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Portland Hotel (Buxton)

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£38.50 Best Offer by: booking.com See more offers
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32 St. John's Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6XQ. tel = 01298 22462

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      02.08.2001 20:54
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      Located in a picturesque part of Buxton, near the Opera House, and opposite the Pavilion Gardens (but with a view of the car park, rather than the gardens), the Portland Hotel is a medium sized hotel, that looks like it may have seen more affluent times in years gone by. It's a 2 star hotel, and has 22 rooms. All rooms are en suite. However, our room had an extremely small en suite... erm, I can't call it a bathroom... toilet with a shower in. Our room was nicely decorated, but somehow felt like a very standard B & B room - possibly because of the smell of smoke which was lingering on everything in there. The publicity states that you have Sky TV - in our room that seemed to be restricted to one sports channel and 2 radio channels. We never intended to eat at the restaurant, but ended up doing so, mainly because the Park Restaurant there gets a fantastic write up all over the place: "the finest cuisine, served by our friendly and attentive staff", and "the high standard of cuisine offered by our brigade of chefs". Also, in a general leaflet on Buxton, it's recommended as an "award winning" restaurant. First problem seemed to be that there was just a 3 course evening meal, with a set price of £18.00 per head. We had checked with the reception staff, saying we didn't need to have a full 3 course meal, did we, and were told no. On seeing that there was no other menu except the one for the full 3 courses, we again checked with the waitress, who said no, we didn't have to have the full 3 courses. What we didn't realise was, what they meant was, we were going to be charged the full £18.00 whatever we ate. As we soon began to realise... Well, that might have been fair enough if the food was good, but I really was not very impressed. The starter, a broccoli and almond soup, was alright. From then on, though, things went downhill fast. My choice for main course feat ured scallops and mussels, and some prawns, all of which were fine, although in a strangely curried sauce, but it all came in a horrible filo pastry case, which tasted like it had been dunked in some heavily chlorinated swimming baths. The accompanying vegetables were dry and overcooked. My partner's choice (the only one, as a vegetarian, that she could have), pasta with cherry tomatoes and asparagus, was unspectacular, and again, overcooked. We gave the desserts a miss, and a gave the cheese and biscuits a try, but that was another disappointment. The coffee was fine; the tea, when it came, was ordinary tea, not the Earl Grey which we'd asked for (and which we knew they could do, as we'd had it at breakfast). Usual price is £75.00 for a double room, £55.00 for a single room with breakfast. It's a bit of a rip-off, overall, I'd say. The town can get very busy in the Summer, and especially in July (Buxton festival), but even if all the other hotels are full - don't stay at the Portland if you can avoid it, and definitely only if you can get a cheap deal. And definitely don't eat there. Portland Hotel and Park Restaurant 32 St. John's Road Buxton Derbyshire SK17 6XQ Tel 01298 22462

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