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“Taking their customers for granted?”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of The Howard Arms

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The Howard Arms
Ranked #1 of 3 Ilmington B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Henley in Arden, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Taking their customers for granted?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012

We dine out 4 - 6 times a month, and as a party of four we ate at the Howard Arms last week, our second visit in recent times and as before we were a little under-whelmed. With three non-meat eaters it would have been helpful to have the vegetarian options marked on the menu - none were and on inquiring we found that the french onion soup was made with meat stock.

As the sole carnivore I chose the soup which can only be described as poor, verging on insipid and it was returned uneaten. The cheese souffle starter was just two mouthfuls, a little bland and under-seasoned. Other parts of the meal were good, especially the deserts but unfortunately the duck breast that was ordered pink arrived over-cooked.

Service was slow, and a little haphazard in that not all the dishes arrived at the same time. The two young waitresses seemed over-stretched and lacking in leadership - no sign of senior management all evening. Although I complained about the soup, there was no response from the kitchen or senior front of house staff (if there were any) and no deduction was made to our bill.

Neither from front of house, or in the food we received from the kitchen did we feel that our custom was really valued, add in the hefty bill for what was essentially pub food and three stars is generous I think.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank manova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
emmajane73, General Manager at The Howard Arms, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
Thank you in taking the time to report your review, I am sorry to hear you were disappointed by your recent visit to The Howard Arms and I would like to discuss this with you in more detail.
Please contact myself direct on info@howardarms.com
I look forward to hearing from you
Emma
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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343 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    32
    12
    5
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2012

I ate at The Howard on Saturday 17/11/12 with family and friends celebrating my Sister's birthday.
The pub itself is very nice but my food was bland, badly prepared, uninspiring and somewhat inedible.
All our food was pre-ordered and it was not a very busy night.
I had gone for the Pan-fried scallops, apple hash brown cake & mustard cream. 2 cold scallops, a vile puck of hard cold potato, no seasoning, no flavour, a splash of mustard dressing and some Lamb's lettuce. Nasty!
To follow I thought a safe bet would be the Braised pork belly, goats cheese Dauphinoise, black pudding bonbons & red wine jus. No chance; 3 lumps of cold rubbery pork, overcooked on the bottom, full of cartilage, unseasoned and not crispy on top! Alongside them sat an interesting Dauphinoise, I wasn't interested for long. Cold, bland and disappointing. The bonbon of black pudding I didn't notice immediately because I was battling with the pork and because it was so dry it had split into a couple of dry little pieces that I really didn't fancy..... The red wine jus was more of a balsamic glaze and very sparse.
I didn't risk a sweet but others did. I noted that the butterscotch sauce had split with the sticky toffee pud.
I know kitchens have off days but this was shocking!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SonaFoodDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

I visited The Howard Arms on Saturday evening as a group of 12. We are not from the area, we were staying in a nearby holiday home but had heard good things about this place so decided to pay a visit. We were asked to pre-ordered our food, (the full menu was made available to us) to make sure service ran smoothly and nobody had to wait, which was a sensible request and worked well on the evening as the food arrived together, cooked to a high standard and was well presented for all 12 of us. Portions are generous, a couple of people in the group had to cancel dessert as they were too full - which the staff were very co-operative about, but those that did conquer all three courses enjoyed the white chocolate doughnuts the most. I must mention the scallops; cooked perfectly and also the steak, which came with giant onion rings (and chips of course). The service was good and welcoming. We all left very happy and full. Would recommend and would be very happy to return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SES1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
72 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012

We stayed here as part of my birthday treat (it is near Hidcote and Chipping Campden) and I can't recommend it more highly. The superb dining, the ambiance of the inn itself and the restaurant, the friendliness of the staff, the standard of the accommodation: all superb. The room we stayed in was very roomy and comfortable - and it overlooked the village green which was very picturesque. The bathroom was 'shabby chic', but the bedroom itself was superb. We made time to explore the walks available from the village: can someone please re-write the directions and make them into a colourful leaflet! We got a little lost, but it was worth it to see the chalybeate ponds, the wonderful views from the hilltop and then to see the apple map and Thompson carved mice in the church. And of course we staggered back to the Howard Arms to cool down with a bottle (or two) of iced lemonade!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ScotlandPilgrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2012

Having spent the previous night in the lovely, inviting comfort of the locals pub, the Red Lion we thought we would try Illmingtons top end resteraunt. Not a great idea! The main issues were:
1) Poor quality food (whole poussin with handmade beans and chips should not look (and taste) like a KFC reject! Never had breaded chicken when ordering poussin and definatly never left virtually the whole thing. The barbary duck was moist but accompanying veg cold......
2) Poor service, long wait for food despite small number of customers. The waitress (who appeared to be the manager) didn't seem to notice the left food (there was plenty) and seemed uninterested when we raised issue with the food. It seemed like she had heard it all before.
3) The atmosphere was dull, resteraunt was cold (though I wish we had eaten in the other area where the fire seemed inviting).
4) If perfectly cooked the price would still not be called cheap but given the above it was outragous.
On the plus side, we saved on the tip, and spent it on a pint in the Red Lion. We also got a 10% discount for staying in the Folly Farm Guesthouse (which was awesome) which was good but no reduction for the cold veg and fatty sludge mess of a chicken........

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jamesharrytaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
emmajane73, General Manager at The Howard Arms, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Thank you for your recent review, I am sorry to hear you were so disappointed with your visit to The Howard Arms.
I would like to discuss your views in more detail, please e mail info@howardarms.com so we can discuss this further.
Many thanks
Emma
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
worcester
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

The Howard Arms used to be our favourite pub in the world. Today we popped in for lunch on our way home from Oxford and were sorely disappointed ......untended flower beds, paint peeling off the windows and doors, tired tatty soft furnishings and curtains, appalling service (the place was really very quiet indeed yet still we waited very nearly an hour for our lunch to arrive with no real apology), relish missing from the dish I ordered (because 'the starters chef had forgotten to make any') and Old Hooky that really was not kept well at all. This is the second time things have not been up to scratch when we have visited, last time we had dinner on a Sunday night and had cause for complaint then as well and were told it was a one off. It's always sad when a favourite eating place changes hands and goes down hill, seems this one is no different, the attention to detail that made the place so special appears to have gone out the window, really sad :o(

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank pipandgeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
emmajane73, General Manager at The Howard Arms, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Thank you for your recent review, I am sorry to hear that you were so disappointed with your last visit to The Howard Arms.
I would like to discuss this in more detail with you, please e mail me on info@howardarms.com
Many thanks
Emma
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2012

Great little country pub, great food and atmosphere.
2 main course meals and 2 drinks for £45, we will be revisiting here again that's for sure.
Food was amazing, we arrived at 6.00pm on a Saturday night hoping to get a table and luckily enough there was 1 table left, all the other tables had been booked and reserved, so we would recommend booking a table as can get busy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aaron P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
emmajane73, General Manager at The Howard Arms, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Thank you so much for your lovely review. It is a pleasure to hear such great comments! I hope that when you are next in the area we see you again.
Many thanks
Emma
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Howard Arms

Property: The Howard Arms
Address: Lower Green, Ilmington CV36 4LT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Ilmington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Ilmington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Howard Arms 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the picturesque village green of Ilimington, set in the crook of the Cotswold Hills, lies The Howard Arms, a stunning, 400-year-old Cotswold stone inn.The stylish pub and dining room provide the ideal backdrop for an appealing mix of old furniture, broad polished flagstones and a log fire that burns for most of the year. Upstairs, three beautiful bedrooms have been joined by five newly-built sumptuous and spacious bedrooms which all boast separate power shower and bath, free internet access and iPod docks. Ultimate luxury and comfort are the focus of each bedroom which offer beautiful bigs beds with hand-stitched and sprung mattresses, modern fabrics and a clever mix of antique furnishings to ensure that each room offers its own personality. As the Howard Arms is sited away from main roads or street lights, a good night's sleep will leave you revitalized and refreshed, ready to enjoy our 'famous' three-course breakfast. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Howard Arms Hotel Ilmington

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