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“Fine dining - not suitable for toddlers wanting to run around” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dysart Arms

Dysart Arms
135 Petersham Road, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 7AA, England
(020) 8940 8005
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Cuisines: English
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Description: Situated in leafy Petersham next to Richmond Park, The Dysart Arms is a family run restaurant and bar aiming at the highest standards of food, drinks, music and service - quality that is at home in this beautiful Arts and Crafts country inn.Head Chef Kenneth Culhane, Roux Scholar 2010, prepares every aspect of the menu in our own kitchen using the finest seasonal produce, including that grown in our own garden just a stone's throw away. The garden provides for the kitchen all year round, with fresh produce including summer courgettes, asparagus and tomatoes, autumn pumpkins and squashes, as well as an array of wonderful fresh herbs, many of them age old varieties, that adorn the menu all year round.Our drinks selection follows this same theme of quality, with an extensive wine list from all corners of the globe, a unique selection of hand picked local and international beers, as well as, whenever possible, homemade cordials made with fruits from our garden.Our outside terrace has recently been replanted and is a wonderful summer retreat in which to enjoy our Head Chef's fresh cooking and to sample our array of fine drinks.Music is another important feature, with jazz piano every Thursday evening, jazz or classical music every Friday evening, and classical music every Saturday evening. We also run a monthly series of classical recitals on the first Sunday of every month, with an exceptional calibre of performer such as award winning pianist Ivana Gavric. Our Private Rooms overlook Richmond Park, and are ideal for lunches, dinners, meetings and receptions, with menus individually crafted for each individual event. Capacity is up to 44 seated or 65 for a standing event, with catering options including canapes, sit down meals, tasting menus and much more.Other features:- large car park.- dog friendly - we have one area inside where dogs are allowed so please do mention on booking.- child friendly - children under 12 are welcome at lunchtime and before 7:45 in the evening for an early dinner. We do ask that children stay seated at the table. Again, we have one area reserved just for adults so do please mention when booking that there are children in your group.- full table service from our friendly staff rather than queueing at the bar!- free wifi.Do please call Manager Barny Taylor with any queries
Esher, Surrey
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Fine dining - not suitable for toddlers wanting to run around”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I am writing my review to compliment an excellent chef and a manager who is trying hard to create a fine dining experience.

The venue clearly states it has a policy of welcoming children of an age happy to sit quietly at table throughout their stay. We went several months ago with our family. as our grandson is only 2 years old when we were told politely but firmly of their policy we decided to go on this occasion to the pub nearby and to come back for an adult celebration at a future date.

we returned for a quiet lunch yesterday and our food was excellent but our visit was ruined by a group who had brought 5 small children. Why do some parents feel it is their right to inflict their toddlers on others? Children running around on wooden floors, fingering decorations and howling are all expected in Pizza Express.

Their are two sides to many reviews and we were witnesses to one mother swearing at the manager for trying to stop children running around. A fine dining restaurant should not be criticised for not welcoming children just because it doesn't encourage running around. Parents who bring children of this age to this type of venue are inconsiderate and spoil the experience for those with well behaved older children.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.
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181 reviews from our community

68% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bath, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Went for a family meal with 8 adults and 5 children (aged 2-4). Although the waitress was very nice and accommodating with the children, the manager was completely intolerant at the merest noise he complained (and we heard him asked the table next to us to control their toddler too), in the end we took the kids outside, and were asked to return inside and keep them quiet at the table!! This wouldn't have been such a problem if the meal hadn't taken 1.5 hours to arrive and the manager hadn't been so rude - at one point and I quote he said "you really need to learn how to control your children" Finally, the childrens' menu was incredibly expensive and not at all suited to children. So definitely avoid with children.

On the food front, the set menu food was good but, as other reviewers have said, tiny portions. I had seabass from the al a carte and it was frankly unpleasant. I wiped off the sauce and just ate the fish plain... we had to leave before we had pudding because of the issue with the children... so all in all a terrible experience.

In summary - children completely unwelcome, tiny portions, very long wait for food and very hit and miss with the quality of the food. Oh and also drinks charged on the bill that should have been included in the children menus.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Very good food and service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

Quite surprised by the mixed reviews for this place. We've been for lunch on several occasions and, while it's by no means cheap, the food is excellent. We've also never found the service anything but polite, friendly and efficient.

Don't plan to eat here if you want basic pub food (nothing wrong with that) or big portions. The food here is much closer in both style and quality to a higher-end restaurant; the focus is on quality not quantity. If you expect a huge plate full of chips etc there are plenty of other places in the area to meet your needs. It's also worth mentioning that although the main menu items aren't cheap, there is a very reasonable set menu for lunch, which usually has meat, fish and veggie choices.

As a non-parent, I can't comment on some of the previous reviewers' gripes about them not been sufficiently child friendly (a pub that puts adults first! whatever next!?), but I will say that in an area where pubs and restaurants seem to be increasingly overrun by noisy infants and their disinterested parents, it's an absolute blessing to have an area of the pub set aside for adults only.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Difficult to be black and white about this place...there's no doubt it looks superb, a wonderful setting opposite a pedestrian gate to Richmond Park and plentiful seating outside when weather permits. French rustic-style tables...stylish lavatories...attentive service. BUT...it is a shade on the expensive side, especially when you consider the minuscule portions. If memory serves, the venison was the best part of £24 - and the amount of meat would barely have satisfied a five year old. After the main course, plates were removed and we were presented with..the cheese board. Impressive enough...but in 40 years of dining out I have never been offered a cheese board without requesting it...and certainly not before being given the opportunity of puddings. Talking of puddings....£9.50 for a tiny portion of something. Sorry, about £4 too much. They try, of course, proffering little somethiings "with the chef's compliments" But it's all show.... I wouldn't swear to this, but I believe the service charge was added to the bill..but the amount left open for you to add your own gratuity. So...beware. Bill, for two people, with no starters, a shared pudding, and one large glass of wine each: £76. A little on the steep side I think....

  • Visited November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“avoid this place!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Four of us arrived at the Dysart Arms to eat on a Friday night. We walked into the place and found ourselves in the bar area. As we were at the bar trying to decide what to drink we were told by the manager to go and sit down. We told him we were in the process of deciding what to drink and he told us again, in a particularly unfriendly fashion, to sit down and order our drinks at the table. Not a great first impression.

The restaurant was also very cold - we were dining at the end of October, so not yet into winter. The fact that my girlfriend had her coat on didn't seem to alert the members of staff to the fact that the place was not warm enough.

We ordered our food and drinks and it was after that that the pianist began to play. To be fair to the Dysart Arms, they do advertise that live music is a feature of their restaurant. Having a pub pianist playing what can only be described as funeral music very loudly when you are attempting to enjoy a relaxing evening with friends does not exactly add to the ambience.

We asked the manager if it would be possible for the pianist to play something different and to play a bit more quietly. Having spoken with the pianist he returned to inform us that "this is the noise that the piano makes" and it would not be possible to change it. He was right on this point - noise was exactly what it was.

The service during the meal was also poor - glasses were taken away by the waiting staff before the drinks were finished. At one point we ordered more bread, only for the bread basket that was still on the table to be taken away with a piece of bread still in it! Why would we order more bread and want the bread that was still there to be taken away?

By this stage the loud, depressing music had got too much - the manager eventually agreed to ask the pianist to stop playing.

We were dining on Friday night and apart from the four of us, there were only three other people in the entire restaurant and they were only there for drinks. The fact that they have so few customers on a Friday night speaks volumes.

The manager came back about twenty minutes later to say that as two more people had come in for drinks the pianist would resume playing.

I can only describe this as a truly awful evening. Richmond has much to offer in terms of restaurants so I can only recommend that you avoid the Dysart Arms like the plague!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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