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Reviews - Restaurant at Macdonald Bear Hotel

Macdonald Bear Hotel, OX20 1SZ Woodstock
Average price £40

Restaurant at Macdonald Bear Hotel

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189 reviews











Real experiences from real dinersRatings and reviews can only be left by guests who have booked with TheFork.
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What diners said about this restaurant:

Fair value for money
Short waiting time
  • Tessa N.1 review

    April 23, 2024


    I was really disappointed with this restaurant. The food was very average and ketchup was served in plastic sachets! But when it came to desert the attitude of the manager was dreadful. My husband wanted one scoop of ice cream but was told he could only have 3. They had run out of shortbread for my desert and gave me a packet biscuit! No apologies! The attitude of the manager was unacceptable.

  • chloe t.

    chloe t.2 reviews

    March 1, 2024


    The waiter, Daniel, was accommodating and had good interesting knowledge about the building. We loved his service! Although we did allow the chef to serve the beef how they thought was best to serve, it was too rare which was a shame. The chips could have done with a touch longer cooking also. The rest of the food was excellent. I recommend the calamari starter. The place was almost empty which I suppose some would prefer, we found it a little awkward at times.

  • Edward G.4 reviews

    February 24, 2024


    We were very happy with the food and the service. However when we came to pay -expecting the. £20 discount as we booked through Fork. The Staff denied being Fork members. That was the only disappointment of the everning. As we use Macdoonald Bear as our choice please reassure us that it is a Fork restaurant.j Thank you.

  • John P.1 review

    January 6, 2024


    Food was excellent in taste , cooked and presented perfectly.

  • Gaynor W.1 review

    December 1, 2023


    Food and wine choices excellent. When I ordered the potted trout I was expecting a small pot with trout and toast, however the starter came out as a trout cocktail, with copious amounts of lettuce, which for me spoiled the dish. I chose the blade of beef for main course, which was tender and flavoursome. The dish was lacking gravy (no small gravy boat on the side) just a smattering on the plate, which left the meat day. The food was not very hot either. I am not usually a person who adds negative comments onto companies websites, however I hope my feedback allows the chef to make some small changes to enhance the experience.

  • Fuchsia J.1 review

    December 6, 2023


    One of the best afternoon teas I've had! I made a mistake with the booking but they fixed it kindly with no problem, the food was absolutely delicious and fresh, and the tea was lovely. Will definitely be coming back.

  • Steve S.1 review

    December 2, 2023


    The atmosphere of the Macdonald Bear hotel, where we went for afternoon tea at the weekend was lovely. Other aspects were good, but there were notable failings in the service and food which were recognised by all at our table. The sandwiches and scones were delicious. The cakes however, although they looked lovely, were actually of very poor quality and some did not taste pleasant at all. The service was also lacklustre in many respects. Although afternoon tea is a set menu, and our arrival time known, there was a quite unsatisfactory delay between our arrival and being offered a cup of tea, and then between being given that tea and the food arriving. Afternoon teas should be served at the same time as cups of tea are given. Although the staff were pleasant enough when they did come to the table, they were otherwise inattentive. It was also unclear as to whether cups of tea were on permanent refill, and when more hot water was requested there was only enough for 1 or 2 people despite 5 of us being around the table. Although the rest of the dining was decorated nicely for Christmas, the area in which we were seated was under-decorated and not very warm. Although the experience was overall okay, we will not be returning. A shame. One final disappointment was that although I mentioned to the staff on the telephone a couple of days beforehand that this was afternoon tea for my wife's 50th birthday, no recognition of this whatsoever was made by the staff on the day.

  • Keith G.1 review

    August 22, 2023


    Excellent service and quality of food and drink.Would definitely recommend.

  • Louise B.1 review

    August 13, 2023


    Scones were hard, service slow. Waiter rude.

  • Samantha P.1 review

    July 25, 2023


    Lovely restaurant Bit quiet Nice food Service okay

  • Christopher P.1 review

    July 1, 2023


    Staff were attentive and knowledgeable about menu. Restaurant is part of the main hotel, looks in need of refurbishment, somewhat tired and furniture very dated. Yes the hotel is old but with some investment, could really make the difference to dining here. I felt there was a lack of staff in attendance, as service was longer than expected. Food quality was average, good menu selection but portions were relatively small for prices shown.

  • Tom N.1 review

    June 27, 2023


    We went for afternoon tea for a family reunion / birthday and the quality of the food was excellent. Scones freshly cooked and still warm. Service was excellent, always someone around checking we were not in need of anything without being over attentive. Strongly recommend plus good discount for booking on line.

  • Graham P.4 reviews

    June 24, 2023


    A busy Saturday night with two waiting staff and a barman. Very understaffed and it took two and a half hours to be served a main course, dessert and coffee for three people. The food was excellent but the service was slow with long waiting periods in between courses. After waiting for twenty minutes for the coffee to arrive I repeated our request for coffee which came ten minutes later with an apology and that the coffee was free. It was a shame as the venue is lovely but let down by a lack of experienced trained staff.

  • Alex H.1 review

    June 23, 2023


    I had catch of the day and it tasted very nice, however it was a starter sized portion and was not worth the £30 it’s priced at. My wife’s pasta dish was fairly tasteless. We both had the cheese cake for desert which we both enjoyed but again the portion size was on the small side. Our meal cost just under £120 which included a bottle of wine (£30) which for two people seemed like a lot considering we both left hungry.

  • Charles L.1 review

    June 19, 2023


    The Bear is a delightful inn, right in the middle of Woodstock. The barman and the waiters, were all wonderful. My chicken and wild mushroom terrine was a bit dry, but the steak was excellent, as were the beef-cheek pie and the fish and chips. If it's a nice night, by all means eat in the courtyard!

  • Christopher H.1 review

    June 20, 2023


    The hotel was very attractive and the staff where excellent. However, we thought the quality of the cakes could have been better. I think less food and better quality would have improved the experience.. Since we were sat in a room by ourselves, there was also a lack of atmosphere.

  • Terry N.1 review

    June 17, 2023


    Missed out on making significantly more money per head due to the sheer lack of attentiveness from the staff. First drink took thirty minutes to arrive considering there were less than ten people in the restaurant (incl. my wife and I). Our wine arrived when we had almost finished our mains despite ordering well before the food arrived. Another couple walked in, sat down and then left due to not being served / acknowledged for over fifteen minutes! I told the waiter who apologised to me to which I said the owners of the business should be the ones getting the apology!

  • Scott H.1 review

    June 14, 2023


    Unfortunately we were one of only 2 couples in the restaurant all night. The menu was not even comparable to the menu online at all. The goats cheese was a good portion and delicious but only had a bit of salad with it so was not edible and needed maybe some sourdough bread for example. When we suggested this there wasn’t an offer of such a thing and therefore we didn’t eat it also the cesar salad had way too much sauce the salad went all soggy.

  • Andrew K.2 reviews

    June 13, 2023


    We highly commend the quality of food and the service in this very traditional and quite ancient English hotel, overall an excellent experience, well done!

  • Natalie R.1 review

    June 9, 2023


    The location of this hotel/restaurant is great. The teatime was alright but nothing special. Unfortunately the service was very passive. It felt like they don't want to sell anything. But in general a nice atmosphere with nice outside sitting.

  • Christina K.2 reviews

    June 7, 2023


    Was a Weds night so very quiet. It’s was ok but we were a little disappointed as we were celebrating a birthday. The vegetable curry only had potato and carrot in. My husband enjoyed his meat pie. My roll was still frozen in the middle. The waiter was lovely

  • Alisa H.1 review

    May 21, 2023


    Well presented Afternoon tea with lovely treats. Quiet room with a nice view of Woodstock. Not many staff around but service was ok. Would book again.


    See photo

  • mark f.1 review

    May 10, 2023


    Woodstock is a great place to visit and the Bear Hotel-and Restaurant is always a good choice , food was good and staff were excellent and attentive And with a good knowledge of wine .

  • Andrew H.1 review

    April 21, 2023


    The food was fine but for price I’d expect much more. Calamari fresh from the freezer for £10 is theft. Steak was good but the overall experience was very pricey.

  • Dameion R.1 review

    April 15, 2023


    Restaurant could do with a menu and decor review and update. Great space in a lovely village, but a bit of a disappointment overall for an evening meal out. Staff were friendly and gracious, but lacking in engagement and finesse., whilst the food should have been slightly more elevated for the price.

  • Rosa R.1 review

    April 8, 2023


    We had dinner. Food was not great, just not the quality we were expecting from a restaurant on the main street at Woodstock. Both of us were disapointed with our orders.

  • Sarah C.1 review

    April 1, 2023


    Unfortunately of four lunches ordered, one was inedible. The staff were helpful but there was a long delay in rectifying the problem. My lunch was very good and two of my guests also enjoyed their meal.

  • Ruth L.1 review

    March 31, 2023


    I booked the afternoon for my aunt and mom for their 80th Birthday , they both enjoyed themselves and said the staff and food were lovely . While they were eating my sister and I had lunch, the staff were lovely but the sandwiches were a big disappointment especially the cheese one, looked like it had been sat there all morning ! For £12.50 there was not alot either! Tea and coffee were lovely and the hotel seems nice even though it wasn't as 'posh' as I thought it would be , seemed tired . The staff members looked after us and it is handy being dog friendly

  • Lisa B.1 review

    March 26, 2023


    Our booking was for 6 adults and 2 babies for breakfast for a 60th birthday. We didn’t know it was a help yourself buffet at £26 per head and an extra £4 for any other coffee than a cafetière. The 3 cafetiers we had were all luke warm and really weak. The plates for breakfast were stone cold, there was only 1 type of egg - fried and greasy, not nice on a cold plate ! The staff weren’t overly attentive or welcoming either so overall very disappointed and £156 for 6 breakfasts !!!! Really !! We would never go again and would never recommend it to anyone .

  • Joanna P.1 review

    March 26, 2023


    The Afternoon tea was delicious - very good standard, great customer service the staff were very welcoming and helpful- I can highly recommend

  • Richard C.1 review

    March 24, 2023


    Just had afternoon tea at the bear Woodstock , absolutely first class service , food was excellent, nice tea room , couldn’t fault it , highly recommend, park in Blenheim palace if your a season holder and walk to the Bear Hotel .

  • Pauline S.1 review

    March 21, 2023


    Table booked for 8pm. Arrived early, kept waiting several minutes till waitress booked us in. Seated at table given nexus. Asked if we wanted any water, asked for tap water which never arrived. Neither did any staff to take our order. After 20 minutes we left. A waiter thanked us on our way out. Told him thanks for nothing. Would not recommend. It looked like a restaurant time forgot

  • Esther H.1 review

    March 20, 2023


    Absolutely loved our visit perfect quiet birthday treat! Staff so helpful and accommodating will definitely be coming again and the afternoon tea was delicious!


    See photo

  • Christina C.2 reviews

    March 18, 2023


    Went for the afternoon tea. Food was very basic and lacking much flavour. There was no atmosphere and we were rushed out the door. In fact they started moving tables around us. Would not recommend

  • Jenny H.2 reviews

    March 18, 2023


    Second time we have had a champagne afternoon tea at The Bear. Everything was perfect and staff very welcoming. Can’t fault it and will definitely return.

  • Marion H.3 reviews

    March 17, 2023


    Great food . Always love to eat here . We return over and over again . The Rabbit Terrine my husband ate was great . Good depth of taste . My crayfish and prawn Cocktail the same. My steak was flavoursome and tender .

  • Sue O.1 review

    March 3, 2023


    We were a group of 4 celebrating a family birthday With afternoon tea. The service and food was excellent. We have been before and will definitely be returning .

  • Derek W.1 review

    February 19, 2023


    The waiting staff need to be retrained on etiquette! Basic training of asking if you require any mustard English/French etc.. very disappointing when the customer has to try and find a member of staff, to request that simple requirement. It is then brought to the table after 10 minutes! When u order a dessert and are given just a spoon and to request a dessert fork!! I can really understand why the restaurant was empty….very sad when an established hotel has let itself down by it waiting staff!

  • Jackie S.1 review

    February 19, 2023


    Sadly, a shadow of its former self. First visit to the restaurant post COVID and surprised to see only 1 other table occupied at 1pm on a Sunday. Serving staff were slow and looked as though they’d prefer to be elsewhere. Both of our first choices for food were unavailable (why didn’t they mention when they gave us the menu?) Food was tasty but portions very small and the tiramisu for £9 (4 mouthfuls at best and dry) was an outrage. Check your bill too as they added 2 service charges - 20% automatically added to all bills and we got 2 of them! Spotted it though and it was taken off the bill

  • Steve E.1 review

    February 14, 2023


    Food, service, and setting, exceptional.. From the breakfast and then the Valentines evening meal, we can not fault anything. Highly recommended.

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