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Not Really fit for a King or Queen!!
Castell Deudraeth (Portmeirion)
Member Name: catsholiday
Castell Deudraeth (Portmeirion)
Date: 20/01/12, updated on 20/01/12 (103 review reads)
Advantages: Lovely setting
Disadvantages: Appalling service
We spent a couple of nights in Portmeirion Village in December 2011 and one evening we chose to eat in Castle Deudraeth (pronounced 'Dye drath') as it was one of only two options in the village and we didn't feel like getting the car out and driving into Porthmadog as it meant one of us had to not have a drink.
We booked the time with the reception at the main hotel using the phone in the room. Interestingly we chose not to eat in the village on our second night and in the late afternoon I got a phone call asking if we would like to book a table at either the hotel or the Castle for that night which I thought at the time was a bit pushy but I decided to take it as 'helpful' so as not to feel annoyed!
When you eat at either the hotel or the Castell Deudraeth and you are staying in the village there is a small mini bus which collects you outside your accommodation and takes you to whichever venue you have chosen to eat at. When you have finished they will then call to bring the mini bus to collect you and deliver you safely back to your room. I thought that was an excellent service as the Castell Deudraeth is quite a walk from the village at night and there is not a lot of light and the road is very narrow.
We arrived safely at Castell Deudraeth with another family sharing the bus. They had young children and a pushchair so took up a few seats in the bus. When we arrived at the front of the castle one of the young girls said "It's Windy Castle" and we laughed as those of you who are forced to be Peppa pig fans will know it is the castle that features in those stories.
We were welcomed into the castle and the front entrance is lovely, just as you imagine a castle entrance room should be but with 21st century warmth and comfort. It is possible to stay in the castle but I am afraid i don't know the cost of the rooms there.
A BIT OF CASTLE HISTORY
This is not an ancient castle but rather an early Victorian mansion built in a castle style. Clough Williams-Ellis bought the building and grounds in 1931 so that he could have a proper access from the main road and also expand his village. In the 1930s it was used as a hotel , it then became a public school and then rented private apartments.
In 2001 the castle opened as part of the village as further accommodation and the restaurant. The renovation was made possible with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund as well as the Wales Tourist Board.
As I said we were welcomed by the girl at the front desk and shown to our table. Apart from the table next to us and the family who arrived with us and were shown into another room we were in a pretty empty room. The table next to us were just choosing their food and we sat and sort of kept an eye on what they were ordering to get an idea of what we might have offered. Two more tables of people came in and were shown to their table. They were given menus, then they had their drinks brought to them and still we sat. My husband was just about to say something when someone came and handed us two menus and asked if we would like a drink. Yes we blooming would we had been sitting there for about ten minutes by now. He also suggested we might like a jug of water too.
He then disappeared hopefully to get our drinks but no. The other tables were served their starters and still we had got not even the jug of tap water. Finally someone came over and asked if we had ordered. We ordered our meal as we had had plenty of time to decide! No apology for keeping us waiting or anything was given.
We both chose off the Christmas specials menu which offered two course for about £17 and three for a bit more as far as I can remember. I believe it was about £20 for three courses but I may be not quite accurate with the prices. This seemed to offer the best value as most of the starters were around £6, main courses were around £13 and up to £18ish. The desserts were again around £6 so the Special Christmas menu offer was certainly a better deal and you get a glass of mulled wine included.
My husband chose a chestnut pate which was okay but came with very little bread or toast. I had the seafood cocktail as we were near the sea I thought it was fairly safe. It was quite nice and no complaints.
We had to wait another ten minutes for the food and our long awaited drinks to arrive. Service was not that great as you can tell we were far from impressed.
We chose not to pull the crackers and i stuck them in my bag to take home for our grandsons as we were not feeling very "jolly" by now.
I chose a sea bream and my husband had a traditional Christmas dinner. My food was okay and my husband quite enjoyed his food but we had started to feel slightly annoyed at the fact that we seemed to be sitting at the invisible table. No one came to ask if we were happy or if we wanted another drink nor in fact did anyone come anywhere near our table at all.
We never did get the jug of water offered that all the other tables got almost as soon as they sat down.
I wish I hadn't bothered mine was awful. A very solid sickly pie thing that I can't even remember what is meant to be but I do remember I didn't finish it. My husband had Christmas pudding which he said was okay but not great.
WHAT DID WE THINK?
Well as you may have gathered we were far from impressed with the service and the food was only okay. I think if the place had been really busy and the staff had been rushing around i would not have minded so much but they just seemed to be walking around doing nothing much. Once again had there been an apology it would have helped but nothing at all. Needless to say we didn't leave a tip.
I could almost feel the daggers as we crossed off the tip from the credit card slip. We often do that and then a cash tip but this time there was no way. I hate tipping anyway and I certainly don't believe I should tip for rubbish service.
WAITING FOR THE BUS
Of course we then had to sit in the front area by the huge open fire while we waited for the bus. The lady at the desk called it for us but it did seem a long five minutes with stoney looks coming from the staff. Funny they noticed us then!
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
In a word, NO. If this is what the service is like on a quiet night I can't imagine how they cope in the summer. In fact I think I would keep away from the village all together in the summer season as I imagine it must be really crowded and that would spoil the atmosphere of the place completely. If you stay in Portmerion I would suggest trying the hotel or getting your car and driving to Porthmadog as it couldn't be a lot worse and would probably be much cheaper.
I think we paid about £60 for the two of us which I feel is quite a lot of money and I had the two mulled wines which were included in the set meal while my husband had two beers so we didn't exactly order expensive drinks either. But stil we were saved the expense of a tip with the awful service.
Thanks for reading . This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name
Summary: Original setting with okay food and really poor service
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