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“A very enjoyable all round experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Cowdray Arms

The Cowdray Arms
Ranked #45 of 261 Restaurants in Crawley
Price range: $4 - $21
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children, Kids, Bar scene, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
East Grinstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A very enjoyable all round experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2012

We have been regular visitors to the Cowdray over the years and have always been broadly happy. The food has always been of a very high standard but was sometimes let down by slow service. We booked for a family celebration, without realising that there had been a change of management, and having read the largely unflattering recent reviews on Trip Advisor, we approached our night out with a degree of trepidation. I am delighted to report that our fears were unfounded. The service was excellent being friendly and attentive without being intrusive. We complained about a flat gin and tonic and it was replaced without hesitation. (The attitude of the Assistant Manager whose name I have sadly forgotten) was brilliant. When they did not have the wine we wanted (despite it being on the wine list) she substituted a more expensive bottle at the lower price. We all enjoyed the food. The menu while not extensive had something for everyone. Only 2 criticisms: the turkey was excellent but could have done with a lot less gravy. I am not a big gravy fan at the best of times but it was literally submerged! Secondly the crème brulee although lovely and gingery could have been hotter. Relatively minor issues that did not detract from a very enjoyable evening.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Donal B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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437 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“So, so”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2012

Very friendly staff who was us most welcome, but I wouldn't rush back as there are enough other places to try.
Food was OK, but the bar and the restaurant were dead so there was no atmosphere.
The food was quite expensive, but as I said, it was OK.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TheSussexTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Such a shame that the front of house can't match the quality of food.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2012 via mobile

As a local we used to frequent the Cowdray on a regular basis. Unfortunately changes in management and front of house mean that what used to be a favourite is now often avoided.

Recently went for Sunday lunch; the service was appallingly slow with lots of new staff who appeared to have had next to no training. Given the pub had been closed for weeks for a refurbishment it looked very tired inside. The paint work was obviously rushed as drip marks in the sofa, specials blackboard has had a large painting screwed in to it. An element of the original character had been lost,with new features such as one armchair positioned on its own with not even a small table to place a drink, seemed odd to me. And long gone are the supply of Sunday newspapers which suggest they are no longer interested in entertaining locals wanting a relaxing day over a long lunch.

On the plus side the food was very good (with the exception if the Yorkshire pudding that screamed aunt Bessie and wasn't even warmed through) bit given the price of the half roast chicken I would have been complaining had the majority no been up to scratch.

Think some serious work is needed on front of house. It's not solely that they're young, it's that they have no experience and seem completely disinterested. Personal feel the manager should spend more time behind the bar over seeing things but as it is she seems to leave much to her bar manager who is nice enough but lacks control. They should also update their website as not sure the menu here is a true reflexction of what you will find most days.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank hammySussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Really unfriendly”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2012

I have been in this pub recently as I live in the area.

The service is extremely slow as they train new staff during busy times. Last Friday the person at the bar had to be explained where were they beers in the bar by a local. We waited for 20 minutes to be served two drinks and the bar was not very busy but it was clear that they were very disorganised.
The manager does not ask for last orders and closes the pub whenever she wants to. I have been part of big groups visiting this pub for both business and social purposes and spending lots of money. However, we have been treated badly on several occasions, just because they wanted to close at 22:30 with no warning.
I definitely don't recommend this pub to anyone unless they want to waste their time and money.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank M C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turners Hill
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“sheer ridiculous”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

For a Friday extremely slow service, we were told waitresses were new which leaves me thinking why new staff are trained on one of the busiest times in the week.
At 10.30 we wanted to order another round of drinks (group of 15) and were told that they were closing. Upon inquiry why so early the manageress became very confrontational saying that it was up to her to decide when the pub was closing. She then added we had been rude to her staff (which we hadn't). It seems as if they don't need customers, we will definitely not return to this pub.

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

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