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“Could do better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Marlborough Head Inn, Dedham

Marlborough Head Inn, Dedham
Mill Lane | Dedham, Essex, CO7 6DH, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6DH, England
+44 1206 323250
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Ranked #8 of 10 Restaurants in Dedham
Price range: $12 - $17
Cuisines: British, English
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Tucked away in glorious Constable Country, in the village of Dedham, this 16th century Inn was once a clearing house for local wool merchants. Today it is as perfect for a pint, newspaper,sofa,two roaring log fires, as it is for locally sourced extremely good home cooked food. There is a terrace and walled garden to enjoy in the warmer weather. Stocking Cask marque local real ales, good wines and open all day, every day, for good food and drink.
Gerrards Cross
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Could do better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

As a pub with rooms it was ok. The food was plain, well presented and reasonabley priced. We had the Constable room wich was adequately heated but the bathroom was not heated at all, which in March is unfortuneate. We did not try the shower as it had no curtain or screen and also it was too chilly to try. THese defects together with the fact that they do not serve breakfast makes £90 per night very expensive. This is a pity as the Saturday night music was great.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jen059, Owner at Marlborough Head Inn, Dedham, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Dear Jo and Robin,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review our Inn on Trip Advisor. We really do appreciate the time guests take out of their day to express their experiences with us on such a public forum.

However, your title ‘Could do better’ surprised us all as we pride ourselves on our good hospitality.
We are a village Inn, the definition of which is ‘a pub with rooms’, but we think we’re a bit special as we provide a very warm and friendly welcome to all.

We believe our food is more than ‘plain’. How is a starter of Goats Cheese Salad and a main of Broccoli and Cream Cheese Bake or Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Curry plain? I think they are quite interesting and exciting dishes. I can’t remember what you had to eat but maybe you think a homemade Steak & Ale pie to be ‘plain’. We class it as popular and it tastes delicious. We’re happy to hear you thought it well presented and reasonable, as we do have an extremely good Chef.

I think it a little unfair to class us as ‘very expensive’ now when you chose to book the Constable Suite at that price. It is our best and most expensive room and very large room with a Four Poster Bed, two large comfortable arm chairs, a coffee table, a 32” flat screen TV and ensuite bathroom. This is Dedham, and compared with nearby accommodation you will find we are less expensive and the only cheaper room in Dedham would be at the Holiday Inn Express. But we believe people are happy to pay a little extra for something a bit different and a warm and friendly atmosphere. Please appreciate it is actually £75 + VAT totalling £90. All our bed linen is laundered professionally externally at a price, towels also have to be washed and also all the sundries provided i.e. tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, sugar, biscuits, 2 bottles of mineral water and all the toiletries in the bathroom, are all part of the service. Friday and Saturday nights are premium and cost more than the rest of the week.

It is a Room Only price as we found not everybody wanted breakfast and it was fairer to charge a room price and let the guest decide if they wanted a breakfast or not as an add on. It is also your choice whether to have a full English or just toast and coffee and thus the price reflects this, as surely its fairer to only pay for what you want? We have an arrangement with the adjacent Essex Rose Tea Rooms to provide our guests with breakfast, which you partook of both mornings of your stay and i note that you have in fact reviewed it yourself on Trip Advisor as being ‘excellent breakfast’!

We’re glad you thought the room was ‘adequately heated’. I do remember housekeeping commenting on Saturday morning, after they had been up to clean the room, make the bed and replenish all the accessories, that the room was like an oven!
We are actually looking into heat in the bathroom but in an old 16th century listed building its not always easy and you have to be so careful with electrics in a bathroom. We’ve always found that as its ensuite people leave the door open and the room heat heats the bathroom also?
We don’t have a shower curtain because the shower is a bath add on, more for washing and rinsing your hair in the bath, rather than a stand-up shower. We tend to look at these more as ‘quirks’ than ‘defects’.

We’re very happy to hear you enjoyed the Live Music on Saturday evening. We have a different artiste every week and it proves very popular with locals and guests alike. What better on a Saturday Night than a nice meal followed by good entertainment.
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87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    25
    28
    15
    9
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Friendly staff & lovely food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We arrived for a dinner party and the staff made us feel very welcome, there is a lovely open fire to sit by while you wait for your meal, we were not dissappointed with the food...it was delicious, we could not fault our visit at all, thank you to all the staff, we hope to visit again sometime

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Jen059, Owner at Marlborough Head Inn, Dedham, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind words and we are all looking forward to your next visit
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Just a traditional village pub”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

We were visiting the area, and just dropped in for an evening meal. The welcome was excellent, and the surroundings were what you'd expect from an old village pub: plain scrubbed wooden tables, comfortable captain's chairs, and wooden beams everywhere! It's certainly the authentic historic pub.
The food was straightforward plain cooking, and the portion size was perhaps a bit too generous. We both had the specials from the blackboard, and we felt the prices were entirely reasonable.
Our server was friendly and helpful, but interestingly another couple we know visited the place for drinks on another night and reported a rather distant and offhand reception. Perhaps management needs to ensure that everyone (especially strangers to the village) gets the experience we got. Just a smile can make all the difference.
Overall, I'd recommend it.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Excellent Pub Grub!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Me and partner had a lovely meal at the weekend. I ordered the cod and chips which was a very generous portion and delicious as usual. My partner enjoyed the traditional Suffolk burger, also in my eyes a very generous portion (although he managed it all). The staff were friendly and very helpful.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suffolk
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Getting better all the time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

This was our third visit and the standard has gone up again - we meet in Dedham for a family reunion as it's a convenient location, and this time there were eight of us. After initial drinks by the fire (lovely) we were seated in the rear dining room (didn't know this existed until now, we've been in the bar area before!) it is a very nice room overlooking the main street, with some superb carvings on the fireplace etc. Decor a little tired maybe but pleasant overall. We all ordered hearty meals - pies, roasts etc and everyone seemed happy with their choice. Puddings were a must and didn't disappoint. The staff were friendly and helpful, the prices very reasonable and we shall certainly be going back for our next meet-up

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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