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“Not Great First Impression”
Review of The Bear

The Bear
Ranked #26 of 60 Restaurants in Esher
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Kingston upon Thames, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Not Great First Impression”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

I live not too far away and had wanted to try this place for ages as it looks interesting from the outside. We only paid a brief visit for drinks, but I was really irritated by the attitude of the bar staff. First, the barman wasn't paying attention when I asked for my drink and tried to give me the wrong one, and then we asked for some salted peanuts with our drinks. He asked if we'd like dry-roasted, to which we said 'no, just salted please'. He poured some in to a bowl and put it on the bar. They looked very much like dry-roasted so I said I think these are dry-roasted not salted and he assured me that they were salted, but just looked like dry-roasted. I wasn't convinced, so again said that I was pretty sure these weren't salted nuts, at which he went over to his manager and conferred with her. He returned and said they are definitely salted. We took them outside with our drinks and I tasted one (which I should have done at the bar) and they were unmistakeably dry-roasted. I went back inside and the barman and manager were at the bar and he nudged her to look up as I went in and they exchanged a look and watched me approach the bar. 'Problem?' she asked before I'd said anything. Yes, I said, could I please just have a bowl of plain old salted peanuts. They exchanged another look and laughed, and the manager said 'OK, what it is, is that we don't actually have any salted ones so that's why we gave you dry-roasted instead'. It may seem silly to be so irritated over a bowl of nuts, but it wasn't the nuts but the principle - I felt that they had basically just taken me for a complete fool instead of just saying 'sorry, we don't have any' at the beginning. The pub itself seems OK with reasonably nice, if a little too trendy and try-hard decor, the outdoor area is a pleasant place to have a drink, and my wine was very good. I'd hate to let a silly incident over a bowl of nuts stop me from going thare again to experience the place more fully, but the staff's attitude left a bad taste.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
1 Thank Hermia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“surprisingly good”
Reviewed March 17, 2014

Food was very good, much better than we expected. We ate in the bar area but the menu is the same. Some good choices on there are all cooked to a high standard.

Visited February 2014
Thank MWSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cobham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“All style, no substance”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

A very disappointing birthday lunch with a luke-warm soup followed by an acidic and very non-onion gravy which was soaked up by the liver, making the dish uneatable and unappetising. My friends meatloaf was also overcooked and he couldn't get his fork into most of it! Whilst the dessert was OK, the long plate was far too big for the small pot of chocolate sauce at one end, with the two pieces of brownie at the other. Why was there an awful and very large white expanse between the two? It looked like something was missing and for nearly £6 there clearly was!

Whilst the service was good, they were over apologetic (three different people came to our table), which made us quite uncomfortable in front of other diners as we hadn't caused a fuss.

I wouldn't recommend The Bear at all. It looks good from the outside and the decor inside is nice, however the standard and quality of food does not match it's appearance. There are much nicer places to eat in the surrounding area. Would not visit again as was rather embarrassed in front of my friends and other diners.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kerry P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colwyn Bay, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Good pub Food”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

We enjoyed an enjoyable meal on Boxing Day with good service. The menu is a bit limited but everything on it is good.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Geoff J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Christmas Day lunch”
Reviewed December 26, 2013 via mobile

We had a lovely Christmas Day lunch at The Bear yesterday. The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. Absolutely top marks for service. Add to that some superb food and you have a recipe for a great treat.

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

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