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“Quirky venue, interesting food”
Review of The Secret Garden - CLOSED

The Secret Garden
Cuisines: Mediterranean
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: The Restaurant at Oddfellows is set in Oddfellows Hall on Chester's Lower Bridge Street, a renovated 17th century Georgian manor house turned chic. Oddfellows comprises of various bars and restaurants, eightenn hotel rooms and a gorgeous walled garden filled for al fresco dining. Serving lunch, informal afternoon tea and dinner every day. Oddfellows' super-chic Champagne Bar is ideal for stylish pre/post dinner drinks.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

The service was good to start with, the staff are clearly well trained. Then a couple of large groups arrived and the service dropped off noticeably - perhaps they were understaffed?
The "mains" were excellent, I had the Bharja Lamb was absolutely divine and worth going back for. My partner had the SpatchCock poussin which was also excellent.
The atmosphere was good though very noisy once the large parties arrived.
The decor was very interesting and quirky and there is a large "secret garden" which looks like a great place to have Sunday lunch.

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1  Thank Phil L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah D, Guest Relations Manager at The Secret Garden, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2012

Thank you for comments we are really pleased you enjoyed the menu. Please keep an eye out for our new menu in early September!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (172)
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102 - 106 of 172 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2012

Last visited 5 yrs ago when there were Arab tents and fountains out the back. This is the THIRD re-incarnation of OddFellows in an attempt to make it work.
Now there is a mish mash of interior design - outdoors? Example: The outdoor tables have a chandelier at one end and an upturned galvanised bucket for a light at the other end. One of the bars has gardening tools on its 'thatched' roof and this is opposite an industrial stove pipe and ventilation shaft??
Parts of the wak areas are cobbled stones and then suddenly - astro turf??
Access from the inside to the outside is exposed to the weather (rain!) and cannot be covered???

And the icing on the cake: Tucked down the back end of the outdoor area, amongst all the hubris (blink and you'll miss it) is a BRAND NEW MODERN BRICK "BOUTIQUE" HOTEL.

Overall, I would say the design is too fussy - best described as: confused.

That's the down side. The UP side is that the service is exceptional - polite, well mannered, educated, attentive staff, especially front of house. The FOOD is well above average for Chester, probably some of the best and the menu is NOT FUSSY! It is a well designed simple choice and beautifully presented. This and the service makes this place.

Prices are above average for Chester, probably a legacy of the Grosvenor. Bottle of wine for 2 and 3 courses: £45 each.

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Thank WTaylorUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah D, Guest Relations Manager at The Secret Garden, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2012

We are really pleased that you enjoyed the food and service. Our new menu will be available from early Septmber. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

We went for Sunday lunch the food and service were good as was the decor ,however there was a complete lack of atmosphere and very few customers a quirky place but the singer didn't turn up and it was not cheap.

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1  Thank antony p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah D, Guest Relations Manager at The Secret Garden, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2012

So glad that you loved the decor. Our musician plays from 3pm on a Sunday if you dined early, I'm sorry but you may have missed him. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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Reviewed July 29, 2012

Experienced Oddfellows secret garden on a sunny sunday afternoon when there was a fantastic michael buble style soloist. Extensive menu with great wine list , service was excellent especially maurilio matre d who assisted with recommendations for both food and wine. Great location, newly renovated and was truly a wonderful experience that will be repeated soon.

1  Thank ruth_allman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

We are a long-standing Chester family who regularly eat in the Brasserie of the Grosvenor Hotel which we consider an excellent dining venue. Oddfellows being an off-shoot of the Chester Grosvenor we thought we would have a similarly pleasant dining experience there when we booked to go on my wife's birthday in June. What a disappointment. The food was mediocre, the service amateur and when I asked for 10% to be added to my bill [for three] for £155 i found that £20 had been added not £15.50. We had soup for our first course but no soup spoons had been laid on the table and they had to be fetched after the soup had been served. The only apparently trained waiter was fully occupied servong a party of twelve and we were served by admittedly pleasant but untrained students. As we left the foyer of the building was empty except for two very odd looking people who looked as if they had just wandered in from the street - there seemed to be no doorman or receptionist to exert some control on who entered the premises. This made for a rather creepy atmosphere and we shall not be going back.

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2  Thank john d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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