I really do not know what recent reviewers are talking about. I hardly ever award 5* (check my profile if you like) but there was no reason not to, for our recent lunch at the Hoste.
Service was attentive without being fussy or sycophantic. The food and drinks arrived at exactly the right intervals. If we wanted anything extra, a cheerful waiter immediately delivered.
The meal was delicious and beautifully presented for every course for everyone at the table. We had no complaints whatsoever. I can only think that other reviewers were determined to find fault somehow, somewhere, no matter how trivial. If, for instance, you choose the Brancaster Lobster Cocktail as a starter, there is so much lobster in the dish that it is nearly double the amount provided by other establishment as a main course!
The Hoste has really upped its game and is now far better than it used to be. Service is more professional, friendly (they used to be very stiff and snooty) and the food is superb.
We were so pleased with the lunch that we immediately booked a dinner bed and breakfast for later this month as a well-earned treat, along with some spa treatments.
Highly recommended. Not cheap, but if you want cheap you'd go elsewhere.