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Mary S
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Disappointing cold chaotic Christmas meal

Review of Rhydspence Inn
1.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 16 Dec 2023
I was in the same party as David. I got a huge hunk of tepid, almost cold lamb and a tiny number of vegetables arrived half an hour later which we were told to share with the table. There weren’t enough veg in the dish for just one person. The service was chaotic. The starter was good though. This is my only Christmas dinner out this year and I was very disappointed. I know the owners are new but this was a terrible meal for a high price.
Date of stay: December 2023
Room Tip: The bar meals looked good
Trip type: Travelled with friends
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Craig Howlett, Owner at Rhydspence Inn, responded to this review
Responded 18 Dec 2023
Good afternoon Marys,

I’m sorry you left your evening feeling dissatisfied and disappointed, we never want our customers to leave feeling this way.

The dish you ordered was a Lamb Shank with Savoy Cabbage & Polenta, this is a dish with less vegetables than the Roast Turkey which I explained to you that evening. We brought out extra vegetables and roast potatoes for you which took 5 - 10 minutes as they were cooked fresh, we apologise for this wait time. These were brought out on your request and not part of your meal so were not meant for the whole table of 22.

We are slightly confused as to why the service was chaotic, Craig was your host that evening and was very attentive but I’m sorry you did not feel this was enough.

The price for the 3 course meal at £30 is the cheapest in the area with other establishments charging up to £60 for the same. We aim to be an accessible place for excellent food that is all cooked fresh with nothing bought in pre-prepared. I’m sorry this wasn’t good value for money in your opinion but we cannot be any cheaper for the standards we aim for.

We would love for you to give us another chance and if you have any issues then please speak to us as we would like to rectify these issues straight away rather than you leaving feeling disappointed.

Kind regards,
The Rhydspence Inn

This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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    18 - 23 of 257 reviews
    Reviewed 15 December 2023 via mobile

    A Club Christmas Dinner, food cold &!distinct lack of vegetables. Took nearly 3 hours for a 3 course meal for about 20 people.

    We all had to pay a deposit but my wife had had an accident 3 days previous and is in Hospital. Under these circumstances I asked for a deposit refund which was declined as they have already purchased the food. This was plainly not true as one of our number who had not ordered a starter asked for one and was told that there weren’t any, if my wife’s food had been ordered then there should have been one available. I do not believe that they would have ordered a smaller turkey had my wife not booked and do not believe that they will have much difficulty at this time of year to sell turkey. I believe their behaviour lacked integrity and will never go there again,

    Room tip: Avoid at all costs, go to the nearby Boat Inn instead.
    Date of stay: December 2023
    Trip type: Travelled with friends
    1  Thank DavidCM1179
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Craig Howlett, Owner at Rhydspence Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2023

    Good afternoon David,

    I’m sorry that your experience with us wasn’t up to the standard that we want our customers to have. We never want anyone to leave feeling cheated or frustrated with what should have been a merry and relaxing experience.

    We do take deposits from parties larger than 12 as to ensure we are making a profit at the end of all the hard work us and our team put into these events. We are a new business and need to ensure that we can continue to carry on doing events like these. We have had instances where 5 people haven’t shown up to a party of 14 and we lose out at the end of the day, like you have mentioned we order the food in advance. I understand your frustration with thinking we had a spare starter ready to go but it was not plated and not prepared and our chefs were already underway cooking for the other 30 people we had in that night. We wouldn’t make up your wife’s starter just to throw in the bin, if told in advance of course we could have accommodated this.

    In regards to wait times, your party arrived at 7pm and sat down at the table for 7:30pm, all the puddings were served by 9:15pm, so unfortunately the 3 hour wait time is a little exaggerated and 2 hours is an industry standard of wait time for a party of 20 plus.

    The dish you ordered with a ‘distinct lack of vegetables’ was Lamb Shank with Savoy Cabbage & Polenta so it was a dish was less vegetables than the Roast Turkey. Sorry there was some confusion on that but I hope when we brought out extra vegetables free of charge at your tables request, that sorted the problem.

    Again we don’t ever want anyone leaving us feeling this way, please accept our apologies and hope you can give us a second chance in the future, especially after your host and your party told us how wonderful their evening was and how delicious the food was.

    Kind regards,
    The Rhydspence Inn

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    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 6 December 2023

    We had heard good things about the Rhydspence since the new owners took over so we thought we’d go there for dinner. We were very impressed: the Inn is as lovely as ever and we had a warm welcome from the staff and owners. The food itself was excellent, not a big menu but very appealing, with good sized portions and very tasty. It’s certainly a big step-up from standard pub grub. The whole experience was very enjoyable and we will definitely be returning.

    Date of stay: December 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank 692sueq
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 11 November 2023

    Staying at The Rhydspence Inn was a truly magical experience. Built into the heart of Whitney-on-Wye, the new ownership have made a tremendous effort with turning this Inn into a new, exciting venture for it's local community. The two new Owners, Freddy and Craig, along with a crack staff have whipped this place into fantastic shape in the last 2 months and with a sumptuous, ever-changing menu, we hope that they have a fantastic Christmas and an amazing New Year! We will absolutely be coming back, hoping to see this place within all it's glory in the Spring and Summer.

    Room tip: Book early for Sunday lunch- the menu is top quality at a very reasonable price.
    Date of stay: October 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank Samuel C
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 22 October 2023

    The Rhydspence will always hold a special place in our hearts, it is one of the reasons we moved to the area 6.5yrs ago! First visit since the new owners took over and we are so impressed. Lovely welcome, new Czech lager Pardál on draught (and only 3.8%), fab Sunday roasts all round (beef especially was cooked beautifully, probably the best I've ever tasted as part of a roast dinner). A special mention also for the chutney that came with the cheese board - so delicious. They were also very accommodating of our dog, she's a rescue and can be a little jumpy around other dogs. We will definitely be back soon.

    Date of stay: October 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled with family
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank thousandsofrobins
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 22 October 2023 via mobile

    I can highly recommend the Rhydspence Inn. The new owners are very welcoming and it is a lovely place for food or just for drinks. My Guinea fowl roast was one of the best roast dinners I’ve ever eaten. Horace the resident poodle is an absolute star too. We will definitely be going back!

    Date of stay: October 2023
    Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    Thank Effras
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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