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“Very good food but the atmosphere needs work. ”
Review of Sharrow Bay

Sharrow Bay
Ranked #1 of 3 Restaurants in Howtown
Price range: $0 - $50
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed July 8, 2014 via mobile

As we drew up outside, we were stunned by the hotel's situation right on the water's edge with stunning views of Ullswater.
Inside the public rooms are plush and the flowers were fresh and beautiful when we went.
The downside to all this country house luxe was the positively sepulchral atmosphere. This might have been better had it been busier but on our visit, all conversation was at a whisper. Service was formal and correct but would have benefited from a little more warmth.
The food was mostly excellent and very good value for money (we ordered the Cumbrian Luncheon menu). My soufflé starter and rhubarb creme brûlée with ginger shortbread really were stunning. My partner's risotto had some al dente grains of rice which wasn't quite right and our main course of pig's cheek with black pudding and belly pork was good but fell short of perfect: the belly pork fat should have rendered more and the top could have been crispier and the vegetables were only fine. My partner's sticky toffee pudding was delicious. I must emphasise that at the price we paid the standard was excellent, but if I compare it to the food we've had in Michelin starred restaurants, it's often been little things like an insignificant looking vegetable that have blown us away with their flavour.
The wines we ordered were terrific and it is good to see decent selection available by the glass. The Riesling was particularly good.
The coffee and petit fours were also excellent and we're were able to take them in the sitting room.
Sadly despite the delicious food, I'm not sure I would want to stay. I normally enjoy quietness but the dining room felt quite oppressive. I appreciate the problems posed by ambient music but in the absence of a convivial background of clinking glasses and conversational hum some music would have really helped. Perhaps we caught it on a particularly dead day, I hope so as I feel a bit mean being so lukewarm but the atmosphere just wasn't comfortable despite the abundance of comfort!

Thank Hullite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharrow B, General Manager at Sharrow Bay, responded to this reviewResponded July 10, 2014

Many thanks for your review. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the food at Sharrow Bay however, we are disappointed that the atmosphere let us down. We will take your comments on board and we do hope that we can welcome you back in the future with hopefully an improved experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 - 117 of 267 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2014

The food was absolutely fabulous - based on the food alone it's hard to understand why the restaurant lost it's michelin star. I think the answer lies with the front of house, service was average at best, which is a great shame given how good the food is.

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Thank Alx09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharrow B, General Manager at Sharrow Bay, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2014

Many thanks for your review. I am very pleased to hear that you found the food fabulous at Sharrow Bay, however I am disappointed to hear that the service was not up to standard for you. If you wish to discuss this further with myself I would be happy to do so, please do not hesitate to contact me at info@sharrowbay.co.uk. I very much hope that the experience has not discourage you from visiting us again and would like to welcome you back in the future.

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Reviewed June 29, 2014

Just before Christmas last year we visited for our sixth time. The hotel is well on its way to remedying its tired finish. The food was as superb as on our first visit in 2008.

There are few places that choose to stick to a well-worn set of dishes but when you've eaten here a few times you can see why - the food is very well prepared and simply delicious. I have never had a cold pudding because the sticky toffee is just too tempting.

When it lost its star we were saddened but in many ways not surprised. This is not a place that will be pandering to fashion. Its old school charm just wins me over every time.

There is a lot of food on offer here and it is the only place where I can often not face all of the courses. However, if you've had a day's fell-walking you really feel that you have earned it.

We return, sadly only for one night, in August which will be to celebrate my partner walking the Hadrian's Wall trail. I just can't wait.....

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Thank Adrian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharrow B, General Manager at Sharrow Bay, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2014

Many thanks for your review. This is such a lovely review to hear, we are very glad that all of your visit have been a success and we look forward to welcoming you back in August.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

We have eaten in some pretty lovely restaurants before, but this was the best ever. We had been holidaying in the Lake District for a week and had heard about Sharrow Bay in one of the "Funny Farm" books and thought we'd give it a go. We went for the tasting menu with accompanying wines and although I'm normally quite a fussy eater, I didn't leave a thing on any of my plates. Everything was cooked to perfection and the wines all paired perfectly.

The service was second to none, I wouldn't think a restaurant with better views exist and everyone should have the chance to try out Sharrow Bay at least one in their lifetime.

We would like to particularly mention Zoltan and Michal who looked after us on the evening, they were pleasant and friendly, creating a relaxed atmosphere and were the icing on the cake.

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Thank Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2014

My entire family stayed in the hotel for my Grandmothers birthday. All 'foodies' we were excited for our meal in the restaurant. It did not disappoint, the food was absolutely splendid as was the wine and the staff. Couldn't fault it.

If anything, we were the problem, our large family can get quite raucous when we are all together and in the small intimate dining room we were noticeably the louder table!

It was a fantastic evening, great food, wine and company. Definitely recommend. Definitely go back. Apologies to the other diners!

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Thank 510,100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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