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“Dog friendly, welcoming place to eat good food by the marina”

Samuel Barlow Bar & Restaurant
Ranked #36 of 154 Restaurants in Tamworth
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff
west midlands
Level Contributor
45 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Dog friendly, welcoming place to eat good food by the marina”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

We are so glad to have found this place. We love being near water, so this is the perfect local bar/ restaurant being at the marina, for us to relax outside or indoors with our dog over a meal and drink. The chef/ owner makes this place what it is- he describes himself as a cranky and he certainly doesn't tolerate fools, but like him for what he is and enjoy his good, home cooked food and hands on hospitality. He must have a heart of gold under his "cranky" exterior, as he and his lovely staff absolutely go out of their way to welcome dogs- provide plenty of water and great mutt meals free in return for a donation to the rspca. There are lovely comfy settees and chairs inside and outside and a really friendly atmosphere. Children happily run around without restrictions- parents are responsible for their safety and I don't think any have drowned yet!! There is a function room upstairs, though I have not seen that. Don't go if you are "snooty" and easily offended, but otherwise enjoy this quite unique and special place.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank elaine55h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    21
    7
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    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
521 reviews
303 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“Friendly staff”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

You can sit inside or outside on chairs or on comfy chairs and sofas by the marina. The only real downside is whilst eating inside during the warm weather you are surrounded by flies which is not acceptable whilst you are eating. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The chef comes out and talks you through the menu which is on a blackboard an is really friendly and will answer any questions you may have about the food. There is an adequate choice of menu . The vegetables could have been a bit fresher the broccoli was turning a bit yellow but the rest of the meal was fine The lamb shank was a lovely size and was cooked in a lovely tasty sauce. The desert I chose was a lemon tart with cream . The tart was lovely and we had ample amounts of cream.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Loobylou1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Good beers, good food, Chef's a nutter, but in a good way.”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

I've been using the Samuel Barlow since it was refurbished about three years ago and have watched it grow from nothing to a very busy very popular bar and restaurant. Whatever people may think of him, the success is due to Paul, and the high standards he sets himself and expects from his staff. He has a management style that some may find a bit abrasive and intimidating, but having an insight into the industry as a bar owner and father of two kids who've worked in 5 star hotels I can tell you that for a very busy kitchen to run well with orders waiting it is sometimes necessary to kick bottom - there isn't time to sit round an incense stick on bean bags and discuss how you think you performed. (In Pauls case, think Gordon Ramsay with a generous helping of Crocodile Dundee. Or possibly Ned Kelly).

For what it's worth, the staff who have stayed the course are some of the best I've seen and others have gone on to managerial jobs in big chain restaurants.

The food is all prepared on the premises, and in my experience always good. The real ales are all very well kept and the prices are all very affordable.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Trevor W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awful Service, Average Food”
Reviewed May 23, 2013

Service is extremely slow even though there was hardly anybody in there. The serving staff just don't seem to care and stand about chatting.

The food was just about warm enough and the quantity was OK.

Its in a nice place but thats about all it has going for it !

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
4 Thank b05232013b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

Saw a lot of good reviews on here for the Samuel Barlow so thought we would give it a try.
It was a nice day so thought perfect opportunity to sit outside next to the canal and sample the food the reviews talk so highly about.
After sitting outside for a short while the smell of dog started to become really noticeable. I know it said dog friendly but I felt like I was in the kennels.
Dogs all over the place literally going to the toilet against our table, disgusting.
Both my partner and I are dog lovers but we both felt really uncomfortable with the smell.
The food came, very disappointed. The pie, mash and vegetables were watery and tasteless. Reminded me of school dinners.
We did notice that everyone around us seemed to know each other well and know the owner. Realised this is why the good reviews are in here as its from friends.
It's not very often I submit a bad review but felt the need to warn others about this place.
If your just stoping off for a quick drink then this place is fine but its not a place to plan and visit.
It's a shame cause so much more could be made of this place as the views are beautiful.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank MidlandsBubble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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