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“Our local pub”
Review of The Ship Ashore

The Ship Ashore
Ranked #195 of 552 Restaurants in Milton Keynes
Price range: $7 - $17
Cuisines: British
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: A HOME AWAY FROM HOME Visit The Ship Ashore in Milton Keynes for authentic British cooking and real ales in a genuine local pub warmed by a cosy fire. Our pub-food menu features classic meals made with award-winning ingredients. Included are seasonal specials and buffet food for all occasions, and great value set menus too. You'll also find a hand-picked range of perfectly conditioned cask ales on tap, and a selection of fine wines from around the world. A true local in Milton Keynes, we're a great place to meet up with friends and swap stories. Take part in our twice weekly quiz, Sunday and Tuesday evenings at 9PM or just come to eat and relax in our stylish pub surroundings.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

The best part of this pub is the great selection of beers and they are kept well. Wine choice is good also. We dropped for a drink and dinner last evening and found that all wines on their list are on offer Sunday evenings after 1700 for £10 which is a great bargain and we had a bottle of Rothschilds Claret! Food is typical pub type, probably mass produced somewhere else but it was prepared well and was tasty. Although the pub has a main bar area, restaurant area, patio and garden it all seems a bit disjointed and I think lacks atmosphere.

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Thank David N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 - 177 of 193 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2013

We've been regulars at the pub now known as The Ship Ashore for the best part of 30 years (since it was first opened), largely because of its convenient location only a 10-minute walk from home. Over the years, the pub has been refurbished (several times), it has been branded and re-branded; managers have come and gone and in general the place has improved over the years. However, it's still not perfect.

The layout and decor of the establishment do suggest that standards are high in terms of the products available and of the quality of customer service. Unfortunately, the standards can vary hugely from day to day and from one week to another. Sometimes you can walk in and be served at the bar quite quickly even when it's quite busy. The selection of beers and wines is good, and staff will offer real-ale (now increasingly referred to as "craft beers") samples before choosing - sometimes. All well and good. But it all depends on who's actually working on the shift and how many staff members are on duty. A times, this can be a woefully inadequate number.

When the pub is busy - at around 7.00pm on Fridays, for instance - the bar area will be busy; lots of people will be waiting to be served and there can be as few as two staff members serving. Worst still is that a certain small clique of regular drinkers will often be prioritised even when they know they're queue-jumping. Good staff would know better than to do this so obviously.

The "seasonal" menu offerings, which always looks good on paper due to Ember Inns' well-written and mouth-watering descriptions, hardly ever live up to customer expectations - as other reviewers here have highlighted. Such retail formats rarely (if ever) employ proper chefs in favour of "kitchen managers" who seem to prepare meals by numbers. If a steak is ever presented as per your order then it's a miracle as it's almost as if those in the kitchen don't actually understand the difference between "rare", "medium" or "well" done. On one occasion, a member of our group sent back a steak three times before cancelling the order in frustration at the sheer incompetence. What some Americans reared on proper steaks would make of this is anybody's guess.

Meals are clearly prepared and presented with no care or pride; they never match their descriptions and all in all the impression that the customer is there for the benefit of the staff is often given. Worst still, you'll often see finger prints all over the edges of plates and dishes when they're brought to the table. Sorry guys but it's not rocket science!

Finally, when there's a rush you'll invariably see customers having to clear a vacant table before seating. We have often seen many tables left uncleared due to the shortage of staff even when the previous guests have long since vacated the table. Why do British people put up with this?

These are all very basic points that we shouldn't have to raise, which is a pity. Suffice to say we don't eat there very often, and when we do it's only for snacks. The range of proper beers is usually good (provided the glasses are clean) and some of the regular staff do try their best, but we'll only continue to use the place because it's in a convenient location for meeting up with family and friends.

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Thank Colin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We decided to pop into The Ship Ashore for a relaxing drink after a long day with the family around a local attraction and to find out if their menu was worth coming back to on the night.

Instead of being met with welcoming arms, we was told to go into the restaurant for our drinks and food order. We explained we was thinking of eating there on the night and wanted to find out what their menu was like and have a drink while we was there.... we was told we couldn't have a drink without ordering food by a girl behind the bar but another said only the one if we sat in the restaurant. We managed to get served with a drink and left shortly after feeling very upset.

I could maybe understand this if the children was loud and running around, but my son was fast asleep in my arms when we walked in so I'm not sure how much trouble they thought he'd cause asleep. He wasn't even snoring!!! His friend was also tired and happily played on the floor in the corner out of the way.

I have never been to a pub and had such bad customer service before we'd even sat down, let alone ordered drinks. Staff need re-training on how to treat families....

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1  Thank KimothyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

We had a family meal here to wish my daughter farewell as she left the next day for Oz.
There is nothing I can say that is positive about the food.
Half the Menu was not available and the food that was available was inedible, overcooked, or undercooked, the peas were like bullets and the chips were old. We didn't expect too much as it's Pub Grub but this was awful.

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1  Thank 07920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

We decided to have lunch today at the Ship Ashore to our error of judgement. We ordered 2 courses from the set menu and had to wait well over an hour for the meals to arrive. We had chivied up the waitress twice to be informed that there was a 40 minute wait which we were NOT informed when we ordered. All the diners were complaining. Our meals were disappointing. The fish was overcooked, tiny and spoiled (chips ok) and the cottage pies and cabbage not too hot. We were then informed that there would be a long wait for our desserts. Less than happy at this news we could not believe the difficulty in plating up scoops of ice cream and eton mess. We would have left but they were paid for. We will not be going back. All in all, more staff and a decent chef is required.

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

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