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“Absolutely terrible.”

Samphire Restaurant
Ranked #194 of 367 Restaurants in Chelmsford
Price range: $27 - $40
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: Chelmsford’s County Hotel offers a break from the usual bland hotel dining with its own welcoming restaurant. The restaurant’s bright, modern feel complements the rest of the venue’s contemporary yet classic styling with light, polished wood floors, high backed wicker seats and painted wood panelling. With its bustling and lively atmosphere, it is the ideal location for business meetings, romantic dinners and family. On menu you’ll find a raft of delicious European inspired dishes with a classic and sophisticated edge – steaks, roasted venison, fillet of sea bass and desserts that demand you devour.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Absolutely terrible.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

Walked in and the place was dead, no one else dining, no music, no atmosphere, swiftly had to deal with a pushy waitress pushing the daily special, which happened to be sea bass, my girlfriends favourite, so she ordered that, I ordered the steak, the steak turned up looked nice but was bland, had no taste, did not enjoy it at all, my girlfriends sea bass was full of bones and every bite was virtually inedibble.
While we were trying to make the most of it the waitresses were setting up the dining area for breakfast service for the next morning, and before we knew it the empty tables around us were well laid with marmalade and jam! this all made us feel very awkward and unwelcome.
I don't think the County Hotel should advertise this resturant as a dining experience, this 'restaurant' is nothing more than a jazzed up Holiday Inn, my partner and I will certainly not be revisiting.

    • Value
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    • Food
3 Thank Leenichols1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Meal before cinema or theatre”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2013

My friend and I have eaten here twice in the past year before going to a film at the Cramphorn. Service is friendly and speedy. Prices are reasonable. Steaks are the best we've tasted in a long while. Ambiance is pleasant although it would be nicer to have more people dining. However we have gone in at about 6.30 in the evening so would not expect it to be more crowded. We will definitely be eating there more often.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank Linda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
102 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Can't fault it. All round excellent value for money”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

We have eaten at this restaurant within the County Hotel on 3 occasions during the past 4 months and have enjoyed every experience. I was having difficulty finding somewhere different to the usual chains to eat in Chelmsford that would serve tasty food quickly. Having travelled from Ipswich, mid week to go to the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford we have just 90 minutes from the time of arrival to the start of the performance which always commences at 7.45. The staff have never let us down. We can usually eat 3 courses and have time for coffee. The food is always excellently presented, is hot and tasty and the staff are attentive without being intrusive. The food is also very good value for money.

Whilst it is not a Michelin star restaurant, I am unable to fault this place for its value for money, service and quality of food and so am I awarding it 5 stars

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fantastic food, service and setting!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2012 via mobile

Celebrated my 40th here with family and friends on a Sunday lunchtime as we had lots of young children in the party. The staff at the County Kitchen, especially the head guy, couldn't do enough for us and my day was very special indeed as a result.
I must be honest I didn't think that this place would be that great but it was. The children were so well catered for with goody bags etc and the service was unfalteringly attentive.
The carvery was superb, delicious beef, huge Yorkshire puds and delicious desserts which I was too full to savour all of ( I really wanted to!!)

Will definitely be going back, nice to have somewhere like this in Chelmsford, a hidden gem!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank parconntravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grenoble, France
Level Contributor
202 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Surprisingly good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2012

Hotel restaurant are usually dispapointing, not that one, menu is good and food quality and service are too, nothing outstanding but if you are tired it is just fine to seat in the restaurant and you will get served quickly and some time with a smile.

Visited April 2012
Thank Djaypee38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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