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“Perfect beer garden.”
Review of The Exeter Arms

The Exeter Arms
Ranked #1 of 1 Restaurants in Barrowden
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$8 - US$48
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Pub, Internally completely refurbished and re opened March 2020, additions of a fabulous outside bar & kitchen set in landscaped gardens completed July 2020. You can choose from two outside dining experiences The Front Terrace overlooking the village green and duck pond serves the A La Carte indoor pub menu, table reservations can be made for this area. The Garden and new outside bar and grill at the barn has its own relaxed chop house style menu with real wood fire cooking and sharing plates. We do not accept reservations for this area as operation is weather dependant but the Garden and Barn Terrace has space for up to 150 dinners so there should be no problem finding a table. The Barn Terrace is also equipped with outdoor lighting and heating so you can enjoy yourselves into the night. Live Music weekends in the garden will feature during the summer months, follow us on facebook or check our website for dates and styles of music.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The nicest beer garden we have ever visited with our dogs. Very friendly and helpful staff. Enjoyed lovely food from the outside kitchen.

Date of visit: August 2021
Thank julietZ4472HV
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark, Owner at The Exeter Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Thank you, glad you enjoyed our outside space and the garden menu. We are now getting ready for those Autumn and Winter evenings so it wont be long now and the fire will be roaring away inside. Dogs are very welcome inside as well at certain tables so please give us a call and we will make sure we can look after you all.
best wishes Mark

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4 - 8 of 146 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2021

We decided to leave a good review even before we had left here tonight (Wednesday 4th August. Having then logged on to tripadvisor, I was really surprised to see the very recent negative reviews and I have great sympathy with the proprietor's responses. In short, two times this week we have enjoyed excellent service, great quality food, fine ales and a good wine list.

Our family of six are staying in Barrowden for a week's break. We enjoyed The Exeter's garden event on Saturday and we were pleased to be able to book a table tonight (Wednesday) to dine in the pub. It's a very pleasant environment in an extremely picturesque location, and our waitress was extremely helpful, as had been the young staff who served us on Saturday.

The recent poor reviews seem to me to be mean-spirited and, in any case, there was nothing to be negative about; this was a really enjoyable evening and there was no possible basis for dissatisfaction.

Service was informative, pleasant and helpful. the food was very high quality pub food. Our starters of prawn and avocado, chicken wings, soup and soufflé were very good. For main courses we had two cuts of steak (hanger and sirloin), a pie, salmon, schnitzel and lamb. They were all very high quality.

There was a particular customer service question that, in view of some other inexplicable negative reviews, is worth mentioning and it was dealt with extremely professionally by (?)Zoltan.

This is a very good pub/restaurant. It deserves to do well.

Thank you

Date of visit: August 2021
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark, Owner at The Exeter Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Sorry it took some time to write and thank you for your review. We are delighted that on your holiday in the area we were able to make the visits to our pub special.
It is a real boost to all of us to receive such high praise thank you and hopefully you will choose to come to Rutland again on a future break, the winters are just as good and we have a roaring wood burner inside to snuggle up to while enjoying the view across the village green. Very special on a frosty day!
best wishes and thanks again Mark

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Reviewed 2 August 2021

Service without a smile
Not sure how there aren’t more reviews like mine. The service was soooo rude and couldn’t have been less helpful I was quite shocked. We arrived about 5 minutes early and we’re just in the garden but we’re told off. We asked for the hot dog for the kids to come without the bread and they said they couldn’t do it- eh just don’t put the sausage in the roll?! We ate do the garden menu so we weren’t ‘-allowed’ proper cutlery or plates, we had to have wooden ones. Told off for the dog getting loose very briefly from her lead.

The food itself was tasty and the surroundings nice but ther are Plenty of better pubs I’d rather support!

Date of visit: July 2021
1  Thank Skier2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark, Owner at The Exeter Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2021

We don't take reservations for the Garden so not sure what you were 5 minutes early for. The menu you selected from was our garden menu which clearly states "Fast food designed to be eaten with your fingers" it is served in compostable trays "Street food Style" however for those of a sensitive nature we do supply wooden cutlery if requested. Yes we do require dogs on a lead, other customers might not wish to have dogs running around. Regards the sausage in a bungate, you are correct in don't put the sausage in the roll or ofcourse you could look at it the other way and just take the sausage out of the bun.
Crikey given all the world has had to go through in the last year your overriding issue was being asked to keep your dog on a lead and taking a sausage out of a bun i thought it was August but it must be January as there's obviously snowflakes in our garden.
Oh and as to reviews like yours thankfully customers review on what businesses offer not what we don't offer. So reviewing for not supplying cutlery on a finger meal but then as a courtesy we provided wooden cutlery, and asking for your dog to be kept on a lead in a garden with a sign saying Please Keep Dogs on a lead and finally for supplying a menu choice exactly as described. In fact for doing exactly what we offer!
So Yup you guessed it please go and bother somebody else!

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Reviewed 31 July 2021

First Visit: Two Sirloin Steaks, one pepper sauce one stilton. Both very good (should be for £26 each) On terrace. :)

Second Visit : BBQ garden, Strips of beef in bun. Pretty good, some gristle. :I

Third visit: BBQ garden, Sausage in bun. Just ok. Would not have another.

Fourth Visit Today: Sirloin Steak ( too much gristle & awful chimichurri oil ) No pepper sauce available. Discarded much :(
Cowboy Steak, Gristle galore.

The table next to us was spitting his gristle out, from his Steak strips in bun from BBQ.

I'm not going to RISK a visit again. Far too expensive not to enjoy it. Plus it's a 30 mile round trip...........

Date of visit: July 2021
    • Value
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4  Thank two-sided
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark, Owner at The Exeter Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 2 August 2021

Following your telephone call yesterday we are now able to identify you. Myself and my staff remember you well on each of your visits you engaged with our waiting staff for a considerable time with general topics and gushing compliments at our set up. I especially remember your third visit as i was working inside the pub behind the bar and you came in from the garden and talked for some time about how much you enjoyed coming over and how great our pub was. You mentioned that you had just had our "Dirk" jumbo sausage in a baguette and it was great. On the previous occasion i was working with my Head Chef on our asado grill you came over to the open air kitchen and engaged with both of us telling us how fabulous your steak sandwich was. My wife also remembers you quite clearly as for some reason you asked if you could take her picture.
We talked yesterday when you called me at the pub having privately messaged me with the comments you now post on tripadvisor. As we left our conversation yesterday you said you would return for lunch this Thursday with a business friend. I thought that would be the end of the matter and we would meet Thursday to remedy and try to meet your expectations. However having looked at your profile and previous postings it appears you have a history of praising then pulling good establishments apart. So i suggest we pass on Thursday and call it quits and you look for another venue to befriend.

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Reviewed 9 June 2021

As we came out of lockdown in April I wanted to meet up with a mate for a Saturday lunchtime drink and bar meal. After a bit of research I found the Exeter Arms in Barrowden and with its extensive beer gardens and highly regarded outside kitchen it seemed perfect for a pandemic safe catch-up. The beer gardens really are extensive and lovely and very relaxing. The menu was fine and the prices were reasonable. I had fish and chips and it was very good. My mate had the burger and he said it was okay. The only constructive criticism is that our waitress was inexperienced and obviously thrown in at the deep end as she could not answer any questions we had on the menu and was unsure what ciders were on offer too. As customer experience is all important a bit of training for the staff is critical. In summary a lovely location with good food, I'd visit again.

Date of visit: April 2021
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Martin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark, Owner at The Exeter Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2021

Thanks Martin, Glad you liked the set up. You are correct in your observations regarding staff awareness of menu and drinks and we take that seriously. The current restrictions have put additional burdens on hospitality which result in either the recruitment of additional staff without experience or simply failing to serve customers. We have a number of new staff who attend college or school during the week and are working weekends (our busiest time). Your also right about the "deep end" you will remember pubs were shut for 5 and half months. We do conduct regular training and before reopening we had all staff attend a training day where our chefs cooked each individual dish and presented it to the team for them to sample and discuss. We also have provided a crib sheet to all staff explaining in one sentence the virtues of each beer and cider. Sometimes however the sheer volume of customers and the pressure the staff are under to serve multiple tables at once can cause a brain freeze.
We've only been open a few weeks, the staff will get into the swing of things. Glad you liked it and hopefully on your return you'll see a difference.

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