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“Good food, stuffy attitude - and charged for using a credit card!”
Review of Holbeck Ghyll

Holbeck Ghyll
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Ranked #21 of 80 Restaurants in Windermere
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We had dinner here on a Saturday night recently. The food was very good all round, and enjoyed by both of us.

Whilst the reception area was nice and characterful, the lounge area and dining-room were very old-fashioned - could really do with some serious modernisation. Luckily the dining-room was busy, otherwise the atmosphere would have been really silent and cold.

The attitude of many of the staff was good particularly the younger ones, however the staff in the dining room were humourless and stuffy.

Beware unpriced menus. We received menus intended for residents which were unpriced. Because service was paced to be slow we took menus from another table in the lounge and bucked the system. So we were somewhat surprised by the bill at the end, it wasn't cheap.

And then finally they charged for using a normal credit card, i.e. Visa & Mastercard. I cannot believe that a high-class organisation like this with a fixed-price menu of £65 would demean themselves by charging an extra 65p for using a credit card. Its not Ryanair!

Overall unfortunately we won't be returning when we next visit the Lake District.

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Thank Jo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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310 - 314 of 466 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2013

I hate writing bad reviews, but unfortunately our experience, from start to finish, was poor.

Despite arriving on time for our booking, we were kept waiting for over an hour in one of the sitting rooms before being seated. In that time we were offered one drink, and had to call over a waiter after some time for another. We were told that unfortunately everyone had arrived at once and there was a back up in the kitchen, which seemed a strange excuse for a restaurant.

After finally being seated, hungry and about to start eating the upholstery(!), we were ushered into one of the stuffiest, cut-the-silence-with-a-knife, dining rooms I have ever experienced. Perhaps it was that particular night, but it felt like eating in a post-apocalyptic library; an eerie hush and absolutely zero atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the food didn't make things much better - I don't want to be too critical, so I will leave it at that - only to say, I had the scallop starter here, then a scallop starter at another restaurant in the area the following night - they were worlds apart.

Sadly, it didn't end there - our waiter did not afford me the privilege of trying my own wine before pouring me out a full glass, and sadly his stuffy demeanour added to the sense of hushed, stuffy formality. Don't get me wrong, we we're expecting a big top, ring master and dancing elephants - just a bit of life/normality.

All in all we left deflated and disappointed: not the place for you, if you like to talk to your partner in a relaxed, enjoyable environment. Certainly the place for you, if you like to eat your rubbery scallops in silence, having been made to wait an hour plus for the privilege.

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1  Thank Yomi A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

We enjoyed an anniversary meal here. The house is charming, the grounds beautiful and the views pretty spectacular. The food was excellent. I had a tien of crab with pink grapefruit and avocado starter, a main of succulent lamb, with intriguing and very tasty, haggis beignets (essentially, fritters). Hubby had fillet of beef with a delicious, un-boned oxtail in a crispy coating. The decor is very comfortable, we had our coffee and petit fours in the lounge area, taking advantage of soft armchairs and a bay window with amazing view. Only a small grumble, given the Michelin status, that by the time my dessert wine arrived, my dessert had partially melted, spoiling the enjoyment of both together. A fellow diner across the room had ordered the exact same combination as myself and I did note that her dessert wine never arrived at all. In all though, we enjoyed a lovely evening and the staff were very friendly. Holbeck manages to be classy without being stuffy.

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Thank Gillian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

A pleasant hotel with stunning views but I've definitely had better Michelin starred dining. We were a party of 4 for lunch to celebrate my birthday. Food was perfectly pleasant but not the wow factor that I always expect and experience with a Michelin star. Definitely high end price for pretty standard fare like rabbit or crab starter £9 and creme brulee or sticky toffee pud, again £9. Lunch for 4 with one bottle of wine was £250 - wish I'd gone to 2 Michelin star L'enclume at Cartmel, been wowed and probably saved some money! Oh and 2 small bottles of house filtered sparkling water was £11.60 - ouch! And then to top it all, they charged 1% for using a credit card - now that's a real insult! Never experienced the like before! We picked up a brochure on our way out to later find a voucher for £9 off lunch per person - and they charged voucher-less me for using a credit card . Sorry I feel terribly ripped off and won't be going again - even with a voucher!

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1  Thank Jolliesaddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We arrived at 12.30 for a 12.30 lunch booking. We were asked to wait in a lounge. We were shown to our table one hour later. There was no apology for the delay but they said it was because they were waiting for the bread to be made, adding that the bread was, '...always late'. I believe this probably was the reason for the delay because when the bread was served it had clearly not had sufficient time to rest - the brown bread in particular was very, very doughy and therefore quite unpleasant. We were not too bothered by the wait but it would have been nice of them to (a) tell us we would be waiting an hour and (b) given us a complimentary drink.

The meal itself was excellent. Tuna starter delish. Fish mains ditto. Desert scrummy. All beautifully presented. Service during meal professional.

Do go, but don't expect much from the bread and be prepared to wait...

I have given it 4 stars overall as the food was faultless except for the bread. If they got everything else right it would deserve a 5. Similarly, the service mostly deserved 4 or 5 stars but an unexplained wait of a whole hour is not really acceptable.

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1  Thank Andrew T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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