The owner of a Somerset pub has hit back at a lukewarm TripAdvisor review which branded it ‘average’ and complained about the soufflé’s lack of rise.
According to the customer, their meal at The Ship Inn in Porlock was unimpressive, despite the establishment’s average rating of 4.5 stars.
Taking to Tripadvisor to describe their experience in a three-star review, the underwhelmed customer wrote: ‘Visited The Ship Inn for Sunday lunch with friends. All ordered two courses, with mine being the cheese soufflé followed by the halloumi and mushroom burger.
‘Sadly the soufflé hadn’t risen at all. It was nice to try the burger as it’s something different and I did enjoy it, but the coleslaw tasted and looked shop-bought and the dish was missing any finesse.
‘The roasts included a choice of meat, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cubed suede, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower cheese. Lacked parsnips and red cabbage. I do feel like with a roast parsnips are a must.
The Ship Inn in Somerset enjoys an average rating of 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor, with more than 1,000 write-ups
‘The lamb was a tad on the tough side but the chicken was cooked well. Other than items in the box on the table the only condiment offered was mint sauce.’
They then went on to list further criticisms, writing: ‘There was quite a wait on food but all of the staff were very friendly and attentive.
‘There is a car park but the parking is very limited with about 10 spaces which is shared with the accommodation to the rear. Pub inside and out is over several levels and so not all areas are wheelchair friendly.’
Pub owner Caroline C responded to the review, which she described as ‘extremely negative’, and containing some ‘unjustified’ criticisms.
She said: ‘Thank you for your review of which I have duly noted your comments. I do however feel your review was extremely negative and a couple of points unjustified.
‘Firstly I do apologise for your souffle not rising – it is a double baked souffle and I will check with whom made it as there should be some rise in the dish. The coleslaw is not bought in. It is white cabbage, red onion, carrot mixed with mayonnaise.
‘With regards to the roast dinners – we sell the roasts with seasonal veg – it does not state that it always has to be red cabbage – this is obviously just a preference from yourself. Parsnips and Swede were cubed and on the plate. If the lamb was tough we would have replaced immediately if brought to our attention.
Average: According to the unimpressed diner, their meal was average and some of the food ‘lacked finesse’
‘The condiment box on the table – what else would you like in it – we have salt, pepper, vinegar, mayo and ketchup. All other sauces are brought out from the kitchen fresh such as mint sauce, horseradish and mustard.’
Caroline then addressed the further points about the wait on the food service, and the customer’s comments on parking.
She said: ‘A wait on food is to be expected during peak time on a Sunday. I am glad our staff looked after you.
‘Again you are negative about parking – we do have 10 spaces to ourselves – the Ships Mews have their own parking and there is more parking opposite at the village hall. We are the only pub in Porlock to have our own car park so surely that is a positive.
Pub owner Caroline C did not take the claims lying down, and accused the reviewer of making ‘unjustified’ criticisms
‘Finally again a negative about being wheelchair friendly. Wheelchairs are able to get into the restaurant area, we also have a ramp to get them into the garden and there is a wheelchair toilet. My father was in a wheelchair and often visited so we tick all boxes for this as it has been proven.
‘I am sorry you found so much wrong with your visit. I will certainly look into the souffle and as stated if the lamb was tough then we could have changed it.
‘Once again thank your taking the time to voice your comments.’
Despite the distinctly underwhelming write-up, the Ship Inn enjoys a 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor, where it has 1,052 reviews, including 583 with five stars.
One happy customer, who gave the establishment five stars, wrote: ‘The Ship is an establishment that everyone, everywhere should visit at least once. The place, the accommodation, the food, the beer and – perhaps most importantly of all – the cider are the very definition of what Somerset is all about.
‘The village, and – particularly – the local walks are amongst the best that this island has to offer.
‘And, before I forget, the tiny tiled tap room is one of the world’s greatest pub experiences. Miss this one at your peril!!’
Another reviewer said: ‘After researching all the restaurants/pubs in Porlock before my visit, I chose the Ship Inn or Top Ship as it is also known, as there is another one at Porlock Weir on the sea front.
‘I wasn’t disappointed. Staff were friendly and helpful and service was spot on for drinks and food.
Despite the underwhelming review that described the pub as ‘average’, other visitors have been far more glowing in their praise
‘I chose the 10oz rump steak and it was cooked to perfection. All the food was great and nice wine too.
‘Prices were reasonable and I left a generous tip as I was so impressed. I will definitely go back when I’m next in the area. Lovely well-cared for village location and very pretty during the Christmas period.
‘Thank you Ship Inn for looking after me as a sole female diner.’
And a further guest said: ‘This is a lovely pub, different feel to the lower ship, more of a proper locals pub. My wife had the roast beef a huge portion of tender and tasty beef with Yorkshires, and wonderful roasters and a selection of veg all served in a very tasty gravy.
‘I had the pan fried pheasant in a cream sauce, wonderfully cooked and extremely tasty served with potatoes and kale. Managed the apple crumble between us which reminded us truly of our youth, a pint of stout and the Xmas ale washed it all down. Service was impeccable.’
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