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“Super food ... and that's what matters!”

Castle Cottage Restaurant
Ranked #4 of 21 Restaurants in Harlech
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$45 - US$58
Cuisines: Seafood, British, Contemporary, Welsh
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: We have steadily built up a reputation for good food, both locally and with visitors to the area. We source and use as much local / Welsh produce as possible and strive to create a dining experience that combines top quality local food and service with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. We offer a 2 course or 3 course option as well as a 5 course tasting menu. We are the Mid Wales and overall winner for Wales of The True Taste Eating out Award for 2008/09.Visit Wales Gold Award 2011/12/13/14/15/16. National Restaurant Awards 2011 Top 100. Good Hotel Guide editor's choice award 2016. For 25 years we have had a continuous entry in the Good Food Guide. Cheshire Life Highly Commended Award 2016
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Super food ... and that's what matters!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2009

First class food served in agreeably ample portions and an unfussy, sensibly priced wine list make Castle Cottage excellent value for money. Service is measured and efficient rather than warm but that wouldn't put me off a return visit. In fact, the only thing that has really disappointed me is reading the management responses to the criticisms of other diners posted here. My advice to you is to rise above your detractors - your replies make you seem grudging and defensive and, in my opinion, might put off potential customers. And that would be a pity because yours is, by anyone's standards, a very good restaurant.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MaryBostock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, 4 August 2009
Mary - do I dare write a response!!, here goes, firstly thank you for your kind comments re our restaurant and we are glad you enjoyed the meal with us. I always post a reply to all our reviews on the restaurant and accommodation - good or bad.

Many,many years experience have taught me that you cant please all the people all the time(who's quote is that?), but we do try!

Chefs/restaurants/cooking programs on the telly are sexy at the moment, as Internet review sites/blogs are now the 'in thing'.

The critics are of course allowed to say their piece, but then must be prepared to be criticised as well!

( quite a few customers have actually praised me for my responses, so they can work both ways!)
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173 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    130
    32
    5
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Midlands UK
Level Contributor
197 reviews
124 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“This would cost double where I live.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2009

This was a special treat on the last night of our holiday. I wasn't sure what to expect from such a highly rated, top class restaurant. Everything was very good, tasty, well presented. In my opinion though there was not enough veg served with the meat. ( I try to get my five a day!!) But I understand that the look of the meals is sometimes best with a particular kind of presentation that is popular today.
My creme brulee was not the best I have ever had (slightly too thick and stiff for my liking) but it tasted good. The setting is great, with a good view from the lounge area. I would recommend this place.

    • Value
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank kathKmidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, OWNER at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, 28 July 2009
We are glad that you enjoyed your surprise dinner with us and you thought we were great value for money. Re the veg, each dish comes with an appropriate garnish of veg/potatoes or pasta etc, and on the bottom of the menu it states - main courses are complete - if you want extra veg etc please ask Jacqueline when ordering , no extra charge. So you could have had your 5 a day no problem. Looking forward to feeding you again
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
106 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Wonderful place to stay and eat in a less traveled part of Wales”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2009

We took a few days before my nephew's wedding in Shrewsbury to explore the Snowdonia area of Wales. We were lucky enough to get a reservation to stay and eat for three nights at this lovely little establishment nestled behind the Harlech castle in the little town of Harlech on the west coast. The layout and their approach to dining lent itself to easily meeting other diners. You start off in a cozy bar with casual furniture to savor tempting canapes while deciding on your dinner selections and perhaps sampling a glass of wine. We met different folks every night and the discussions continued after we were seated in the dining room.
The food was inventive and diverse with the menu changing somewhat on a daily basis based on what Glyn had in the kitchen. I steered towards the meat dishes and my spouse had the fish dishes. Both of us tried his various takes on risotto, a dish with many variations, that many people insist can only be done well one way which is nonsense. Everything was wonderful and you won't leave hungry or broke either even with a bottle of their reasonably priced wines. I only wondered how they can keep doing it night after night especially when a crowd of us keeps them up to 1 am in the bar when they have to get up early to prepare breakfast for inn guests which are equally as good. They also give you a break on the dinners for those who also stay at the inn. Keep up the good work !

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Helpful?
1 Thank redroverma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, OWNER at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, 26 June 2009
We are glad that you enjoyed Harlech and Castle Cottage and it is good to know that what we do is appreciated. Thank you for your kind comments on our food - especially the risotto!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, Wales
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Keep it simple [----].”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2009

Perhaps I expected too much; the Castle Cottage having won more awards than you could shake a stick at. My irritation was first pricked by the various warnings on the menu - 'Mobile phones are banned from the restaurant' (surely everyone knows what bad manners it is to answer a mobile at the dinner table) and 'A well cooked steak is an insult to the cow that provided it' (I prefer my steaks rare bordering on bleu but if I'm paying over £120 for dinner, surely the prerogative to insult the cow is mine).

From the mixture of canapês (olives, Quails scotch eggs and a vegetable samosa) to the Chicken Caesar salad (with Mango) to the Coffee Creme Brulee with raspberries and blackberries and brandeysnap basket and vanilla sauce there were just too many flavours going on: A bit of simplicity wouldn't have gone amiss. The service was OK though we were left without steak knives and poured our own wine all evening. Our fillet steaks were unevenly cooked; one side medium rare, the other very rare. The waitress's response was a near-Fawltyesque 'Well, you should have said'. Now mistakes do happen, but an acknowledgement of the error would have been nice.

The Castle Cottage is in a wonderful location and they did get a lot of things right, but the sour tone of the service, the over-complicated flavouring and an unevenly cooked steak (which would have offended even the most benevolent cow) left me dissatisfied.

    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank blodynhaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, 14 June 2009
Dear Dissatisfied,
Why were you irritated by a polite message (not a warning) on our restaurant info page - it actually says "no mobile phones in the dinning room - thank you" We also ask customers if they need a taxi after the dinner and we will order them one if they wish - what warnings!!!!.

Most of our customers have good manners, but not all as anyone who deals with the general public will testify to, so we politely ask not to use phone so not upsetting other guests.

We also list how a steak will be cooked to try and guide the customer, because with the variety of the human mind, what one person calls a rare steak another will say it is medium. You can have your steak cooked as you want it no matter what you were paying (dinner for two is £70 so over £50 was spent on alcohol!)
How can canapés (olives, scotch quail egg and veg samosa) be overcomplicated???.

The salad you had was a home smoked duck breast with crispy dry cured bacon, mango and croutons on mixed leaves - I have not put a Chicken Caesar salad on my menu for two months - one too many in the pub beforehand maybe?

As for the coffee brûlée (which is rich and flavoursome) we served some fresh berries to cut the richness of the cream, and then a dash of sauce/coulis to garnish the plate.

As for steak knives, you should not need them for fillet (I would sack my butcher!) - what quality of steak do you normally buy?. If you thought they were unevenly cooked I apologise, but the waitress was quite correct in her reply, you should have said you were not happy and we would have replaced them free of charge - we are in the business of pleasing our customers - even when they arrive irritated or grumpy. Its no good complaining after the event

I am sorry if you think our food is overcomplicated (steak and chips!!!!) and has too many flavours, but all our food is prepped fresh each day using local ingredients, and when I go out for dinner ,I want my food to taste - perhaps you are used to eating bland food, you should have said and we could have adapted each dish to your liking.

We have a relaxed atmosphere at Castle cottage and do not generally pour wine for guests during their dinner - however if the customer asks for this it would not be a problem ( I hate being told when I can drink my wine at my table and prefer not to have this poncyness inflicted on my guests)
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north wales
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Went last night, what a fabulous meal, can't fault it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2009

Superb meal, great service, would reccomend this restaurant to anyone with confidence.

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Helpful?
1 Thank dizzyNorthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, 25 May 2009
Thank you for your very positive comments about your dinner with us - we aim to please and its good to know we hit the spot
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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