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“Almost there......”

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Castle Cottage Restaurant with Rooms
Ranked #5 of 15 Harlech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Northamptonshire
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Almost there......”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2010

What a lot Castle Cottage has going for it, with a terrific situation and spacious, immaculate and well-equipped rooms/suites (with lots of storage space - hurrah!). The dinners are - especially at the reduced rate for residents - very good value indeed. The menu is varied in response to what is available from day to day and is cooked with obvious care and precision in generous portions, though we rather share a previous reviewer's observation that the attempted humour over how one likes one's steak cooked is perhaps not to everyone's taste. The wine list is not long, but is full of interest and variety as well as being very reasonably priced. Breakfasts are delicious too.

So, why only 'almost'? Three things, none of them fundamental. First, and this is obviously no fault of the Management's at all, free parking is limited. However, there is a car-park at the Castle, just a minute away, which is currently only £4 for 24 hours. Secondly, at this level it might be nice to think about having something a notch or two above sachets of Nescafe on the room trays. Thirdly, you might want to pause for a moment before ordering packed lunches. We were given (for two): 1 round of smoked salmon sandwich, 1 round of cheese and tomato sandwich, 2 packets of (Walkers) crisps, 2 apples, 1 banana, and 2 small bottles of water. We thought that £16 was going it a bit for that, and the presentation in a plastic Tesco carrier bag made us feel that, unfortunately, rather less thought had gone into it than has clearly been lavished to good effect on other parts of the business.

However, these are relative details. It is clear from this site and from the Visitors' Book (some of whose entries verge on the hilariously hysterical), that many people happily return again and again. If you're hesitating, then, we would recommend that you go and make up your own mind. You'll have a predominantly high quality experience in a glorious part of the country, with endless things to do whether your tastes run to the beach, birds, mountains, mines, steam trains, golf, sailing...... North Wales has it all except for the climate, and even that makes one appreciate the good days all the more!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sixfields
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 May 2010
Dear Sixfields, Thank you for your very positive comments re our rooms, food wines etc

As for the parking in Harlech - small medieval town on the coast of north west wales, it is limited due to its position on a craggy rock overlooking the beautiful Cardigan Bay.
When Edward the first designed the castle they clearly forgot to leave space for a large car park!! - my sense of humour again!!. We have our own three spaces, plus our front entrance is on an unrestricted road where you can park free of charge or use the towns car park (the charges are due to the council not us unfortunately - I would have free parking if ran the town!!)

As for the packed lunch, i must start with an apology - i forgot to put in the cake/choc bar. As for the pricing per person £3.50 for sandwich (anything you like), £1.50 for the bottled water, £1 for the crisps ( I like Walkers!), £1 for the fruit and £1 for the cake - making a total of £8 per person. Take the VAT away and we are not making a fortune on that!!!.

As for the Tesco bag, its part of our policy to recycle and be green to save the planet, plus its easier to scrunch up in your pocket (or throw away?!) than if we provided a plastic box.

If you can make it back to one of the best areas of the UK i will owe you a drink for the missed choc bar
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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
North Wales, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2010

Just had a dinner at castle cottage and cant believe some of the recent reviews re the service. we found the welcome and service spot on, not too fussy, but polite and efficient. as for the food my main course of rack of lamb was one of the best i have ever had ( we went to glyns butcher the next day so we could take some home with us for a dinner party). The dinner price is well worth it with a fantastic choice of dishes - nothing to complain of there. All in all a great night out
________________________________________

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KK7GIRL
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, 30 April 2010
Thank you KK& girl for your kind review. Really glad you enjoyed your dinner with us, the lamb we use is reared locally and we are proud to use local/Welsh produce on our menu. Looking forwrd to serving you again soon
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2010

We do not usually read reports on the internet, but friends who normally dine with us ,(who wernt there this particualr evening), alerted us to the recent reviews about castle cottage knowing that we had just eaten there.

We were also there on the night that the party of seven came in for dinner and reported that jacqueline the owner was incredibly rude. This was not the impression that we had, overhearing the conversation in the bar.

They were complaining about the menu not being a la carte - but i suspect they did not want to spend the money that they charge and were using it as an excuse to leave!

Jacqueline was busy doing our drinks and taking orders and the ladies were giving her a hard time, and we thought she dealt with them proffessionally and thought nothing more about it.

We are not very regular customers of castle cottage, but felt we should write in their defence, as we have enjoyed ourselves each time we have been, with wonderful food, good servie and a great atmosphere.

P.S. I agree with the chef about booking a meal without researching the restaurant and its menu in advance - just common sense!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GraceyGilmore
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 April 2010
Thank you Gracie for your kind write up. We are glad you enjoyed your dinner with us, its good to hear from proper customers who like going out to enjoy themselves.

Hope to serve and feed you again in the near future
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Stevenage, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2010

My friend and I have just returned from a wonderful, last minute, weeks holiday at Castle Cottage due to the volcanic ash cloud preventing us from flying to Spain. I had previously been recommended here by friends but had never actually got around to visiting Harlech.
On phoning Mr & Mrs Roberts, Jacqueline & Glyn we were able to make a reservation. On our arrival we were greeted by Jacqueline, a very friendly, courteous lady ,shown to our superb room and offered coffee and biscuits. We were later introduced to Glyn & Ryan the young chef who works with them.
Finally, I would recommend Castle Cottage to all my friends & we will certainly vist again, I couldn't fault our stay there. Anyone reading this that has never been to Harlech must make that visit soon .
Congratulations to you both on all your hard work, I wish you every success.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Madmo1
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, 24 April 2010
Thank you Mo & Tish for your kind comments, glad we could help when the volcanic ash scuppered your flight to Spain - and what fantastic weather you had here for your week in Wales

We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to serving you again soon.
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Wales
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
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
    • 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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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
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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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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 #5 of 15 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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