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“Ridiculous time waiting”
Review of The Windmill

The Windmill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $62
Cuisines: British, Bar, Pub, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Dinner, Late Night, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Cash Only, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: British Pub serving Seasonal Kentish Produce.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Ridiculous time waiting”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Three of us went to the Windmill yesterday for lunch. We were kept waiting an hour and a quarter for our meal. They were obviously very busy as the restaurant was full so we didn't order a starter.It was very difficult to get a drink. I ordered Cod and chips because I thought that would fairly quick and easy. I don't think anything would have been easy, there were too many customers and not enough staff. When the meal eventually arrived the fish and chips were in a wire basket that was very difficult to eat from and very gimicky. The other peoples meals were just satisfactory but that's all. We didn't stop for a dessert or we would have had to wait aniother hour!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Jim187056
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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714 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kent
Level Contributor
100 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Slightly disappointed”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Having been a regular to the Windmill over the past 13 years and enjoying many a lovely meal, I was quite excited about the prospect of trying it out under Richard Phillips' management.

Taking advantage of a very good Travelzoo offer, we booked a table for a Friday evening at the last minute and was surprised to get one for a 7.30 sitting. We arrived at the pub, which has been lovingly restored - not too sure about the stag theme (including skulls on the wall) and the painted beams, but the comfy banquette and cushions is a nice touch. The old inglenook was roaring when we arrived, which is still just as much a centrepiece as it has always been - even if it is minus the boot, which made me a little sad! (locals will know what I mean!)

We were shown to our table straight away, but no-one offered to take my coat, which I was quite surprised about. We were given the menus and had plenty of time to choose our courses plus our drinks as the waiter did not bother to take our order for those.

Our food was served quickly and with good service, however we were not asked at any point if we would like water - which both tables either side of us were. The Rabbit starter was lovely and the relation of toast, terrine and chutney was just about right. We both ordered Pheasant - and this is where the big problem lay. We were tucking in, enjoying the food when my Husband found a small hard lump. He showed me and I informed him it was a pellet. Appreciating that Pheasant is a bird that is shot, he said this was a little disappointing but was willing to let it go...that was until he found two more! Three pellets and a near broken tooth in total.

When - who I can only guess was the manager - came to take our plates and asked if the food was ok, my Husband relayed the issue and the reply was 'oh sorry, the chef is supposed to get all of those out. Unfortunately there isn't more we can do as it's the way the bird is killed' He seemed quite awkward, almost like he had not been given any empowerment to make any decisions.

We waited for the bill, which came eventually, thinking there may be some offer of free drinks but nothing. We left a tip that wasn't in total proportion to the bill but felt some of the service has been good.

Comparing the Windmill to Thackeray's, it's not the same. The Windmill has been turned from a village local to a Gastro Pub and personally I don't think it's very good value for money. I don't think it fits its location and it seems to be awkwardly out of place. We will give it another try in the future, but only for the lunch menu, which is better value at £12 for 3 courses. Had we not used the vouchers, our meal would have cost £90. From what I could see everyone around us had vouchers too. For me, if you want to charge over average prices then the food has to be that little bit special and this wasn't.

Maybe I am just grieving for the old pub that was there before - but to my mind there was never anything wrong with it. It never pretended to be anything more than it was but still served up some of the best Sunday lunches I had ever tasted.

I feel that maybe now Richard Phillips has 3 establishments, he is starting to slightly lose control of his standards and that is a slippery slope to be on. I would much rather pay £90 and go somewhere that has Michelin stars, like the Sportsman.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kelembee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vale of Glamorgan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Best pub food I have had in Kent for a very long time”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Having seen a TravelZoo voucher offer I purchased it. We had the winter warmer menu. The service was attentive. The food was very good, and puts all the pubs I have been to in the area to shame. Granted this is a gastro-pub, but I cannot complain. I have been brought up around restaurants, and I would happily return to this establishment.

The mussels were good, the liver very good, and the desert, perhaps unnecessary for me as I am not a desert person. Good wine!

A young musician was playing, the fire was roaring.

I will recommend this quite happily!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Roberto D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rainham, Kent
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Superb food, great people, gorgeous pub - going back :-)”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stumbled across this little gem by using a travelzoo voucher that my husband had purchased and we there last Thursday evening. I didn't know where we are going but when we pulled up I have to say I am very guilty and thought it didn't look like a good food type gastro pub. However walking through the back entrance from the car park I was more than pleasently suprised. The pub is gorgeous, low ceilings, beams and a stunning huge open fire. We were greeted on our arrival and shown to our table. The food was amazing, and even if paying full price it would have been a bargain. Well presented dishes and delicious. The staff were tentative without being over bearing. I can't wait to go back. The gentleman who seemed to be running the place took the time to tell us about their lunchtime offers and the live music they offer on a Wednesday (I think?!?).

Well done Richard Phillips on creating a yummy menu :-)

Thanks

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank flix_2209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Christmas Eve disaster”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Shocking experience never to be repeated. We arrived around 12.30pm for an impromptu lunch. Not having booked, we were offered their last table in the bar, by the door which wasn't set up for food and had high stools. My mum is 70 and 5'2 so only just about managed to wriggle up but as we hadn't booked we didn't really have cause for complaint.....not at that point anyway. When we asked for details of their daily specials we were informed by the waiter that as he didn't actually work in the restaurant he had no idea what they were. The barman directed us through the restaurant to the specials board to see for ourselves. As no details were displayed for the 'sandwich of the day' anywhere, we asked another waiter who again told us he had 'no idea' and would check with the kitchen. A rather unremarkable Christmas Eve offering of cheese and tomato was reported back so we declined and ordered 2 glasses if fizz which arrived promptly. Having decided on the steak pie and the haddock we placed our order and waited 45 mins for it to arrive. No one asked if we needed more drinks or any other services in the mean time. Throughout the entire visit the door to the bar was constantly banging making us jump each time as it was so loud. Everyone in the area was disturbed by this (at least 30 times during our visit) but the staff ignored comments. Generally this wouldn't be an issue but with the loud music, difficult seating arrangement and gun shot like banging you can imagine my poor mum was at her wits end. The best is yet to come.....when the food arrived the pie pastry was over cooked, the filling chewy with cheap cuts which lacked flavour and was under seasoned. My haddock however (or the lack of it) was unbelievable. If you look above you will see a photo of one lucky reviewers haddock....mine however was missing! When I asked the waiter if he could see a problem with the dish, he said he didn't know what it was or what it should look like. Thinking I must be going mad, I asked to see the menu to check. Yes, strangely enough the haddock dish should have actually had some haddock present on the plate. When I told the waiter the bubble and squeak and the egg were on the plate but the haddock was missing he looked at me blankly and said he would check with chef. 2 mins later the same dish appeared with a large haddock fillet which had apparently been forgotten, despite the fact the poached egg supposedly sits on it! No apology or explanation. We left promptly and only when we had paid were we asked if everything was to our liking and our bill adjusted. Nice gesture but to little too late. The Windmill has had too many chances now, they are getting worse not better and if Mr Phillips doesn't sort the place out soon he is going to turn into a local laughingstock.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LJ21Kent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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