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“Still a disappointment” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Bull and Boat

Bull and Boat
1-7 2ulwell Road, Swanage BH19 1LH, England
01929 422222
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Ranked #47 of 64 Restaurants in Swanage
Price range: $12 - $42
Cuisines: Bar, Café, Bistro
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Description: Welcome to the Bull and Boat on North Beach Swanage. We aim to please everyone whether you're looking for a light lunch, bistro dinner or tapas in our cafe lounge but all relaxed dining; we offer a fully stocked bar with local real ales or lagers on draft, extensive wine list and a selection of hot beverages including our own blend coffee! so you're welcome to join us just for drinks if you wish.Our Team of chefs source fresh local meats, vegetables and even fish straight from Swanage Bay! We welcome children and offer a full children's menu and baby changing facilities.We have plenty of outside seating including a beach deck for lunchtime dining with fabulous views of Swanage Bay, pier and town. Coming by boat? we offer 8 courtesy moorings opposite the Bull And Boat for drinks or diningOur Bistro is one of Swanage's top restaurants and by night a more intimate dining experience; we have regularly changing black board specials to accompany our a la carte menu and a generous vegetarian selection: you can eat from the same menus in our cafe lounge for a more casual feel. We Have sofas, tub chairs and coffee tables should you wish to join us for a social drink and enjoy the eclectic decor of marine artifacts and all things Bull!
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Still a disappointment”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

Being a beautifully sunny weekend one would have hoped to have organised some staff- slow service, rude staff who wouldn't even try to catch your eye to give you an apology for the wait. A general feeling that making coffees and then bringing them outside was beneath them and too much trouble.
Superb location but really poor service. Still.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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420 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
West Sussex
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great location but oh so slow...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

It started off badly. We'd made a reservation but on arrival there was such a queue for the bar that we stood for ages by the booking desk unnoticed. Once we ordered our drinks they sat uncollected on the bar for 10-15 minutes until we managed to catch a passing waitress. With food ordered we had plenty of time to chat to the other customers who were waiting for their food. Ours came in about 45 minutes. The shame is that the food was great and the location is of course stunning. It may have been that the venue was caught out by the lovely March weather but the reviews on here suggest that service is often an issue. Plenty of higher scoring venues in Swanage. Suggest you vote with your feet

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
243 helpful votes 243 helpful votes
“WOW!!!.....Absolutely EXCELLENT in all respects.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

The wonderful location with its supurb views over Swanage Bay speaks for itself so I will make no comment on this aspect.

Plenty of scenic outdoor seating for those balmy summer days (we hope they will arrive!) but we had an excellent lunch on the last day of February and wisely chose to eat indoors. On entering we were warmly greeted and seated at a lovely table adjacent to the window. The interior is well decorated, clean, and comfortable. The staff are friendly, helpful, and efficient. Our waitress (Emma) was an absolute gem - nothing was too much trouble.

The food was outstanding.....not quite the Michelin** fine-dining (but neither are the prices which are very reasonable) but just perfectly cooked and presented good honest tasty nosh. The chef(s) here are in the top league! My Wife chose the 'soup of the moment' (it was sweet potato & ginger) as a starter followed haddock and chips which was served with peas and tartre sauce, she really enjoyed it. She is a very fussy eater and if she says that something is good, I can assure you that it is VERY GOOD! I had the pate to start (made on the premises, served in a mini kilner type jar, and one of the best pates I have ever tasted) followed by mussels and chips. Moule et Frites is one of my favourite dishes, in fact sometimes I get the ferry over to France just for lunch to enjoy this dish, my usual restaurant there knows that I am a couchon (pig) and serves me a whole kilo+!!.....obviously the portion at THE BULL AND BOAT is not of this size but I was suprised and delighted that the flavour was as good as any I have enjoyed anywhere in France (and I have sampled quite a few locations).

There is a good choice of drinks, hot/cold, alcoholic/non-alcoholic, all at VERY REASONABLE PRICES. I wanted a red wine to enjoy with my mussels and I asked for a bottle of the house red and to my suprise I was offered a choice of two (a bottle of house red is usually responded with the supply of a red wine, sometimes of dubious quality - where else do you get a choice?) I chose a Merlot which was first class (at the £12.75 charged it was a bargain).

Sorry that I have rambled on for so long (you must be bored by now) so I will conclude by advising all the members of the TripAdvisor community (and those of you who a looking at the site for the first time) that if you visit YOU WILL ENJOY!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Hampshire, England
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Well presented Restaurant”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

Well, I fell in love with the Bull and Boat last year when I went in for a drinkl Last night we decided to treat ourselves for our 24th Wedding Anniversary - sadly the food was distinctly average and the waitresses, although they tried hard were no the best... A large part of our food choices were 'off the menu' - be prepared.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Godalming Surrey
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Beach Cafe”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

Visited the revised Bull & Boat as a cafe this time and whilst we have eaten here under its previous guises for Breakfast, lunnch, tea and Dinner we popped in for tea and cake this time so the review is based on that rather than the restaurant.
Understand the same owners but have changed the name and style, but fail to understand why. The place was a real mish mash of furnishings so you really didnt know if you were in an American Diner, English Pub, Beach Cafe, Fast Food restaurant or what!!
Not impressed, sticky tables, spilt wine / food on the wall & radiator next to the table, over heated, dry cake nice view and friendly waitress

  • Visited February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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