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Tarka Inn, Heanton

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user reviews of the Tarka Inn, Heanton

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

How did this received an average rating of 6?

Visit 1 Sept 2010 (Sunday) bar full, 2 staff on bar, out of roast potatoes by 1.30, over an hour wait for food without being told. When food arrived, felt like we were in the way. Very disappointed.

Visit 2 - July 2011 (Saturday) Again bar full of customers, 1 member of staff on bar. Food again hour wait, was told 20mins. No signs of anyone running this place. More worrying I saw a bar man sell a bottle of Becks blue (alcohol free) to a customers who asked for a bottle of Becks. Drink poured straight not glass so customer was unaware....

Visit 3 Oct 2011 (Sunday) Surely they got this right by now....... FULL BAR, ONE member of staff on the bar. Took 20 minutes to get served, out of the draught lagers only 1 available. Asked for pimms and lemonade and it took another 4 mins to go find fruit (this was whilst 5/6 new customers were waiting to be served.

Just before I got served, the chap before ordered a Stella & a tonic water. And that is what he received....... A pint of lager with tonic in the same glass.

Amazing looking pub, settings amazing, I've been told if I time it right the food is amazing but I'm yet to see this.

Seems to be a total lack of management, never see anyone in authority there - staff walk past bar when it is full and the one member of staff are struggling. Shame.
Bspringett - 21 Oct 2011 11:08
Stopped off here because it looked good from the outside. That was about the best part of the experience. Ordered and waited for the food to arrive. Starter arrived after half hour, was ok but one of the ingredients was missing. Didn't seem worth mentioning. Waited for my 5 year old's meal to arrive....and waited...and waited...

Asked after and hour and 15 minutes where our meal was and they didn't have a clue. The kid's meal should have come out with the starter and my child was pretty hungry by then. We were then told that it was being plated up....10 minutes further on it finally arrived.
I ordered the chicken pie...chips were dry...peas had been in the microwave too long. My wife ordered a chicken dish at 10.95 and it was a disgrace. Dry...and limply pathetic, slumped on a dob of mash with sauce lobbed over it.

I'm pretty easy to please as far as pub grub is concerned, and the menu here looked good but it was a real mess of a meal. Unsurprising really given the state of the tables and the staff. Tables had quite obviously not been wiped down from the night before and some of the staff were dressed in un-ironed clothes...one guy even treated us to a view of his fat behind as he couldn't be bothered to wear a belt. I have nothing good to say about the place. beer offer was totally uninspiring as well. Tribute and Doom Bar.........and nothing else.
fjw1972 - 30 Jul 2011 18:49
Popped in here for a lunchtime pint while out walking the Coastal Path. Nice beer, Snozzell Tribute, and friendly service. Sat outside in the sunshine. Lovley setting by the river. Vast menu with some really yummy sticky sounding puddings!
whelklocator - 15 May 2011 21:54
This pub is in a lovely building, with a great aspect, and a wonderful roaring fire. However, after the wait staff blamed us for causing the 60 minute plus delay to our sunday lunches being served, mine was missing it's parsnips and on reflection, not as hot as it could have been. Later that evening, I had food poisoning, and a pork roast that had probably been left sitting somewhere quite awhile is the only candidate for why. This could be a great place, but its service would have to improve dramatically.
Melinda1 - 18 Nov 2010 21:42
Basically this is a restaurant and, I might add, not a bad one. On an extremely busy evening the food was of good quality and the staff worked very hard to make sure nobody was waiting for too long, so I will award top marks for that. Unfortunately I was not impressed with it as a pub. Although they were advertising Sharp's Doom Bar and had a handpump clip to that effect I was told that they didn't have any draught beer on. This is simply poor management and thus my rating for this aspect has lowered the overall score. However it is probably worth a punt if you are in the area and hungry.
doctorpint - 4 Aug 2009 19:29
this is a serious bird watchers pub, the estuary has some of the best mud flats anywhere, wading birds are plentiful and easily viewable. Below the vast garden is a cycle track leading into Barnstaple. Three real ales are available from Cotliegh, St. Austell and a local micro.
slerpy - 26 Jul 2008 21:35
my family and myself gave used this inn since we moved here from scotland in 1984 and have always found the food to a very high standard and as I am totally dependant on an electric wheelchair and have not found this any problem We went there the first Xmas we were here and I will be cintacting them to see if they have any space for Xmas day this year
janetclarke - 18 Nov 2007 19:45
Nothing wrong with this pub at all - great location, friendly staff, reasonably priced and good food. OK my only visit so far has been on an early November weekday lunchtime when it was a little overcast and I had the garden all to myself. But it is a beautiful location and I can imagine that when it gets busy then perhaps things can go a little awry but HEY! with this view how can you get stressy??
johnthechef - 1 Nov 2007 22:19
My family and myself have been visiting this pub on and off for the last fifteen years and have seen it owned by many different people.
It is a beautiful place with a gorgeous setting and we were pleased when we heard that there was a new manager as a previous visit was a disaster(badly cooked food and unfriendly staff).Unfortunetly this visit was even worse.It was a beautiful day and we elected to sit outside. As there were no tables available at the top of the steps we opted to sit below the steps our first mistake!We wre soon put in our place by a very officious waitress who informed us that no food was allowed down the steps. No! there were no signs to this effect.
then came the food!I was tempted by the roast duck with griddled potatoes and orange segments with rocket
salad. It was a disgrace!soggy fat with lots of even soggier fat under the skin.A lump of dead rocket and four tiny potatoes cut in half with two segments of orange.Not a very good deal at over 9!
Worse was to come for my six year old grandaughter.A childs steak meal consisted of a lump of cremated meat which was bloody inside with a few chips.
Did we complain?No!Why?Because we did the time before and was met with such hostility in the part of the staff that we couldn't go through that again.


reliable - 19 May 2007 09:23
We found this delightful place whilst holidaying in Devon and made a point of having a few meals there during our stay. To be brief, you will find very good food at fair prices, a good choice of ale (but nothing too 'specialist') and probably the most friendliset staff I've ever come across bearing in mind that they do get very busy. The building looks like some kind of old castle and has lovely character. There is ample parking and the view across the river is wonderful. An excellent family pub that you should really check our if you're ever in the area.
fink - 18 Aug 2006 10:54

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