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“If you advertise you are the best, then back it up.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Kings Arms - Dusthole

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The Kings Arms - Dusthole
Garston Street, Shepton Mallet BA4 5LN, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 35 Shepton Mallet B&B and Inns
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“If you advertise you are the best, then back it up.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

We went for Sunday lunch ( there were 4 of us ) after we saw a sign saying "the best carvery in somerset".

Upon arrival we found the place to be rather scruffy and not at all welcoming. There was a huge dog that was allowed to go where he liked. We had a child with us and he was terrified of the dog. The barman just stood laughing at my sons obvious discomfort and said "its OK, he doesn't bite that often".... Hardly a way to welcome your guests.

We took a table then went up to the carvery. There was absolutely nothing unique about the carvery at all. Where the owner got the impression that its the best carvery in somerset from, god only knows. It was what it is, a basic carvery, and nothing you couldn't get in any Toby ( only its about £4 per head dearer ). The food was barely warm and the gravy was bland. Nothing at all to make such a song and dance about.

The desserts were basic and again, nothing that you couldn't get anywhere else but at alot cheaper prices.

As I was at the bar I overheard the owner talking to someone on the phone about booking rooms, and in the conversation he said "we're the best place in the area for rooms by a long shot.. We are always full because we offer the best value".

Having seen the reviews on here, and having eaten then I'd say that the owner really needs to take his head from up his ( you know where ).. The place isn't as good as he seems to think it is. The food isn't either..

When you advertise you're the best carvery in somerset then it has to be special. ITS NOT..

( as a side note, you can tell how much the owner rates himself. Marco Pierre White apparantly came for lunch once, and now the website has a page dedicated to the "celebrity chef" associated with the place. When you read on he had a meal and a cup of coffee, but the way the owner describes it you'd think he was a resident chef...)

Seriously... the owner is living in cuckoo land... If he thinks he's really that good then either he's never been out much to test the competition, or his standards are alot lower than everyone elses, and being honest the reviews do tend to back that up..

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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95 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Having grew up in this area of Somerset, and travelled regularly throughout many corners of the world since (often on a tight budget), I can safely say I have never experienced anything as bad as my (thankfully) one night in The Dusthole. This is the first time I have ever written a review for accommodation, and represents the fact that I was so disgusted that I feel the need to write this review.

Upon arrival I was greeted by the (assumed) proprietor who was spectacularly unwelcoming, borderline rude, and clearly had no care or respect for his business or his clientele. After being shown to my room I asked if there was an iron and ironing board I could borrow, as I needed to freshen up my evening wear for a formal occasion. This was clearly an inconvenience for him, as he walked off muttering something about the maid. Anyway I did actually get an iron and ironing board but in the meantime I had a chance to settle into the room. The room I was an utter disgrace. There is a hole in the ceiling where there has clearly been a water tank leak. The room was full of flies and midges as the window does not properly close. The decor is horrendous and does not even condone the use of the word "decor". There appeared to be some flowers in 2 vases, both of which had run out of water and the flowers were looking very tired indeed. After managing to escape to my evening engagement, I had been informed that I could use a key to get
back in if the bar had closed. (knowing this part of the world the alarm bells started to ring as most pubs and restaurants are very busy in a Saturday night). After arriving back at 11.15pm (which I consider to be particularly "late", I could not get the key to work, and was greeted by the grumpy proprietor. After making a rather sharp trip up to my room, the noise of the macerator toilet pumps in all of the upstairs rooms was apparent, and filled me with horror. (why on earth don't people install proper plumbing, its not difficult). After trying to get to sleep (with all the flies and the noise outside from the fact the window doesn't shut, and the toilet pumps) I didn't sleep at all well as there was a piece of glass above the bedroom door (possibly out of the 1950's?) that let in the light from the corridor.
After a terrible nights sleep I made it to breakfast (as check out time was 10am - the earliest
checkout time I have every experienced anywhere in the world, especially for a Sunday).
Having been greeted by no one at all I found a lacklustre card on the table guiding me to where I could find a cup of coffee. Whilst buffet service (particularly for juices and cereals) is commonplace, I have always been asked if I would like tea or coffee at even the most basic of accommodation. After managing to find a mug of 'has been' coffee, I was approached by a rather unfriendly and brash lady asking for my breakfast order. As I was rushing (due to the 10am checkout - it was 8.45am at this point) I ordered a full English breakfast. I wish I hadn't. The eggs had been fried in dirty fat, and whilst the bacon was probably the only redeeming feature, the sausage was absolutely disgusting. I am not sure if it was a veggie substitute sausage but it tasted like cardboard and I could not stomach more than one bite. During breakfast there was a strong smell of dog and something that had gone off in the fridge. I could not wait to check out at 10am, and the rude and insincere proprietor duly took my money.

The Dusthole is a disgrace to English hospitlality and should be shut down immediately. The proprietors clearly do not want to be running a pub / guest house and I sincerely hope my fellow travellers do not suffer the misfortune of staying here.

I just wish there was a rating of 0/5 as 1/5 is totally undeserved. Avoid at all costs.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

From the moment we arrived and tried to hang our hanging clothes on the hook in the reception and it came away from the wall I knew what we were in for it is in need of a lot of TLC.
It looks as if repairs to The Dusthole have been left for sometime.

Our room (No.3) was spartan, a previous leak in the ceiling which had been left to go brown and the ceiling was slowly disintegrating. damp had set in around the side of the window frame and the wallpaper and the plaster behind it were coming away from the wall. It was Impossible to close the window.

When we entered our room an old tissue was left on the draw unit, and the bin still had the used contents of the last occuppant, The Bathroom was badly in need of decorating, the electric toilet had to be flushed 7 times to get rid of the content and a used razor was found in the shower.

The food looked appealing on the menu, but was awful. The leak and potato soup arrived without a spoon, only a knife and fork, it was so thick and congealed that a spoon wasn't necessary to eat it, the woman on the next table complained about hers, but the landlord totally ignored her.
They were understaffed for dinner with the landlord cooking and Diasy (the only nice thing about the inn) doing everything else, A local came in waited ten minutes at the bar for a drink.
He was the only local in there....I wonder why ? He asked for the landlord so he could complain, but he refuse to speak to him.

Breakfast started with the skimmed milk ( the only type available )being off, the waitress said " i thought it was off when I was having a cuupa tea !!

My wife order poached eggs on toast, the eggs were hard and had been put on the toast straight from the boiled water as the toast was just pap. When we walked out, we noticed to other similar plates of pap that customers had left.

The landlord had no regard for his customers and constantly smoked around the public areas.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

We were given 2 very nice rooms, for 3 travellers. The bathrooms, however need a little TLC, the macerator for the toilets goes all night!! Room was quaint with creaky floorboards (not a problem) but, please but a waste paper bin in the rooms. The food was excellent, we had breakfast and evening meal ( please sort the dessert menu) The young man behind the bar, Ruari, was polite, friendly and nothing was too much trouble, thank you. Our daughter, left something at the hotel and this was posted back, with no charge, again thank you very much.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

We only ate at this pub, thank goodness. Service from the only staff was very good, but the poor girl was doing every thing, serving behind the bar, greeting guests for the hotel & waiting tables. Food was bad, the broccoli looked as if it was about two weeks old!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

It's very difficult to review this hotel because one just doesn't know where to start. Firstly it's probably the most wierd and unusual hotel I have ever stayed in. It's a cross between olde worlde and art deco.
The building is very old,about 400 years I believe and some of the the newer parts don't seem to fit in. Overall it isn't too bad .The guy who runs it Tony is very nice and helpful and his staff are very nice too. They seem understaffed and Tony seems to be doing everything. My room was an outside room in the courtyard.very big but haphazardly furnished, very dark and a bit dingy. I had a super king size bed which was nice and comfy, a really big, good size tv and a large bathroom with a corner bath. The original stone floor didn't appeal to me but there were plenty of towels and washing stuff. The plumbing though was a joke with lots of wierd banging noises going on at all times ,day and night.
The biggest problem for me are the dogs wandering around all the time. I have no problem with dogs but in their right place and I don't like to see them in the kitchen and dining room. There is a constant smell of dog in the dining area and one is always hanging around while you are eating. Dogs and food don't mix!!!
I would like to praise it more only for the fact that the owner was so helpful and friendly but until they clean the place up and eradicate the problems I'm afraid I can't.
What I did notice however the place was always full and very busy so they must be doing something right. I had two meals in the restaurant but they were only average and the breakfast was poor to say the least.
One man's meat is another man's poison, so they say, so sorry Tony but I won't be returning.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012 via mobile

We had seen many adverts in local papers following the refurb of the cafe at the Dusthole so we decided to try it out for breakfast. We arrived at 11.00 and were the only people there, and first impressions were that the decor was stylish, church pews and stained glass. But looking around you can't disguise that it's the old skittle alley. We ordered a full English and eggs benedict. After we had placed the order we heard the waitress speaking to the owner, asking if there was anyone to cook it. After a very long wait, during which we had finished our coffees, and not been offered chance for refills, the food arrived. I have rarely been rendered speechless by eggs benedict, but the sight of 6 poached eggs on my plate certainly did it. In what universe would a person want 6 poached eggs for breakfast? On top of 3 muffins, with chunks of ham? It was awful. The hollandaise tasted like vinegar, and after eating two of the eggs I admitted defeat and left the rest.
The full English was better but the sausages arrived ten minutes after the rest of it. No one offered us a second drink or asked if the food was ok. When we paid, the owner shouted to us from another room, to follow her as the credit card machine wasn't workIng.
All in all, a horrid experience.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Kings Arms - Dusthole

Address: Garston Street, Shepton Mallet BA4 5LN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Shepton Mallet
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 35 B&Bs / Inns in Shepton Mallet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
The Kings Arms - Dusthole Shepton Mallet, Somerset

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