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“Food lovely but service not up to your usual standard”

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The Bildeston Crown
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bildeston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 19, 2013

We have eaten at The Crown several times over the past year or so and held a post wedding reception there in May of this year; and have always been very happy. We were however disappointed with the service on Saturday 16th. The restaurant was very busy but main issues were - not enough menus, slow service (waited 25 minutes for main course plates to be cleared). Waiting staff were many and varied and seemed on the whole inexperienced - this may have contributed to the problem. Lady in charge seemed to avoid eye contact with us. Several diners were not happy and to their credit, we were given extra petit fours as some compensation for the wait. I write this as constructive criticism and in the hope my comments may be helpful. The food was very good, if not better than usual. We hope to visit again soon when we are in the area.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Liz879
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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200 - 206 of 320 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2013

We spent two nights at the Bildeston Crown and although we enjoyed our stay, there were aspects which we felt let the place down. Upon checking in we were told we had been upgraded from the room we had specifically requested to accommodate a couple with two small children. However, when we checked the tariff for the new room, we discovered it was the same price! We complained and were offered a discount which was a welcome gesture as we felt it showed good customer service and made up for the disappointment of not being in the room we wanted.
However, our new room was above Ingrams, the restaurant, and we were very aware of the noise coming from downstairs. While this did quieten down as the place closed up on Saturday night, we were disturbed later in the night by furniture being moved, and then again, early on Sunday morning. I realise the staff need to prep the room for the lunch service, but if you are a light sleeper, you might be better off in one of the rooms not above a public area as we overheard other comments about the noise coming up from downstairs. I appreciate it is an old inn, but it doesn't appear anything has been done to try and improve the sound-proofing. The wi-fi was also down for our entire stay which wasn't great.
Breakfast was good (and plentiful) and the meal we ate on Sunday evening was also of a high standard and very good value. The staff were very friendly but a little haphazard and the whole operation lacked the professionalism you'd expect from somewhere charges such prices. We would definitely go back for the food but I'm not sure we would choose to stay there again.

Room Tip: The road is relatively busy at the front of the hotel and many of the rooms are over the bar and res...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Amuia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

Luxurious decor and upmarket 'feel' - Welcoming in winter when the open fires are lit.
The service is welcoming and friendly. Have eaten here several times and also stayed for one night. Very much enjoyed each experience apart from the pre booked Christmas Day lunch.

We pre booked and pre ordered our Christmas Day lunch and were disappointed with the service (was very slow and 'messy'. Puddings arrived with such a long gap in between that we had to eat separately so food did not go cold - despite being pre ordered!!!) and food (almost cold and thought we would be having freshly carved turkey, not turkey roll, for example). On arrival, half of the Christmas Tree lights weren't working and the fire had gone out. Rather sad on Christmas Day!

This was, obviously, a while ago and we've only been back to the bar (not restaurant) once since. Maybe time to try again? But not on Christmas Day.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Tellmetellme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

We found this to be good accommodation in a typical English village pub. Provided adequate furbishments although the room was very small with a sloping floor which is to be expected in an old inn. Outdoor areas are well kept and a delight on a nice day. The staff were very friendly and the food was excellent.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Duncan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

A really stunning inn - heaps of character with lots of beautiful beams, yet a contemporary and daring use of colour and decor - which works really well. Beautifully appointed rooms and very comfortable beds. The food was also delicious.
I stay in many places as a tour operator and cannot find fault with this establishment. Wonderful and friendly service too. Just great!

Room Tip: Choose one at the back if you don't want any road noise - but it's not an overly busy road
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Classic T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We celebrated my birthday with an overnight at The Crown, which we'd heard from my foodie parents (who live just up the road) was well worth the drive up from London.

Our stay was good, but could have been excellent (there were a couple of minor niggles, but this is Tripadvisor!):

- The room was gorgeous with a bed so comfy I seriously considered buying a new mattress when we got home. It backed onto the courtyard which was incredibly pretty but be aware there is some noise if the window's open (especially if you have a table of drunken females sitting directly beneath)

- The bathroom was spacious and there was plenty of pressure behind the shower. We just wished there'd been some frosting on the window as it was a bit annoying, due to the heavy blind, having to turn the light on during the day

- Dinner was absolutely amazing. Fine dining with fantastic combinations of flavours I can't begin to describe. It's expensive but well worth it if you enjoy good food. Our experience was only slightly sullied by the table of staff-abusing oafs who came in towards the end of the meal. The staff were all incredibly helpful and friendly, not to mention patient with our fellow diners

- Now the negative bit; breakfast. What a disappointment. After a fantastic meal the night before I was really looking forward to a decent breakfast. The quality of the food was exemplary but the portion sizes were tiny to the point of being stingy. For 2 of us we were presented with a basket containing half a croissant (a baked little cone) and one petit pain au chocolat and 2 slices of toast. I was saving myself for the full English, but quite frankly should have loaded up on the cereals; it came as a tiny island on a massive plate: one rasher of bacon, one sausage, 5 tiny mushrooms (yes, I did count them) half a tomato and just-cooked poached eggs swimming in water. Sub-optimal to say the least.

Additionally when I made the reservation it was confirmed that the tasting menu would be available but, due to a large group being in, on the night we were told it wasn't. This was disappointing as our main reason for visiting was to sample the food. But we had a fantastic meal and now have an excuse to go and eat there again at least.

I read somewhere that great hotels always provide a good breakfast as it's the last thing guests remember about a place. I think The Crown should take heed of this tip as, despite having a lovely time, I did come away feeling ever so slightly disgruntled at the needless stinginess of their morning portion control.

Room Tip: If you having an early night ask for a quiet room or take some ear plugs, especially if it's a w...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RiaRy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

We stayed at the hotel this weekend. Very pleasant, clean, smart but the room was small and stuffy. At £150 per night we expected a much higher level of quality, sorry but it's average. Breakfast was fine, small, but that's OK with us. Disappointed really, wouldn't encourage anyone else to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank Lizc365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bildeston Crown

Address: 104 High Street, Bildeston, Babergh District IP7 7EB, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Babergh District > Bildeston
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bildeston
Hotel Class:3 star — The Bildeston Crown 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bildeston Crown is a 15th century, former coaching inn set in the Suffolk village of Bildeston, one of the historic “wool towns” and just six miles from Lavenham. Known for its stylish yet relaxed accommodation, the inn has 12 en suite doubles, a 120 seater restaurant, private meeting room, bar area with open fire and a courtyard and terrace for al fresco dining . Food is an integral part of The Bildeston Crown experience and Chef Chris Lee, who owns the business with his wife Hayley, has an excellent reputation for his signature, innovative style. Quality produce, sourced primarily locally, is used when in season and diners can choose from a range of menus: Classics which features regular favourites, Select which changes with the seasons and also perhaps the ultimate dining experience – Chris Lee’s Tasting Menu. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Bildeston Crown Hotel Bildeston
Bildeston Crown Ipswich
The Bildeston Crown England - Suffolk

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