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All reviews ilchester arms the pub beef for sunday lunch new owners car park open fire four poster bed both nights short break full english st catherine's chapel attentive staff risotto lovely meal kippers sandwich
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Reviewed 18 September 2017 via mobile

Have just come back from a short break.all in all it was an ok trip. Village was lovely. Locals friendly. Great walks with dogs. The hotel itself is exactly what the other reviews say. Rooms need updating although ours was perfect for dogs. Food however needs improvement. The fish pie was bland and my fish had skin on. My husbands sausage was raw at breakfast. My pan fried chicken breast in a Brie sauce was not what I was expecting especially the homemade chunky chips that weren't.the sauce was a holindase sauce not Brie again was bland. I was offered a complementary dessert which was passion fruit cheesecake, the base was soggy and all I could taste was butter. However I can recommend the stir fry veg and tortillas that was very yummy. Think these are just teething problems for new owners who need to find feet and see what's working and what's not. Would stay again for the walks and the local gin.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Nessa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2017

We booked our accommodation at short notice and so there wasn't a lot of choice and we struggled to find available rooms in the area we wanted but the reviews suggested that the Ilchester Arms was a good choice. When we arrived the village was picturesque and the outside of the hotel looked quaint so we had high hopes. Unfortunately the inside of the hotel didn't live up to the promise of the outside.

We took one look at our room and instead of resting for a couple of hours as we'd initially planned, we immediately got back in the car with the intention of staying out until late and spending as little time in the room as possible before leaving early the next morning.

Pros:
Good location . nice village
Nice view from the room
Bed linen appeared worn but clean
Friendly staff at breakfast
Good chef judging by the well cooked breakfast

Cons:
Shabby and poorly maintained room
Stained carpet
Stained sofa
The sink was in the main room not the bathroom, so after using the toilet we had to leave the bathroom and cross the bedroom to wash our hands next to the bed
Broken and dirty window covered with cobwebs inside and outside
Broken picture frame on window sill (next to the dead flies..)
Very small selection of refreshments in room and no biscuits provided
Could feel every spring in the mattress
There was something brown and crusted stuck to the bedcover so that went straight off the bed and in the corner
Intermittent noise like a washing machine or fan going on and off all night so we got little sleep
Room must have been above the kitchen because it smelt strongly of fish

Breakfast was served in the conservatory and we were hopeful because it looked nice from a distance - unfortunately it was as poorly maintained and dirty as the room we'd stayed in:
Loose tile next to the breakfast buffet which I kicked and nearly tripped over
Dead spiders and cobwebs all along the windows, fairy lights and ceiling
No individual servings of tea / coffee - a flask was put on the buffet table for everyone to help themselves
Paltry selection on the buffet - large containers of cereal, a couple of apples, a pear and an orange and some bread for toast, no pastries etc

To be fair we didn't bother complaining at the time because we figured that the windows couldn't be fixed, sofa and carpet cleaned etc in the few hours we were there. We also knew that accommodation was very limited and weren't hopeful of getting another room so we just resolved to spend an uncomfortable night and leave as early as possible the next morning.

The other accommodation we stayed in during our trip was in the same price range as the Ilchester Arms but the quality of the rooms and breakfast far surpassed it and in our view it was very overpriced for what was offered and needs quite a lot of fixing up to bring it up to standard.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank 304cheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2017

We decided to have a short break with our border terrier and opted to stay at the Ilchester Arms as it is well located and has dog friendly room options.
We had a good stay, and were well looked after in the pub where we had dinner on the Saturday night and drinks on the Sunday.
However the rooms are in real need of updating. Ours was very tired, in need of complete redecoration, and a new bathroom. It was a struggle to get any cold water out of the sink tap for example. To be fair to the management, they do accept that changes need to be made, but this wasn't a particularly cheap rate, and so the price didn't reflect the actuality.
However, our room was clean and roomy.
The staff were very helpful on the whole, although there was some evidence of disorganisation - we had to show our bank statement to prove we had paid our deposit; and then we were questioned on the Sunday as to whether we had paid our drinks bill on the Saturday (we had!). All politely done, but I don't think these questions needed to be asked.
Our food on the Saturday night was good, and the pub itself is friendly and spacious.

Overall, I think the Ilchester Arms has a lot of potential - and it's set in the stunning village of Abbotsbury - but there is still a bit of a way to go.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Owen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2017

Upgraded to 'bridal suite' as couple in our original room had extended their stay. Room was excellent but in need of a 'wash and brush up' as fittings looking tired and worn. All the staff were friendly and helpful. However on the Thursday when we stayed there were only two staff covering the bar and restaurant so service was slow and a bit haphazard. They had run out of our first choices. My, second choice, burger was over-salted but otherwise OK. My partner's Chowder appeared OK but she was unwell for the next two days - suspect the garnishing prawns might have been hanging around for a while! breakfast was OK but my bacon was definitely the previous nights (from the burgers?) bunged under the grill until burned around the edges - and bone dry! Overall we really liked the pub, thought the new couple were great and had all the skills to perk the place up but they really need to knock the kitchen into shape as we, and a lot of TripAdvisor reviewers ,have commented on its shortfalls.

Room Tip: Great view from South Facing room. Ground floor rooms dog friendly.
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Flaminghaem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2017 via mobile

We were very sad to have a number of errors that spoilt our stay in this picturesque village. When we arrived it felt as though they were not expecting us, couldn't find the key, the key was then found hanging in the wrong place. Then we found the shower and sink covered with someone else's hairs. This was cleaned when I pointed it out, and we were given 10% discount on the food, great but then we changed our time for dinner so we would have plenty of time to watch the rugby ( 1&1/2 hours should have been plenty of time). But after bring seated by one person in an empty dining area, with another table seating area. Then one waitress came to see if we had ordered (we hadn't) she said she would come back, she didn't but someone else did, this was all fine and they checked our dietary requirements, however we were then sat for 40 mins before the food arrived, with no explanation or apology, and as we had just complained about the shower we did not want to be seen as the moaners. However this meant we missed the rugby and when we went to our room after dinner which was very nice, there was no coffee in the room, so we had to ask for it. Again staff did this without a problem but it should have already been there.
Breakfast in the morning we came down at about 9.45, there was no one to seat us, there was no juice and when we asked once someone came to the dining room it was filled with a small amount. When our order was taken for breakfast I was then informed that a table had been set up elsewhere, how was I supposed to know if no one was there to inform me. We asked for well done bacon and I know this is a preference, but it was not as I expected, so we just cut off the bits we didn't like, but again you could tell it was quality food. Breakfast the next day we came down earlier and were told there would be about a 20 min wait as everyone seems to come down at 9am. We again asked for crispy Bacon, and after a 40 min wait it arrived and this time I did send it back because it look like it had been flash cooked.
Meanwhile our room had been cleaned proof of this was the Mr muscle product left in the room.
I then went to have a shower before we checked out and there was no hot water after running the tap for seven mins.
As we checked out we decided that it was too many little things that spoilt our stay and we informed the waitress , she said she would speak to her manager, this was all fine and she came back to offer taking our meal from the bill, we accepted this, however we feel the manager could have come to speak to us, apologise instead of being given a string of excuses including one that blamed my partner on changing what he would have for breakfast being the reason food was delayed, he cannot eat certain food that was included in the breakfast, if this was a problem it was not mentioned as we ordered.
What is sad is that it is a lovely place and the management have only just taken over , so you think that they would want to make a good impression.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank caz b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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