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“service and staff let this potentially lovely place down so badly!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms

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Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms
Ranked #4 of 14 Harlech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Wales
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“service and staff let this potentially lovely place down so badly!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2010

Having booked several weeks in advance for a party of 7 we were less than warmly greeted by 2 ladies upon our arrival. We were not told when making the booking about the set menu on this night and so when we politely asked if there was an alternative we were rudely told that they had always done it like that and it had been like that for 20 years! she then walked off! We were less than impressed with this attitude and out right rudeness so we calmly explained our thoughts and were told we should have asked about a set menu when booking! Having worked in the hospitality trade for many years I know this is not the way to deal with customers and cannot stand this type of service. We swiftly left the restaurant after being told to drink up in front of everyone in the bar. We found another delightful restaurant in Harlech and had a great evening. We thought this was the end but to our utter dismay and disbelief, following an anonymous person putting a review on this website that stated similar circumstances to ours a member of our party recieved an abusive phone call from the owner of the restuarant, using their mobile number which had been given only in relation to the booking. We are all quite upset about this incident.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank ingridwool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms, responded to this review, 23 April 2010
As with the previous write up from a member of your party (hardly anonymous as you must know them !). Why would you book a restaurant without first finding out (from friends, Internet, guide books etc) what sort of food they serve, what the prices are and what the dress code is???????.

If you indeed are in the hospitality industry you would understand our annoyance of 7 people leaving because they could not have one course - we are not a bistro or cafe, we cater for customers who want to come out for a three course dinner where the table is theirs for the night - not quick in and out diners.

Regarding the phone call i made to the person who made the booking, i was politely asking why you would book a restaurant you knew nothing about and the lady cut the mobile off - who is rude!!!

As being asked to drink up, my wife explained that we are not licenced to serve non diners/residents - its the law of the land!!.

We do not have a set menu just a set price (canapes in the bar, chefs appetiser, 8 starters, 8 main courses and 8 puddings) and again if we have been offering this for over twenty years what else would you expext my wife to say!

As for being upset i can assure you its more upsetting to be attacked on the internet rather than talking face to face to sort out any problems.
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166 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
wales
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2010

Our party of seven women on a first visit to Harlech had made a reservation with this restaurant several weeks in advance, which was then confirmed the previous week. On our arrival, on time, we were met with a blank look , strange as we thought they would be expecting us. We were directed to the bar area where we bought drinks then were given the menu's. On noticing it was a Set Menu only we asked if there was an a la carte menu & told no, only the set menu. We told the owner that we weren't aware of this when we booked, to be told " Well its been like this for 20 years, you should have asked when you booked" !!! Her tone was very rude, with no attempt to offer any flexibility. It was our first visit to Harlech & so how could we expect to know abouth Menu ? ? One would expect to be informed on booking that it was a Set Menu only - it's not something you expect to have to ask on making a booking.
We were then told to finish our drinks as soon as possible & leave , which we were happy to do! Terrible attitude of thw owner, would not recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank cherokeewales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms, responded to this review, 22 April 2010
Dear cherokeewales,
it makes a change for my wife to be called incredibly rude and not myself - the chef owner.(they don't let me out the kitchen anymore as i can be very direct with silly people)

You indeed made a booking many weeks in advance by telephone, (and again to reconfirm - if you only wanted the one course and it was so important to you, why did you not ask??) Did you get our number from friends, a website, booking agency? or did you randomly dial any number and end up with ours!!

if you did look on the Internet (you must use it because of this letter) you would have known that we only do a three course dinner menu and have done so for 21 years.( there is a sample menu on our website, any many others, as well as a menu at our front entrance) - or do you just book a restaurant without finding out the price, style or type of food?

Its like going to a burger bar and trying to order fillet steak or going to the Ritz for a bacon buttie!!!

As to giving you a blank look, that could have been from the 'dresses' you were wearing - looking like you were out for a hen night!

You were given canapes - not charged for and were asked to drink up as we are not licensed to serve you unless you are dining with us or a resident of Castle Cottage.

Saturday nights are the busiest night for any restaurant, and as usual we had turned away many tables who would have come out for a three course dinner, so its no surprise my wife was very miffed. I presume you don't run your own business otherwise you would have some understanding of real life

Our 'set menu' consists of canpes in the bar, a chefs appetiser, a choice of 8 starters, 8 main courses and 8 puddings and the menu changes every couple of days - enough choice for anybody
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North Wales
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2009

I'd booked the room as we were going to see a concert at the castle and were unaware of the reputation of the restaurant. The staff were very obliging and we manage to fit a meal in before the concert. The food was really good - definitely one of the best hotel meals I've ever eaten. The room was spacious and very comfortable. we will definitely return although this time just for the food and the hotel!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NorthWalesFlossie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms, responded to this review, 22 November 2009
Dear Flossie, we are very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. We aim to please , especially with our food and service and it is good to be appreciated. looking forward to seeing you again
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Buxtontravellers
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2009

I am moved to write this review because somebody managed to find Castle Cottage 'disappointing' (with poor 'merangue' sic).

We return to Castle Cottage over and over, trying to go at least twice a year. Everything about the restaurant, the rooms, the food and the service is outstanding and without fault.

We started going before the tasteful and sympathetic restoration and will continue to visit just as long as Glyn is at the cooker and Jacqueline is front of house.We spent my 40th and my husband's 50th there and just look for special occasions as an excuse to go. I always attempt to order the Welsh Rarebit as a pudding, but have only managed to find room for it once.

The only downside of this hotel (and only a joke one) is that it puts paid to the more physical side of a 'romantic break' as you will always be too full or too obsessed with your next meal to thing of anything 'energetic'...

A wonderful place in a beautiful area of the world, worth every penny and worth revisiting time and time again. We recommend it to everyone we meet.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Buxtontravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms, responded to this review, 22 November 2009
Hi Buxtontravellers!. Thank you for your endorsement of Castle Cottage and your patronage over the years. We strive to please everyone if we can, sorry if we cant help on the romance side though!!!!
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Hampshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2009

We dined at Castle Cottage restuarant with an expectation of good service and exceptional food. The welcome was less than warm - when stating we had a booking the host just looked at us - we had to prompt and ask if they would like us to take a seat in the lounge area. The starter of scallops was a little overwhelmed by the amount of salty bacon that accompanied the dish. The main course was tasty and well presented but alas my merangue was so hard I could not get my spoon into it - I asked for a different dessert and opted for 'Glyn's homemade ice cream" again very hard and more ice than cream. I only ate a small amount of ice cream and on collection of my plate no enquiry was made as to why I had only eaten a small amount of my second dessert. All in all it was a very dissapointing experience - average food and unattentative service , needless to say we won't be returning.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Soapy1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms, responded to this review, 14 October 2009
Dear Disappointed Soapy
Sorry you felt that you were not welcomed at Castle Cottage on that night but all our bookings decided to turn up at the wrong times - the 7 o'clocks turn up late and 7.30's and 8 o'clocks turned up early, so we had a mad 10 minutes trying to take orders, serve drinks, serve canapes, hang coats up , take people through to the dining room and welcome couples arriving. I know you are probably not interested in the day to day running of a restaurant, but sometimes things happen and we have to try and cope with them.

As for the starter of pan-seared scallops, dry cured crispy bacon, avocado & pine nuts, the bacon is fairly salty so it is a foil to the sweetness of the scallops and the creaminess of the avocado. Perhaps you are not used to the traditional/old fashioned way of the cured bacon we use. This is the first complaint in the 15 years we have used this bacon from our supplier on the Llyn peninsular!!
We are glad you enjoyed the main courses !!

I apologise if you thought the meringue was too hard, must have been left in the oven for half an hour too long, as for the ice cream not being creamy enough all our homemade ice creams have different textures due to the sugar/ cream content in relationship to the main ingredient - some become softer faster out of the freezer than others.

Sorry to hear that you wont be returning
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Chester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2009

We have just returned from a one night's stay at Castle cottage . The internet does not do it justice, Our room was like a mini apartment , lovely furnishings and fantastic views of the surrounding countryside and castle. The little touches made the difference. The restaurant, well the food was outstanding, everything was cooked to perfection, My only regret was that i was to full to enjoy the crumble i had my eye on for dessert .Our compliments to the chef . We shall be returning , the welcome was very friendly , the room fantastic and the food priceless.
Thankyou both once again , See you soon
David and Lesley x

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PricefamilyChester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, Owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms, responded to this review, 4 September 2009
Well what can I say! - thank you very much for your glowing review. We do try very hard to please our guests and its good to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. looking forward to seeing you both again
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Wales
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2009

This is a review of the restaurant only as we weren't staying at this establishment. We went for a family meal and found overall the food was excellent and the wine menu was good, and very reasonable. Our main concern was that in spending so much money on a special occasion (5 star restaurant), we were left feeling that we were not really welcomed. The overall impression was that we were a bit of an inconvenience, there was no smile with the service (either from the owner "greeting" us, or the waitress) and any small requests we made were obliged, but not in a 5-star way! Only one veggie choice on a menu at this type of restaurant is poor - veggie/cheese pastry plait. Boring. Overall, good food, nice decor etc, but service is lacking - it costs nothing to make people feel welcome and to smile! 5 Star service should be the aim. Would recommend for food, but not service at this moment in time.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Flintmog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owainHarlech, OWNER at Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms, responded to this review, 28 July 2009
We are glad that you thought the food was excellent and the wines good at fair prices. Sorry you thought the welcome was not as enthusiastic as you had expected for the price, but being that you turned up late (no apology) and the party was less than the numbered you had booked for, might have had some bearing on that!

As for 'only one veggie main course' (we are not a vegetarian restaurant!!), that is very much the norm - even Gordon effing Ramsey does not list a veggie main course on his a la cart menu at his restaurant in Chelsea (although he does do a veggie tasting menu @ £130 per head!!)

If you thought that the vegetarian strudel was boring you could have asked for an alternative, we always are able to offer something different, as 35 years experience in the kitchen have taught me that vegetarians can be the most boring/fussy eaters around, so we can offer another dish.

Vegetarians choices are bound to be limited as they remove two major food groups (fish and meat) and then we get veggies who don't like/cant eat - avocados, mushrooms, 'red food', onions, cheese etc etc.

And then there are the veggies ( having pre-wared us when booking, so i often ask what would they like to please them), that seeing duck/chicken or fish on the menu, decide to order that instead!!!

We are in a service industry and it is our job to serve and it makes sense to keep our customers happy, but don't come to us expecting a huge array of vegetarian food, because its not what we do, we have local lamb, beef, poultry, pork, fish, shellfish and a veggie option on offer - what more could you want??

Concerning 5 star service, we don't go in for the fawning and preening style of folding napkins on laps etc and smarmy smiling. the quality of our food is 5 star
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Additional Information about Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms

Property: Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms
Address: Cottage Restaurant with Rooms Y Llech, Snowdonia National Park, Harlech LL46 2YL, Wales
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Snowdonia National Park > Harlech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Harlech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Room 7 'Harlech' large executive room can be used as a family room - leather sofa-bed. En-suite has large bathtub and a separate large deluge shower. Free WiFi broadband throughout the building. We have won the True Taste award for eating out in Wales 2008/09 - Mid wales and overall winners. Fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere using local and Welsh produce. Visit Wales Gold Award 20/12/13/14 National Restaurant Awards Top 100 in UK 2011.We now no longer allow children under the age of 12 years old in the restaurant, we can do a child's dinner in the lounge at 5.30/6Pm for residents. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Castle Cottage Restaurant With Rooms Harlech, Snowdonia National Park

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