We booked a family get together for Sunday lunch and chose the Walpole Bay for old times' sake. It is an extraordinary hotel - could potentially be truly marvellous as it is in a lovely location and is a beautiful building. The ground floor reception, lounge and bar really could do with sprucing up, though. They are too dark and, in my opinion, oppressive with too much bric-a-brac on every single surface and inch of wall-space The wallpaper has been there for at least 25 years.
The service was very friendly, welcoming and efficient - albeit the barman was rather run off his feet.
However, in this day and age of restaurants, pubs and hotels seriously 'upping their game' on food quality we were astonished and disappointed that the food on offer for a Sunday lunch was so poor. There is one sitting and all pre-booked so one would have thought that the chef would be able to estimate how much food he would need and how to have it freshly cooked and delicious. I have catered a roast lunch for 100 and still managed to get crispy potatoes and pink meat.
We were all given a pre-plated meal of several slices of very grey meat. There was no possibility of requesting whether you wanted your meat well done or served pink. Pink was obviously out of the question and the uniform, wafer thin slices (admittedly tender) led us to believe that it was all pre-sliced and reheated or might even have come ready cooked from a supplier rather than cooked fresh in the kitchens. It is really unacceptable in this day and age. We were at a hotel for a Sunday lunch - NOT in a works canteen. Two rather soggy roast potatoes per plate and a single jug of bisto to go with all the roasts on offer - pork, lamb, beef and chicken - is pretty poor. Even the most modest of pubs can do better than this for a Sunday roast special.
With the exception of a stodgy apple crumble served drowned in custard an OK but not memorable fruit salad all the puddings were from a freezer wholesaler. The cheeseboard was generously included in the price - but again not really worth bothering with: a square lump of block cheddar, a wedge of tasteless spongey brie and an OK piece of Stilton. We would all rather have had better food than a somewhat superflous fourth course. We would all have been willing to pay £25 per head rather than £19.
I so wish it had been better. It would be a lovely place to go back to if only........... if only........ I didn't want to do a negative review but really they need to think seriously about the quality of what they are offering. The main course could almost have been described as insulting to the clientele.
Shame. Great shame.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From the moment you enter the Walpole Bay Hotel and Museum, you step back in time to the ambiance of a bygone era. This historic Margate hotel was built for discerning guests in 1914, extended in 1927 and is now being lovingly restored to her former glory by the Bishop family. The Walpole is a family run hotel that strives to achieve a friendly home from home atmosphere combined with a warmth and timeless elegance. From the relaxing flower decked terrace with sea views, to the Edwardian style restaurant, you will rediscover a passion for the finer things in life. And to make your visit complete enjoy a ride in our 1927 Otis trellis gated lift, that services every floor. So if you are looking for hotels in Margate, you will not find a more welcoming, warm, charming experience anywhere else, so come and enjoy your time in Margate, Kent and reserve your room at the Walpole Bay Hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Walpole Bay Cliftonville
- Hotel Walpole Bay
- Walpole Bay Hotel Margate, Kent