6 October 2013
This was our second visit to the Hotel Hougue de Pommier and, once again, found the accommodation clean and comfortable, the staff polite and friendly and, overall, our stay was adequate.
However, I must draw your attention to a few issues.
1. On our previous visit, albeit about ten years ago, we were impressed by the quality of the bar menu, so on our first evening went to the bar and ordered our meals. I chose the braised lamb casserole from the Tennerfest menu and it was awful. The meat was not tender, it seemed old and over-cooked. The liquid it came in was best described as a thick, glutinous over-salty brown muck. It looked and tasted like a combination of large spoonfuls of Bisto gravy mix, coupled with Oxo and Bovril. The bar was empty and no-one came to ask if we were enjoying our meal. I mentioned all this to the guy on the reception desk afterwards.
2. Breakfast was okay but on one occasion we had to wait for the tomatoes and sausages to be refreshed. This took some time and the waiter said it would take a couple of minutes. It took longer and our plates of bacon and eggs were cooling. I gave up.
3. For our last evening we decided to have dinner in the restaurant, knowing also that the ‘Tennerfest’ was in full swing. We had planned to go a la carte but, even so, the waiter did not offer us the ‘Tennerfest’ menu, with which we had become familiar, but instead gave us a limited menu for that day. We had hoped for a full a la carte menu with a greater degree of choice, we were after all in a hotel with, according to your web page “ An enviable reputation for fine cuisine……”
4. I ordered Tempura King Prawns. The chef should know that Tempura batter is nothing like the ‘chip shop’ batter that the prawns were coated in. The same batter, it seems that my unnecessary and ‘un-ordered’ onion rings were coated in that came with my ‘steak’.
5. My ‘steak’. I ordered sirloin steak, medium-rare. I don’t know from which part of the beast my meat came, but it was not sirloin in either shape or texture. It was more like a ‘flattened’ piece of rump, or worse, a piece of frying steak. It had no substance, the grain of the meat was wrong, and it was luke warm and not tasty. It was served with two enormous battered onion rings, chips and a large upturned field mushroom and half a tomato. Not good enough, and for the price, outrageous.
6. Your web page states of your Farmhouse Restaurant, “The anticipation of delicious fine food, the scent of aromatic herbs, fresh vegetables, home baked breads and of course our delicious local seafood. Savour seasonal menus of award winning excellence created by our Head and Channel islands Chef of the Year and his talented team of International chefs.* Indulge yourself in the variety of cuisine created using the finest produce much of which is personally selected in the markets of Guernsey.” * Absolute nonsense.
7. To the wine. The Tennerfest menu offered house wine at £11. The a la carte menu priced house wine at £14:50. Same wine. So I asked for an eleven pound bottle and, after fumbling excuses from the waiter, decided not to have any wine at all. I mentioned all of this to the guy on the desk and he muttered something about the £11 price being a means of ‘attracting’ diners to the Tennerfest menu. Well this diner was put off by this obvious ‘con’ on people like us who were paying a lot more from the a la carte.
In conclusion, my wife and I felt that a fine old hotel had lost its way and that its guests would just have to put up with a ‘like it or not’ standard of food. We were extremely disappointed with the lack of choice and quality from what had previously considered an excellent restaurant. We believe the Tennerfest initiative took your eye off the ball and that that became your priority, not that of the guests willing to pay more.
We will return to Guernsey but not to the Hotel Hougue du Pommier.
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- Also Known As:
- Hougue Du Pommier Hotel
- Hougue Du Pommier Castel
- Hotel Hougue Du Pommier Guernsey/Castel