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“Didnt blossom for me”

Camellia Restaurant @ South Lodge Hotel
Ranked #20 of 164 Restaurants in Horsham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $26 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Brighton, England
Level 6 Contributor
78 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Didnt blossom for me”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Myself and a party of 4 had the 3 course set lunch here.
In many respects one couldnt complain-we were well received, staff were courteous, central table in a nicely furnished dining room, food well cooked and tasty.
However when thinking back although the waiting staff didn't do anything wrong there was no engagement with us, no attempt at conversation, apart from a standard query at the end of whether we were happy with the deserts.
One aspect that does cloud the experience came when we paid the bill- our pre lunch drink eg vodka and tonic came to with 10% service over £11 each.
Perhaps its this notion of country house style - if that's what you like and are happy to pay the high premium then yes come here. However if you want a similar level and quality of catering then there are just so many other venues nearby and in Brighton that are either better value or have more atmosphere albeit in a contemporary style. Regretfully unlikely to return here.

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

Visitor rating
    154
    67
    39
    22
    19
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hove
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Michelin quality without the stars”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

There are 2 restaurants at the South Lodge. One has Michelin star and the other does not. Cameila is the one without the star. This amazed me because the food could not be nicer, presentation- incredible and the service was not stuffy but friendly and efficient. We used to go to this establishment years ago. It had always been good but used to be a bit stuffy and unimaginative. This has all changed. I cannot recommend this restaurant highly enough.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dandini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Afternoon Tea”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

My husband and I went to South Lodge Hotel for afternoon tea on Valentines Day 2013. We arrived at 3.25 for our 3.30pm reservation and a nice gentleman from front of house showed us to our table and took my coat. The room was very nice, tables laid out, nice and relaxed with sofas, but with crisp white linen. But it then started to go down hill. At the time there were 6 tables in total occupied, so the room was not full, but it took at least 10 minutes for someone to acknowledge us and give us a menu. After we ordered our afternoon tea, and chosen our teas and coffee's it took a considerable amount of time for the food and drink to arrive. In fact it took an hour from being seated to getting anything to eat or drink despite there being at least 3 waitresses coming in and out of the room (and as i mentioned only 6 tables, all couples or in two's anyway).

We clearly were not the only ones who were experieincing this poor level of service, as i witnessed one elderly gentleman get up, approach a waitress and exclaim that he and his wife were still waiting for their tea and cake. The waitress was extremely apologetic and said she would sort it out. Whilst she went off to do this the gentleman started chatting with another table who said that they had also had to wait a long time for their food and drink. The waitress then came back in with some tea for the gentleman (but no cake) and explained that they were having trouble with 'their systems'. Again she was extremely apologetic.

With all this going on we just waited it out and eventually our food arrived, and then after asking for it, our tea and coffee. Again the waitress was very nice and apologetic and explained about the 'systems failure with the till'. The food and drink was pleasant. One or two of the sandwhiches had dry edges, but otherwise the cakes and sanwhiches were very nice, and we were brought some more sandwhiches when we requested.

When we came to pay the bill there was no one to be found, despite there still being three tables still occupied in the room, we were not being attended to and my husband had to go and find someone to request the bill. A gentleman who had not been serving earlier then came to take the payment. I requested that the 10% added service charge be removed from the bill. We paid the bill, and then the gentleman started chekcing our bill and asking if everything was alright with our afternoon tea. I explained that it had taken one hour from sitting down to receiving our food. He looked quite annoyed at this, and when i said that it seemed to be a common complaint in the dining room today, he looked irritated and surly then walked off. He did not appear too bothered about the poor service we had received.

Overall it's a shame that I've had to give this review 3 stars as the environment and the food were pretty good. But it was let down terribly by the service which really does take the edge off what could have been a good experience. There didn't appear to be anyone in charge. And why make an enitre room of customers wait a long time for their food without trying to sort out their 'systems' problem. Had it been me running the place i would have hand delivered each ticket to the kitchen or phoned through the order to recitify the problem (if the problem was the system delaying the ticket to the kitchen). But that's why i didn't tip, because no one took the initiaitve to solve the problem, they felt it was better to make us wait, exclaim that it 'should have been here by now', and then apologise profusely. The bill states that the added discretionary service charge could be removed if the service was not up to standard. Well unfortunately today it wasn't.

    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travellinghan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great value and improvement over recent years”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

The Camelia, at the wonderful South Lodge, was always a pleasnat experience to visit but up until the past couple of years the food was good rather than excellent. It has really raised it's game in recent times (possibly because of the opening of The Pass at the same hotel) and the food is now very impressive indeed. The set lunch, at £20 for three courses, is exceptional value.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Andy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“family lunch with visitors from out of town”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Great food witamuse-bouche both pre-starter and pre-dessert. Service faultless prompt and attentive. Atmosphere nice and lovely decor . Food good , very pretty and very tasty. A lovely place for a special meal.

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

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