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“Super Special!”

The House of Darrach
Ranked #1 of 1 Restaurants in Gartocharn
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Scottish
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Visited last weekend for the first time having been recommended to by friends. My wife and I were greeted by a lovely woman, and despite it being busy, were seated right away. She also told us of the special they had on - a barbecue pulled pork burger! Well that was me sold straight away! Our order was promptly taken by a pleasant young waiter who was a great help with my wife who is gluten free - she opted for a baked potato with prawns. The food arrived quickly and was nicely presented, with my burger on a large wooden board. If it looked nice, it tasted even better. We polished off the mains, but were just too full to sample the multitude of cakes on offer.

Overall - a very pleasant experience. Great food, great staff. We'll be back, and we'll leave space for the cakes next time!!

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3  Thank fra00003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryan L, Manager at The House of Darrach, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear fra00003,

Thank you for your review and we are delighted you had such an enjoyable visit. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Kind regards and best wishes

Ryan Logan
Customer Relations Manager
Cawley Hotels & Restaurants

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (288)
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199 - 203 of 288 reviews

Reviewed 30 April 2014

We have visited here two to three times a year since it opened . It's never been an " ultimate destination " , more a pit-stop en route to elsewhere , generally Balloch / Loch Lomond Shores . I have never been minded to leave a review before as I've always considered the fare on offer to be unremarkable and expensive, but sufficiently acceptable to warrant a visit every 6 months or so.
I have always been of the view that parsimony prevailed here, a classic example being the Coke / Diet Coke con . I recall last year ordering a Diet Coke and being presented with a mixer bottle of 200ml .........and being charged £2.00 ( or maybe it was £2.25 ? ) for the privilege ! It didn't slake my thirst , but I did not order a second, which is what I suspect Management would have been hoping for.Anyway , at our most recent visit I was pleased to note that ( presumably in response to customer complaints ) the Coke con was no more - a 330ml bottle is now for sale , albeit at a chunky £2.95 - better value for money than before mind you.
However , I digress . From my knowledge of the catering industry when margins are being squeezed ( which is my perception here given the relative paucity of vehicles in the Car Park when I pass by, compared to the first couple of years of business ) what establishments do is either hike prices ( House of Darrach's are at the top end for the product , so nowhere to go there ) or compromise on either or both of food quality and quantity . I have read a number of recent reviews and customer feedback is critical of BOTH quality and quantity . I note with interest that a valiant defence has been made by a Cawley Hotels employee in a series of replies , but I always say that one cannot defend the indefensible - four critical reviews out of the last eight is hardly commensurate with, ..... the vast majority of customers being overwhelmingly satisfied ".
At a recent visit , I was served a dish which I'd had a few times in the past .It was obvious to me that the amount of filling provided had been significantly reduced and I so remarked to my wife , indicating that I intended complaining .My wife , who is the type who prefers not to " make a scene " , asked me not to do so .I duly consumed the shrunken morsel put before me but , when our server removed our plates and asked if everything had been alright , I could not supress my ire and indicated that I had been far from happy about the obvious reduction in portion size as compared to previous visits . The server indicated that my comments would be passed on. One can only properly assess an establishment's attitude to Customer Service when things go wrong .I rarely complain in restaurants but when I do, my experience has invariably been the item complained about is deducted from the bill or complimentary coffees or drinks are offered . What was the House of Darrach's response ? Presentation of the bill with no deductions and absolutely no whiff of a goodwill offering of coffees or drinks. This indicates to me indifference and disdain in relation to Customers' concerns .Tells me all I need to know . There is choice aplenty out there guys - won't be back and nor , judging by the voids in your Car Park, will plenty of others.

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2  Thank Jeb S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryan L, Manager at The House of Darrach, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2014

Dear Jeb S,

While we welcome your feedback we do take issues with several of your assertions. Cawley Hotels are an established and very successful independent family run business that have been operating for well over thirty years. I can assure you that we would have been unable to have lasted so long in such a tough, competitive environment if we displayed 'indifference and disdain in relation to customer concerns'.

You ordered a meal, which you ate in its entirety mentioning nothing about portion size during the meal then, only when you finished and had your completely empty plate cleared, do you decide to mention that the portion was to small and expect freebies and complimentary goods, etc. I am sorry but I think it is you who is being unreasonable and displaying disdain toward both our staff and our restaurant.

If there is an issue with the meal then let us know and allow us the opportunity to rectify it, give us that chance. Don't say nothing, wait until you have eaten every bit of the meal and then suddenly expect us to deduct things off the bill and accuse us of treating customers with indifference and disdain when we do not. That is completely unfair. You had eaten every last bit of the meal you were served and mentioned nothing about portion size when doing this...why then would you expect not to pay for this meal? Had you raised this issue during your meal then we would have done everything we could have to have rectified the matter to your satisfaction, whether that be providing you with a bigger portion, a different meal, etc. whatever you would have liked.

Unfortunately the grotesque compensation culture that exists today grossly distorts people's perceptions, expectations and views on customer service. Let me assure you Jeb S, pandering to unreasonable, unfair, inappropriate and unsubstantiated complaints that are made in retrospect of service and that have no merit or substance does not represent good customer service and does nothing to ensure improvements in standards of service and quality.

We do not always get it right and on those occasions we will apologise and do whatever we can to rectify the situation. All we ask is that the customer gives us that opportunity.

We serve over 1800 people per week at The House of Darrach and I can assure you that the overwhelming majority are in indeed very satisfied which is why they keep coming back. With review websites such as this you are always going to get criticism and negative feedback and while we take these comments on board we are happy that the majority of reviews are very positive.

Unfortunately some people are just very quick to criticise and reluctant to offer praise, take you for example Jeb S, five reviews, four of which are very negative and critical.

C'est la vie!!!

Regards

Ryan Logan
Customer Relations Manager
Cawley Hotels & Restaurants

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014

A friend suggested that this be an ideal day trip location, and cited it as being in the vein of House of Bruar. Having formerly been The Hungry Monk, we couldn't believe the difference to the buildings and decor. Everything bright, shiny and clearly aimed at a specific market. We were seated at a table by a woman who was quite brusque, not at all welcoming, with no smile, and a snooty air. The menu prices were undoubtedly in the league of Loch Lomond tourist charge, and having ordered a young chap brought us cutlery along with two bottles of salad dressing. Hurrah, score one as I strongly dislike pre-dressed salad, especially those as merely an accompaniment. So when my baked potato with chilli beef arrived with a pre-dressed side salad, I was disappointed to say the least. The potato itself was dry as was the chilli beef. I'm disappointed to say the highlight of our visit was when the animated soft toy dog and puppies made my friend jump. I'm sure that when we're older and greyer we'll appreciate a dependable by-the-book establishment, but for now I will prefer to live a little more dangerously.

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1  Thank Lesley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryan L, Manager at The House of Darrach, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2014

Dear albatinchick,

Thank you for your review and we will certainly take your comments on board. Apologises if the meal was not to your taste, a simple word with a member of staff would have rectified this for you. Despite your assertions I can assure you that we cater for all ages and personalities, thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies included.... :)

Kind regards and best wishes

Ryan Logan
Customer Relations Manager
Cawley Hotels & Restaurants

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

I have been to and written a review about how good the House of Darrach is before. I was back there on Saturday for lunch to celebrate the birth of my new baby and was blown away at how good everything was. I couldn't believe it looked better in the shop than before but it did. My wife bought a new bag and we took some salad dressing home with us. In the coffe shop we had a new caramel tart and an earl grey tea each it was to die for. I was telling the manager behind the bar how good it was and he told me about a new menu starting. We can't wait to come back for it!!!

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2  Thank BertieandZac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryan L, Manager at The House of Darrach, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2014

Dear BertieandZac,

Thanks for your review and the kind comments. The staff work very hard to ensure that the high standards we have set are consistently maintained and I am delighted that you have been able to appreciate this. We look forward to your return.

Kind regards and best wishes

Ryan Logan
Customer Relations Manager
Cawley Hotels & Restaurants

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014 via mobile

We always look forward to popping in here for lunch. However, last time we visited we were so disappointed. The soup was a meagre portion and prawn sandwiches were very small. Not like they used to be!! I was charged £2.00 for hot water as they had no decaf tea. Not worth the money!

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Thank weemaisiemae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryan L, Manager at The House of Darrach, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2014

Dear weemaisiemae,

Thank you for your review and my sincere apologises that you felt the standards were not just as high as they normally are. A quick word with a member of staff would have quickly rectified any issues. It is disappointing that, as a regular customer who always looked forward to visiting The House of Darrach, you have jumped to such conclusions based on one visit and have never before left a positive review, however we greatly value all feedback and will certainly take your comments on board. I have no doubt that when you return you will receive the high standards that you have come to expect.

Kind regards and best wishes.

Ryan Logan
Customer Relations Manager
Cawley Hotels & Restaurants

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

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