We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Mediocre Sunday lunch”
Review of The Dabbling Duck

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
The Dabbling Duck
Certificate of Excellence
Swaffham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Mediocre Sunday lunch”
Reviewed June 2, 2014 via mobile

This is not the first time we have had Sunday lunch at the duck with friends but were very disappointed this time although said nothing at the time as our friends had booked it. The beef was v rare and very fatty I asked for my gravy to be served separate and this was cold. Which only made my dinner colder and greasy (not "proper" gravy happy to teach them how to make proper gravy or jus as they call it today ) than it already was however no one from the serving staff bothered to ask if our food was okay my 89 yr old mother in law hardly touched her meal but no one bothered to enquire as to whether all was okay - seems to me that there is no check on customer satisfaction just living off their reputation won't be hurrying back

Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank BobbieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark D, General Manager at The Dabbling Duck, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Thank you for your review.

Firstly, I would like to apologise that you did not enjoy your meal with us on this occasion.
Since your visit, I have addressed a number of these issues with the staff here as I was very disappointed with your comments on the service. I believe it is very important to check back on tables to make sure that all the food is ok, so I am very disappointed that it did not happen on this occasion, - I shall make sure that this does not happen in the future.

The beef that is often served on our Sunday roasts is a Roasted Rib of Beef (as stated on the menu) and this particular cut of beef does tend to be fatty in order to give it much more taste, but I can only apologise that you feel the cut served to your table was too fatty. However, I have passed your comments onto the chefs regarding the disappointment with the meal.

We hope that you will visit us again in the future, and that your visit will be more enjoyable.

If you would like to discuss this any further, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mark Dobby
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

410 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    231
    116
    31
    19
    13
See reviews for
76
218
9
11
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Having stayed at the Dabbling Duck for two nights last year and receiving excellent service, we decided to use the venue again for a function. What a shame, the standard seems to have slipped.
Last year the attention to detail and service level was faultless whereas this time around things were very average indeed. Examples: Poor breakfast with a limited selection and running out of certain things such as the smoked salmon. Main meal with well done's being rare and some adult portions looking like they were chosen from the children's menu. Menu's that have gone from inviting and difficult to choose just one item to a 'what on earth is that?' Shower gels in the rooms not being replaced. Having to queue at a busy bar when you were part of a table of 20 to re order the wine..........
The Dabbling Duck is a beautiful place in the country but if it wants to retain it's reputation for quality service and command the high room rates, it needs to reinvigorate that attention to detail and personal service.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jezza773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark D, General Manager at The Dabbling Duck, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Thank you for your review.

I am very sorry to hear that you was not pleased with your recent visit to us. We aim to maintain a high, yet casual standard of service here at The Dabbling Duck, so I am disappointed to hear that you believe our standards are slipping.

Firstly, I can only apologise that we had ran out of Smoked Salmon for one of the mornings of your stay, but we did offer a Sea Trout Kedgeree in replacement, and I am made aware that the Smoked Salmon was available again the following morning.

On from this, I am led to believe that my staff had some difficulty communicating with some of the guests and that there was much confusion, as many of the party could not remember what they had ordered on the evening, for which the host of your party apologised for.

Although it is no excuse, the evening was an exceptionally busy evening for us, as you mentioned 'having to queue at a busy bar' and although we are a pub, we try to get drinks orders at the tables whenever possible, - I am sorry that we could not manage that on this occasion.

We take your comments very seriously here at The Dabbling Duck, and I would like to add that we very rarely take bookings for a table of 20 on a Saturday evening. However, we made an exception on this occasion as we were aware of your previous visits to us. Therefore, I am very sorry to hear that it was a disappointment.

If you would like to discuss this further then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mark Dobby
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Had an evening meal last night in the Dabbling Duck. We were really looking forward to the crab and seatrout main course. What we got was a stain on a plate. About a teaspoon of crab, a very bitter sauce. 2 very small potatoes, halved and 2 very small leaves. Other diners looked at our meal and also commented on how bad this was. We told the waitress, don't think she was even interested. How about have a pretty plate but to make a main meal, have a bowl of potatoes and a bowl of salad so at least it does make a main meal. We had to go to Swaffham and have a takeaway after this so very very disappointed and will never go here again.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Irene1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark D, General Manager at The Dabbling Duck, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Thank you for your review.

We take all comments very seriously here at The Dabbling Duck and I am disappointed to hear that you were not pleased with your meals. The Sea Trout is a light summer dish, but we always have side orders on offer.

I am very disappointed to hear that the waitress seemed disinterested, - we take great care in employing staff that are passionate and caring within their work, so this is a matter I shall be looking into.

If you would like to discuss this any further, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Many thanks,
Mark Dobby
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2014

Great hospitality and service. The rooms were very laid out and catered for our needs - probably would not wish to stay longer than a couple of days as there was not wardrobe. However, everything else worked for us and the bed was very very comfortable. Breakfast was a delight even if we had to wait a fair bit on day two - who is in a hurry anyway???

Room Tip: Room 5 is best
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JollyMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark D, General Manager at The Dabbling Duck, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Thank you very much for your review.

It is pleasing to hear that you was happy with the service during your stay and that your room catered all your needs. However, I would like apologise for the wait you had on your breakfast - all of our meals are cooked fresh and we always aim to serve them within 15 minutes.

We hope that you will come back and visit us again in the near future.

Many thanks,

Mark Dobby
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pontefract, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed May 22, 2014

As we were touring we only stayed one night but wish we had stayed there the week. Delightful friendly pub with so many special ilttle touches that were really appreciated. Excellent food. Will definitely return. We didn't expect to find 'Yorkshire Hospitality' in Norfolk

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hazel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark D, General Manager at The Dabbling Duck, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Thank you very much for your kind review.

It is lovely to hear that the hard work from all the staff is appreciated.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Many thanks,

Mark Dobby
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manama, Bahrain
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2014

Oh booked this as he used to live in the village and we visited on a quiet Wednesday evening.
Lovely place, great location and the village is beautiful.

Pub is an absolute pleasure and the decor etc is completely rural Norfolk so I had high expectations...especially when I saw the menu..

Wine was lovely.
First course I chose the borscht beet root salad and hubby had the asparagus soup - his was delicious (plate envy) - mine was slightly disappointing especially with the four walkers crisps which were artistically arranged....very poor overall but have to admit that the beet root flavour was good.

We both chose the crab burger with triple fried chips...husband loved his. I found the crab was overwhelmed with the deep fried taste - did I mention dogs are welcome? Ours enjoyed mine far more than I did

Didn't order desserts as had lost interest at this stage.

This may sound like a negative review but I would actually give this place another try - I'm sure that the rest of the menu may be better - I just felt that I had high expectations due to my experience of good eateries in Norfolk and perhaps we experienced bad choices...
A lovely local!!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark D, General Manager at The Dabbling Duck, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Thank you for your review.

I am glad that you found the flavour of the beetroot on the Borscht starter to be good, but disappointed that you did not particularly like the starter as a whole. It is good to hear that your husband enjoyed the crab burger but, I am sorry that this dish wasn't quite to your taste.

However, we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Many thanks,

Mark Dobby
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coggeshall, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2014

Relax and unwind in the picturesque surroundings of the tiny village of Great Massingham, where the ducks rule the roost and the pace of life feels luxuriously slow.
The aptly named Dabbling Duck is situated in the centre of the village overlooking its wide green and the large duck pond, whose feathered residents, I suspect, outnumber the population of people in the village. The place is a haven which fuses an old-style country pub with concept-led dining.
My husband and I visited on May 8, staying in the Wolstenholm room. The pub is stuffed with eclectic objects and numerous well-worn books for the visitor to peruse. The complimentary rhubarb vodka and homemade biscuits were a tasty bonus. Dinner was delicious, well thought out with good flavour combinations and a focus on locally sourced food - a huge cut above the usual pub fare. The pub manages to feel welcoming and homely while providing classy food and drink coupled with a winning quirky ambiance - we loved it !

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank purple277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark D, General Manager at The Dabbling Duck, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Many thanks for your lovely review.

We are very lucky to have such picturesque surroundings here in Great Massingham and we always try to maintain the relaxed ambience within the pub too.

One of our main focus points is to use locally sourced and home-made produce wherever possible, so the chefs will be very pleased to hear that you enjoyed their home-made rhubarb vodka and biscuits!

It is great to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Many thanks,

Mark Dobby
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Great Massingham
12.2 mi away
The Hoste
The Hoste
#1 of 2 in Burnham Market
1,325 reviews
5.4 mi away
Congham Hall Hotel & Spa
Congham Hall Hotel & Spa
#1 of 15 in King's Lynn
815 reviews
13.1 mi away
Titchwell Manor Hotel
Titchwell Manor Hotel
#1 of 2 in Titchwell
812 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
12.5 mi away
The Kings Head Country Hotel
The Kings Head Country Hotel
#1 of 2 in Great Bircham
440 reviews
3.8 mi away
The Crown Inn
The Crown Inn
#1 of 1 in East Rudham
265 reviews
10.1 mi away
The King William IV Country Inn & Restaurant
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Dabbling Duck? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Dabbling Duck

Property: The Dabbling Duck
Address: 11 Abbey Road, Great Massingham PE32 2HN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Great Massingham
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Great Massingham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, TripOnline SA, Priceline, Booking.com and Book Direct Rooms so you can book your The Dabbling Duck reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Dabbling Duck Hotel Great Massingham

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing