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“Top marks for Top House” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Top House Inn

The Top House Inn
The Lizard, Helston TR12 7NQ, England
01326 290974
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Ranked #36 of 90 Restaurants in Helston
Price range: $0 - $29
Cuisines: Seafood, Vegetarian, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Porlock, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Top marks for Top House”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

A last minute, unplanned trip left us overnighting here while touring Cornwall on a motorbike. Lovely old world pub atmosphere with locals and tourists alike sharing the atmosphere. Excellent Cornish food and spotless rooms. All this a stones throw (or short walk) away from Lizard Point, the Southernmost point of the English mainland. Bike parked perfectly safely outside, James (the owner) a great host. Whats not to like.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 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.
DonnaGlosby, Owner at The Top House Inn, responded to this review, July 2, 2013
Dear BMW1200adv

Thanks for giving us top marks and for taking the time to write a lovely review for us. It is great to hear you loved your stay and particularly enjoyed the traditional pub and warm and friendly atmosphere. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip.

Come back and see us soon!

Best wishes
James and Donna Glosby
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    51
    27
    6
    4
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
bristol
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Lazy and unfair prices”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

I had two bad experiences here in June 2013. The first one being that I turned up at 8:55 asking for a table for two for some food after having rushed down from Bristol to which I was told that they stop serving at 9 and they wouldn't have time to cook it. I thought this was very rude. The second time I visited it was just for a drink and I was mortified to discover that locals are charged less for drinks than tourists. I think this is disgusting, considering that the bar was mainly filled with tourists and that tourists are probably the bread and butter of the business. Will not be going back

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DonnaGlosby, Owner at The Top House Inn, responded to this review, July 2, 2013
Dear jessy123Bristol

Thank you for your review. I would appreciate if you would contact me directly at donna@thetophouselizard.co.uk with details of the date you came in and were turned away for food please, so I have the opportunity to look into this further. I can view the staff rota and ascertain which Shift Supervisor was on duty so I can take the matter forward.

Our standard practice is to take food orders up until 9pm; the only date in June when this was not the case was 8th June 2013 when last orders for food was up until 8pm (due to a member of staff’s wedding reception), however we publicised this clearly on our website a few days in advance and outside on our A board to give prior warning. If your visit was on a date other than 8th June then your food order should have been taken at the time you arrived and I apologise for any inconvenience.

With regards to the other points you make I do feel it is appropriate that I reply to allow visitors to this site to read my reply as some of the comments raised could be detrimental to my business, one that my husband and I, together with our team, are working incredibly hard to establish for everyone to enjoy. I can appreciate your dissatisfaction, however I feel your heading “Lazy and Unfair Prices” is harsh and pretty unfair to us. We are certainly not “lazy”! Running an Inn is a 24hr a day, seven days a week business as we are always on call and we juggle our business needs with raising a family and running a home as well. Our team are very supportive and work with us, sometimes very long hours to meet the needs of the business. As you will see from other reviews on this site the majority of our customers have a great time here and feel well looked after by our team.

The second point you raise is that locals are charged less for drinks than tourists. Let me clarify when a visitor buys a drink across our bar they will be charged the same as a local. What I think you will be referring to is that some of our locals are members of our Loyalty Card scheme and are holders of a card which earns them points for every £1 spent with us and when they reach certain levels they receive vouchers to spend here. The cards are linked to our tills and swiped through at the point of purchase to add the points to the customer’s tally; they don’t get any instant discount. We make no secret of the loyalty cards and we do get visitors ask what they are, generally when we explain to visitors they think it is a good idea and we have even had people remark that they wish their local pubs did a similar thing to look after their local following!

Running a highly seasonal business in a small, remote village in the middle of a recession is far from easy. We have to compete with local freehouses, cafes and social clubs who can buy for less and charge for less. Our business needs both locals and visitors to survive and both are our “bread and butter” as you put it. If we relied solely on the tourist trade, we would only be trading for part of the year, by all means come back in the middle of winter and see what I mean. You will see very few tourists and a much quieter village, some local businesses closed and some trading on reduced hours. We very much see the pub as the hub of the community and so we are open all year round, sometimes we do wonder why but then you see a visitor come through the door and appreciate the warmth of our open fire and one of our elderly villagers come in for a drink and for some company and you realise that the service we offer is so appreciated. Off peak we regularly offer special deals for locals and visitors alike, such as buy one get one free offers on meals and drinks offers.

I hope when you consider some of my points that you may appreciate the reasoning behind a loyalty card for our locals. It really is sad when so many pubs are closing every day, they are a community lifeline to many but to remain in today’s difficult economic climate we have to be realistic and manage our business effectively. We are not creating a locals vs tourists situation, far from it as we highly value all customers, we are simply offering a rewards system for those locally who need their local pub.

Best wishes

James and Donna Glosby
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Lichfield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Good solid pub food and ale”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Go to the Top House every year when down in Cornwall - never fails to disappoint.

Solid food (with Fish fresh from local catches) and a decent choice for all ages. Portions are good and the food is well presented and served.

Service is with the typical Cornish smile - a great place for good pub fare.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DonnaGlosby, Owner at The Top House Inn, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear beancounterjim

Thanks so much for your lovely review. We are so pleased you come back and see us every year and that you enjoy your visits here. It’s great when we can have fresh fish on our specials board and it certainly is popular.

We look forward to welcoming you back next year!

Best wishes

James and Donna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Very good food, welcoming staff, cosy atmosphere.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

This was a neat find on what you would call a 'rainy' day out. The pub is very old-world with plenty of wood and tucked-away corners. We called late lunch time and it was quiet at that point but the staff were very welcoming and made us feel at home. The food was very good with an excellent selection of menu standards and chalkboard specials - the specials being mainly local seafood of which this part of the country is especially blessed. The pub also does accommodation which looks very nice indeed.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 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.
DonnaGlosby, Owner at The Top House Inn, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear fishonsaturday

Thanks so much for your lovely review and glad you found us a good find on your rainy day out!

It is good to hear that our team were welcoming and made you feel at home here and we are delighted you enjoyed your meal. We use local, fresh produce wherever possible and feel that is so important. Local seafood at this time of year is just perfect, so regularly features on our specials board and is very popular.

We get a lot of repeat guests staying in our accommodation as it is so comfortable and reasonably priced. Some rooms have lovely sea views out to Kynance Cove and The Lizard Lighthouse. If you are interested in staying in the future please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to know any more information about our rooms and what we offer.

We hope to welcome you back one day.

Best wishes
James and Donna
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great Food and Cosy Atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Just spent a few days in Lizard Village and ate at the Top House every night. This Inn provides excellent food from an extensive menu in a cosy and friendly environment - James the owner made us very welcome and the waiting staff were both efficient and pleasant - highly recommended.

  • Visited June 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DonnaGlosby, Owner at The Top House Inn, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Steve

Thanks so much for your lovely review and for your continued support.

We were delighted you chose to dine at our Inn every night during your stay in The Lizard and that you felt welcomed and well looked after during those visits.

We look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Best wishes
James and Donna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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