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“Flawless food”

Castle Cottage Restaurant
Ranked #5 of 21 Restaurants in Harlech
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $46 - $59
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary, British, Welsh
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: We have steadily built up a reputation for good food, both locally and with visitors to the area. We source and use as much local / Welsh produce as possible and strive to create a dining experience that combines top quality local food and service with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. We offer a 2 course or 3 course option as well as a 5 course tasting menu. We are the Mid Wales and overall winner for Wales of The True Taste Eating out Award for 2008/09.Visit Wales Gold Award 2011/12/13/14/15/16. National Restaurant Awards 2011 Top 100. Good Hotel Guide editor's choice award 2016. For 25 years we have had a continuous entry in the Good Food Guide. Cheshire Life Highly Commended Award 2016
Ashtead
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Flawless food”
Reviewed August 28, 2012

The food at this restaurant was amazing for a fantastic price. (£40 for a 3 course meal).
We were first taken to a lounge area where we were given some delicious nibbles including a Scotch (quail) egg. When in the dining area we were bought a sort of amuse bouche pre-starter of pea and asparagus soup which was delicious.
For my starter I had roast guinea fowl with truffled mash and my partner had pigeon. For my main course I had 'duo of pig' which consisted of roast suckling pig and blood pudding with dauphinoise potatoes and purple cabbage. I often choose this sort of thing when eating out and I have to say this is the best I've ever had, and I could not fault it. Whilst nothing was particularly innovative about this dish each aspect was cooked to perfection and went well with the other components. I could eat this all day if it were possible.
For dessert we both had a summer pudding which came with clotted cream, which again I could not fault, packed with summer fruits.
After dinner we went back to the lounge area were my partner had a coffee - it came with a selection of sweet treats which included the most amazing brandy snap type thing.

I would give the food 5* as I thought it was perfection. My partner said he would give it 4 because there was nothing innovative about the food but I think he has been influenced too much by Heston Blumenthal. Whilst the food was fairly traditional, it was done to such perfection that I really could not rank it any less than 5*.

My only criticism is that I felt the staff could have been a little more friendly. They weren't unfriendly at all, but their service was mostly perfunctory and seemed to lack a little warmth. But otherwise there was nothing wrong with the service.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Florence T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owainHarlech, Owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, September 6, 2012
Hi Florence T
Thank you for a perfect review. I am glad you enjoyed our freshly prepared food and its good to hear that it was appreciated and that you recognised that the prices we charge, are spot on for the quality and style of food we serve.

As a chef i don't go in for foams, jellies and twirly bits on plates, I like the food to look and taste of what it is!. The molecular food movement has a place in catering, but i'm not sure if Harlech is the place to do it. As for our service we do not do 'in your face, poncy laying of napkin' style. I personally like to be left to eat and drink in peace, so that's what we do at castle cottage. We hope to serve you again soon.
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187 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    139
    36
    5
    4
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
“Super Duper Tommy Cooper!”
Reviewed August 22, 2012 via mobile

Once again Glyn, Jackie and the team delivered two amazing evenings of fabulous food and service.
We were spoilt with local lobster, line caught sea bass and the most fabulous summer pudding, to name just a few.
You work hard at the details and my goodness it shows. It has been lovely to pick up again from where we left off 3 years ago and still find you cooking up the best food in Wales! See you again soon Claire & Mike

Helpful?
Thank Claire P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owainHarlech, Owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Hi Claire P
Thank you for a wonderful review of our food and service at Castle Cottage. We are spoilt with quality local produce at this time of year and we are happy that you enjoyed your dinner and wines. It was good to see you both again and thank you again for your comments re all the hard work - how do we do it? Just Like That!!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harlech
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Eating well”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Another lovely meal,thank you Glyn and Jacqueline.we are really lucky to have such a fabulous restaurant over the road.Mind you ,as we are slightly up the hill our stunning views are even better.just wish I could cook as well.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jackyandbill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owainHarlech, Owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
Hi Jackieandbill
Thank you for your lovely review of Castle Cottage, It was a pleasure to serve you and your lovely friends again, and we are both over the moon that you enjoyed your evening with us. Looking forward to serving you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dyffryn Ardudwy, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Refreshing change”
Reviewed August 16, 2012

A refreshing change to find a chef in this area who not only can devise an excellent menu but can cook it too. The ambiance is delightful, the small touches such as the canapes and the amuse bouche are surprise extras. The Merlot by the glass excellent and everything served by the chef's competent wife. I left feeling replete and very spoiled.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Mr E P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owainHarlech, Owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, August 18, 2012
Hi Mr E P
Thank you for a refreshing review of Castle Cottage, we appreciate your comments re our food, service and wines, its good to serve customers who understand all the hard work that goes into preparing food to order. It was a pleasure to spoil you, hope to see you both again soon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great food, high prices”
Reviewed July 31, 2012

We have been about once a year over the last decade and most recently in July this year. The food rarely disappoints and the quality this year was no exception. The welcome and service is unobtrusive which could be taken for apathetic but is a nice change from the over the top attention that you often find elsewhere. Be prepared to pay higher prices - £39 per head this year for a 3 course meal. It would be good to have a 2 course price option, especially as the generous portions mean that some can be struggling to cope with the dessert.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owainHarlech, Owner at Castle Cottage Restaurant, responded to this review, August 1, 2012
Hi Mark P
Thank you for your review and your custom for the last 10 years. We are also glad you enjoy the relaxed and 'not in your face' service. Also very happy to hear you love the food!
The price for 2012 is actually £39.50 a head ( 2011 was £38.00) Inflation last year was running at nearly 5% then the taxman raised VAT by another 2 & a half % up to 20% - so we should have been charging £40.85 (In most European countries VAT on restaurant food is only between 5-8% - putting the uk at a distinct disadvantage!!!!)
We only buy top quality, local or welsh produce where possible and we support local suppliers as much as possible and this is reflected in our prices for which I make no excuse.

We have to turn a profit otherwise there is no point doing it. We have been in business as castle cottage for 24 years (the longest running catering business under the same ownership in the Harlech area by a long, long chalk – many restaurants have come and gone)

For the £39.50 per head you get canapés in the bar, chefs appetiser at the table along with unsalted organic welsh butter, our own baked bread, choice of about 7 starters, 7 main courses along with extra veg if you want it ( not really needed as all main courses come complete, choice of 7 puddings or cheese. The table is yours for the night, no rushing you off. Some restaurants in the city would charge you that just for a main course – veg extra. We are not a restaurant where you come to have a nibble or just 1 course – you come to Castle cottage for the night to have a proper dinner!! – hopefully!!
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