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“fantastic, friendly” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Bull Inn

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The Bull Inn
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Church Street Litcham, Litcham PE32 2NS, England   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Litcham B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Harrogate, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“fantastic, friendly”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We didn't see the poor reviews until we'd already booked, so were a little nervous! We arrived on Friday night on motorbikes and were given a warm and friendly welcome. Parking was in a private courtyard carpark in this small quiet village, so we felt the bikes were safe. The room was large, clean and spacious with all the usual; tea, coffee and a fantastic telly! We ate at the pub in the evening and had a lovely meal! (No dirt or flies included!) The owners and chef were very friendly and open about the business. We were asked when we'd like to have breakfast in the morning. Everything was set out beautifully ready for us in the morning and chef made it clear we could have anything we fancied. We stayed a further night and I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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55 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    32
    14
    4
    1
    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
York
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Booked a room here en route to East Norfolk on Laterooms as not much available at short notice. The pub is on a corner in the middle of a pleasant and quirky Norfolk village. We drove into the courtyard car park. There were a couple of punters in the courtyard drinking and smoking and we entered the bar to find another small group of customers just leaving. There wasn't a reception area of any sort and we had difficulty finding a member of staff to check in. It eventually turned out that the workman in the adjacent room on his mobile turned out to be one of the staff. The staff tried their best to be helpful and obliging but you just got the impression that they don't really have much of a clue about how to run a pub. We were shown to our room in an adjacent building off the courtyard. The room was OK if a little utalitarian. No frills but seemed clean although the towels had clearly been in circulation for a while. My wife said the room smelt of smoke but I think this was because the smoking area in the courtyard was under our window which we needed to have open as it was warm. As it was getting late, we asked if they were doing food. We were told they had a 'restricted menu' but it looked OK and was actually very good with big portions and ridiculously cheap - £5 for 2 courses (hence the 3 stars). The breakfast was OK. My wife described it as an 'Army breakfast' and we're pretty sure that one of the proprietors was ex-forces(not that that matters when running a pub). As it was warm, we asked to sit outside for breakfast and the staff were very obliging and brought everything outside for us. Well, everything except cereals which they missed altogether. The fruit juice was brought already in the glass. Also, they whipped away the last piece of toast before I got chance to eat it. My wife said that she wouldn't have stayed there another night so it was just as well that we'd only booked in for one. Apparently the people who own the Bull only took over a year ago and they have 2 other pubs but it strikes me that they still have a long way to go to make it into a decent village pub and place to stay. It needs a lot of money spending on it. They are clearly still decorating the rooms but those they have decorated are stark and basic rather than warm and homely. Also, the bar and interior of the pub was quite shabby. Customers kept coming to the main door of the pub and not being able to get in and nobody could seem to find the key. I'd give them 3 stars for the decent food and the fact that the staff tried hard but the whole running of the place was amateurish with not much idea of how to run a pub. We wouldn't stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Wrecsam. North Wales
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

What a disgrace this place is - dirty, badly run and utterly disgusting, both in terms of the filth on show and the behaviour of the Manager (who failed to manage anything at all). After arriving mid afternoon and looking forward to checking in, having a relaxing shower and a lovely home cooked meal (well, that was the plan) - diappointment all around. Our room, all booked in advance, was not available although it took over 90 mins to be told so by a stressed barmaid. Our booking confirmation was in order but the Landlord was 'unavailable' to come to talk to us although according to the locals he was in the village somewhere partaking of Bank Holiday Monday frivolity. I don't know if that is true but I do know he chose not to come to explain to us why our pre-booked room was not available and all rooms were booked up. The barmaid kept saying he'd be back in 10 minutes but he never did arrive.

It soon became clear that things were awry at this chaotic, shambolic establishment. The toilet was absolutely filthy. A look through the Dining Room door made clear that there were further depths to plummet. At 3.45 pm uncleared breakfast things were still on the table - dirty plates, milk, cereal, bits of toast, eggy cutlery ....I'm sure you get the picture.. I was thoroughly disgusted and it was at this stage that the very worried-looking barmaid started to make an attempt to clear this room.

It was now late in the afternoon on Bank Holiday, with no Manager on hand to organise alternaive accommodation. My companion asked for the use of a telephone directory, in order that we might begin to search at this late stage for a room for the night. We had no intention of staying a second longer in this establishment. However we were told that there was not a Telephone Directory available! Enough said.

This is not somewhere you would want to stay if you requre clean, reliable or friendly, unless you are interested in how not to run a business or how flirt with food safety regulations.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Lincolnshire
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

Arrived at 3pm to find our pre-booked room had been double-booked. Landlord refused to speak with us to explain even though we had the booking reference etc. Food left on plates since breakfast was still on the plates in the dining room with flies buzzing around. The toilet off the main bar was dirty and the sink was really grimy. We never got to see our room as the barmaid told us the people from last night hadn't left and so there was no room (after waiting for over an hour and a half). We'd arrived on bikes and had already cycled 50miles to get there - and then had to get back on the bikes and ride into King's Lynn to find accommodation late into the evening. This is no way to treat customers and the Landlord's lack of respect in refusing to come to speak to us was outrageous. An utter shambles compounded by disgraceful behaviour.

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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

We enjoyed a last minute midweek break in Norfolk and chose The Bull Inn for its location near Pensthorpe (Norfolk is a big county with not so many hotels outside the main towns). First Impressions were of a very old Inn in a nice village. Entry was through an archway into a large enclosed car park. The Bar Manager was very accommodating and friendly and was the most positive attribute of the Inn. The room we were given was across the courtyard, was spacious but tired in its appearance. It was a bit cold on arrival but warmed up with the convector heater. I think we may have been the only guests staying at the time. The TV was not working and was falling off the wall but was quickly replaced by the Bar Manager, who also brought over fresh milk for our cup of tea. The room and en suite were clean but not spotless. Linen and towels were fresh but time served. The room looked out over the pubs smoker’s area so you needed to close the curtains for privacy.
We were looking forward to sampling the local food but being a bank holiday the Inn’s restaurant was closed and so we had an adventure to find one that did. The pub was quiet on our return and we all got a good night’s sleep. Breakfast was a large plate of the traditional English and was well cooked. Presentation was basic with milk and cereals in plastic cartons but was in keeping with the rest of the Inn. Our second evening we went to the Chamley Arms to eat a very nice meal so didn’t get to sample the local menu.
The Village Post Office is just passed the church and sells papers etc at a pace I have not experienced for some time. A five minute walk at most from the Inn. Norfolk has changed much since I used to live in the area in the 60’s. Most surprising was the scarcity of the Norfolk accent, even in a full post office.
The charm of the Inn is its 15th Century history but this is also its curse. Any change it would seem requires much effort to gain official approval which is why the improvements discussed in earlier reviews remain as potential. Hence not all of the bedrooms are available for use and those that are, based upon our sample, still need some TLC. It is not clear that there is a plan to fully realise this potential at present.
In conclusion, good value but with room for improvement to make it excellent.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Horsham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

We turned up late on a Saturday afternoon with the intention of dropping our stuff off and dashing out to grab a sandwich, then going back to snuggle up in the room as we were both shattered following a day on the beach in Cromer.

When we arrived it was a pretty looking village and pub with decent private parking. When we walked into the pub it was a clean place, a bit bare looking but it was definitely a quaint old traditional coaching inn style locals pub. The barman showed us to our room and explained that they had only just taken over the pub that week and as such, in with the room rate we had paid for B&B, we both got a free three course meal! What an unexpected bargain!

Our double room was a decent size, a double bed, two bedside cabinets, a double wardrobe, dressing table, chair and a two seater sofa. There was also a small remote control portable TV, tea/coffee making facilities etc. The bathroom was a good size and clean although there was no power shower, just the old fashioned tap type over the large bath but it worked well enough and there was plenty of hot water and towels. The bedding was very clean and the bed was comfy. There was an adjustable wall mounted radiator in the room which I have to say was needed as the room and indeed whole accomodation wing was quite chilly upon arrival but the radiator removed the chill quite quickly and in the owners defence it was that time of the year where it was difficult to gauge which way the weather would go next.

Whilst everything was clean and modern you were left with the idea that the place needed smartening up and over the fantastic evening meal we had a chance to talk to the new owner and this was exactly what was intended. The pub was relatively bare which was not suprising once you realised the old owners had just moved out and the new one were just taking over and the free evening meal was a nice touch to maintain good will during this adjustment period. I think the thought put into keeping us happy by way of a free meal in acknowledgement of any shortcomings in the transition period bodes well for the new hard working owners who obviously aimed to provide a good all round service.

The three course meal was selected from a list of several options in each course and was presented in the dining room which it has to be said had no atmosphere due to the lack of adornments due to the recent change in ownership but you could see the potential in the place. There are huge open fire places, beams and big windows.

The food was exceptionally good and we really over ate! My partner had the roast dinner and I had a chicken breast in a lovely sauce. The meat was perfect and the vegetables (which didn't seem to have been microwaved) were lovely. Had I loved locally I wouldn't hesitate to go back there for food again and I'm a real foodaholic so thats a real compliment. For breakfast there was a range of cereals, tea/coffee and a cooked breakfast of our choice made to order. Again it was good food, freshly made without unnecessary delays and served in a cheerful manner.

This place lacked atmosphere but for a totally obvious reason, being the change in ownership and stripping of adornments in the transition period. I have given four out of five because the hosts were warm and welcoming, the food good and I have to say that we both feel we would like to go back in 6 months time to see if the owner has achieved his plans. They lost out on the one point only because decor certainly needed seeing to as they acknowledged but even then it was still an exceptionally good deal for the night.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

arrived late friday night for weekend stayed..lots of grumpy residents saturday morning was not sure if we stop but decided to make the most of it as breakfast room is disorganised but so relax first we could continental breakfast then afterwards was cooked.very large full english breakfast then off to pensthorpe for the day and no need to buy dinner as so full for breakfast came back in evening and had meal again so large stake £11 how could you fault at that price .
(friday night darren & july went out so TIP for staying check they son is not the cook before ordering)

Room Tip: ask who is cooking tonight
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bull Inn

Address: Church Street Litcham, Litcham PE32 2NS, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Litcham
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Litcham
Number of rooms: 10

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