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“Good food, good surroundings, nice atmosphere and service.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Hostel

The Hostel
Clayton Lane | Hooton Pagnell, Doncaster, England
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Ranked #25 of 387 Restaurants in Doncaster
Cuisines: English
Description: I asked a friend of mine if he could recommend somewhere to eat for me and my 2 friends to go for a birthday celebration as we were running out of ideas for somewhere different to go, he suggested The Hostel. Booking is advisable as very small and cosy and does get busy as its reputation for its good home cooked food is spreading. I had peppered mushrooms and warm bread for starters, my friends had crab and tarragon cake also tomato and goats cheese tart. For mains pork loin and course mustard mash with root vegetables, sea bass with a dill cream sauce and mash, and my vegetarian friend had beetroot risotto. Portions were not skimpy and we were all too full for sweets. The staff were friendly and helpful and the atmosphere was very relaxed, thoroughly enjoyed it and will be going again as it has a lovely garden out the back for summer evenings. Well worth a visit.
Restaurant details
Description: I asked a friend of mine if he could recommend somewhere to eat for me and my 2 friends to go for a birthday celebration as we were running out of ideas for somewhere different to go, he suggested The Hostel. Booking is advisable as very small and cosy and does get busy as its reputation for its good home cooked food is spreading. I had peppered mushrooms and warm bread for starters, my friends had crab and tarragon cake also tomato and goats cheese tart. For mains pork loin and course mustard mash with root vegetables, sea bass with a dill cream sauce and mash, and my vegetarian friend had beetroot risotto. Portions were not skimpy and we were all too full for sweets. The staff were friendly and helpful and the atmosphere was very relaxed, thoroughly enjoyed it and will be going again as it has a lovely garden out the back for summer evenings. Well worth a visit.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Good food, good surroundings, nice atmosphere and service.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We wanted to go somewhere different for the daughters birthday, We heard about the Hostel from a friend and gave it a try. All six of us enjoyed the whole experience, the food the surrounding and the service and hope to return sometime soon.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    44
    3
    1
    0
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“A shining culinary beacon compared with others in or near Doncaster!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

It took us a while to register that this unassuming little, hidden-away, upstairs 'club' is in fact a really good little, OPEN-TO-ALL restaurant - with a genuinely talented chef who can really cook and who produces very high standard dishes. I am sorry to go all Yorkshire where "It covered t'sides of t'plate" is usually one of the greatest points of praise, but I would reassure other local potential diners that these are also robust portions: not 'cheffy' nibbles where less is more. e.g. Last time I had (excellent) venison, the central point was three good-sized pieces of fillet on three portions of good quality mashed potato. All dishes (starters, mains and desserts) also look good: presented in, dare I say it, 'Masterchef' style. Despite that, when rocket or other salads are used as the base of a dish or as garnish, there is decent amount there. e.g. Another guest had a prawn cocktail which nearly outfaced her recently (and I don't care how 'retro' some may think that as a menu item, with the quality that good, as well as quantity.) I love the sticky, crispy calamares (squid) starter, and the black pudding and bacon stack starter, and the goat's cheese tart starter, and the various soup starters I have had and ... well, I have never had a dud starter. In fact, I can say the same for all the main courses - including the less-adventurous dishes like burgers or chicken or cod loin - and the same for all the desserts we have had there too. And all our guests have been impressed. Well, just once, one person had a confit of duck where it felt like the chef may have taken his eye off the ball, with an over-dry / over-cooked duck leg as a result. From a selfish point of view, I was a bit reluctant to start a review section for The Hostel. Dammit, I almost feel like it's My Discovery and I don't want it spoiled by having loads of people coming! Having said that, there's certainly no danger of that yet. In fact, I am sure there should be many more customers eating here to keep the place going, with no danger of kitchen overload despite the fact that I think the chef works single-handed: which is one reason I always book though I'd guess there are rarely more than ten covers served most nights. There are occasional Gourmet Nights, or Event nights (like Valentine's), and the small scale operation means that the place is sometimes shut for holidays, so those are other reasons for maybe calling ahead. Sometimes we feel that the relative lack of trade (which is completely bonkers considering the culinary desert of most of South Yorkshire!) must be discouraging for a chef who can really produce The Goods in terms of cooking the more standard menu items as well being a whizz at the 'interesting' stuff. We hope that there will ALWAYS continue to be some more stretching and interesting choices on the menu, as has been the case up till now ... and also that there won't be the temptation to cut corners on Proper Cooking. The service is friendly and professional: not the over-friendliness which can creep slowly into a smaller establishment. Personally, I'd go on other days in the week rather than Sunday as the Sunday lunches, though absolutely fine, don't really give the chef room for manoeuvre in terms of showing off his skills. Finally, for a fairly small outlay (sorry, I can't remember how much), you can join a loyalty scheme which gives 5% off, which we've found worthwhile. The greatest fault with this place? Easy! It doesn't market itself enough ... or at all really, except by word of mouth!

  • Visited February 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.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Fabulous!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Really liked the village setting, nice oldy worldy feel to the place really friendly atmosphere some of the best food I've ever tasted. Would recommend for all occasions!!

    • 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.
1 review
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Absolutely fantastic food and service in a beautifully renovated old building sat right in the middle of Hooton Pagnell. Would definitely recommend this place to anyone and everyone who enjoys great food and service at realistic prices.

Second to none !

    • 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.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting and delicious food!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We have visited 'The Hostel' on several occasions and never been disappointed. The staff are always very polite and obliging and provide a very welcoming atmosphere. They have a good range of beers and lager with a couple of traditional guest beers on offer to try, alongside a good choice of wine to purchase by the glass or bottle. Sunday lunch is very good and provides the usual choices of roast meats with lovely Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes with fresh veg. I am vegetarian and the chef kindly made Me a lovely 'meat free' gravy to go with a my choice of meat free Sunday dinner (although there was another veggie option which sounded lovely). Starters and puddings may vary from week to week as the chef seems to change his menu quite frequently, however I tried broccoli and cheddar soup which was very nice indeed and clearly home made (unlike many Sunday lunch venues). My husband and other family had a black pudding starter which came stacked with bacon, complemented by apple and sultana compote and red wine jus. All were very happy with their choice and cleaned their plates. Puddings again are delicious- chocolate browny is to die for!! We have also been for meals here on evenings and as with Sunday lunch starters/puddings, the full menu varys from week to week. The chef provides a good choice of approximately 8 dishes including fresh fish dishes, wild game and steak to name but afew (it can be very difficult to choose because they all sound gorgeous). The food is always well cooked and home made. If you visit this quaint little pub/restaurant in the picturesque village of Hooton Pagnell you won't be disappointed!!

  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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