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Reviewed March 13, 2014

I stayed at the Cottage in the Wood with my Wife for a one night stay during March. The premise is situated in stunning grounds near to British Camp. Check in was quick and easy. The room we had (26) was ground floor level in the Pinnacles building, set a 1 minute walk away from the Bar and Restaurant. The room was clean and extras including a bone for our Dog were nice additions. Despite there being no view from room 26, patio doors opened conveniently onto a small parking area and woodland walk which was ideal for our stay with our dog. The Bathroom was excellent with a very large bath and power shower. The evening meal was fantastic. Rather than have you wait at your table for an extended period, you are served your drink in the Bar area which is very comfortable before being shown to your table having already ordered your meal. Service was perfect and the courses well spread out. I was disappointed to hear another customer complaining so much about his food, requesting to see the Manager etc. When asked if he would like a different dish or one to suit his requirements he was told this would take 15 minutes, but still demanded to speak to staff. If he didn't like his meal, why did he have it? Again, this just shows how accommodating the staff are with a difficult customer. Sleep quality was good but floorboards on the first floor in the Pinnacles were rather creaky. The following day we had a walk up the Hill from the Hotel. This is a non strenuous walk with several benches provided. The views would have been fantastic were it not for the fog!

Room Tip: No view from room 26 but is ideal if you have a dog as patio doors open out for Dog to toilet and to begin a walk!
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ryan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattinfamily, Owner at The Cottage in the Wood, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2014

What an interesting tale about another diner. Delighted the team did their best. We want everyone to have a really great stay but we either have to set our stall out and be true to it or try to be everything to everyone BUT that's the way to bland anonymity. Delighted you and the dog enjoyed your stay. Sorry about the fog - beautiful here today in contrast to last year when I was shoveling snow!
John

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Reviewed March 13, 2014

great location, great food, wonderfully staff couldn't recommend highly enough.
the staff are really attentive without being in the way and the food (esp dinner)was very, very good.
really good place to start a walk from and overall would go back tomorrow.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Anton C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattinfamily, Owner at The Cottage in the Wood, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2014

What can I say other than thank you? Fantastic you enjoyed your whole stay and thank you for posting the review. We''ll be waiting for your return.
John

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Reviewed February 28, 2014

I have no idea how these good folks maintain the wonderful standards at the cottage but yet again they succeeded.
A great valentines weekend escape that even managed to brighten up the horrendous weather.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AlunX404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattinfamily, Owner at The Cottage in the Wood, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Thank you for your review and comments. The team are very appreciative. I've often said that consistency is the biggest challenge for a small 365 days of the year operation, so it's reassuring to hear we've kept up the standard across your visits. It's not always possible as has been noted a copule of reviews below yours. BUT we do try. Hope to see you again.
John

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Reviewed February 28, 2014

Ours was a family weekend break for 2 adults and a 5 and 7 year old. We had the ground floor room in the cottage and although it was a bit of a squeeze it was comfortable with a large bathroom and good tv. The main double bed was just right and 2 fold up beds were also provided for the children.
The extras such as binoculars, medical pack, shortcake biscuits and even cotton buds in the bathroom were appreciated.
Good small bar, with a wide range of Gin and Whiskies.

We didn't have dinner as there was a limited offering for children although the receptionist did say that the chef would be able to make some alternative suggestions. That did seem a bit unnecessary and so we attempted to make a reservation at the local Thai restaurant within walking distance. No luck there, no answer to their phone and no opening times on their website. Didn't risk it and we drove to the local ASK pizza, which was fine. We had eaten dinner at the Cottage restaurant a few years back and found it good quality.

Breakfast was good (unusually perhaps too good for the children)... for example the sausages were solid and very meaty and the bacon thick cut. They are obviously not used to such quality at our house! Haddock and kippers available, the kippers were particularly well done and the mushrooms fresh and not too small.

There are 2 walks suggested up the hill to the top which is about 30 mins with small children. But a tip here is that the left hand approach which we came down is quicker and smoother than the right hand side which we went up which was steeper and muddier. There are real benches on the left side too, plank benches on the right. (The map provided wasn't easy to follow).
For us as a winter break this is ideal, we don't mind the rain. A summer break would normally involve going to a seaside somewhere.

Staff service friendly and attentive.
All in all a good weekend and I would recommend it and return again.

Room Tip: We were lucky and our ground floor room was very quiet and cosy and older in style with a large pillar and ceiling beams.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank johnpp2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattinfamily, Owner at The Cottage in the Wood, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Many thanks for posting a detailed review. I'm of course delighted you enjoyed your stay but sad we could not easily provide for the children. We do have some simple dishes which can be readily provided. I suspect the local restaurant you tried to book was closed for the annual holiday. As to the walk, I always suggest to ascend in an anti clockwise direction as it's easier to find the right paths and is an easier ascent. Hope we are able to look after you again.
John

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Reviewed February 26, 2014

Although this was the first time we had stayed overnight at Cottage in the Wood, we have visited on a number of occasions for Sunday lunch over the years. For special occasions it has been our venue of choice and we have both recommended and brought relatives here when we have wanted to impress, as both the stunning views from the restaurant and the fantastic quality of food, has ensured we have returned time and again over the years.

It had been a while since our last visit and we were long overdue a return, so when we spotted a Living Social deal which offered a one night stay including breakfast, a bottle of wine and £20 per room towards the cost of dinner, we thought it was too good to be true.

Let me start by saying that not everything about our stay was negative - firstly the plus points.
Our room in Pinnacles (number 26) was lovely with lots of thoughtful touches. We brought our dog with us and found that the pet friendly room included a doggy bowl, dog bedding and even bonios and poop scoop bags (also the room is helpfully on the ground floor and has direct access to the courtyard and woodlands) so was handy for the 3am loo visit - the dog, not us! The home-made shortbread in the room, the offer of proper fresh milk from the nearby fridge on the first floor for those who don't like UHT pots - all lovely little additions.
Based on the quality of the accomodation alone I would have given 5 stars and an 'excellent' score for our visit.

Sadly our stay was let down by the dinner menu which was uninspiring. I have read other reviews and I note that some other visitors have really enjoyed dinner at Cottage in the Wood recently. Each to their own of course - we are all individual in our expectations and what we feel constitutes a good meal. However our group of four found it very difficult to find anything on the menu to tempt our tastebuds. Some of the flavour combinations just seemed too conflicting, the menu overall felt very heavy with too much emphasis on gamey flavours and and the overall impression was, I'm afraid, of a chef trying very hard to impress but not quite getting it right.

There was nothing from the selection of starters that I really liked the sound of which I have to say is extremely unusual for me. When I visit a restaurant I am usually so spoilt for choice that I could happily work may way through the entire menu list. Not so here. We read and re-read the menu trying to find something - anything - to tempt our taste buds.

After much deliberation My partner chose wood pigeon but wished he hadn't. He described it as akin to eating overcooked very strong, tough liver. In desperation I chose the carrot and ginger soup which was nice enough but frankly I cannot remember the last time I had to resort to soup as usually there are so many other starter options to tempt me. My mother and daughter both passed on starters after finding that the only option they fancied - roast tomato soup, had gone (obviously there was a big 'run' on soup that night - perhaps the other guests felt similarly about the other starter options!)

Main course choices were similarly uninspiring - three of us chose the gressingham duck which was passable but not amazing. Mine in particular was rather tough and I passed on this information to the waiter at the end of the meal - annoyingly there had been no 'check back' to ask if all was well part way through our meal - the waiter apologised and muttered that he would pass on my comments to the chef. The advertised 'fondant potatoes' to accompany the duck turned out to be two tiny thimble sized potatoes which appeared to be roasted rather than fondant. The carrot puree was just that - okay but again nothing amazing.

My husband ordered the salmon and mussel ragout served with lobster and crab tortellini - again it turned out to be nothing special. A slab of salmon served on a bed of shredded vegetables and the lobster and crab tortellini turned out to be a single ravioli sized parcel and wasn't particularly flavoursome.

Desserts - again, we all scratched our heads. There was little to tempt us, no wow factor.
Three of us opted for the cheeseboard which had an amazing selection of cheeses but we twice had to ask the waiter to replenish the biscuits which were rather a meagre portion. My daughter opted for chocloate sensations which she enjoyed.

At the end of our stay we filled out the guest questionnaire and passed on our comments to the receptionist who showed genuine concern regarding our comments about the dinner menu.

Would we return? - yes but on a B&B basis only. I am genuinely sad to say that unless the food improves we would probably dine out elsewhere and I don't make this comment lightly as in the past we have had some genuinely wonderful meals at Cottage in the Wood. I'm not sure what has happened recently but it is no longer on our list of top places to eat out.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Helen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattinfamily, Owner at The Cottage in the Wood, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

If you are sad so are we. The menu that you ate from has been well received, so I'm at a bit of a loss to know what went wrong here. There have been no changes to the chef brigade for some years now and with the same head chef for 15 years or so. So, I'm sorry that the food elemnt of your stay was unsatisfactory and therefore your break not the crowning success that it should have been. To err is human and we do try to exceed expectations whenever we can. I'm sorry we let you down.
John

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