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“Appalling Treatment of a Mother of a Five Week Old Baby”
Review of The Bull Inn

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The Bull Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Barton Mills
Norwich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Appalling Treatment of a Mother of a Five Week Old Baby”
Reviewed 21 September 2012

Having picked up my daughter and five week old grandchild who had just arrived in the UK after a long trip, we decided to stop at the "award winning"!! Olde Bull Inn at Barton Mills for lunch and a convenient place to feed the baby. We seated ourselves in the corner at the far end of the bar away from the other guests (two other tables, one of two & one of three) using the privacy seat where the high chair was located.
After being served a mediocre light lunch the baby needed feeding. Once done as sometimes occurs with small babies, she cried for a short while whilst being winded. A middle-aged female member of staff (who I was later informed was the owner) asked us to take the baby away for a walk. We asked why? And told the crying may annoy the other (now three tables) as people come in for business meetings. We were stunned to say the least for a new mother and baby to be treated in this manner, as were the American guests on the adjacent table who had arrived after us. They made a point of coming over and saying that they were not at all bothered by the baby crying, However my daughter was so upset with the owners attitude we left in disgust. I wouldn’t recommend this place whatsoever especially to anyone with a baby or young children.

Room Tip: Dont bother
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
12 Thank 201mark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OldeBull, Owner at The Bull Inn, responded to this review, 26 September 2012
I would like to thank you for finding the time to tell your story on Trip Advisor, unfortunately there appears to be some detail missing. Although it may have seemed a short while to you that the baby was crying it was in fact over 20 minutes, with this in mind and also taking into account that we try to create an environment that everyone can enjoy. It was after 20 minutes of us being able to hear the upset from reception in a different area of the hotel that you were approached and simply asked “if you would mind taking little one for a wander out into the reception area to see if that settled the baby”. Although you felt you were tucked in the corner out the way, the noise obviously travels. As a new mother / grandfather I guess your automatic reaction was defence and your way to deal with this was to feel like it was a personal attack on your baby – which of course it wasn’t! You then were seen to go over and try to rally support from the surrounding tables, not them approach you as you stated in your story. Additionally as a side note the soiled nappy that you left on your dining table was hygienically disposed of for you!
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Rating summary
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English first
Shropshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
265 reviews
207 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2012

We stayed here in January following a murder mystery evening and, having had such a good stay, decided to book for the reunion of a group of friends who met whilst on a tour of China several years ago.

The rooms are furnished with flair and originality with exotic colours and dramatic accessories and contain six feet wide beds and flat screen televisions. Bathrooms are stylish and have fluffy white towels and good quality toiletries.

Evening meals are well-cooked and nicely presented. Portion size is well-judged so no food is wasted. Breakfast was equally tasty although I was a bit disappointed as I like to have fresh fruit with yoghurt followed by something cooked, whereas here it is either or. Also, I asked for an omlette but was told they weren't available; I found this odd as the scrambled eggs are properly done, not microwaved, and that probably takes longer than it takes to make an omlette.

Alcohol is well-priced.

The staff here are very friendly and efficient, nothing is too much trouble.

The Olde Bull is an extremely well-run establishment and a pleasure to stay at. We'd love to return.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lindaraw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
suffolk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2012

I have never been complelled to bother writing a review before however my past couple of experiences at The Olde Bull have changed my mind!
I was a regular customer at The Olde Bull, its not far away from where I live and it was always the place I would take visiting friends and family to for a meal. We would also regularly book for mothers day, fathers day etc etc. I have never stayed but have reccomended it to friends that have.
I took some close family family members there approx 6 months ago for a meal (I had taken them there many times before). We ordered food in the bar on this occasion. When the food arrived I was very shocked, the burgers we had ordered (and ordered many times before) were not only half the size but they were raw inside, not rare but raw! The hand battered fish was also not up to usual standards expected.
We sent our food back, and the burgers were further cooked - unfortunatly when we got this back, the chips (that had obviously been left standing while the burgers were further cooked) were now cold and soggy and the salad leaves were limp! The fish was replaced but it was half the size of the one they had swapped it with - the potions were tiny!
We did telll the manager on duty (one of the females - they are sisters and look very similar so can't recall which one) and to my shock she couldn't have cared less - this was the part that really was the issue, because I fully understand that sometimes a kitchen has an 'off' day but her whole attitude was completely wrong especially as we were regular customers - she didnt so much as take anything off the bill or give us a drink by way of an apology! Its also not like a bar meal is cheap either which I will cover further on...

I told my husband I would not return again - a grave shame for The Olde Bull, as they have missed out on a lot of custom.
This was until the 28th August 2012 when my husband arranged a birthday meal for me with visiting family.
When our food arrived it became evident that the standards had certainly gone right downhill, maybe this was because there were a group of 6 of us and they couldnt manage this many covers at once or maybe its because they have become obsessed about profit margins and as a result the quality is no longer what it once was?
My daughter had a childs sausage and mash - this came with no veg etc was overpriced at £6 and looked as though it had sat standing while the rest of the food was prepared.
2 of our party had a stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon which was very dry and very small indeed it had no sauce, it claimed to be served with a tomato chutney which was actually a red smear on the plates - my daughters sausages looked more substancial! Again massively overpriced for such a simple dish.
The fish and the curry were fine, nothing special and certainly not worth the inflated price, the fish was £14.50 and it was basic fish and chips (it was supposed to be with pea puree, but again this was a slight smear on the plate - if anything this was a garnish, not part of the meal!)
My meal was the most disappointing, I had a steak, but when it turned up it was of very poor quality, the steak had a LOT of fat and gristle, I would expect a certain amount but that was rediculous! I had asked for it to be cooked medium rare - the steak was very well done along one side, there was a slight bit of pink in the very centre, the meat was tough and very unplesant to eat.
When the manager came over to ask how the meal was I explained how bad my meal was - to add insult to injury she attenpted to argue with me, stating that steak is supposed to have fat on it and if the steak has not been cut straight there will be one side cooked more than the other!!
If the meat supplier is unable to cut a steak it answers my question about the quality of the ingredients used!
The rest of my party were in the middle of their meals and my meal was taken away. I was offered something else and ended up with a portion of chips, as I was told that everything else I considered on the menu would have taken over 30 mins to cook!
I found the manager (again one of the sisters, I dont know if it was the same one) to have a terrible attitude about it too, after our meal we did explain this to her and also about the last time we had been in. I shouldnt have been suprised that again she didnt care at all! I suppose this is what has led me to write a review. I was a regular customer there and found the staff to be plesant enough until there was a problem - funny how your custom and opinion is valued while you keep quiet!
We eat out regularly and I can't believe how an establishment with so many awards can fall so short in customer service and now sadly the food!
I will never make another reccomendation to anyone for The Olde Bull and will not be returning either.
If you do want to spend this sort of money on a meal - go somewhere else!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pen2908
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

We had booked into the Walnut Tree County House in West Row Suffolk which did not live up to its web description. The owner kindly booked us into the Olde Bull Inn for the second night. Our room was small and overlooked the dual carriageway which now passes close to this delightful Inn. It was noisy and the room a little n the small size but we slept well and have no complaints. The Inn has free wireless and most of the facilities one would expect from a medium level establishment. The breakfasts are modest but a treat for the taste buds and the digestion. The cooked food is from local produce and it shows. It tastes like real food! Although we stayed but one night we found the staff helpful and kind. I am sure if we had booked a room ourselves we would be awarded a much higher rating so we would certainly recommend this Inn. Life is slower in Suffolk so relax here and enjoy the county.

Room Tip: Try to avoid the rooms adjacent to the dual carriageway. Do not expect a 5 star hotl. It is an Inn i...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Arthur291
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OldeBull, Owner at The Bull Inn, responded to this review, 11 September 2012
Thanks for your review, I'm not sure if you knew but when your reservation was made with us bythe Walnut Tree we did say that we only had one room left and that was a cosy double with a king size bed and a brand new walk in shower. So apologies if this information wasn’t passed to you by the third party. I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed both dinner and breakfast with us and importantly that you slept well. If you stay again and book direct we have three different room types, cosy doubles, house doubles and feature doubles so please have a chat with us and we will ensure that you get a more spacious room if available. Thanks again and we hope to see again on your next visit to Suffolk.
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 2 September 2012

Recently my partner, our daughter and I decided on an impromptu weekend away from London and booked one night at The Olde Bull Inn, tempted both by the reasonable price of the B & B, and its location -- we know Suffolk well and wanted to revisit. We were given Coach House 2, which was honestly described as more basic than the rooms in the main building, but suited us fine. There was a separate bedroom for our daughter, a great bathroom and super-comfy beds.

The staff were friendly and relaxed, and dinner in the bar was excellent -- the food was interesting without being too fussy, and beautifully presented, and the wine really good. On Sunday morning we had a delicious English breakfast -- local produce I think -- which fortified us for a lovely walk in the nearby forest. It felt like a really good break, and we're looking forward to going again in the autumn.

Room Tip: Can recommend the Coach House for anyone with an older child.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank east5alice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OldeBull, Owner at The Bull Inn, responded to this review, 8 September 2012
Thanks for your review, Coach House 2 is a great option for families and it is still a lovely room its just not in the main hotel and as you found out we always let people know this when making their reservation. We love to hear that guests have enjoyed the food and wine - a very important part of a night away :-) We hope to see yo uagain soon.
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Additional Information about The Bull Inn

Property: The Bull Inn
Address: The Street, Barton Mills, Mildenhall IP28 6AA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Mildenhall > Barton Mills
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Barton Mills
Price range (per night): $149 - $268
Hotel Class:5 star — The Bull Inn 5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bull Inn is not a B&B, it’s not hotel, but it is an award-winning boutique and quirky modern day coaching Inn, located near Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket in the picturesque county of Suffolk. The Inn and its dedicated owners simply radiate character, style and an eccentric passion, which is simply infectious to all those who visit. Think funky and fresh within an amazing 500 year old coaching inn. The owners have created 15 individually designed boutique bedrooms, a 1 AA Rosette Restaurant, cosy pub with great wines, real ales and an open log fire for those cold winter evenings. There is also a fantastic courtyard to while away many a summer's day with family and friends. Improvement and refurbishment never ends at The Bull, with the passionate owners always seeking and trying new, exciting and sometimes crazy ideas! The Bull has a whole wall of accolades to boast including "Best Small Hotel in Suffolk," "Best Freehouse in East Anglia" and "Best Sunday Lunch" to mention a few and the whole business simply oozes character and a unique charm created by the hands-on owners. The team work hard to host events throughout the year, from live music nights, murder mystery dinners, charity evenings, themed Christmas parties and lunches with Santa. This unique destination inn is located in the picturesque village of Barton Mills, just 2 miles from Mildenhall. Barton Mills is just on the edge of Thetford Forest with the towns of Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Cambridge and Newmarket all within a short drive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Olde Bull Hotel Barton Mills

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