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“I agree with " whats it all about"”
Review of The Balfour Arms

The Balfour Arms
Ranked #49 of 80 Restaurants in Sidmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $24
Cuisines: British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Exciting times. The Balfour is sceduled for a complete refit in January 2016 and will close at that time for a period of about 6 weeks. Unfortunatley our kitchens will remain closed until after the refit but watch out for our re-opening party !!! Until then we would be pleased to see you for an excellent pint of ale or maybe a game of pool and our garden is still open for you to enjoy. See you soon, Ron. We are a family run pub on the outskirts of Sidmouth. Our facilities include a public bar, a lounge bar, a restaurant, a skittle alley and large enclosed garden with play area. We have an award winning chef who personally sources all of produce locally. We are proud of the standard and quality of our food and this is achieved by having preparing fresh food to order using locally sourced ingredients. As well as lunch and evening meals we offer a Sunday carvery. We are a Cask Marque accredited pub and we pride ourselves in the quality of our ale. We also offer a wide range of ciders, spirits,wines and soft drinks. This year we are proud to sat that we were awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. Come along and visit us and enjoy a freshly prepared meal, a cool drink and a warm welcome, booking is advisable. Or why not book to have your business meeting, wedding or birthday party with us. We enjoy working with our customers to arrange their special function. We look forward to welcoming you to The Balfour Arms.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

On looking at the 21 reviews I can only see 4 at a push that are not friends with the people that go there, the whole point of trip advisor is to get a good overall rating (true) not biased, those poor people came here expecting good food, service ect..... only to find that the food is not that good, service is slow and regardless of being told its fresh it really should come out quicker. On a slow night would it not hurt the staff to take more time ( go an see if more drinks are required) after all they are not doing anything else. Its extremely dark, in need of a lick of paint.
I have eaten here and found the same problems the last time was waitng for over and hour for fishcakes, they were burnt dry and tasteless, I was in a group and did not wish to cause a fuss.

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4  Thank B G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBalfour, Owner at The Balfour Arms, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

Thank you for your comments.

We are more than a little confused by your comment that " On looking at the 21 reviews I can only see 4 at a push that are not friends with the people that go there". Firstly, how would you know who are friends with people that come here? Secondly, it is requisite that one 'comes here' in order to review us on tripadvisor, irrespective if you come once or repeatedly. As a business we encourage all of our customers to provide us with "honest" feedback, we use comment cards, social media and sites like tripadvisor. We do not in any way influence or control what our customers put on tripadvisor but of course we do actively encourage visitors to do so, as do majority of the business on tripadvisor.

We agree with your comment that " the whole point of tripadvisor is to get a good overall rating (true) not biased," all of our reviews have been by customers who have visited The Balfour and just because someone visits a place more than once does not exclude them from providing feedback, even our locals provide us with feedback, good and bad. We do not have any control over who gives us a review and we believe you will find that many of the businesses on tripadvisor do have reviews from people who go to the establishment quite frequently. For example you have agreed with S-J Hants "really don't get it", yet that person has posted three reviews on on one other business on tripadvisor where he/she is clearly a frequent visitor.

As a business we endeavor to provide our customers with the best service possible, we do cook all of our food from scratch using fresh ingredients and this does incur a wait. If you were unsatisfied at the time about the wait for your food or your fishcakes when it arrived then it would have been helpful if you to have discussed it with your server at the time or a member of the management team. We will occasionally get things wrong but we pride ourselves in the manner that we correct that mistake there and then, if informed of it. Surely it would have been reasonable to have given us that opportunity at the time rather than go to the extent of joining tripadvisor to inform us that you were dissatisfied.

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91 - 95 of 112 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2013

Over the last month we have eaten several times at this pub and all were as delicious as each other. We ate one evening in the restaurant with friends, and all of our meals came out in perfect time of each other and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their food. Service from the bar and waiting staff was great, they all were very friendly and helpful. Second was when we went down one sunny afternoon for a BBQ, which was another great evening with lots of families having a great time. There is such a great improvement in the garden since the new owners moved in, and its a lovely place to enjoy with the family and very colorful. The Prawns and the chicken were delicious, both cooked beautifully. This evening we came for a drink and decided to get a take out, again the food was very enjoyable, fresh local fish and homemade beef burgers, perfect. :) This pub is always so welcoming to everyone, local or not. They have a relaxing restaurant area for families/couples etc to eat, but also a second bar with friendly local people and music for those who fancy a drink before or after their meals. Highly recommend.

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Thank Tash2525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBalfour, Owner at The Balfour Arms, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2013

Thank you for your kind comments, we are pleased that you have enjoyed your visits to The Balfour. Since we have been here are trying to improve the interior and exterior decoration and of course the garden. We are fortunate to have a large beer garden and we are striving to make it a relaxing place to sit.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future.

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Reviewed June 4, 2013

Just returned from weekend in Sidmouth . On our first night we decided to eat at The Balfour because we had read the reviews on TA. All I can say is I really don't understand how it has got to No 2 on TA. The food really was not good. It's ok if you like " beige" food. I wanted something that was not fried , as it was a sunny eve I fancied something light and looked on menu for a fresh salad..... Not one on menu , but other items came with side of salad ,i asked waitress if i could order some sort of salad, any i dont mind how it comes, answer was no we dont sell salads ( i dont understand why they couldnt as they has salads as a side ). next thought I'd have maybe jacket potato .... But no i couldn't have that on "an eve" ( even tho the board outside said they served menu and snack menu til 9 pm) . Any way we decided on our food and waited a long while for it to arrive, soggy chick breast and chips swimming in grease ... Yuk, oh and a side of very warm , limp salad . My husband had Thai curry which he said was ok ish but lots of rice ( not sticky rice as advertised) and very little curry. We were served one drink at our table then waited but no one came to take other orders for drinks so we had to keep leaving the table in the restaurant area to go to bar ourselves , that's not good service ! This place is in disparate need of a refurb or at least a clean and a slap of paint , and replace all the light bulbs in the restaurant that dont work would be a start !! By the way the restarant was not busy that night only 2 tables in use so no excuse for slow service. Such a shame we followed TA .

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1  Thank S-JHants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBalfour, Owner at The Balfour Arms, responded to this reviewResponded June 5, 2013

Thank you for your comments, I have spoken with all the staff that were working. Firstly, you are quite right our menu does not have a salad on it at the moment but as was explained to you at the time by our waitress we are just about to launch our summer menu, up until this last week or so it hasn't really been the weather for salads. That said our specials menu did have on it a seafood salad, whole rainbow trout, served with new potatoes and salad and belly pork, bubble and squeak topped with a mushroom sauce.
I apologize for the confusion with regard to the snack menu, you are correct that the outside board states that we serve a snack menu, main menu and daily specials, 12 til 2.30pm and 6pm until 9pm. I have taken your comments on board and will be reviewing this, however it is clearly stated in the menu that you were handed inside that the snack menu is available between 12pm and 2.30pm only.
None of our food is frozen it is all prepared from fresh ingredients to order and I am afraid this does incur a wait. We use locally sourced chicken and our chicken breasts are char grilled and our chips are always drained before serving.
When my waitress came to you to take your food order,she did inform you that if you wanted any drinks you would need to go to the bar and ask for them, like most pubs we do not provide table service for drinks.
We only took over The Balfour 11 months ago, we have worked very hard with out team to build a food service and as you will see by our other reviews we do provide good food and good service. We agree that the pub does need to be refurbished and that is why we are working so hard to get an excellent food reputation and build up our trade in order that we can move forward with our plans for The Balfour.
My staff always go back to their tables for a five minute call back, the reason for this is, is so that customers can tell staff if there is a problem. This gives us a chance to try to resolve any problems as our aim is to provide customers with a good experience at The Balfour. Once again I thank you for your feed back,

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Reviewed May 31, 2013

I have just had the best fish and chips on the planet, the hubby had a seafood salad that he described as amazing , yet again a fab meal at the balfour , cannot fault the food or service ...thankyou again for a lovely evening xx

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Thank tracy b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

The food was far beyond expectations. The management and staff were fantastically friendly without being false. Even the other customers gave us a very warm welcome.
Very well done everybody at the Balfour.
From the couple from Oxfordshire!!!

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Thank Brenda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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