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“Great beer and decent pub grub”
Review of Royal Oak

Royal Oak
Price range: US$12 - US$33
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Jacqui took over as tenant on 30th July 2018. She and her team will give you an extremely warm welcome to The Royal Oak in Crockham Hill. We serve superb home-cooked food and there is a range well-kept Westerham Brewery beers and fine wines for you to enjoy. The pub is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - whether you are walking, cycling, on a family outing or working away from the office there is something for you at The Royal Oak. There are a couple of walks on the Links page of our website and we are very close to both Chartwell and Hever Castle.Freshly brewed coffee and free High Speed WiFi is available at all times.
Reviewed 14 May 2016

Right on the main road but there is a nice beer garden to the back, behind the small car park.
The Westerham Brewery ales are excellent. I love the Summer Perle and the Finchcocks is a tasty pint too.
J enjoyed her scampi and skinny chips, so much nicer than jumbo, chunky chips; nicely cooked and crispy. Finished with a jam roly-poly and custard.
I had a ''Jacques'' - baby shrimp and prawns, of which two jumbo; mussels and squid rings, in a creamy sauce with creamed potato, having started with a smoked mackerel pate, served with brown toast and butter and a hot horseradish sauce. Very enjoyable.
Efficient, friendly service. Good lunch.

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Thank Sennockian55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 - 55 of 112 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2016

I went a while ago and sent the meal back as frozen on the middle. The apology said it had gone cold. Unreal!

This time we were put to the back of the queue by the kitchen and at least twenty people who arrived after us were served before. We were told the kitchen put us to the back of the queue despite efforts by bar staff to get us served. I waited 50 minutes for a backed potato. When it arrived it had been microwaved.

The kitchen is very poor with no consideration or the dinners. The decor is good and it has potential but until you see a sign that the kitchen staff have left, go nowhere near it.

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1  Thank charles319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PaulNCKent, Owner at Royal Oak, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2016

Despite 35% of your reviews scoring Poor or Terrible, which is much higher than a normal TripAdvisor reviewer, we take your comments very seriously.

Your visit to our small local was on a day when a group of walkers arrived just before you, having booked in advance. I am sorry that your meal took too long to arrive. Despite the warning that your meals would take some time, on this occasion, our kitchen added to the delay by getting their priorities muddled.

I am sorry that our apologies at the time and the free drinks you were given still leave you upset.

However, we would love to see you return as what we offer from our local is appreciated by most customers, as evidenced by the other TripAdvisor reviews, and they tend to return.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2016

I have had two meals at the royal oak over the last 2 weeks (i am a local). The first on a weekday evening was pleasant and the food was really rather good. Very tasty Chilli and a large portion of fresh haddock and chips. It made me want to go back.
Sadly the second meal on a recent Sunday lunch time was a disaster and will definitely stop me going back again. We arrived just after 12 (to an almost empty pub and ordered soon after) and didn't end up eating until about 1:20pm. After an hour of waiting we had to go and find one of the 2 staff members to discover that apparently a chef hadnt turned up at 12 and they were down on staff and were having a problem getting the food out. As we had my 2 year old son as part of our group a 1 hour delay for food is not something you bargain for (entertaining hungry toddlers is exhausting stuff!) so the fact no one bothered to explain the issue was poor. Equally the surly responses of "another 5 mins" when i finally went over after 45 mins of waiting didn't exactly placate us either.
Once the food came it was fine - nothing exceptional - but had it come after 15 mins we would have probably said it was pretty good.
In addition to this (and this isn't the pub's fault) a large table of some of the least friendly 50/60 year olds crowded in at 1pm. Dagger eyes, from behind transition lens sunglasses (says it all really!) at any noises from my children (who were good as gold considering they had already been waiting for an hour) didn't help the whole experience.The point about bringing this into the review is that rather unusually this pub has no form of backing music. Perhaps a blessing considering some of the crap that some pubs play (and loudly) but it does mean the atmosphere is created solely by who is in the pub - so if it's a good crowd and friendly people then great - but if it is a group of old tutters then it's not the best place - especially as the tables and chairs are all quite close together.
The culmination of the experience was absolutely no offer to reduce the bill and so i have decided to write this review. I know there are many good reviews for The Royal Oak on Tripadvisor, and i would endorse that the food is good, but a few talk of very slow service. In fact an experience eating here 18 months ago where my wife had another 1 hour wait for food meant we hadn't bothered trying it again all this time - however the very good reviews is what made me change my mind and my first dinner from a few weeks back endorsed that view...sadly as i say this not the case.
The pub itself is actually quite cute (loos are run down and no changing facility bear in mind) with odd chairs, a nautical type sort of bar, a rustic seating area (it's effectively one area) and a friendly layout but if you are coming down to this part of the world and aren't local (ie it is a day out) then look elsewhere - the Royal Oak at Staffhurst wood, the bull in Limpsfield, the red barn are all better alternatives. Or go even further and down to Penshurst - there are great pubs there.

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1  Thank LondonBlueJules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2016 via mobile

Our group was greeted by very friendly bar staff. The atmosphere was extremely friendly and relaxing. The food which our large group sampled was absolutely delicious, both main meal and the deserts. There was a wide range of ales, spirits and soft drinks available, I did not sample all of these but would have liked too Whilst here we were very pleased to have the good fortune to meet the couple who run the pub. The couple are great company and very friendly which adds to the great ambiance of the establishment. Cannot recommend this place enough . Well worth a visit A********

2  Thank gayleyoung71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2016 via mobile

We were in the area and found this place on TripAdvisor.
We arrived with the landlord asking if we had a reservation, when the place was pretty much half empty. We told her we were only staying for lunch.
We ordered at 2.30, but after a few mins we were told it would take a while, which was fine. We asked if they made the kids food first, but only one of the two kids meals arrived. However, we didn't realise a while means a 60 mins wait (otherwise we would have left and gone elsewhere for lunch). Not good when you have little kids (2 & 5) waiting for our lunch to arrive.
We noticed they were happy to serve the table behind us, who ordered after us. Were they the regulars?!?
Rest of the food arrived 1 hour later but kids had lost their appetite, as they preferred to sleep after waiting so long for the food.
Must admit food was good, but how can you enjoy it after waiting an hour for it?!? We ended up eating fast to leave and get out of the experience.
Overall, worse experience l have ever had so far.
In my opinion, it's not young family friendly and passing trade looks to be not welcome.
Good luck and hope you don't have the same experience as us.
We will not be coming back!

1  Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PaulNCKent, Owner at Royal Oak, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2016

David, I am sorry to learn that this was the "worse experience" you've "ever had so far" and that you decided to share your memory in the form of your first review on TripAdvisor.
I am surprised that your review is so different from the many other reviews we have received and so different from what the landlady recalls. Please do contact us to see what can be done to address things.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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