We had heard such good things about this place that when we finally made it we were bitterly disappointed and couldn't wait to leave.
When we arrived we wanted dinner (a bar meal) in the bar, but we were told that all the tables were either occupied or reserved. So we were shunted into the grill room and restaurant, and left alone. Although there were not so many people in the grill room, there were no empty tables, and we had to wait a few minutes until one came available. The place was certainly not busy.
Throughout the time we were in the grill room the staff were watching the Man Utd v Sunderland game (you can tell now which night it was), and they ignored most of the customers, except one, who turned out to be a staff member on his day off. In fact it was hilarious to watch the staff serving people - they never actually looked at the customers as they were so intent on watching the TV
The service from the waitress we had was appalling. She was so off hand, dismissive, and laissez faire about her job. Not only to us but to the other guests too.
The starters we ordered were interesting, but certainly not great.
Our main courses were a very long time arriving, and the waitress just shrugged her shoulders when we asked if the kitchen had a problem. There still weren't actually many people in either the bar or the grill room - we looked!
I had ordered fish and chips for the main course - it was hard to find any fish in the batter - I mean there was not much fish present in what was a large piece of batter. And the chips were awful - I suspect that they were of the so called "reconstituted type", which are made mainly from wheat. I left my chips, as did my son, who had ordered the ale and steak pie. Neither me nor my son could actually eat the chips, they were so lacking in taste. They certainly didn't taste like chips. Again the waitress just shrugged her shoulders when we told her that we could not eat the chips because they were so disgusting.
In fact, although we will never darken the doorstep of The Bear again, we did laugh a lot when we left the grill room and restaurant. Our visit had just been like being in a sketch in an episode of Little Britain - "Whatever!!! - Computer says No!". For that reason alone, our visit was priceless.
In fact, I have waited some days before writing this review as I wanted to reflect on the visit to The Bear before putting pen to paper. It was the right decision to delay writing the review, as if I had written the review earlier I do not believe that I would have been quite so objective.
Our recommendation is "Stay away, unless you want to find out what it is like to be in a sketch in Little Britain".
If the manager of The Bear reads this I can imagine her/him adopting the role of Vicky Pollard and saying, "Oh! Oooo. I can't just believe that you just said that!"
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 3 star Bear Hotel is situated on the High Street of the beautiful market town of Cowbridge with origins that date back to the 12th century. The hotel is steeped in history and boasts individually decorated en-suite bedrooms, roaring log fires, a unique stone vaulted Cellars Restaurant, a Real Ale Bar and non-smoking Lounge Bars serving gastro style meals. The function suites are amongst the finest in the area. Weddings are a specialty with the emphasis on personal, friendly service. It also serves as an excellent conference venue with free parking and high speed WiFi in public areas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bear Hotel Cowbridge
- The Bear Hotel Cowbridge, Vale Of Glamorgan, Wales