We stayed two days at the Ebury. It positions itself as a bit upmarket of your average small hotel (with corresponding prices), and our first impression was good. Our room was on the top floor- lots of stairs and no lift- and was pretty well appointed. Reading the hotel's service guide we were impressed by the dinner menu- a fixed price of £28 and some impressive table d'hote options. (They claim to have a long standing French chef).
We couldn't try this out on the first night as we arrived on a Sunday and the restaurant is not open, but looked forward to the Monday evening.
The hotel has free parking and is well placed about 10 minutes walk from the city (important as parking in Canterbury is difficult).
Breakfast was excellent and a good start to a day sightseeing.
The hotel also has a very pleasant garden which is extremely quiet given the proximity of a busy road.
We had a drink (a little pricy) and looked forward to dinner. When the menus were delivered we had our first disappointment. The menu has been rationalised a little and choices advertised in the version in the room were no longer actually available, meaning we had to rethink.
I was disappointed with the wine. I chose a red from a region of France I particularly like. It wasn't great and I was disappointed to discover that although the name of the domaine matched the description on the wine list, it was actually from a completely different region of France. I pointed this out to a member of staff who saw it only as a simple clerical error, and didn't seem to appreciate that I would not have ordered the wine if it had been accurately described.
Worst of all though was that the service was exceedingly slow. I understood that the head chef had a night off, and can only say that the kitchen could not cope with the volume of guests, and there was a definite atmosphere in the dining room as guests were waiting in embarrassed silence waiting for something to happen. It felt a bit like the scene in the Fawlty Towers "Gourmet NIght" episode, but without the benefit of the hysterical cabaret in the original.
My tiger prawn starter was nondescript, and although the main course and cheese board were good, I had really lost interest when they finally arrived. A serious disappointment.
Breakfast on the morning of our departure was again excellent.
Overall a real pity- initially I was looking to give it 5 stars before the dinner debacle. The Ebury has scope to be great if it irons out the glitches, but it's galling to pay a premium price when the hotel doesn't get such key details right.
- Also Known As:
- Ebury Hotel Canterbury
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ebury Hotel is located a short walk from Canterbury city centre and the cathedral, this 15 bedroom elegant Victorian building is situated in its own gardens. All bedrooms are ensuite, and have Sky tv channels, flat screen tvs, free broadband wireless internet, and welcome trays. The double rooms all have kingsize beds. Family rooms are available. Facilities include a large free carpark, indoor heated pool, restaurant, and gardens. Self-catering cottages are available on weekly lets. ... more less
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