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“Good food, good atmosphere”

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The Bull at Great Totham
Ranked #1 of 1 Great Totham B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Witham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good food, good atmosphere”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

We dined at the Bull last night for our firm's christmas dinner. There were 6 of us (three couples) and we had an enjoyable evening.
We were advised when we booked that there was a party night in The Willow Room that evening and it would therefore be a good idea to be at our table by 7pm so that our order did not get delayed by this. The service was good (attentive but not intrusive) and the food was lovely. Admittedly the portions were not huge but they were sufficient.
We would certainly go back there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank skmoomin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 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 (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
London
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We stayed at the Bull following Michael Buble Tribute night. (Review on The Bull & Willow Rooms Restaurant entry).
When we arrived we were shown to the room by a very attentive member of staff who took time to explain things despite being very busy as football was showing & the bar was packed. It is the first time ever that we were told about what to do & where to assemble if there was a fire.
The room was upstairs & the four rooms in the cottage are named after Essex places - we stayed in Tiptree room.
The shower was powerful & hot, the bath towels were large & fluffy.
There was a good selection for breakfast & this was served by the lovely attentive staff member that had looked after us so well the night before. Thank you David & all the staff at the Bull & Willow Rooms - look forward to seeing you again soon.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank roastpotato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

I stayed here just the one night while working in the area it was 6.45 in the evening and i had not booked anywhere so just looked up on the web for somewhere with a good review within 20 miles of where i was.The Bull came up with some of the best reviews and although it was 19 miles from my location i decided to give it a try.
It was a bit of a trek as it is located in a village which appeared to be off the beaten track whilst driving on a foggy evening.
The Bull has plenty of parking spaces and was quite full as many locals were there to watch football on the big screens.I spoke to the chap at the bar about a room and after filling in the relevant paperwork he lead me to the out building where the rooms were located.
I had read the rooms had been refurbished but mine was pretty basic and quite small although the bed was excellent and very comfortable.
I ate in the restaurant and was very happy with the quality of food but i did find the bar price a little steep.In the morning i did have a full English breakfast before setting of on my travels and in my book it rates as one of the best i have had.Food wise the Bull is very good but the rooms are overpriced.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mickholliday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, Owner at The Bull at Great Totham, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking your time to write a review, i am sorry if you feel our price of £75.00 including breakfast expensive, we feel that we do offer very good value for money.

I would like to breakdown the cost for you as follows so you can see what the actual room does cost to run.

From the £75.00 we have to give £12.50 to the VAT man, all linen is cleaned after use at a cost of £14.00, with the parlour mades overheads and electric and heating the cost is on avaerage £14.00. With the baance we do of course supply a great breakfast which i am pleased you did enjoy.

I hope that this explanation will show you why we have to charge the price we do, if you are a regular visiter to the araea i would be happy to set a corporate for you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, Maldon
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

WOW A total amazing venue with an owner who really does care - This isn’t the first event we have had at this venue we had our daughters christening here in 2011 which was to the same high standard –
What makes this place so great and different from his competitors??
Well The Owner David makes sure he gets it right! He shows care, passion and tailors each function for the individuals/groups needs. For my 30th My Husband booked The Bull as a surprise venue for a party – I was total overwhelmed, the food was delicious, service was excellent, and the entertainment a Robbie Williams tribute act was fantastic. As soon as I arrived I was handed my drink of bubbles and made to feel very special. Our children’s food order was taken immediately meaning that they didn’t have to wait till later and our children could do what children like to do eat as soon as possible and then play , dance etc – Its these little details that make a difference for me as a Mum. For the adults my husband had chosen a buffet option for the evening, BUT I must stress this was not just any buffet it is amazing always toped up , carefully maintained and food was define with so much choice and being a vegetarian I was well catered for. As it was June our guest where able to enjoy the attractive gardens. A lot of people commented on what an attractive venue it was, some of our guest stayed and enjoyed The Bull's comfortable luxurious accommodation. When meeting up with our guest the following morning they confirmed that it truly was luxurious and that they would be recommending to others. The staffs were helpful and efficient on the night and on the following day when I went to collect my cake.
The whole evening more than lived up to my expectations and having had two major significant events here and eaten here as a family and with friends I can complete and honestly feel confident in recommending The Bull. The owner has delivered two very different types of events for us and from the planning to the actual days he keeps you in constant contact and works with YOU. I can also say that there are not many owners who care as much as David and endeavour to make your event or experience exceptional special.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mazda325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 6, 2012

We took 38 people to a soul night at the Willow Room at the Bull to celebrate my wife's 50th birthday. The four course dinner was great, it just shows that you can cater for a large number of people (80 in total) and still provide provide first class food and service. Absolutely everybody has commented on how good the venue, the food and the entertainment were and also, how much they had enjoyed a great evening. I wouldn't hesitate to arrange another function here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MikeBaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We hosted our annual cricket club dinner for 60+ at the Bull in Great Totham. The evening went superbly and was a resounding success with everyone I spoke to having thoroughly enjoyed themselves!
David and the team looked after us a treat and really made a big effort in turning our occasion into an event with a dance floor and live singer and a terrific 3 course meal. Thank you for a cracking evening and we look forward to more of the same next year!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2012

me and wife came to eat out after reading some good reviews, but personally i would not listen to those reviews. we arrived to the willow entrance and yes looked very nice, nice decor and seats where you could wait. To our surprise though, it was absolutely dead, not even a waiter or waitress came to welcome us, one waitress even walked passed us, not even a hello, welcome, nothing, so we tried to get her attention, finally where able to get seated, but then just left again???? we did feel we need to leave and go else where but thought as made an hour trip would stay and give them the benefit of trying. To get to point, we must of had 3/4 different waitresses, the starter took ages to arrive and yes once arrived was very good, but very small!!
We where not even asked if we would like a drink, we had to keep trying to get there attention as they where in all in huddle chatting to each other, we thought its not even busy so how an earth would they cope with a crowed!! that's if this place gets busy???
our main finally arrived and yes very good. After our mains which my wife had sea-bas which was the smallest bit of sea-bas we have ever seen served, and hardly any vegetables ( we both laughed and thought it was such a joke!!) we asked for see the desert menu, when arrived both me and my wife could not believe how small it was, and for how long how to wait yet again, was a disappointing.
the whole experience of the willow was very deflating and a shame as could be so nice if the staff where trained properly and new how to look after guests. Also when the bill came was amazed how much it came to!! We have eaten in a lot of restaurants in the passed, and some have only paid near half the amount we paid and had a far better experience.
We will not be returning to the bull, the willow again or recommending it, its a shame the decor and the quality of the furnishing is not matched with the service and food.
We are not ones to complain or like complaining , but wanted to warn anyone prior to going to eat out at the willow to not waste your time or money, yes go for a drink there, or a bit to eat in the pub, but the willow is huge let down!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ben1980_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, Owner at The Bull at Great Totham, responded to this review, October 18, 2012
Dear Ben of Chelmsford, thank you for your review, as the owner i am concerned about some of your claims from your review, on further investigation i would dispute a number of facts you have stated on trip advisers web site.

We have CCTV throughout the building and a very intelligent till system which allows us to check times when meals were served and delivered to tables our CCTV system was installed on the advice of the local police and again this is available to view at any time.

Firstly you arrived at 18.52 you did sit in the reception area for two minutes i also agree a member of staff did enter the room however as you were sitting behind the door she came through she of course did not see you, when she noticed you you were shown to your table at 18.54, some two minutes after entering the building.

Once at your table you were asked if you would like a drink, you ordered a pint of IPA Gold and a Martini and lemonade this was bought to your table at 18.59 when the menus were left with you to view.

You mention the restaurant was dead, we only open at 19.00 hours and you were the first to arrive hence why the restaurant would have been empty, we served over 55 covers in The Willow Room that night for your information a umber of these tables arrived after you left at 21.05.

You indicate how slow the food was in being served, when dinning in an establishment like ours we feel that the experience should not be rushed, your meal from start to finish took less than 2 hours When my staff checked back on your table during the meal you even mentioned to our staff that this was a night out without the children if you had said at the time of ordering you needed to be out by a set time we would of course ensured your meals were served quicker.

The portion sizes you mention do surprise me the Sea Bass is a 400 gram portion and is served with confit new potatoe and fennell, additional side orders are of course available, i am sorry if you were expecting a larger portion, i do hope the 12 oz haddock you had was large enough, i am pleased that you did enjoy the quality.

As a two rossette restaurant we are checked by The AA they have never mentioned anything about the portion size, in fact they have just revisited and awaded us the same status for 2013 which is the highest they have awarded in the whole of Essex to any establishment..

You mention the cost of your meal I would like too remind you that 45% of your bill was for alcohol, the actual cost of your a la carte meal was £56.80p which does include 20% VAT .for a three course meal is very resonable i feel compared to other restaurants of the same standard.

We never like to have our customers leaving unhappy and i would very much like the opportunity to discuss my response and your commentsand of course would be delighted to hear from you. As you only live in Chelmsford some 15 minutes away perhaps you will allow me to buy you and your wife a glass of wine and discus my response and your review in the near future.

Thanks

David M Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bull at Great Totham

Property: The Bull at Great Totham
Address: 2 Maldon Road, Great Totham CM9 8NH, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Great Totham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Great Totham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Bull at Great Totham 4*
Number of rooms: 4
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