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“Disappointing Service-Disappointing food”
Review of The Dolphin Tavern

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The Dolphin Tavern
Ranked #11 of 81 Penzance B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Disappointing Service-Disappointing food”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

I visited Penzance during the May bank holiday weekend. Expecting restaurants to be crowded on Saturday night, I went into The Dolphin Tavern in the afternoon to reserve a table. The bartender was friendly and welcoming in taking my 7:30pm reservation. We even discussed that this particular holiday weekend marked the beginning of its peak summer season. I arrived a little early. The bartender greeted me warmly, explaining the wine by the glass options (as I tasted the flavored popcorn snack on the bar), and then pointing out my table.
My optimism for a delicious or even adequate dining experience was not to last long. The restaurant was busy not yet jammed, as tables awaited later reservations. The waitress dropped menus on my table and curtly directed my attention to specials written on the wall. When she returned, offering no explanations and soliciting no questions, I ordered the grilled sole. A few minutes later, she abruptly reappeared to advise that they were fully booked. My order would take 30-35 minutes and didn’t I want to order an appetizer to appease my hunger! I declined. So, imagine my surprise when 15 minutes later my dinner was plopped in front of me. The sole’s head and tail exceeded the plate. It was a whole fish after all, not a fillet. In vain, I tried to get a waitress’s attention to secure a fish knife or side plate for the long skeleton +bones. Nope! I was invisible, despite my table’s location on the pathway to the other dining rooms and nearby tables.
The fish was tasteless, devoid of any seasoning, and, when I flipped it, I learned that the underside wasn’t done. I thought another glass of wine might help, but no luck getting noticed. Once finished and plate pushed aside, another 10 minutes lapsed. I know this because the bar clock was in clear view– not because I was fixated on my wrist. Finally, when the waitress did stop, I told her I might have wanted another glass of wine earlier. Distracted, she replied “We’re fully booked”. I said a plate for the fish skeleton or more water would have been nice. The shrugged reply, “We’re fully booked.” There seemed no point in suggesting that, of course, they were fully booked, it should have been staffed to handle it--on the holiday weekend launching summer peak. I did leave a 15% tip anyway. Understaffing is not up to the kitchen or waitresses, that’s on management's plate. So, maybe for lunch mid-week in February or March …when it’s not booked?!!?

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 357joc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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253 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Didn't stay at the Dolphin just had a meal there, excellent quality and plentiful, I had a sizzling mushroom dish which was very tasty and salad rather than chips, at no extra cost, my friend had Newlyn crab salad which was plentiful and tasty. Other food being eaten looked lovely and all the plates were returned empty. Staff efficient and friendly. Well worth trying.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stabramoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penzance
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We live locally and won't be going back. The glasses and cutlery were dirty and the waitress had a really unhelpful attitude. I took a dirty glass back and the white wine was poured into a new glass so the red wine sediment just ended up in the new glass. I could go on but would just suggest you give it a miss

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PenzanceCurnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wicklow, Ireland
Level Contributor
57 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Didnt stay at the Dolphin,just went in for food.Quality and quantity were excellent.I had the sizzling steak and it was beautiful.All other food I saw being served looked equally tasty.Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ned d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We arrived after a long day walking from Portcurnho. On our way to the Dolphin we walked along the sea front of Penazance. The wind was blowing the sea in waves over the pavement and even the road.

I'm coming to the point now. The room we had booked was a big double bedroom with a big en-suite bathroom, both refurbished to a very good standard. The restaurant was busy from check-in until closing. Even though it was busy we got a table reserved.
There was broad variety of local fished sea food and meat or veggi dishes offered on the menu. The food was complemented by a selection of local beers and great service.

If you get a table on a window you might even enjoy splashing waves on the windows on a windy day.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wkluge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
384 reviews
110 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Stayed the one night in the Dolphin and received a warm relaxing welcome , very nice spacious room overlooking the harbour. The bathroom was perfectly ok on appearence but soon as a tap was run a horrendous noise emerged which we discovered was the Saniloo shredder ! The contraption made a horrendous racket every time water was run in the bathroom and the loo was used , a slightly blocked basin sink probably didn't help . To be fair it didn't disturb a very good nights sleep but we could hear the adjoining rooms Saniloo when it went off . Good pub , we ate out and breakfast was ok nothing more but huge portions . Would recommend the Dolphin for a stay particularly if you're taking the Isle of Scilly boat , and staff very friendly .

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nick7p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viareggio, Italy
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We arrived in Penzance on the 11 and 12 March 2013 in rainy and windy weather. We don't care for large hotels and prefer traditional British inns, B&B's and pubs with a strong local touch. We stayed two nights at the Dolphin Tavern, with a view on Penzance harbour, and found the people there particulary welcoming and friendly. The room was quiet, cosy, and clean with a comfortable bed. Breakfast included a generous choice of food from juice to yogurt, toast, and of course the full Cornish/ English breakfast. It was served in the pub, a 500 year old historic house full of atmosphere.. As far as rates are concerned, the Dolphin offers an excellent price-quality value so I strongly recommend it to visitors touring the area!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank foreveramber51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dolphin Tavern

Property: The Dolphin Tavern
Address: Quay Street, Penzance TR18 4BD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Penzance
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 81 B&Bs / Inns in Penzance
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Dolphin Tavern 3*
Number of rooms: 2
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Also Known As:
The Dolphin Tavern Hotel Penzance
The Dolphin Tavern Penzance, Cornwall

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