In the Kingsbridge area, (we are South Hams residents), my wife and I decided to have a light lunch at South Sands, as we hadn’t eaten there for several years, and we had already booked a table for dinner there for ourselves and two friends a few weeks hence – so a prior reconnoitre would, we thought, be wise! It was.
Our hint to the welcoming waiter that we wanted to wind down first before eating, was effectively ignored – we were immediately shown to our table (with stunning views over a sunlit bay) and given menus; we were, and remained, the only diners. We were then approached three times by the two waiting staff, asking if we were ready to order; eventually we gave in. I chose soup, but was told it ‘wasn’t ready yet’!; instead I chose prawn cocktail. I was not attracted to any of the larger main courses, so chose another starter, duck salad, as a second dish. My order having been taken I was then told this was also not available. My third choice was smoked salmon. My wife chose a starter of beetroot and tomato salad with mozzarella, followed by moules mariniere. We added the bread board, and a side order of chips.
The prawn cocktail was good, with some lovely flavours in the Marie Rose sauce. The smoked salmon ‘main’ was what you’d expect anywhere. The bread board was very disappointing. We had expected a selection of breads, perhaps rolls, and probably warmed slightly; what we got was four thick slices of sourdough bread which was dry, though the butter, with lemon and thyme, was lovely. My wife’s salad starter was good, but the mussels were a disaster – they had not been cleaned properly, several were very gritty, and others had their beards still attached. The side order of chips was the smallest ever. I had an apple juice, my wife two tonic waters, plus a bottle of still water.
Throughout the meal we felt pressurised, so the meal was not relaxing. The whole event was finished in just over three quarters of an hour, only extended by dawdling over coffee. Since the restaurant was empty the rush was not because the table was needed for other customers.
The bill took some sorting too; my wife noticed that the salmon had not been charged, so gently pointed this out. The waitress, without thanking us for our honesty, went off to adjust the amount; the new bill included the salmon but the service charge had doubled. She went off again, and credited the £13 service charge, finally producing a new (third) bill of £72, so with a cash tip of £7 (the service was briskly efficient) the total was £79 – for a light lunch, in a deserted restaurant, with no atmosphere, having food that was in part of very poor quality, some of which were not first or even second choice, is totally unacceptable for a restaurant claiming to be outstanding.
We came home and cancelled the booking for dinner for four in March. We then read Trip Advisor, and found lots of negative comments, and a rating of 22 out of 29 restaurants in Salcombe. We will not be back, sadly.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.