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“Reasonable meal, good atmosphere”
Review of The Cross Keys Inn

The Cross Keys Inn
Ranked #2 of 4 Restaurants in Cawsand
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Pub/B&B having restaurant
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Our meal was nothing special, lasagne that had obviously just been blasted in the microwave, a reasonable warm chicken salad. The chocolate cheesecake was very pleasant. We had great entertainment watching the hardworking waitress running up and down stairs and hauling on the dumb waiter. The pub was very conveniently located for us and right in the heart of the village, also close to the beach.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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100 - 104 of 119 reviews

Reviewed September 7, 2013

This is a proper community pub in the heart of the village that does great value food. It’s freshly made from good often local ingredients, the portions are large and the service friendly and efficient. I would particularly recommend the grazing board that is a little under £10 but would easily serve 3 to 4 people as a starter. The fish and chips is also great, as too are the vegetarian options which usually involve pasta. There is a good range of real ales and the bar staff are friendly.

The only down side of this place, and it’s been mentioned in other reviews, is the manager. I dropped in to book a table in the restaurant section for 8 people. When I asked if there was a table free I was greeted with tutting, sighing and shaking of the head. Then the thinking out loud started, “I don’t know, I’ll have to move some tables about, it’s not going to be easy” and so on. I eventually said to him “Look if it’s too much trouble for you I’ll go elsewhere”. His reply was to say no he could do it. He asked for my name which he wrote in the book, then just to cap off the experience he closed the book up, slammed it down on the bar and turned his back on me. No ‘Thank you Sir, we look forward to seeing you later’, no smile, he just walked off.

So in summary then, good staff, good food and beer, just a miserable S.O.B. of a manager. My review would have been 5 stars but because of his attitude I’ve settled on 3, with apologies to the other staff and the chef who do a great job.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
4  Thank RMP1960g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

I wasn't expecting much, just bog standard pub grub, however, we were pleasantly surprised. The half pint prawns are excellent value for money and the fresh Pollock and chips were top notch - decent beer too.

They were very busy when we dined here and there was a mess up with our bill (we were given someone else's by mistake), but this was sorted out in a professional manner and without any qualms even though we had left the premises and only realised later. Good food, good staff.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Inselaffe666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

We had a lovely week staying in the beautiful village of Cawsand last week. Unfortunately one thing was missing. ..A good pub to eat in.

We looked forward to eating in the Cross Keys Inn; it was a stones throw away from our holiday cottage by the beach and advertised fresh fish. My husband was quite excited about potentially 'catch of the day' menu.

We arrived in Cawsand on Saturday afternoon after a very long drive and went to the Cross Keys for our dinner at around 6pm. As we approached there were quite a lot of people leaving in a mini bus. When we entred the Inn there was only a barman and a man stood at the end of the bar. We asked for a table for 5. We were asked by the man at the end of the bar whether we had booked. He was clearly drunk; slurring his words and quite abrupt. We said we had just arrived and hadn't. He began to go on and on and on. ...about how they're very busy, we should book, we were too early for food as it is not served till 7pm, but they'll try to fit us in. The bar man took over, found a table, and arranged for us to be seated at 6:45pm.

We sat down with a drink and brushed off the rude man as an interfering regular. Whilst we were drinking we looked at the menu and specials board. The menus are average pub fayre. We noticed an advert for Wednesday Curry Night. We cannot resist a good curry so booked a table for 7pm whilst we waited.

We were seated at our table at about 6.45pm. We ordered two handmade burgers, a gammon, a fish and chips, and a children's homemade sausage and chips.

The food arrived quickly and the service was good.

Unfortunately on first sight of the fish and chips we could tell the fish was not fresh. It looked suspiciously like the boxed variety found in the frozen section of a budget supermarket. My Mum informed me that inside the hard flat batter the fish was not flaked and fluffy but like mush. Not what you expect for £9 in an Inn by the sea advertising fresh fish.

The burgers were clearly handmade and very promising but unfortunately these were both very dry.

The gammon was also disappointing with my Dad describing it as 'plastic gammon'.

The sausages were tasty but again overcooked.

All the meals were a good portion but sadly lacking in either quality or execution.

Unusual for us we left with out having desserts.

Later in the week my husband and dad drank in the Cross Keys and discovered that the drunken man was in fact the landlord.

We deliberated about whether to cancel our booking for Curry Night but decided to give the Cross Keys another chance.

We arrived at 7pm (beginning of service) and took a seat in the restaurant area straight away. There are around 8 tables in the restaurant and about half were seated.

There was a choice of three curries - one chicken (medium/hot), one beef (medium), and one vegetable (unspecified). The chicken and the beef were the same curries that were on the menu on the Saturday night.

We were a little surprised by the choice and asked the waitress whether the three choices on the wall were the only choices. She confirmed they were. We asked her about the heat of the vegetable curry. She replied that she expected it to be medium as they were all medium. We pointed out that the chicken was medium/hot but she maintained it was medium. We asked if our two year old could have a half portion of a child's meal as she only has a small appetite. The waitress replied that she could not answer our questions and went for clarification. Kindly they agreed that a half portion was fine.

We ordered two chicken, one beef, and one vegetable curry and a child's chicken pieces.

A few minutes later the waitress returned and very politely apologised that there was only one chicken curry left. We immediatelly swapped one of the chicken curries to beef.

Soon after changing our order the waitress returned again; apologised again and said that there wasn't any chicken left now.

I do not eat beef curry and didn't fancy the vegetable. This, the poor service, and our earlier experience made our decision to leave easy.

We felt very sorry for the young waitress. I hope we did not offend her. We were polite to her. I hope that the Cross Keys owners respect their young staff a little more and give them a little more knowledge about the menu at the start of service.

My Dad explained to the landlady why we were leaving. She implied we were being unreasonable and they couldn't be expected to have an unlimited amount.

We do not expect restaurants to have an unlimited supply of food, however, I do expect Curry Night to consist of more than three choices of curry. I also expect chicken to be plentiful and last for longer than 10 minutes into service (isn't chicken most popular?). As we were told on Saturday, the Cross Keys encourage people to book, perhaps they could use this information wisely!

It is such a shame that this Inn was a disappointment as Cawsand is such a lovely holiday destination. If you are visiting beautiful Cawsand we recommend you walk up the hill to King sand for dinner or travel out to Millbrook or Wilcove (excellent).

1  Thank Amy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crosskeys1, Owner at The Cross Keys Inn, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2013

Whilst we are always happy to receive constructive feedback, there are a couple of areas within your lengthy review that I would like to comment on.

1. Our specials board in our restaurant always features a number of fresh fish/shellfish options, and wherever possible these are locally sourced. We currently have Lemon Sole, John Dory, Pollock, Cock Crab and Scallops. Similar menu items would have been available to you when you visited. We do not claim that the battered cod on our standard menu is a fresh product, it is premium frozen cod from Yorkshire. I am sorry that you were unhappy with the product and the other items that you mentioned in your review. If you had mentioned this at the time of your first visit we would have had an opportunity to put things right for you.

2. Our curry night is normally fully booked every week, with many customers returning week after week. All of our curries are home made, and for Curry night are made on the day, hence the limited quantities of each type. The curry night is a special offer night where we offer a curry with a pint or glass of wine for £7.95, so for the curry itself you are paying about £4.75 (on a normal night you would pay £8.45 for a similar dish - so a saving of £3.70.) The special curry offer is as an addition to our normal menu and daily specials. We normally have a choice of 3 curries on curry night, 2 meat options which vary every week and a vegetarian option. On the night that you visited we actually had 4 options - chicken ( a particularly limited quantity as this had been on our normal menu) plus, beef, prawn and vegetable. Prior to your ordering we had taken orders from approx 20 people and sold out of chicken - still leaving you 3 options to chose from. So - yes, I'm afraid I did consider your reaction unreasonable.

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Reviewed May 30, 2013

We stayed in the village and needed somewhere to eat. Found this little pub at the last minute and they managed to seat us in the bar even though the restaurant was busy. Service and food was good & was a good find tucked in a little village.

Thank LauraG73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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