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“Disappointed”
Review of The Bird in Hand

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The Bird in Hand
Ranked #6 of 15 Witney B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
devon
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Disappointed”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

We have just returned from a trip to Oxfordshire where we spent the night at The Bird in Hand.

When we arrived there was only one girl on reception who was serving at the bar, answering the phone, taking bookings for meals and rooms and functions and trying to check guests in at the same time, slow but multi-skilled.
Needless to say after a long journey we then had to wait to be booked in.
While we were waiting to be booked in a lady in front of us asked if she could book a table for two for that evening, when she said that she was not a resident she was told that the restuarant was fully booked for the evening and that a wedding party was due in.
When we arrived for our meal at 8pm there were plenty of empty tables and no sign of a wedding party all evening.
Strange.

The room looked clean and tidy although the bathroom was a bit dated and needed few things done, like replacing the cracked toilet bowl.
It is a shame that the money spent on big paintings and bucket chairs to create a impression was not used to buy a decent bed!
There was a very large hole in the base of the bed and the mattress was so worn the springs stuck through making it a very uncomfortable night for us both.
We would have had a better nights sleep if we had booked in at Stonehenge, literally, actually my back this morning feels like we did sleep on top of Stonehenge.

We had asked when we booked the room if they served vegetarian meals in the restaurant and was told there was a selection.
Suprise, the selection consisted of one choice, I did order it but when it arrived I was given a different meal which consisted of lots and lots of mushrooms in a sauce that had been poured over a slice of toast, well soggy bread really, and then topped with a very tasteless,chewy type of rubber, probably cheese.
The waitress who was friendly,apologised and said it was her fault but was unable to get the meal I ordered as it would take 20 mins to cook, by this time my partner was chewing his way Through a grisly piece of steak with some re-fried chips which cost £22.

We were not even offered a complimentary coffee to make up for the fact that I had no dinner, even the salad had onions on it after requesting no onions.
A very expensive, awful meal.

The breakfast was slightly better if you dont eat the sausages and the lots of mushrooms,

On the positive side the staff were very polite and friendly.

We did tell them about the bed when we paid our bill, the girl was very cross, not because we had an awful night but because another member of staff had told her it had been changed before we arrived so other guests must have informed them of this before.

It is in a lovely area and the bar/restuarant is quite nice but we wont be recommending it or booking in there again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dezilee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
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English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Arrived at about 13:30, with two friend found a nice table outside where other people were eating, I notice 4 tables in total were dining, made our way to the bar where 3 staff including a Chef where folding napkins, I asked for a menu to be told they were fully booked, looking around at empty tables I was told that they had a party of 48 in the back room, maybe if the chef was not occupied with the task of folding napkins us the customers could have had the chance of eating and coming away with a positive experience rather than the didn't have time attitude we where greeted with, also called today to let the landlord know of our experience, but was told he was too busy, I guess this sums the staff and managements attitude towards paying customers, sad because this used to be a great friendly Pub with great food, and it is the first time myself and friend have been back there in years.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mordax1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prato
1 review
Reviewed September 12, 2012

1 - The shower did not lock, and dripped all night, 2 - the restaurant, awful even by English standards - 3 - nion hope to never need an extra bed, because it is an old sofa bed a thin mattress stuffed with old springs of iron - 4 - Do not pay in advance: the following day, at the time of departure, they have tried to charge us again, despite the invoice that they had released. Luckily we had paid by a credit card, so we were able to produce a receipt ... There may be an error, but it is the way that made us furious!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank oblomov2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

We had a fabulous Sunday lunch here. The food was excellent. The staff are friendly and efficient,.and we would definitely eat here again. This restaurant is situated in a lovely part of the country on the edge of the Cotswolds and these can be explored from here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank isynoho054
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gutersloh, Germany
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2012

I emailed the website and attempted to book 3 tables for lunch as no one would answer the phone. They replied and I emailed back - thinking I had booked the tables.

I arrived on that day with 15 people and they refused to serve us as they said they were fully booked and made other plans as I did not email back. They shouted over the bar at me and did not speak to me discreetly. They were not accommodating at all. Only 6 people wanted food and were sat on a table outside (these were guests staying at the Bird in Hand the night previously). They refused service and blamed me. I did not like the way they spoke to me and said it was all my fault.

I have checked my email this afternoon, just in case I did not send the confirmation email and low and behold I did send it! Don't waste your time going there - there are plenty of other pubs in the area that will treat paying guests with the respect they deserve.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TB082012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wirral
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2012

We've stayed at 'The Bird in Hand' many times over several years. The first time we visited we were impressed. Large well-equipped rooms in lovely peaceful surroundings. The food was good too. However, over the last two or three years we have seen a serious decline in the standard of the accommodation.

The rooms are cleaned well and the bed linen and towels are bright and clean, but the interior of the room/ensuite is poor and in great need of a 'makeover'. Neither of the bedside lights were working properly. Two ceiling light bulbs had failed. The light was so poor in the room I had to take the mirror and hair drier over to the window sill to have sufficient light to do my hair and make-up. The carpet is grubby and spotted with dirty marks.

The en-suite was even worse. There was extensive mould on the wall behind the cistern. The grout between the tiles surrounding the bath was in poor condition and blackened in many places. The shower curtain had a very unpleasant smell (which was apparent on entering the bedroom). The temperature control on the shower didn't work. The only setting was too hot. The basin plug allowed the water in the basin to drain away. These are all the negative points.

On the positive side The Bird in Hand changed hands last month, so we're hoping the new owners have plans to improve the situation - I know it will take time. We had lunch there with our Grand daughter and her partner (who needs a gluten free diet). The staff were very helpful and he was able to enjoy a gluten-free lunch. We all enjoyed the food.

Breakfast was very good too and again the Staff were helpful and pleasant.

We will continue to stay at The Bird in Hand in the future, in the belief that the new owners will smarten it up.

Room Tip: There are ground floor rooms (useful for old or infirm) and the Staff are happy to allot one if aske...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PAM S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, England
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2012

I stayed here with my husband and teenaged son for one night whilst visiting family. It is a beautiful pub on a country road with accommodation tastefully built behind in a courtyard. Our ground floor room was huge with double bed, single bed, 3-seater settee, 2 armchairs and coffee table, large Samsung TV on wall, dressing table, small walk-in wardrobe and good-sized en suite.

We had an excellent meal in the restaurant with family that night and a really good night's sleep. Breakfast was a bit chaotic, however. We struggled to find a table and only one woman seemed to be serving. When asked if they were short-staffed, she replied that they weren't but she hadn't expected everyone to come to breakfast at once which I would think you would have to allow for in the hotel trade.

We had a very nice breakfast, however. My husband had the full English and I had mushrooms and bacon on toast which was lovely. There was no smoked salmon available, apparently for another guest who requested it with scrambled egg from the menu. This was a little disappointing.

All in all, though, it was a lovely stay and if breakfast had been more on the ball, I would have given this and "excellent" rating.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stevie6467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bird in Hand

Property: The Bird in Hand
Address: Bird in Hand White Oak Green, Witney OX29 9XP, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Witney
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Witney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Bird in Hand 4*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bird in Hand Inn is a classic Cotswolds country Inn located in Whiteoak Green, Oxfordshire, near Witney on the B4022, just outside the small village of Hailey. This classic Cotswolds hotel is an ideal location in the heart of the country within a few miles of Oxford, Chipping Norton and major motorways. The Bird in Hand Inn is surrounded by the beautiful scenery and rolling countryside of the Cotswolds, this Grade II listed building is made of traditional local stone and slate and boasts beautiful original features. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Bird In Hand Hotel Witney

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