What To Expect At The New Guildford Hotel
It’s Western Australia Day and to celebrate on this cold, wintery day, my cousin and I decided to go check out the recently refurbished Guildford Hotel (being called the New Guildford Hotel).
WA Day is a celebration of when the first settlers came to the Swan River Colony back on 1 June 1829, and a great reason for a long weekend here in WA. Built in the 1880’s the Guildford Hotel is one of the oldest standing hotels in the Perth metro location and due to it’s long history it became heritage listed in 1993. In recent times it has become most well known because of a fire that caused significant damage to the hotel in 2008.
After a six year battle to save the building, work to refurbish was approved in 2014 and the doors to the New Guildford Hotel were finally reopened about two weeks ago. As it’s so iconic and relevant to WA’s history we figured this was a perfect day to pay the hotel a visit, plus it’s right around the corner from my house so also very convenient.
We were prepared for it to be busy, it’s a public holiday and it’s only just been reopened so naturally people are interested in visiting. However there were definitely a few areas that could be improved which would have made it a better experience.
Firstly, they have a lady greeting you at the door but what purpose she serves I’m not really sure. Rather than taking names and helping to seat you she just tells you to walk in and go find a seat wherever. Well that’s all well and good on a quiet day when there’s actually seats to choose from, but on a day like this, it turns into mayhem.
It causes a few problems.
For the people who are trying to get a table, you have no choice but to pick an area and hover around a few tables so you can quickly grab one when the current people decide to leave. Awkward for you and awkward for the people trying to enjoy their meal.
It also causes unfair seating arrangements and unnecessary arguments, people get grumpy when they’re hungry and there’s no order to the time you’ll get seated, so if you see someone walk in and get a seat before you it can get a little frustrating.
After a few failed attempts, with other people beating us to tables, my cousin and I decided it would be more productive to split up. She’d go upstairs and I’d stay downstairs and we’d text each other once one of us had one. Thankfully this method proved to work and I’d scored us a table about five minutes later.
The layout and feel of the venue is great – I love the way they’ve given it a modern feel but have kept a lot of the original foundation so it still has that historic feel to it. And there’s lots of different sections with up and downstairs dining areas, balcony, outdoor drinking section, and a lounge area.
And once you score yourself a seat the service is reasonable. Someone came over to clean our table in no time, and menus were already sitting at the table waiting for us. There’s no table service so you have to queue to order your food, not a real big deal as this is pretty standard at a lot of pubs, and the wait for food wasn’t bad considering the number of guests. We only had to wait about 30 minutes.
Unfortunately that’s where it went a bit downhill.
I’d been told the food selection at the New Guildford Hotel wasn’t the greatest, but I looked online prior to going and a few items caught my attention so we decided to go and make our own conclusion. We both have similar taste and liked the sound of a few dishes so decided to get them all and share.
I can’t say any of the dishes were truly standout and that I’d be rushing to go back for them.
Our first was ‘blue cheese whip, lots of pickled things, bits to dip’ – the only thing on the plate that could really be dipped was celery, the pickled bits were carrots and radishes, not the traditional pickled items you’d expect, and then there was some random potato chips. The blue cheese dip was very strong so if you’re not a die-hard fan of this cheese I’d give this dish a miss.
Next was ‘buttermilk fried chicken, old bay mayo’ – the chicken was pretty dry and there was not a lot of flavour even with the mayo. Adding some chipotle sauce helped but it definitely wasn’t the best fried chicken I’ve had.
Finally, ‘lamb ribs half rack mopped with sticky beer sauce – served with white buttered bread, pickles’ – this was the worst of all. The ribs were covered with a layer of fat so thick you couldn’t even cut through them, or separate the ribs to eat them properly. You just kind of had to pick the fat layer off and eat the little bit of meat that was on the bone. And the white buttered bread was two pieces of Tip Top bread or whatever cheap equivalent there is, not what you’d expect to be served up with this sort of meal. We spoke to some other guests who my cousin happened to know, and they had the same disappointment with their dish.
The best part of our order was our $7 side of fries.
My verdict – it’s not the place to go if you’re looking for a traditional pub meal, the menu is very American inspired with a large burger selection and a lot of sharing dishes, and of the dishes I had, none were stand-out delicious. I recommend going to the New Guildford Hotel for drinks as the venue has a great look and feel, staff are friendly and service is fine (once you’re seated).
Have you been? I’d love to know your thoughts.
P.S. If you like what you’ve read feel free to like, comment, or share. Your time reading my post is greatly appreciated. 🙂