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“Go here on a regular basis with family and sometimes work.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Ship inn

The Ship inn
5 Stonehaven | Near Stonehaven, Aberdeen AB39 3QS, Scotland
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Ranked #137 of 516 Restaurants in Aberdeen
Price range: $50 - $199
Cuisines: Gastropub, Brew Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Montrose, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Go here on a regular basis with family and sometimes work.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

I like the atmosphere here.
Just feels the right place to enjoy some food and drink with friends / family.
Needs a car or transport to get there, but worth it.
Nice restaurant / bar area.
Also some quiet parts if you want the "far from the madding crowd'

look forward to me next visit.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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156 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newtonhill, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Lairhillock Inn - June 2013”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

Been to eat hear many times over the years, a lot recently this year with friends. The cosy bar has real character all year round, but certainly worth a visit in the winter when the fire is burning. The normal restaurant (not the Crynoch) is where we usually eat, either in the indoor dining area which has the charm of the bar too, or the conservatory with lovely views outside. Price wise it is very reasonable given the quality of the food. I've not had any complaints from any of my friends or family when eating here. My favourite is the fillet steak which is one of the more pricier items on the menu, but never fails to disappoint. To be really picky, the location can be a pain if you want a drink, and service can be a little slow, but nothing to merit losing half a star. Top marks for me.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Nice and relaxing, freshly prepared.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013 via mobile

Nice and cosy, it's in the middle of nowhere but still worth the trip for a relaxing meal. Nice atmosphere when inside and the weather is howling outside!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
“Food - top marks. Service - a big fat 0”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

I join 10 ladies for dinner a few times a year, and Lairhillock was chosen for our meal in May. That was conditional on the Inn taking a booking for 7.30pm, as they do not take bookings after 7pm. I telephoned to request this, especially as there were 11 of us, and it was going to be on a Monday evening, and the lady I spoke to did reiterate that they never normally take bookings after 7pm in any circumstances, but she reluctantly agreed to take our booking. I really wonder how much business they lose at this very rural Aberdeenshire eatery, 14 miles from the city centre, because potential diners cannot pre-book?

It’s not rural for me, as I’m only a very short distance away, so I arrived first. The others quickly followed, until we were all seated at the conservatory table by 7.30pm. Some of us had been offered drinks as we arrived, and some weren’t and had to ask. Basically, we got no welcome at all – all 11 of us. As with the last time I dined here with my husband, you quickly get the feeling the staff believe they are doing you a favour by serving you.

The table only had place mats set on it, and for ‘table’ read tables as there were 5 joined together. That is alright if they are all the same height but there was considerable difference in a few of them, prompting everyone to be have to constantly be extremely careful where they set their glasses down. Once we had ordered our food cutlery was brought wrapped in paper napkins – buffet style - and the older lady waitress passed this and some glasses across the table instead of walking around the table to place them, and passed some to ladies to pass over the table to others too. Not really on.

6 of us chose starters and main courses, and the other 5 chose main courses and sweets, and we waited a long while to order the wine we’d selected from the Wine List, and jugs of water for the table. One of the issues with the Conservatory, is that you are left out there, and no waiting staff pass by, and it seems they forget to come back.

Shortly after we’d ordered, the owner/manager entered the Conservatory. There were the 11 of us at the huge lengthy table, and a group of four Americans or Canadians at another table and he walked straight to the blackboard to wipe off a dish which was finished, and neither looked left nor right, took us on, or acknowledged us at all in any way. He then left and never came back into the conservatory the entire evening. Very rude to not just say, “Good Evening ladies” to such a large party giving him custom on a quiet Monday evening.

Let’s look for the positives and get to the food – we all enjoyed everything we had. The food is certainly the saving grace here, and that is important of course, but what a pity the front of house owner and staff can’t see their contribution to the dining experience is as vital as the chef’s contribution.

There is a super choice on the menu, plus specials on the blackboard too, and each of us swithered about numerous options, as so many dishes sounded tempting. Everything was presented beautifully on the plates, whether it be the starters, the main courses or the desserts. Main course portions in particular are generous. All very good.

Back to poor service I’m afraid - the coffees began arriving before the 5 of us who were having dessert had got our sweets. The young male waiter seemed a bit put out to be asked to hold off on the beverages until we’d had desserts. When we had coffee he then brought 4 cups of the plain coffee literally between just a third and a half full, and when my friends asked for the cups to be filled up by the time he returned with the coffee jug with hot coffee in it the original coffee was cold. When one lady right at the end of the long table asked him if there was milk, he told her it was at the other end of the table and just walked away – no offer of a second jug for 11 of us, or offer to lift it and bring it along to her.

Sadly, we didn’t really feel we could linger either – seemed like they were quite keen to get shot of us. The Conservatory lights were only switched on just before we left, meaning we’d increasingly been sitting in the dark. Possibly the lights came on so what we were paying could be checked, as the waitress stood closely behind the chair of our ‘treasurer’, as she collected in all our individual money. Do 11 ladies between 49 and 66 look like they are going to do a runner?

Nobody once asked if we’d had a good meal, if everything was okay or anything of that nature. Our bill was over £330, but the unanimous decision was made to only leave £10 tip, as we all felt very strongly that we’d had an extremely lacking welcome and pitifully poor service.

I had thought the owner shouting across the room to my husband to ask what he wanted to eat, and us having to get up to find someone to serve us after waiting 15 minutes on our last visit in February might have been a one-off, but from talking to others, reading other reviews on poor customer service, and from our experience three nights ago, sadly it doesn’t seem so.

Food – top marks, service a big fat 0.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Excellent Food & Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

Over many year's I have taken many friend's and family from UK and overseas to my favourite restaurant. - Alway's receive excellent food, service, good value, scenery and ambiance for lunch or dinner. 4 different area's to eat conservatory, lounge, bar and restaurant.The lounge and bar with log fires burning, carved wood, brass and oldie world look and feel are my favourite's.
I have given Lair Hillock voucher's as a wedding gift in the past and the happy couple enjoyed it with their 4 children.
Down side one person usually drives, going without alcohol due to price of taxi's. Would be perfect if transport was provided.

Visited April 2013
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