offerings include traditional classics and specials, alongside more mordern dishes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We ate at the Normandy Arms this week, after an interval of six years! Our last visit (in 2008 when the pub was under different ownership) was disappointing, both in terms of food and service.
There was nothing disappointing about our recent visit - in fact, it was outstanding.

From the moment we walked through the door, we were met with a friendly welcome by a lovely Hungarian waitress, who looked after us very attentively throughout the meal.

As for the food, I can say that we were very impressed with the quality and presentation. My trio of salmon starter was delicious. Smoked salmon, salmon fillet and a salmon fishcake were presented with a trio of accompaniments - mustard dressing, tartare sauce and celeriac remoulade. The different textures and flavours were superb and a great beginning to the meal.
My guinea fowl was presented like an impressionist painting. I'm not in the habit of photographing my food to post it on Facebook but was almost tempted to by the dish in front of me. It looked and tasted stunning.
I succumbed to the cherry and almond dessert, a sort of posh Bakewell tart, with lovely thick creme Anglaise, real cherries and buttermilk sorbet. First class.

My wife's potted crab and rib-eye steak with Bearnaise sauce was pronounced excellent, so we were two very happy diners.

From the warm welcome, the attentive service, the nice touch of the chef bringing us dessert and stopping for a chat, to the pleasant ambiance of the restaurant and even the excellent home made tomato bread, the evening was a great success. At £40 a head including 2 large glasses of wine, a glass of dessert wine and coffees, we also felt it was very good value for such a high standard of cuisine.

Very highly recommended. We'll be back next year!

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    • Atmosphere
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Thank Framebender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (159)
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86 - 90 of 159 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

A year on and we went back and was not disappointed. What can I say but great meal. We enjoyed so much we went back the next night. Hope we don't have to wait another year to go back again.
If you like 'the Hardwick' at Abergavenny then you will love this loverly pub it's just a little smaller.
Many thanks to everyone, particular front of house staff for making us so welcome.
David and Jane Lucas

3  Thank J40LUC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Phoned up to book a table for my birthday for a party of eight. Before booking, I enquired what they could cook for my six year old daughter. I was told chicken nuggets or macaroni cheese! The lady I spoke with went on to say that they were a fine dining pub that didn't really have children around! Why then is there a tab for a children's menu on the website? When you click on it, there's nothing there! I was really looking forward to eating here, but if my daughter's not welcome, we'll be taking our business elsewhere.

2  Thank Mitchellinne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrew W, Owner at Normandy Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2014

Dear sir,
Our website has recently been produced and as you may or may not know, many websites are built by using a template that is edited into a personalized website. The child menu tab that you saw had not been edited from the site correctly hence why it directed you to nowhere. This is of course a oversight on my part for which I humbly apologize and thank you for pointing out, I am very sorry for any confusion caused. It has now been removed.

With regards to your telephone conversation. We are a restaurant rather than a pub and the menu is geared towards adults, when we have guests who have children we always make them aware that our menu is not child orientated but we are happy to accommodate them as best as we can. The options of macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets were examples of children's dishes that we have freshly prepared ourselves to order for other children who have dined with us in the past, we do not hold frozen ready made products like so many pubs. We do not exclude children from our restaurant and would never have said we do not want children around.
I would like to invite you to take a couple of moments to read some reviews which talk about how we have looked after smaller diners previously, "24 July 2014 & 13th April 2013" Obviously there are only two reviews mentioning children diners as the vast majority of our diners are adults. These reviews were written by diners who ACTUALLY VISITED our restaurant and experienced our service provided for their children

I would like to take a moment to say the Tripadvisor is a powerful tool that can be a huge benefit or cause great damage to a business and a persons livelihood, I would therefore ask that next time you choose to write a poor review of a restaurant ,THAT YOU ACTUALLY STEP FOOT IN THE FRONT DOOR and experience the service first hand rather than purely through a telephone conversation which was made on a evening when the restaurant is full and serving their guests. It saddens me that you are prepared to potentially damage a local restaurant's reputation WITHOUT EVEN DINING THERE.


Andrew West-Letford

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

My family and I were looking for a nice, hearty pub dinner close to our lodgings at the dartmouth golf and county club, and the Normandy Arms provided just that. The menu was perhaps pricier than the established 'pub dinner', arguably justifiably due to the standard of nourishment presented to us.
We were greeted upon entry by the friendly waitress, who we deemed up to the task of dealing with the inevitable problems presented by a family of four children sitting down to dine for the evening. These included the desire of the youngest child for a kids portion of the rump steak and chips. The waitress smartly avoided disaster by suggesting that the portion be halved with another member of the group who was also having the steak. I ordered the duck, and in the meantime settled down to examine the establishment.
The ceilings were low and consequently the space snug, always something I look out for in pubs. A group of hardened locals occupied the bar and chatted like they had known each other their whole lives, sipping pints. We were one of just two groups who we're sitting down to dine, and this was definitely the worst aspect of the evening. The atmosphere was dead, which never makes for comfortable dining. However, we managed to make just about enough noise to avert total stillness.
The duck was absolutely delicious, perhaps portion-wise a little small, but beautifully presented. For pudding I was perhaps wrongly tempted into the chocolate browny (my stomach was already on the verge of exploding- the remainder of my sister's steak had filled the remaining space after the duck), however I was very lovingly 'helped' by my other sister to finish it when it was put in front of me. The browny was warm and soft, oozing with melted chocolate, and the inn-made ice cream was very tasty. We left feeling full and contented, and had a walk round the village (which was very dead as well if your interested). A very enjoyable evening and a delightful pub, perhaps let down slightly by its unfortunate location in the worlds quietest village.

Thank Joe K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

This restaurant is rapidly becoming our favourite restaurant in the general Dartmouth area. We visited recently for the second time and had a stunning meal. My salmon starter was full of great flavours, as was the cherry pud which we shared. Everything else, including the home made bread, was wonderful.

Well done to the owner/chef and his lovely partner for making such a such a great success of their business.

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

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