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Reviews of Angel & Harp, Great Dunmow

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Review by Julie on 2nd March, 2012

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Relaxed atmosphere, excellent food, friendly staff and best of all reasonably priced! Best place to eat in Dunmow by a very long way.

Date visited: Feb 2012

Review by Pamela Cash on 3rd December, 2011

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First class - as good as - Axe and Compasses - Well done we love it. Will certainly come again soon, if the winter weather allows!

Date visited: 30.11.2011

Review by Gill on 4th August, 2011

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We booked a table on a Saturday night and were blown away by the quality of the food. What is nice is that there is a range of 'pub' style dishes (fish and chips / burger etc) but also some really interesting special items that are a bit more 'restauranty'. The service was pleasant despite them being incredibly busy. I have to say that dining on the same night as Louise below it is no wonder you could not eat at 8pm. This is notoriously the busiest time of the busiest night of the week! The fact that you could not get served without booking on a weekend night I find totally unsurprising as the food is amazing! Also myself and my family often eat out for Sunday lunch (saves the washing up) and most pub/restaurants we visit close their kitchens early and are only open for lunchtime. I find her comments a bit of an unfair assessment on what is, on the whole, a great local eatery.

Date visited: 23rd July

Review by Louise on 25th July, 2011

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the restaurant was clean and tidy and nicely decorated.. Food was good but service was too keen. we were asked 5 times if we would like to order! twice we were asked if we'd like to order drinks . we had 3 different staff looking after our table and i think if the staff had designated tables to look after you wouldn't get this repetative, constant questioning. we felt we were being rushed into ordering and even when we said we would let them know when we are ready to order this still didn't stop them asking us again.. after we had decided we were presented with the specials leaflet that had apparently just been printed out for us! i probably wouldn't rush back there

Date visited: 21st July 2012

Review by lisa tietjen on 24th July, 2011

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having had a good meal about six weeks ago we have twice returned to the Angel and Harp to try and eat and on both occasions come away hungry . The first time on a Sunday the kitchen had closed early and last night the staff said they were too busy at 8pm to take any more orders until 9pm and would not serve us outside anyway even though it was a lovely evening . No apology or have a drink there will be a wait just an attitude that it was too much trouble so agin we left . We will not be visiting again which is a shame as we are local and word will soon spread that wether or not you can eat is very hit amd miss

Date visited: 23/07/2011

Review by JL on 15th July, 2011

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we have visited twice the first time the service was extremely slow, but thought we would visit again the following week. Wish we hadn't bothered, one of our party ordered fish, chips and minted peas. The meal arrived with no peas when we asked where they were, they didn't have any! But its on the menu is there an alternative? None offered with a shrug of the shoulders. Once bitten twice shy. We will not be returning. As for being a pub rather than a restaurant, there appears to be more dining tables than many places to sit for just a drink. We had thought we were going to get a similar meal and service to that of the Axe and Compass.

Date visited: jan 2011

Review by Bill on 9th May, 2011

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I had previously visited the Angel and Harp and unfortunately had a bit of a wait for food, albeit it was very busy. I decided to give the place another try as the food was great when it arrived and I'm aware that the place has not been open for long which means of course time is needed to settle in. I was with my work colleague on our lunch hour which obviously meant that the food needed to be quick and of course tasty. I must say it went beyond my expectations. Reading the negative comments below and being a former licensee myself i think anyone visiting the Angel and Harp needs to bear in mind that the place is a pub not a restaurant (although the decor is great) and also that it is still a relatively new business finding its feet.

Date visited: 4th May

Review by Sally on 28th April, 2011

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I visited the Angel and Harp for dinner and had a fantastic meal experience. The place is decorated beautifully and has a lovely, buzzy atmosphere. The service was charming and the food was well presented and very tasty. Myself and my partner started by sharing a meat deli board with lovely homemade bread to accompany it. For mains my partner had a pizza from their wood burning oven which was a great deal better than one we had from pizza express the previous week. I had the duck breast which well seasoned and cooked to perfection. A lovely fresh lemon tart was a great conclusion to the meal. I thoroughly recommend the Angel and Harp to anyone and I will be returning very soon.

Date visited: 26th April

Review by Wreyford on 17th April, 2011

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Good but could do better We went for Sunday lunch (4 adults). Atmosphere modern with a few older features all very clean and tidy. Staff quite young and a little inexperienced, but all very pleasant and courteous. They offer what we assume were some small nibbles to occupy your time while weighting for your starters, garlic bread, or a selection of olives, and we made a point of asking for them before we had our starter, needless to say these were attempted to be placed on the table at the same time as the starters, we asked them to be removed, as there was little need of them now that the starters were ready, 1 of us had the mixed meat platter, which was very nice, 1 had prawn cocktail with some smoked salmon, again all very nice, the other 2 had calamari, a bit over cooked and there fore a bit chewy. Main courses 2 lamb shoulders, 1 roast rib of beef, and 1 fish and chips, all roast dinners served with a mixture of seasonal vegetables, the fish and chips was all very nice, although the fish had a few too many bones, the rib of beef was well cooked and tasty, but there was not much of it ( 2 moderate slices quite thinly cut) again the lamb was ok, but with all of the roast dinners, the roast potatoes were poor, under cooked on the inside and not much crispness on the outside. The deserts were probably the best part of the meal and there was a reasonable selection. The whole meal for 4 people, with one drink each plus coffee, came to £130.00, which would have been OK if the few criticisms above were put right, and so a bit over priced for what we got To sum up this is a sister pub to The Axe and Compasses Aythorpe Roding, and it would be nice to see a different menu at the Angel & Harp, as they are only 6 miles apart, given a choice between the two I would choose the Axe & Compass, and unless I heard that there had been a big improvement, I will not rush back to the Angel & Harp

Date visited: 17th April 2011

Review by charlie on 11th April, 2011

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My husband and i had a bad experience previously at The Angel and Harp, but decided to give it another try. What a shame. Exactly the same!! Service was polite but extremely slow and by very young unexperienced staff. Food was average, served on a wooden chopping board? Original but impractical. Desert was bland and included a Flea jumping around on my plate!! Will never go back again.

Date visited: 10-04-11

Review by Steve Cockley on 10th April, 2011

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We went to the Angel & Harp as a trip down memory lane and to celebrate my sister in laws husbands birthday. you see years ago the pub was run by my Father-in-law the late Ray Puzey. the restaurant was very nicely decorated and plesant, unfortunately the I cannot say the same for the service or food which was pretty ordinary. We were made to wait some time for our meals, which on arrival were very bland, small items like a bowl for the empty mussel shells were promised but never arrived. After the meal we were never offered coffee and to cap things off we had to go to the counter to actually pay our bill as no one came to ask for payment. At the counter the person, whom I take to be the manager could not even be bothered to ask if everything was ok, nor did he appear to hav any time for us. Needless to say we shall not be returning. Shame really because for just a little bit of training and seasoning of the food it could have been a good night. Oh and the lights, on off, on off, bit like a disco!

Date visited: 9th April 2011

Review by jane clark on 22nd February, 2011

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Picking boys up from school in London and knew we had to get to pub for last food orders at 2.30pm for lunch. We arrived at 2.25!! Really friendly welcome and taken to table, offered drinks and left time to study menu. The place was packed but I didn't feel we were sitting on top of other people. Our lunches were delicious, we were not hurried. The service was more than excellent. One note, my olive oil and balsamic vinegar did not arrive for my foccacia, but I didn't care and neither reminded staff for it as the bread was delicious without it. This pub is impressive and I will be back.

Date visited: 18.02.11

Review by Jody on 12th February, 2011

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Have been to lunch at The Angel numerous times with friends. Went on a Staff Xmas do in early December and in January I took some visiting friends there for a birthday meal in the evening. All very different occasions but staff always fantastic, lovely surroundings and delicious food!

Date visited: 19th Jan 2011

Review by bruce on 18th January, 2011

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Food is ok...does not have a family pub atmosphere..not a place to go and kick-back and relax with family, we've had an issue in getting a receipt we requested..as one was not issued at time we paid our bill...very unresponsive to our request

Date visited: Oct. 2010 & boxing day

Review by peter on 27th November, 2010

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i have to say that is one of the best pub i ever been, the food was really really really good !!!!!! compliment to the chef.

Date visited: 27-11-2010

Review by Anne Williams on 19th November, 2010

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I have visited the Angel and Harp three or four times since it reopened in September both for lunch and dinner. I have always found the food to be exceptional the wine delicious and the staff friendly and helpful. I was therefore shocked when I read the review left by “Weekend gourmet”; I honestly don’t think this review is fair and it should not put off anyone who is considering giving to new Angel and Harp a go as I have had nothing but good experiences whilst dining there. I would also like to point out a few things that the previous review may have wrong or simply be confused about. “We told the assistant manger that we had booked for dinner at 9 and she reluctantly allowed us to stay, making the point that it was only on this occasion. This was after several consultations with the 'Landlady'. Needless to say by this point we felt very awkward and unwelcome. We agreed to go to our table early so as not to inconvenience them. Another visitor had overheard and approached us later to say that he had the same problem and had been arguing this point for weeks as he also believe that children are usually welcome in restaurant pubs when eating with their parents. His children were also of the older, well behaved variety.” On reading the review of ‘Weekend Gourmet’ I did sympathise with the situation regarding children; however if there is a clause on a premises licence there is nothing that can be done. It is also important to realise that these licences that allow places to sell alcohol are not drawn up by the people who run them they are set out by the local authority and with The Angel and Harp the local authority have obviously decided that, for whatever reason, children will not be permitted after 8:30pm. I would imagine that this clause has nothing to do with how well behaved one’s children are and is simply a rule based on age; very much in the same way that only people over 18 can buy alcohol or tobacco (not people over 18 and well behaved 16 or 17 year olds!) I must admit that my knowledge of the licensing laws are not extensive (most of what I have been told has come from my daughter who worked in a bar whilst at university). “I have to say that I was very disappointed by the basic pizza, pasta, panini, salad and a token steak on offer.” Without meaning to sound rude this is not an accurate review of what is an extensive menu that has something for everybody as far as I am concerned. I have eaten twice with my husband who on both occasions had a steak; he tells me there was a choice of four on offer including fillet and sirloin; he can’t remember the one’s he hasn’t tried yet! I have also eaten there with friends who all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I can’t remember the entire menu but I do remember a splendid version of fish and chips that came with squid and prawns and a wonderful chicken dish as well as the lamb burger I had last time I was there which was out of this world; although too much for me! “We decide to try to summon someone and as we did the lights went out. There was much confusion and at least a little candlelight to save the situation. One member of staff told potential dinners that there was a general power cut, probably to lull them into staying put, in the hope that they might be fed. It was obviously a problem with the electrics in the pub as we could see lights in the nearby houses through the window. We were then told that they would not be taking further orders for food as they were not sure when the power would be on, although some food seemed to continue to appear from the kitchen. We went to investigate and the chef told us that they were able to cook pasta and some dishes but the pizza oven was off. This would have suited me fine as I had not envisaged going out for a pizza anyway!” As I was not there the night mentioned in the review I can’t comment on what happened but I can say the comments in this review seem totally ridiculous. The review mentions that the staff tried to lull people into staying put then states that people were told no more orders could be taken. This simply sounds like confusion on the part of the reviewer as I very much doubt the lovely staff would lie to people so they ‘stayed put’. Also it seems rather trivial whether or not the power cut was a problem within the pub or a general problem. Knowing what the electrics are like in Dunmow I would not be surprised if it was an external problem! Regardless of where the problem arose from I would imagine that the chefs were in the middle of cooking when the lights went out and this is why food continued to ‘appear’ as they finished the meals they had started, I would also imagine that once the lights went out it was probably rather unsafe to be cooking in the dark and so the decision to stop taking orders was more than likely a health and safety issue for the chefs. “We asked to pay for our drinks and were told that they could not open the till or produce our bill due to the lack of electricity. The request for our contact details by this point was met with utter bemusement. The happy ending to this tale is that we were let off of the bill for the drinks, which I felt was minimum recompense for having left hungry.” Once again I feel this part of the review is entirely unfair; the reviewer left hungry through no fault of the pub; regardless of why the electric went off: the staff agreed to allow the reviewer to stay and eat even though it was made clear children should not be there past 8:30! “I would suggest that those in the locality, with families who want to eat out in a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere give this one a miss!” Yet another unfair and unreasonable comment to make based on one ‘bad’ experience. Each and every time I have been to the Angel and Harp I have always found it welcoming and relaxing; even at very busy periods. If anyone has got this far through my review strongly urge you to give the Angel and Harp a try! ‘Weekend Gourmet’ if you have read my comments I also advise you give the pub another try (obviously before 8:30!).

Date visited: Various

Review by Weekend gourmet on 7th November, 2010

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I too was looking forward to visiting the refurbished Angel & Harp. We had tried to book a table for a few weeks and on each occasion it was fully booked. We were therefore surprised when we managed to get a table on the night of the Dunmow fire work display. We booked for 4 people, as we had a friend staying and also took our son along, as we always do when we eat out. We had booked for 9p.m. and when we arrived the place was very busy, mostly with people having a drink following the display. We did not receive a warm welcome, although we put this down to the staff being very busy. No sooner had we gotten a drink we were told that we would have to leave the pub by 8.30p.m. as we had a child with us. We were 'gob smacked' as our table was booked for 9p.m. and we have never encountered this before. Our son is old enough to sit still and have a conversation that intellectually would surpass most adults and his behaviour is probably also more appropriate as he doesn't drink alcohol! We told the assistant manger that we had booked for dinner at 9 and she reluctantly allowed us to stay, making the point that it was only on this occasion. This was after several consultations with the 'Landlady'. Needless to say by this point we felt very awkward and unwelcome. We agreed to go to our table early so as not to inconvenience them. Another visitor had overheard and approached us later to say that he had the same problem and had been arguing this point for weeks as he also believe that children are usually welcome in restaurant pubs when eating with their parents. His children were also of the older, well behaved variety. When we were gratefully favoured with a table we set about reading the menu. I have to say that I was very disappointed by the basic pizza, pasta, panini, salad and a token steak on offer. However, as we were with a friend I decided to smile on and make the most of it. We waited an inordinately long time without being offered even any of the nibbles (breads and olives) listed, whilst watching the waiting staff wander around chatting to the ‘drinkers’. Having been made to feel that we 'should' get on with our meal and leave ASAP so as not to inconvenience anyone, especially the staff, we were surprised that the service seemed to be nonexistent. We decide to try to summon someone and as we did the lights went out. There was much confusion and at least a little candlelight to save the situation. One member of staff told potential dinners that there was a general power cut, probably to lull them into staying put, in the hope that they might be fed. It was obviously a problem with the electrics in the pub as we could see lights in the nearby houses through the window. We were then told that they would not be taking further orders for food as they were not sure when the power would be on, although some food seemed to continue to appear from the kitchen. We went to investigate and the chef told us that they were able to cook pasta and some dishes but the pizza oven was off. This would have suited me fine as I had not envisaged going out for a pizza anyway! As we were all getting tired, hungrier and bored we decided to leave and catch the Chinese before it was too late to eat at all. We asked to pay for our drinks and were told that they could not open the till or produce our bill due to the lack of electricity. The request for our contact details by this point was met with utter bemusement. The happy ending to this tale is that we were let off of the bill for the drinks, which I felt was minimum recompense for having left hungry. We went onto to the very nice Indochine where were met with the completely opposite welcoming attitude. The service was exemplary and the food delicious. I would suggest that those in the locality, with families who want to eat out in a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere give this one a miss!

Date visited: 6th November 2010

Review by Heather Bennett on 21st October, 2010

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I was really looking forward to trying the refurbished Angel & Harp and was very disapponted. Although the staff were pleasant enough the starter portion of calamari consisted of 5 small rings and I was charged 50p extra for making my pizza slightly spicier. The wine was good though and that was all.I won't put it on my list of must go again!!

Date visited: 20/10/10

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