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“Nice makeover of old pub” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Charles Dickens

The Charles Dickens
5-6 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs CT10 1QS, England
01843 603040
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Ranked #30 of 101 Restaurants in Broadstairs
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Nice makeover of old pub”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

I had eaten in this pub in its old guise, and it was pretty awful. The food was not very good and the decor very sad. Since it has been taken over by Thorley Taverns it has been given a complete refurbishment, in a nice modern, light style, and the food on offer is a cut above the average bar meal. We had a midweek lunch on this occasion.
The menu is quite adventurous, but still includes some standard favourites, such as fish and chips, and sausage and mash, but even these are very well presented as well as being excellently prepared. The bar is well stocked, and includes at least three cask ales. Staff are friendly, polite and knowledgeable. The coffee is better than at some of the well-known national chains. Prices are higher than in some comparable pubs, but overall the quality is worth it.

We have previously had a Sunday lunch here with a large family party, including a number of small and very lively children. We were given our own restaurant area on a mezzanine floor, where the kids could make as much noise as they liked without disturbing other diners, and where it didn't matter if they ran about a bit. We did not have a fixed menu, but all of the party were pleased with their choice of food, its quality and presentation.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Preferred the Old Charles Dickens”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Been using this pub for years and have to say I prefer the Old Style Charles Dickens under the previous owners. It has now gone all modern and as a result is so busy it is difficult to move. Obviously it is very popular but I am not so keen. I also prefer the old style menu and ordering system.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramsgate, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Food that fights back”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Since the refurbishment last year, this place now has a passable vegetarian menu, which pleased the wife (who is not easily pleased). We both looked at her plate when it arrived and remarked upon how nice her food looked. It looked as though it had come from a kitchen, wherein resided a chef.

Is it possible that the same chef could have cooked my lunch? My steak and ale pie with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables? No i don't think so. My meal must have been thrown into the microwave (an apprentice microwave at that), and my lunch blasted to within an inch of its life.

My potatoes were canonballs capable of breaching a 12" thick hull. Their skin, hard and leathery, resisted all attempts made by my knife to get at their interior, until i perfected a downward stabbing motion. I cannot think of any cooking process that would create a hard skin on a roast potato. I almost wish i'd asked, just to satisfy my curiosity.

But, compared to the Steak Pie, the potatoes were novices in the art of self defense. The top crust was quickly broken, but that was as far as i was able to advance. I was thrown back by the hard chewy lumps of beef. I barely escaped with my teeth.

The waitress was very sympathetic and i felt for her discomfort. She took it away and persuaded me to have something else. I tried the pork belly which was a little, but not much better. (it's very difficult to overcook pork belly, due to the quantity of fat......but they tried). To the restaurants credit, they did not charge me for my food.

The Charles Dickens used to be a regular haunt of my wife and I, before they spent a fortune on refurbishment. The food used to be reliably good...Perhaps i caught the staff on a really, really bad day. Looking at some of the other reviews, perhaps that is the case. But we won't be back....i'm not sure i could afford the dentist bills after.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Stylish in every way with the best view”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013 via mobile

Stopped here after a drive to Broadstairs. It's not really a pub unless you don't consider Gastro & Pub an oxymoron. It is a really nice restaurant. Old world yet not dated style. The oak furnishing is lovely. We sat upstairs so that we could make the most of the view. We arrived just gone 1pm and it was abuzz. I had the broccoli & Stilton soup which was delicious. Served with crusty bread & toasted almonds. For mains I had the chargrilled aubergine which is served with risotto. My wife had a club sandwich which should not be ordered if you fancy a starter as it's a meal all by itself. She said it was delicious. She really liked it because her bacon was crispy. Our tummies rebelled when we looked at the dessert menu & so we settled with a couple of coffees which are served with Maltezers in a tall shot glass. The friendly service is as crisp as the waitresses uniforms. If I wanted to impress visitors without breaking the bank this would be at the forefront of my mind. Food plus coffees & three pints between brought the bill to £35.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramsgate, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Great Expectations - and not without reason!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

I went here for lunch a few days ago. It really was excellent. My fish dish was gorgeous! beautifully prepared and very fresh. Paula and staff really know their business. It was very clean and the staff were friendly and attentive. I would certainly recommend thius restaurent on a number of counts - food (obviously!), atmosphere, service and view. Lovely!

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

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