Stayed here with my partner in the Autumn 2012. Beautiful location, charming hotel, friendly staff and fantastic food. It really felt like we were experiencing fine dining in a fab location. Consequently our expectations were high for our second and most recent visit on the 20/21st January 2013. We booked two nights dinner, bed and breakfast looking forward to the great food.
The location was obviously still great and enhanced by the recent snow fall. The hotel still charming, the room lovely with a nice view and the staff friendly and helpful. Unfortunately the food was a great disappointment. The fine dining experience now felt more like an over price pub food experience.
As most people (including ourselves) would have been surprised by this review I'll try to explain our reasoning.
The restaurant menu was small and uninspired. I do not count the bar menu. If I want bar food I'll go to a pub.
The portions were way too big to the point of being obscene and I am a big eater. Quanity will never replace quality.
For starter my partner tried the garlic mushrooms which were very nice despite the huge portion. They were so good she had them twice, but as previously stated the menu was limited.
I tried the prawn and mussel dish. That's all it really was, prawns, mussels, lettuce, mayonaise. Feeling a bit adventureous I tried the pigeon. Now I have never had this so didn't know what to expect. I was served what I can only describe as slices of tasteless gristle. Maybe that is what pigeon is like I don't know but I would be surprised if other people would pay good money for that.
For main we both tried the steak. Although okay (not great and a ridiculously large portion) that is all it was. No sauce, drizzle, imagination, very dull and expensive for what it was.
My partner also tried the Sheppards Pie from the bar menu again as the restaurant menu was so limited. She described this as bland and over priced.
I tried the Woodland Country pork. I didn't know pork loin could be so tough. Maybe this was because the meat looked under cooked. It included a dish made of layered potato and red cabbage. This was also too large and like the rest of the dish very bland.
We didn't try the desserts as the huge portions left no room however the dinner cost allowance barely covered two courses so dessert would have been a supplement.
Back on the plus side the breakfasts were excellent.
As stated in the title, what has changed?
Despite our disappointment (which was compounded by our high expectations) I would definately recommend this hotel for a stay but would currently recommend eating elsewhere, well unless your are just looking for bar food.
R + M
- Also Known As:
- The Royal Hotel Symonds Yat
- Royal Hotel Symonds Yat
- The Royal Hotel
- The Royal Lodge Symonds Yat, England
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Lodge at Symonds Yat East has an idyllic setting in the heart of the Wye Valley in an area of outstanding natural beauty where the River Wye cuts a swathe through a wooded gorge on the edge of the spectacular Royal Forest of Dean.The Lodge is nestled just below Symonds Yat Rock and stands exclusively in grounds of almost 5 acres overlooking the river. It has terraced gardens of magnolia trees and a well established wisteria. The Royal was originally built in 1876 as a Royal hunting lodge and was converted to a hotel in the 1920's. It has had a full and extensive refurbishment in 2008 and is managed by Graham Howells who has overseen the transformation and ensures that the level of service reflects the new development and idyllic location. The Royal Lodge is a great place to unwind with long relaxing walks in outstanding scenery. The hotel is also well situated to explore the Wye Valley, Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains and the South Wales coast. ... more less
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