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“I really wanted to like it...”

The Kings Arms Restaurant
Ranked #25 of 155 Restaurants in Christchurch
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $41
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Alex Aitken from Le Poussin, Limewood and The Jetty, is now in charge of the food and menus at The Kings Restaurant.The Restaurant serves the very best local and seasonal food – with sophisticated simplicity and a unique and charming English setting, overlooking the Kings Arms Bowling Green and historical castle ruins.The Kings Restaurant is honoured to introduce the new 'Josper Grill', a technique that imparts a distinctive charcoal flavour to all the local and handpicked ingredients placed upon its coals. The delicious menu makes use of the very best local ingredients either caught, grown or prepared close to Christchurch from the New Forest and the waters of the South Coast.
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“I really wanted to like it...”
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Firstly, I should say that I hardly ever write reviews but on this occasion I felt I should. I live in Christchurch and believe that we should support the town as much as we can. I first went here about four years ago and wasn't that impressed but had heard that it had been imporoved, and that the chef from the Jetty (whoI think is excellent) was now involved in the Kings. On that basis, I suggested to my family that we go here for a birthday dinner. One of our party was surprised at my choice and questioned whether it was a good decision but I told them it would be fine.

We were a party of nine. The building is lovely and the location is also very nice. The decor is very 'boutique hotel' and it works well in my opinion. We were met, shown to our table and ordered. It was around 7pm and so not busy. After we had ordered, for some reason all of our side plates were collected. Then a basket of stale bread arrived and we had to catch the waiter to ask for some side plates to replace the ones which had been taken away. He brought back three plates for the nine of us.

The starters arrived and the food was good although the portions were small. My pidgeon breast was about three mouthfuls. Unfortunately in the last mouthful i bit into some lead shot. I mentioned this to the waitress who collected my plate and she giggled.

When the main courses arrived, two of the nine were incorrect. By the time their corrected order had arrived, three of our party had finished their main course. These two had been quite specific when they ordered because they both have a food intolerance. Incidentally, without going into details, what they had requested was an option on the menu, not a special request. One of our party asked for some mayonaise to go with his chips, which only arrived after I ventured into the kitchen looking for it.

In summary, it's a nice building in a lovely location, well decorated and with a nice menu. The portions are on the small side, but the service, is really, really bad. It wasn't busy and there were plenty of staff, but communication and management really needs to improve.

I thought long and hard about whether I should write this review. I've tried to be as fair as I can and it gives me no pleasure to write this, but I hope that by being honest with my feedback things can be improved and the Kings can become a first-class restaurant in Christchurch, which it should be.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank pauldlf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lukasz-Dwornik, General Manager at The Kings Arms Restaurant, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you very much for your review, we always take our customer comments very seriously.

I would like to apologise for the mistakes my staff made during your evening we are always striving to improve in all areas.

The Kings restaurant has been increasingly popular since our renovation last May and has been producing good locally sourced food with a great atmosphere for every pocket with the aid of our Patron chef Alex Aitken.

We would be delighted if you would join us in the future so we may have the opportunity to prove ourselves.

Regards
Lukasz Dwornik
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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655 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Southbourne
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Pleasantly Surprised!”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We dined at the Kings Arms the day after Valentines Day, hoping the restaurant would be quieter as most places are busy and booked up on the 14th itself. The Valentine's sharing menu was still on offer, so we opted for it. The starter was a platter of charcuterie & smoked salmon with garnish & bread, a good start. This was followed by a souffle of smoked haddock and cheese-an unusual dish but very tasty. We chose the sirloin and chips for our main course. This was excellent, the steak tender and flavoursome and the chips supreme. If anything was lacklustre it was the 'trio' of puddings- a brownie [a little stodgy] jelly and ice cream [?!] and cheesecake [which was the best of the three]. We had an extremely delicious red wine [Herault] with our meal.
The service was at just the right level, unobtrusive but engaging.
There are a lot of tables and it did feel just a little cramped, with the neighbouring table very close. The decor is pleasant, a mixture of modern and antiquity.
We felt that overall the price was not too over the top for such good food and therefore good value. I would definitely go again!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank geriatrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lukasz-Dwornik, Manager at The Kings Arms Restaurant, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind review. Here at the Kings, we always try to exceed expectations in terms of food and service. Feedback is very important to us, and we are delighted that you both enjoyed your meal. We look forward in seeing you in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Valentine's Day meal”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

It might not be unique but to have a Sharing Menu for an evening meal on Valentine's Day was a great idea and certainly helped to add romance.
Clearly it was a popular idea as the restaurant was full ... if anything rather over-full... but space was at a premium as all tables had to accommodate couples!
The restaurant is cleverly angled, well proportioned and has an interesting décor in the way of shelves of Kilner jars and bottles with varied 'foody' contents, at one end of the room ... even the breakfast ketchups were made into a creative, colourful display!
There was a choice from the A la Carte menu or the reasonably priced 'sharing' menu'; we went for the later.
The Kings Arms were very accommodating and replaced the cured meat and nibbles platter with a fish one, as I do not eat meat. It was generous and the smoked salmon, prawns and salad/crudities were very tasty. A smoked trout mousse might have made it into a really great dish; but perhaps that is a little unkind as a fish-platter wasn't originally on the menu.
The whole lobster with chips, we chose, was a nice touch, and thankfully prepared for ease of consumption. Romance might have evaporated if we had had to share a lobster-cracker!
The three-sweet shared pudding was a well thought out combination of a chocolate brownie, a passion-fruit cheesecake and a 'home-made' raspberry jelly and ice-cream which was a lovely palate refresher at the end of a very enjoyable meal.
There is a good [if a bit pricey] wine list ... however our Pay-de-Herault, Old Vine Carigan was unusual to find, not expensive and a good choice for us.
The service was good, with well-trained, friendly young staff.
This is a restaurant which prides itself on quality, locally sourced ingredients and good cooking. I am looking forward to returning very soon, with a group of friends, to try the '15 mile' menu at lunchtime.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank JonnyBurton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lukasz-Dwornik, Manager at The Kings Arms Restaurant, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
Thank you so much for your feedback. The team finds great reviews very rewarding to read and this gave them a much deserved confidence boost. We look forward to seeing you in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ringwood hampshire uk
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“15 mile menu”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

four of us enjoyed a mid week meal here last Thursday. Beautifully decorated bar and restaurant with excellent service a very original menu. 3courses for each of us nicely proportioned and everything cooked to perfection. We will definitely visit again soon

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank aliwoollacott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lukasz-Dwornik, Manager at The Kings Arms Restaurant, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
Thank you for your feedback towards our restaurant at the Kings, I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your experience and quality of food. We look forward to welcoming you again to the restaurant in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“wonderful locally sourced food at a bargain price”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Have just got back from The Kings Restaurant for my birthday meal and after it being the first time we've been i have to say i was very impressed,
we booked online and when the 7 of us arrived the table was all set up waiting for us,
most of us ordered the 15 mile menu which at £15 for 3 courses is an absolute steal! i like the fact it's all locally sourced as at least you know what's on your plate!

i picked the ham hock terrine to start which was lovely with the piccalili and fresh bread accompanying it, the loin of pork for mains was melt in the mouth and a good sized portion served with a mix of parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and roast potatoes and a very nice oregano gravy.
The sweet was syrup sponge and custard which doesn't need any words for me as i love sponge puddings! light fluffy sponge, lovely syrupy top and lovely thick custard.

the waiters/resses were all very helpful, friendly and efficient and the service was very quick apart from desserts which took a bit longer to arrive but they had just had a big influx of people in so can forgive them for being busy with orders!

I had a fabulous birthday and will definitely be returning to the Kings just me and my husband for a romantic meal. I can recommend it 100%

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ros3y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lukasz-Dwornik, Manager at The Kings Arms Restaurant, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your experience here at the Kings Arms.
I have passed your message to the team and delighted that your experience here is a good one. We look forward in seeing you in the near future and once again thank you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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