GIven the fairly mixed bag of reviews for The Bull on this site, I thought I should add my own experiences into the mix. Having just returned from a weekend break there, I have to say that my first impressions (some of which are echoed in previous reviews) were absolutely blown away by charming and helpful attitude of the staff.
First of all, it is reather difficult to park - a small cvar park which is badly lit with no clear signs back into the hotel and no offer of help from reception. Then, our room (Chinese petite double - room 102) really was tiny. In their defence, this is stated pretty clearly on the website and was also made clear to me when I booked. Even so, I was disappointed by the size of the room and a rather uninspiriing bathroom.
A walk downstairs followed where my girlfirend and I had booked a table for supper. At 9pm it seemed we were rather late and nearly all the items we fancied had run out. We were then encouraged by the waitress to stay in the bar if we preferred and simply order a sleection of starters and nibbles, tapas style. So we stayed in front of the roaring log fire and enjoyed the informal surroundings. A trip into Bridport for a drink followed and after this deeply unimprssive experience we soon came running back to the friendliness of the Bull and enjoyed a nightcap in the wionderfull Veneer Bar - a really nice touch.
On Saturday when we came down for (a delicious) breakfast, the plkace was absolutely bustling. The makret outside was in full flow and plenty of locals were wondering in and out for coffee and there was a really nice, vibrant atmosphere.
We were then able to take the owners' dogs out for a walk and he kindly dropped us up at a point which gave us a circular route back to the hotel - a really nice touch.
Three hours later we were welcomed back with our muddy boots and muddy dogs and felt prefectly comfortable louging around in the bar reading papers, havinga drink and chatting with fellow residents and the staff. At this point, it reminded me very much of an upmarket ski chalet in atmosphere - unobtrusively communal and I got the impression that the staff really cared about whether we were having a good time.
Dinner in the restaurant follows that evening. Again, they'd run out of a lot of dishes but I guess that is indicative of the fresh l;ocal produce they use and probably suggests that booking an early table is advisable.
Overall, I was rather touched by the whole experience. The hotel is not a run-of-the-mill minimalist boutique hotel. there is something rather shabby about it and it is clealy as much a destination for locals as it is for out-of-towners which, in my book, is a positive thing. The service is not necessarily always slick, but it is genuine and teh staff clealy have a pasion for the place and create a very homely experience.
The food is excellent and very well priced and I should imagibne far exceeds anything else available in the town. The combination of both the bars makes it quite possible to spedn an entire evenning in the hotel without feeling too claustrophobic.
So my advice for any travellers would be......do yourself a favour and avoid any of the smaller rooms, get involved - engage with the staff and leave your airs and graces behind and you will DEFINITELY fall in love with this place.
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- Also Known As:
- Bull Hotel Bridport
- The Bull Hotel Bridport, Dorset