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“Absolutely disgraceful”
Review of The Darwin Room

The Darwin Room
Ranked #123 of 224 Restaurants in Hartlepool
Price range: $16 - $19
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: The Darwin Room is situated within The Staincliffe Hotel. A beautiful setting with views out to sea. A great place to celebrate a special occasion. We pride ourselves on serving the very best food. Locally sourced and prepared on site by our skilled chefs.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

Birthday evening with friends on Sunday, 24th June, 2012. I chose chicken with mushroom sauce. Smallest portion of chicken I have ever been served. On ordering I was told new potatoes were available but when meal was served there was only roasties which I declined. I also specifically asked if the vegetables had any butter in them (for health reasons) and was assured that they did not. The vegetables that were served looked as though they had lost most of their colour and tasted as though they had been cooked and kept warm all day, they were also coated in butter. My Son chose a steak which he had difficulty cutting into and even more difficulty chewing and consequently could not eat. He asked a friend that was with us to try it and they also could not chew it. Another member of our party chose the beef dinner, this meat was also so tough he couldn't eat it, the rest of the dinner was tasteless and the yorkshire pudding was like a lump of concrete and he left his whole meal. At the end of the meal the gravy had set like concrete and the gravy boat could be tipped on end with no gravy running out at all.
May I add that the waitress throughout was apologetic, proffessional and kept passing our comments onto, the Chef (I asssume), and offered alternatives. However, the evening by this time was ruined (somebody's birthday may I add). The meal was booked in advance, so there can be no excuse for this. Worst meal I have ever had and shall not be returning or recommending.

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7  Thank Sheila A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 - 13 of 19 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2012

Great value breakfast and Sunday lunch.
Food quality very good.

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4  Thank JohnBoss1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2012

Revisited this lovely restaurant for the third time, again with friends. The room was, as ever, well set out, giving all diners privacy while maintaining a good ambience, enhanced by a very good pianist playing a baby grand.

I still think that naming the room after a useless pathetic criminal should be at best a temporary gimmick, but the Staincliffe Hotel seems to be sticking with it. Good news from last time though is that the silent TV, incongruous in a restaurant with fine dining ambition, has gone.

The menu seems to change often - five or six choices only for each course, but as ever every single dish we ordered was cooked and presented to perfection.

A potential gripe was deftly averted by the Maitre'd (or as he prefers to be called, the duty manager - hmm); the hotel was changing wine suppliers and was running down stocks ahead of new deliveries. This meant no wine list and very little choice. While we found a good red and a decent rose at reasonable prices, there were good reasons why the whites remained unsold. But as I said, the manager went above and beyond the call of duty and found us a couple of bottles of Chablis at a price I wouldn't even name on here - suffice to say we were very happy.

The level of service was once again impeccable, the evening faultless.

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5  Thank hairywol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2011

It was to celebrate a family birthday, and as I usually dine out in London or Berkshire I always find it really hard to discover better than average restaurants in Teesside which are not Asian or Italian and which meet expectations.

So the Darwin Room was a gamble (we'd eaten in the adjacent Grill Room year's ago when it was Ocean's with a Bistro Menu, and had been impressed).

Well we were not let down. Table setting was immaculate with crisp linen, candles and fresh flowers. We sat in the bay with a couple at the adjacent table, otherwise our half of the dining room was quiet - but it was midweek. Room decor was grand, and background music not intrusive.

The food was excellent, mainly a la Carte but mum chose off the Table d'Hote menu as she fancied the soup of the day and the pork. My Seafood Bisque was among the best I've eaten, shame that the quantity was a bit meagre for £7, but you could not fault my duo of lamb for portion size nor the piles of perfectly cooked veg, and maybe the tastiest french fries ever . Lovely warm baguette, and a shared baked cheesecake off the cheap menu which left me thinking that the "posh" desserts must be wonderful if you have room to eat them ...

Served perfectly and friendlily by a really young waiter, unobtrusive but attentive.

A perfect experience which matched the occassion, OK value too at £77 for three with more than a bottle of wine, though you could spend rather more by all going full three courses a la Carte, or way less on the early evening menu.

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5  Thank laura_eva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2011

excellent meal and service , good value for money lovely decor

5  Thank susan c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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