Checked in at 2 pm on Friday afternoon - after a 4 hour drive was looking forward to relaxing in the bar for a late lunch but told that the pub closes until 5.30, but "other pubs in the area are open all day". Not the greatest beginning to a stay of 2 nights which included, staying in the Cider Mill, (a converted building in the grounds) large room and nice big bathroom, but only has patio doors so you can't have fresh air during the night without compromising safety. Its a dark room anyway (vaulted ceiling)so artifical light is needed, even during July, but 2 light bulbs were blown (1 living area, 1 bathroom) The super king bed (two 3' mattresses strapped together) weren't a tight fit and meant there was a dip in the middle. The nice fleecy blanket on the bed was heavily stained, though this was changed when mentioned. (should you have to mention a stained blanket in 4* accommodation?) The room led out to a garden area, but the cushions provided on the garden furniture were damp and had earwigs crawling around them and a wooden bench in the garden was full of seed from a nearby tree. You couldn't use any of the furniture without cleaning it all down, and when on holiday, I don't expect to do that. The bathroom was very nice, with a whirlpool bath and separate shower, and even a bidet!, lots of storage in the bathroom too (though a bulb had blown in the pelmet lighting). However, going into the bathroom after a couple of hours when the door had been closed, a really strong smell of damp or drains possibly? hit you. When we made the booking we had requested bed and dinner (not breakfast, which was charged as extra on the tariff) and on our second and final night (Saturday) we pitched up in the bar (sooooo 1980's decor - copper, brass, random, crooked pictures on the walls, net curtains! in a pub! what's that all about??) just after 8 and wanted a couple of drinks before dinner, and asked if we could eat about 9 o'clock. The waitress/barmaid/daughter told us that the kitchen was closing after the last order, probably at 8.30. Now, this is a Saturday, in the height of summer. We had pre-booked dinner when we made our reservation so they knew we would be eating with them (though not to the exact minute that we wanted to start eating) and it seemed somewhat unreasonable to us not to be able to eat at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. We couldn't know that the kitchen was closing early. Mrs. Bant/chef/co-owner then came to introduce herself to us (had ignored us up to then) to tell us that she had instructed her daughter not to accept orders after 8.30 as she wanted to finish early that night. Apparently Mrs. B. didn't like our attitude to her daughter, which we found rather rich considering we only requested that we eat at 9 on a Saturday night to give us a little time to have a pre-dinner drink. This lady is quite intimidating and unfriendly. I can't imagine how the other reviewer's have found her friendly? I am a very friendly person myself but this lady seemed hostile and angry, but not sure why??? We are there spending our money in her establishment. The menu is actually quite unimaganative and the food was very average and the portions were not that generous. A foursome of 30 somethings also staying over, asked for a piece of tin foil to demonstrate a little trick that the guy in the party wished to share. Mrs. B. started talking about drug usage! - the same group asked the waitress if there was any music for the restaurant, which, by the way, was almost completely empty both nights, as was the bar and car park, (seems that locals don't frequent Bants) to be told that the music was playing, but very quietly. The guy in the group said that it might as well not be on as it couldn't be heard (we agreed completely) to which the waitress replied "so I'll turn it off then". On check out (10 a.m. soooo early!!!! on a leisure break) I was ready to relay these issues to the owners, had them all written down as a matter of fact, and ready and happy to speak face to face with the owners. I was simply waiting for an opening with what I consider the usual and perfunctionary "did you enjoy your stay?" but the question wasn't asked. Money was taken and not even a 'good morning' from Mrs. B.
The cider room is very dark
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
It must be the price that attracted you and not the fact that we are still a small 16th Century Traditional family run inn, we advertise neither air conditioning or being open 24 hours a day.
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if you remember you did actually make an incorrect booking for one night on Wednesday 20th
when you actually wanted Friday and Saturday 29/30 this i corrected for you in a friedly manner and informed you that you had not booked breakfast, ou said you did not do breakfast. Upon arrival my husband spoke to you and asked if you would like to take any drinks to your suite with you as we were now closed you said that you wanted something to eat so he told you about other establishments close by that would be serving all day.I do apologise about the light bulbs these have now been replaced thank you. When houskeeping knocked on your door Saturday morning to see if you required anything i wish you had mentioned the light bulbs and stained blanked then it would have been rectified straight away.
You never mentioned anything at all untill after i approached your partner about being rude to staff/daughter both Friday and Saturday evenings, this was also when i mentioned that it was under my instruction that last orders for food was 8.30pm and as you had ordered duck it would be ready at the time you wanted to eat 9pm, i also made sure that all other guests had gone through to eat before i spoke to you both, the tin foil remarks were made before this, i would never have embaressed you in front of others, it was only at this time that you mentioned the stain on the fleecy blanket , i said that whilst you were dining it would be changed, you said that it did not matter i said that it did. Both myself and my husband went to investigate we changed the stained blanket and also the sheets from Friday evening,we were actually taken back ourselves with the amout of empty beer cans and wine bottles that were in your room and would have to suggest that the smell was actually empty beer cans from the present night and the night before as you declined to let us empty bins etc. So glad that you liked the room and bathroom the whirlpool bath certainly came in handy for the cans of stella you had chilling, was this the reason for your hasty depature through the fire exit doors.
you had a 2 course dinner with us on friday evening if you found the food unimaginative and the portions small you should have cancelled your reservation for saturday evening as you were not on any pre paid meal deals.
for health and safety reasons all 6ft beds are made up of 3ft matresses which zip together this is because weekly turning of them is needed, we then attach a bed together used by most proffesionals.
we do advertise that we are situated in the open countryside so yes we do have the odd few insects and are also subject to small seed heads in the atmosphere when farmers are combine harvesting... which was taking place just over the road that particular weekend.
had you not retired to your room so early both evenings you would have been able to join in with the laughter about the tin foil with the other guests and locals who arrived later due to harvesting
and who stayed socializing until midnight, all other locals were attending the hunt ball approx 250
of them, we only offer back ground music so we do not destroy the atmosphere after all we are not a rowdy town pub.
Our check out time IS 10.30 am you must have chosen to check out early, customers are always asked if everything was ok for them and i actually came to the bar to take your deposit from the bill if you had been that desperate to have spoken to me face to face or relayed anyrthing you had written down you could have done so then.
As i said earlier you never mentioned anything during your stay until i approached you about the rudeness of your partner.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.