Hats off to the owners & management of this pub. Its an out of town pub, therefore has to make extra effort to pull in trade. The groupon offer seems to of been a successful plug to bring in more custom for 2012.
Bull i' th' Thorn: I must add, that knowing you are going to have a busy summer season you should of put in a little more effort in regards to the maintenance of the campsite - i.e. grass cutting & general gardening; simple & cost free. It would of really made a difference to the initial first impressions of the venue.
The lighting around the front of the pub & campsite is very poor - a H&S issue which really must be addressed.
Having seen that previous reviewers have commented on the cleanliness of the toilet & shower facilities; it is a campsite - were you expecting plush carpets & saunas? There are only so many times a floor can be mopped in one day! I do have to add that maybe handwash & paper hand towels/driers would be of use; afterall they are toilet facilities.
The pub... a hidden gem with a lot of potential. Keep the medieval theme, but as the pub is lucky enough to have numerous rooms, maybe have the pub lounge as a modernised area - to keep everyone happy. I can't fault the decor, it's in-keeping with the age of the pub & in good repair, maybe an update in the ladies toilets would be good? Although that is only a minor niggle.
Ps. invest in some bar fridges too.. bottled cider is much better chilled ;)
The food was a pleasant surprise, I'm always a little optimistict about eating in pubs which seem quiet as I'm never sure weather the food will be of frozen, microwaved produce - as a chef I'm very critical of this! ... To our surprise, the food was fantastic, two nights running we ate in the pub. The second night was a great evening, drinking with fellow campers and chatting with Matt (Duty manager, chef, barman, PR manager, receptionist all-in-one as it seemed!) - every table in the lounge was accompanied.. My daughter made sure she made her presence known by socialising with everyone!
After speaking to Matt (who had only worked there a couple of weeks), I'm lead to believe the owners have a lot of plans for the pub for summer 2013 - we may return next year for a visit to see if there are any changes :) I hope you invest the money made from the groupon offer into the pub - it really is a goldmine off opportunities.
Such a shame people only anaylse the bad points & not the good. Unfortunatly not every member of the public realises just how hard it is to keep a pub, yet alone return it to its former glory... Keep it up, I hope you reap the rewards :)
-Carrie, Steve & Demi (Campers 10th-12th Sept)
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