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“Very disappointed”

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Exmoor White Horse Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Exford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 May 2013

The White Horse Inn is a lovely building in a nice setting. Upon arrival the receptionist was pleasant and the twin room was larger than expected. We arrived mid week so the bar area and restaurant were quiet.

The bar has a TV which I personally think spoils the ambience of an historic setting, also you did feel you were disturbing the staff's viewing when you got served. Other than that it was a nice place to sit.

However, my poor rating is based on the quality and price of the food in the restaurant, together with the response to my complaint. As a family we had tough steaks, raw vegetables, rubbery roast potatoes and badly reheated food. From our experience Peter W's review "Sunday Meals" was, unfortunately, spot on.

My sister was sick following her meal on our first evening, totally spoiling the plans we had to celebrate my father's 80th the next day. Obviously, nobody can be certain as to the cause of my sister's upset after her meal but I did think it was a bit harsh still charging us for breakfast we decided not to chance the following morning.

We were also charged full price for our meal the following evening which we were told was a carvery - but consisted of a piece of fatty lamb, reheated rubbery roast potatoes and a bowl of raw broccoli and brown discoloured carrots. The following is a short extract from a letter I received in response to my complaint.

"...we did not have carvery on that night. Chef had put Stuffed Roast Leg of Lamb on the Specials Menu ........it would appear that most of it had gone by the time you ate.....".

Having still been charged £17.50 for the meal - this is not the response you'd hope for, with no mention as to the brown carrots and rubbery potatoes - other than " everyone's expectations and tastes are different".

In summary - the reviews on this site appear a good indication of what to expect. Many people will have a very nice time at the White Horse, and be happy with the food. However,dependant upon when you go, the restaurant food can be awful - but you will always be charged handsomely for it and any complaint (as you will see from others) will be disputed by the proprietors - it seems on the basis that they have had so many good reviews any bad ones must be wrong!

All businesses have "blips" and the majority of visitors I am sure will have a great time at the White Horse, however, for those that do not, I think the proprietors should be less defensive in their response to complaints and look carefully at what has happened when there has been a bad meal - even a small gesture of a free coffee or dessert as compensation would at least show the complaint was acknowledged.

Sorry for the very lengthy review but hope it helps the White Horse and future visitors.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Wendy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterHendrie, Manager at Exmoor White Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2013

“Very disappointed” would also sum up exactly what we felt when we read this review, more so because nearly 6 weeks ago we spent a great deal of time and consideration in personally dealing with the complaint that this person had made after their stay with us. We went out of our way to look after them whilst they were staying with us and to look into all the points raised, both at that time and after their departure.

We do feel that anyone reading this review should be allowed to see the whole picture and so we will try to explain some of the comments that the reviewer made. When we were told that her sister was ill we did advise them to seek medical advice and we also checked on our other residents, none of whom had experienced any problems at the time and none have reported any since. This would also include other members of the reviewers family who enjoyed a longer holiday with us than she did and who raised no issues whatsoever on Check-Out. With regard to the “short extract” from the letter we sent to the reviewer, rest assured it was a lengthy in-depth letter that dealt with all the issues raised, and the short extract she has used has been taken out of context. We tried to explain that ”Carvery” as we promote it, is a full traditional “Sunday type roast”, and at no time did it say this on our restaurant menu, (which we must point out has a large selection to chose from). We only serve traditional Carvery on Wednesday and Sunday Evening and Sunday Lunchtime, none of which applied to the reviewers stay with us, and although Guests eating in the restaurant can chose a roast option on these evenings if they prefer, it is mainly aimed towards supplementing our Bar Food menu, which is very popular with both locals and visitors alike. Clarification of this was the point we were trying to make. If the quality of the food is as described then we are horrified, but if it was so, we cannot understand why we received no other complaints; if we had we would have acknowledged this and dealt with it accordingly. We do understand that errors arise, we are all only human after all. It would seem that the one error we made was not offering compensation, which it would appear was what was required, but this was neither mentioned or requested either during the stay or afterwards. Whilst we realise we live in a current day culture of compensation claims, we honestly did not believe that this was necessary, or expected, although the content of this review now makes it clear that it was.

Whatever the reviewer may feel, we are certainly not “defensive” about negative reviews as we really do treat all feedback very seriously especially when complaints are genuine, and as a company we go out of our way to put right any issues that arise, and you can rest assured that our staff are made aware and questioned about these as soon as they arise, (we have been running a in-house Guest Survey questionnaire for the last 20 years and use the comments written to continually help us to improve our service). We were also accused of “disputing” negative reviews which is very unfair as we do always look into them and answer them accordingly, hearing both sides of any story is always very important!. What does, in our opinion, seem very unfair to ourselves and we are sure other businesses feel the same, is the anonymity awarded to all reviewers. However, we must never forget that the majority of happy customers, of which we really do have many, do not always feel the need to put finger to keyboard!

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361 - 367 of 510 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2013

Wow, what a find this was. We had the most fantastic stay here whilst doing some filming down on Exmoor. It's an extremely friendly place with loads of character and the food and accommodation are fantastic. We also loved all Peter's amazing photographs on the walls. We would highly recommend this place stay especially if you are in to photography and fishing, like us, as they have resident experts!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank BenLangdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterHendrie, Manager at Exmoor White Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2013

We really look forward to welcoming you back to The Exmoor White Horse Inn where both ourselves, and the stunning area that we are lucky enough to be situated in, have so much to offer to both visitors and residents alike. Thank you for taking the time to leave your review and we hope to see you again in the near future.

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Reviewed 6 May 2013

Called in for lunch on Saturday over the bank holiday. I had the most amazing ploughmans, very tasty, can especially recommend the exmoor blue cheese and the chutney, delicious! My sister had a meat platter, big thick pieces of meat that tasted amazing, especially the pork, must be an excellent local supplier. The beer was delicious too, Exmoor gold. We even considered driving a long way out of our way to go back on Monday for more! We are already planning a return trip in the future. It was busy so we had to balance on a small table but the landlord was very friendly, kept checking we were ok. Had a great lunch, please go if you are in the area.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Louweas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterHendrie, Manager at Exmoor White Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2013

Many thanks for all your kind comments. Your review sums up what we are all about here at The Exmoor White Horse Inn, where we pride ourselves on offering excellent service, value for money and top quality food, topped off with a dose of our very own Exmoor hospitality. We look forward to welcoming you back soon

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Reviewed 21 April 2013

Our local Classic Car Club had taken part in the National Drive IT Day today. Our route was to take in The White Horse for lunch and onward then to the National Trust Knightshayes at Tiverton.
We arrived and several of the club members had a carvery meal. This well to be honest I think a Mc Donalds would have been better, One slice of beef and a small piece of venison about two inches square. Frozen French beens some sort of orange coloured stuff ment to be swede, Roast potatoes all burnt a decent chef would not have the nerve to put them out. NO peas,carrots or cabbage at all. Our Club members are much to polite to complain. However Im not.
If you have any intention of staying in this Hotel I would advise calling at a superstore to buy some extra food. Our members on arival at Knightshayes went to the resteraunt to top themselfs up.
To sum it up my wife and I and some members would never go back. Poor quanaty, very poor quality and very poor seliction of veg all frozen.
I guess some people would rather take the money of holiday makers to the region and not worry about repeat business being lost.
Such a shame

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterHendrie, Manager at Exmoor White Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2013

We were shocked and dismayed to read your review, and amazed that as someone who was so unhappy and not afraid of saying so in print, that you did not request to speak to a member of staff and raise your concerns. Readers of this review can rest assured that a McDonalds would not have been better, we have customers returning regularly at weekends for our traditional Sunday Carvery, many travelling great distances to do so. Your party visited us on what was a very busy Sunday lunchtime, as you could see for yourself, and we can only apologise if the Carvery selection available was somewhat depleted by the time you came to eat, there were however, other options available to you with a huge Bar Food Menu for customers to chose from also. We are certainly not the type of business that takes money off holidaymakers and doesn't worry about our local trade, local trade is a major priority for us and we are thankful that we have a great deal of repeat trade, both local and otherwise. Whilst we appreciate that we cannot please everyone all of the time, we do try to make sure that people leave our premises having experienced good quality service, hospitality and value for money, and you can be assured that the majority of comments we receive are that portions are too large, not too small! As previously stated, we only wish you had spoken to someone at the time as it would then have been possible to try and rectify the problem, something it is not possible to do once a customer has left.

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Reviewed 13 April 2013

Spent three nights here over Easter. We had a standard room which was on the small side but nicely decorated and clean. Exford is a great location, very quiet, in the middle of Exmoor, and easy to get to most Exmoor attractions.

The bar at the White Horse is very nice - pretty busy whilst we were there. Good selection of beers. Food was disappointing. I tried the curry (available on a Friday night) and carvery (available on a Sunday). My husband struggled as he is veggie and there wasn't much choice. We didn't eat in the proper restaurant.

We had a nice meal at the Crown pub/hotel nearby, which has a posh expensive restaurant and a more homely bar where you can eat too.

Breakfast at the White Horse was good. Buffet selection, plus the option of requesting extras like poached egg, haddock etc. The hot cross buns were a nice Easter touch, but a bit burnt!

All in all, we had a lovely break and would recommend the White Horse.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Becksy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterHendrie, Manager at Exmoor White Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2013

Thank you for leaving your review although we were saddened and surprised at some of the comments. We can only apologise for your disappointment with the food but rest assured, this is not the norm. We have a huge amount of repeat business, both for bar,restaurant and hotel customers. You commented yourself on how busy the bar area was and you can be assured that this is due to both service, atmosphere and reputation. We do take on board your comments about vegetarian options and this has been passed onto our Chefs to action.

We do also offer a 5 Course A La Carte Restaurant Menu for residents and outsiders alike, as well as our Bar Food selection and we would like to hope that we could welcome you back in the future so that you could experience The Exmoor White Horse Inn at its best!

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Reviewed 11 April 2013

We stayed for one night as we were walking in the area. We arrived well before the check in time and whilst we were unable to check in early the receptionist was very welcoming and gave us lots of information about walking in the area.

Our room (22) was lovely. A little on the small side if you want to stay for a longer than a couple of nights but was clean and beautiful.

Breakfast was good and the staff were excellent.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Waffley24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterHendrie, Manager at Exmoor White Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2013

Thank you so much, we appreciate all your comments. The age and layout of the hotel mean that all our rooms are different in size although all are decorated and furnished to the same high standard. We hope to welcome you back for a return visit

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Reviewed 8 April 2013

We arrived with a very nice welcome. Rooms were very comfortable. The service (Bar Restaurant and Reception was of a very high standard.
Would recommend this place to my friends and family.
Hope to go back again very soon.

Room Tip: Looking out the front of the hotel.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vivienne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PeterHendrie, Manager at Exmoor White Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2013

We look forward to seeing you again in the near future. Thank you for taking the time to leave your review

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Additional Information about Exmoor White Horse Inn

Address: Exford, Exmoor National Park TA24 7PY, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Exmoor National Park > Exford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Exford
Price Range: £108 - £139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Exmoor White Horse Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of Exmoor National Park, this family run, historic coaching Inn offers luxury accommodation, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and is just 10 miles from both Minehead and the West Somerset and North Devon Coast. Dating back to the 16th Century, the Exmoor White Horse Inn is wreathed in Virginia Creeper ivy and sits majestically by a bridge over the River Exe. Oozing with rustic charm, the Inn celebrates the wonders of its historic past whilst providing a contemporary and sophisticated accommodation experience. Classic period features blend seamlessly with sumptuous soft furnishings and chic interiors to form an idyllic welcoming atmosphere in this spectacular part of the country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Exmoor White Horse Hotel Exford
Exmoor White Horse Exford
Exmoor White Horse Inn Exmoor National Park/Exford

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