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“Good food and a decent wine list, but staff are hit and miss”

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The Bildeston Crown
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bildeston
Certificate of Excellence
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Good food and a decent wine list, but staff are hit and miss”
Reviewed 15 December 2013

We dined as a foursome over three courses. We didn't book, and as the restaurant was full we were accommodated in the lounge. That wasn't really a problem, as the bar was quiet and we were opposite the open fire.

The food was good, especially the hare i the jug starter, and the accompanying wine list is excellent if a little pricey for a distant Suffolk village.

Book if you have the chance, and if unsure on the menu choice then the mushroom risotto is excellent.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gjkingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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299 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2013

Delicious pre-Christmas meal with my colleagues, each course looked like a work of art. Excellent service, but it wasn't very busy, a beautifully decorated hotel, felt spoilt and pampered and the 3 hours we were there passed very quickly. A selection of different shaped bread rolls and butter before the meal, lovely light warm bread. I had a beetroot and goats cheese starter, red and orange beetroot and creamy goats cheese wrapped in herbs. The main course was pumpkin tortelloni (tortelini?) with truffles and a parmasan crisp. It was wonderful and looked so beautiful followed by a selection of cheese and lovely crispy biscuits, and then a small, warm mince pie with crisp and crumbly pasty. We just went for a meal so I can't comment on the rooms, but when I win the lottery I'd like to return to stay there.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Not-so-young-woman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suffolk, England
Level Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2013

We went for dinner and a night's stay expecting great things, especially following a very nice lunch earlier in the week. And although we had a perfectly decent meal,sleep and breakfast, none of it had the "wow" factor we were expecting. The evening menus are pretty impenetrable, comprising of a few words per dish, leaving you to guess what might arrive. For example: "pork, snails, parsley root, artichoke" or "butternut squash, barley, truffle". Also we were given three different menus and told we could pick anything from any of them, which proved a rather bewildering experience, especially given the lack of actual information about each dish. And the food just wasn't tasty enough. If you're doing small, beautifully-presented portions, then you'd better make absolutely sure that each mouthful makes you think "wow". And it didn't. No complaints about the service, but then we were there on a Wednesday night and there were only two other tables occupied.

The room we stayed in (number 1) was very nice, away from the road, so quiet...that is until the heating started to gurgle noisily at 4 in the morning. Not great. Breakfast was lovely, although it was a bit of a surprise to have small cereal packets on our table - not really in keeping with the surroundings.
It's a beautiful restaurant/hotel in a heavenly part of the world, but I just think it needs to up its game to be really good.

Room Tip: Room 1 has a four poster bed and is at the back of the hotel. But the plumbing is noisy!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank louisvuitton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ufford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2013

after 4 days of no power at the end of october 2013 we felt we deserved a break. welcome was great and friendly, i was offered to have my bags taken up and tea served. room & bathroom was fantastic and we did take one at the front on the road but we were lulled by the traffic - i am a light sleeper but the wine helped.
loved the bar, comfy seats, roaring log fire and lovely snacks with our drinks.
food was great; there were only maybe 8 couples in the restaurant - which still had a good atmosphere - and the cheese fondant was brilliant!
breakfast i must admit i was fascinated to see how they would present an english breakfast (nouveau cuisine style) but it was good, in looks and taste, my partner even raved about the non floppy toast.
so i guess it can be high quality but judging by the other reviews it is better when it is not busy?

Room Tip: the rooms are very individual and you must insist on the one you booked there is light and traffic...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank leanng2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Framlingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013

This was my first visit to the Crown and we too, were there on November 16th. What a shambles!
I would suggest that the Manageress organise her waiting staff to be in charge of certain tables instead of all running around in turmoil. It would also have helped if they had explained that they were over booked and we would have to wait instead of being totally ignored. At least those who found room to sit in the main bar were given olives with their drinks. We had to sit in a smaller bar and were ignored.When we finally were served it was delicious and beautifully presented. Our room was lovely and to be fair to the staff, they did knock some wine off our bill by way of compensation. I think they need to address the staffing problems or take less bookings as the whole place deserves better.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

We have eaten at The Crown several times over the past year or so and held a post wedding reception there in May of this year; and have always been very happy. We were however disappointed with the service on Saturday 16th. The restaurant was very busy but main issues were - not enough menus, slow service (waited 25 minutes for main course plates to be cleared). Waiting staff were many and varied and seemed on the whole inexperienced - this may have contributed to the problem. Lady in charge seemed to avoid eye contact with us. Several diners were not happy and to their credit, we were given extra petit fours as some compensation for the wait. I write this as constructive criticism and in the hope my comments may be helpful. The food was very good, if not better than usual. We hope to visit again soon when we are in the area.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Liz879
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
86 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

We spent two nights at the Bildeston Crown and although we enjoyed our stay, there were aspects which we felt let the place down. Upon checking in we were told we had been upgraded from the room we had specifically requested to accommodate a couple with two small children. However, when we checked the tariff for the new room, we discovered it was the same price! We complained and were offered a discount which was a welcome gesture as we felt it showed good customer service and made up for the disappointment of not being in the room we wanted.
However, our new room was above Ingrams, the restaurant, and we were very aware of the noise coming from downstairs. While this did quieten down as the place closed up on Saturday night, we were disturbed later in the night by furniture being moved, and then again, early on Sunday morning. I realise the staff need to prep the room for the lunch service, but if you are a light sleeper, you might be better off in one of the rooms not above a public area as we overheard other comments about the noise coming up from downstairs. I appreciate it is an old inn, but it doesn't appear anything has been done to try and improve the sound-proofing. The wi-fi was also down for our entire stay which wasn't great.
Breakfast was good (and plentiful) and the meal we ate on Sunday evening was also of a high standard and very good value. The staff were very friendly but a little haphazard and the whole operation lacked the professionalism you'd expect from somewhere charges such prices. We would definitely go back for the food but I'm not sure we would choose to stay there again.

Room Tip: The road is relatively busy at the front of the hotel and many of the rooms are over the bar and res...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amuia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Bildeston Crown

Property: The Bildeston Crown
Address: 104 High Street, Bildeston, Babergh District IP7 7EB, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Babergh District > Bildeston
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bildeston
Hotel Class:3 star — The Bildeston Crown 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bildeston Crown is a 15th century, former coaching inn set in the Suffolk village of Bildeston, one of the historic “wool towns” and just six miles from Lavenham. Known for its stylish yet relaxed accommodation, the inn has 12 en suite doubles, a 120 seater restaurant, private meeting room, bar area with open fire and a courtyard and terrace for al fresco dining . Food is an integral part of The Bildeston Crown experience and Chef Chris Lee, who owns the business with his wife Hayley, has an excellent reputation for his signature, innovative style. Quality produce, sourced primarily locally, is used when in season and diners can choose from a range of menus: Classics which features regular favourites, Select which changes with the seasons and also perhaps the ultimate dining experience – Chris Lee’s Tasting Menu. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Bildeston Crown Hotel Bildeston
Bildeston Crown Ipswich
The Bildeston Crown Suffolk

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