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The Bull Hotel
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Reviews (354)
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Reviewed August 24, 2012

We recently had a 3day stay at The Bull & enjoyed working our way through their well-presented menu of good quality & imaginative homestyle cooking and interesting wine list! Most of this ancient and interesting Listed Building has been decorated to a reasonable standard but must say on arrival we were a little daunted by the cramped entrance (off the car park) and the rather unsalubrious Reception area - shame, as first impressions are so important and the Front of House (ie the Bar & Restaurant area from the street side) were, in contrast, perfectly cheery and well decorated. Our Double bedroom (No.1) was quite small but had recently been refurbished as had the bathroom which had smart new fittings and both rooms were appreciated. It was a surprisingly warm August weekend and on a couple of occasions when friends joined us at the pub we were relieved to be able to drink and dine outside. The Bull lacks a 'garden' but has a pretty vine covered area with tables etc which potentially could be very simply enhanced by a few tubs of geraniums and perhaps a hanging basket or two! All of the staff were pleasant and courteous and made us (and our 2 very well behaved dogs) feel most welcome. All in all a relaxing stay with good fayre at good value in this charming old pub with rooms.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank kdht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

The owner Martin and his staff recently catered for our wedding reception. Well what a wonderful day he and his staff created for us. The wedding breakfast was a triumph 84 guest which included 10 children was perfect all our guest were served well cook well presented food in good time. No table was left waiting and the coodrdination was perfect. The tables were arranged and dressed as we wanted and the wine flowed. We were able to hire the whole hotel for the day and night so that family were able to stay and enjoy the day untill the wee small hours. Nothing was too much trouble for ANY OF THE STAFF. who all went the extra mile to make our special day perfect. We have to make a special mention to Nichola whos planning skills were invaluable in the months before the day. Everone who stayed were very happy with there clean and comfortable rooms and the cooked breakfast which was served by very helpful member of staff. Catering for such a special and large event is never easy but we have to say that it was as perfect as it could have been. Out of a total of 150 guest we have not had even 1 complaint or grumble which says it all.SO THANK YOU MARTIN AND ALL YOUR STAFF for a wonderful day.
We will continue to visit often

Room Tip: Room 3 large four poster bedroom
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank unhappycustomer48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Can I just say first of all - the food in the evening was great.
Also - the TV in our room was positioned at the perfect height for watching in bed - good when the Olympics were on as we were able to snuggle up and watch it after a tiring day.
Now for the rest of the review.
Recpetion is round the back in a dingy corridor - as we walked around and saw the big generator or whatever it is humming away I said "I hope that's not our room". You can guess which room we had!
We had booked 2 rooms, and were asked to pay up front at reception before even seeing them (After being asked to fill in a form that wanted our passport no., where we came from, where we were going next, and some other unnecessary questions! We asked to see the rooms, and were met with a puzzled look followed by a "Fine if that's what you would like" as if we'd asked the weirdest thing in the world.
The rooms could not have been more different, the one assigned as the double was nice, wooden floor with no rug though, but bathroom large and nice enough view out over the not too busy road outside. The next room was a DINGY BOX, and over the generator, all for the princely sum of £79. I know the £30 price difference reflected this, but both rooms were still £20 over their worth.
I think the Bull Hotel needs to realise they aren't in London or some other Chic city location - it's a pub with rooms, and the prices, and decor, should match this. As it was it felt like it had been refurbished on a budget, in the colours and materials etc.
We swapped rooms as the tiny one had been assigned to my Mum, who is claustrophobic, (and was paying) and stayed, mostly as there was no where else for us to go.

The cleanliness of the rooms was ABYSMAL! Thank goodness the sheets were clean otherwise I really would not have been able to stay, but my towel had blood or chocolate or something browny red on it (on the side up after it was folded, no one noticed this?!) and was tiny - one towel each! (I have never had only one towel, and it was very small, the one I'd had the day before could wrap round me twice!)My boyfriend went and got me a new one out of the cupboard, as the cleaner we'd seen had disappeared and no one was on reception.
The floor was so disgusting,I saw it was bad, but thought maybe we'd trodden some stuff in. Yet when I put one pillow on the floor beside the bed, where I'd only walked in bare feet (I only sleep with one) I picked it up in the morning to find it was covered it 'bits' - a quick look at the floor showed hairs, dirt, cotton bits etc. that looked like at least 3 occupants worth.
The bathroom was clean - but no sanitary bags (despite a stern warning in the 'welcome' pack to use them) and half a roll of scratchy cheap loo roll, we ran out before the morning, and had to get some from mum, even though she'd nearly run out too!

It says it's newly reopened and refurbished - it's Not, there are signs apologising for it still going on. Our room was a complete bodge job, paint on bathroom tiles, unpainted door, scuffs all over the wall.

Our 'wardrobe' was a stick out of the wall, certainly not high enough to hang a long dress on.

We were woken up by drunk people coming back at 1 in the morning, most probably because our door was bowed - and had a gap at the top and bottom - we could hear every SHHHH and whisper. I woke up another 3 times in the night too, probs because of the humming but I don't know for sure.

BREAKFAST! - Well, what a disappointment that was. Waitress catches us by the fruit juice, making us give our order standing in the middle of the room instead of letting us sit down as we tried to do, just speaking louder as we tried to sidle to the table.
No fruit ready to go, just some old pears and Oranges (Oranges had those flat bits on where they've been sitting there for days.) There's no way anyone is telling me that's fresh. One type of the cheap kind of probiotic plain yoghurt.

When I asked for more toast after the 4 slices we had ran out - 2 slices came out in a rack. For six of us.

I think all of this was made worse that we'd stayed at somewhere brilliant the night before, at £79 less altogether. They had laid on a spread of every fruit imaginable (stewed rhubarb, strawberries sliced in half, all the work done for you!), croissants on the table, the fried breakfast was almost too big to finish, rather than a portion size at the Bull that made my mum say "They're joking!" When she looked at it, and it was all given with a smile. Not to mention the previous day we were given a cream tea when we arrived with homemade scones, and driven to a local pub so we didn't have to get a taxi or walk for dinner - completely the opposite of the dingy, "Money Now" welcome we had at The Bull Hotel.

There is nothing to justify their prices. The lick of paint and patterned curtains (Or in our case black blind, that meant that when I came out of the shower, because the bathroom is too small to change in, I had to pull it down and switch the light on so people drinking in the coutyard below couldn't see me Nekked!) goes no way to change the size of rooms, or service.

Another quite funny moment was when I asked for the other menu (Bar Menu) that is offered on weekdays, I'd seen it on the website, didn't know it wasn't offered on Saturdays, and after a 12 mile walk felt like a nice plate of fidh and chips or something chickeny. I was met with an aghast expression and was told I would be "down-grading". I felt so much like I was in the wrong and had been offensive, I tried my best to soothe the egos of those involved in this restaurant only to remember that I'm the customer and theyshould not have made me feel so embarrassed when I'm spending £6.50 on 11 bits of whitebait (the accompanying wasabi mayonaise and cucumber citrus salad was nice, although there was a LOt of Orange pith on my plate, but I seemed to be unlucky as the two people with me hardly had any). My partner's pork belly was lovely though, as were all the desserts.

I know it seems like quite the list - but you get the feeling here that to voice a complaint or concern is to mortally wound the employee, and so I expect they have not been made aware of these issues sooner. Plus, who wants to complain after a tiring day? The day before we had been left with a "Aaaahhh we're here" feeling. Here I was left feeling guilty I'd booked the Hotel and my Mum had to fork out £188.

I have stayed in places for a lot less money for much better service and facilities, if other people have stayed here and loved it then I can only assume they are used to spending larger amounts and it didn't seem too bad, they haven't stayed at many places, or they stayed in one of the larger rooms on a cleaner's good day! :)

I hope the Bull Hotel will take the criticisms as intended - they need to step back and understand that if they let standards slip in these small details then they will lose the reputation they want before they have even gained it. That's why I gave 3 and not 2 stars. In fact I would suggest you just stop letting people stay in room 11, or charge £55 a night for it, not £79. £55 being the price we pay for a great ensuite B&B on the North cornish coast with wonderful hosts, great breakfasts and beautiful views. We certainly would not even consider coming back to The Bull Hotel, and it's not often we would say that.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank fenny89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

What a find excellent accommodation incredible value for money food very very good wine list plus wine list is affordable to all. Hotel marked up as 2 star should be 3 or even 4 star, staff attentive will certainly return. Felt at home, nothing was to much trouble.


Mr & Mrs Cross

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Steven C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

Having booked a room for 2 adults and a baby I would have expected more room. And paying £75 I would have expected better quality. The room was tiny! There was hardly any space to put our suitcase nevermind our baby. The bathroom over looked a roof which was under repair. It really did remind me of a students bedsit. I'm not sure if it was because if the size or the smell.
Really disappointing as the staff were friendly and outside it looks lovely.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Badlacie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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