Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Butlins in Minehead Review - the food.

We recently had a three night stay in Butlins in Minehead, Somerset. We had a fantastic time and this is one of three articles about our stay. I've also written about....

Blueskies Appartments which can be found here.

Minehead - the resort. Coming soon

As a family we love food. Actually, that's not entirely true. William and I LOVE food and I think that our children eat for survival and at times largely as we tell them to. Life is too busy to eat when you are 5 and 7 years old.

We had mixed experiences at Butlins in Minehead to be honest and I would be lying if I said otherwise. However, to put it into context, I did a little bit of research to find out just how many people Butlins thought they catered for over the Easter weekend whilst we were there. Butlins offer two dining plans, or you can eat in one of the many restaurants on site or oif course you can self cater. We opted for Premium Dining Package and according to Butlins they catered for around 1,170 people for breakfast and evening meal. To be fair on Butlins this is an immense number of people to be catering for and of course this needs to be beared in mind when writing a review.

Premium Dining took place in one of two restaurants, The Yacht and The Deck - we opted each day for the larger of the two restaurants(The Deck) as this offered a wider choice, and was international cuisine rather than just English.



This was a reasonably relaxed affair with queues being slightly shorter than the evening meals we experienced - apart from perhaps for the pancakes. They advertise them as being cooked to order but in fact they were re-heated in a frying pan. Slightly disappointing BUT understandable given the number of people there.



There was a great choice for breakfast. There really was something for everyone from porridge to croissants to Weetabix to Full English to kippers. The boys tended to have the pancakes (and I must admit to trying them too for review purposes you understand). I was impressed with the omelette station but not being an omelette fan, I decided to pass. 



However, I loved the breakfast sandwiches they offered. You could have a choice of sausage, bacon, egg, tomato, cheese and lettuce made into a toast sandwich. It was all made to order and was delicious served with brown sauce of course.




This was a far busier affair than breakfast and with over a thousand holiday makers to cater for you can understand why. The food choice was wide but I have to admit that the taste was disappointing. The wok station was a particular disappointment and food was to say the least bland. Whilst I didn't expect food to be particularly spicy, I did expect it to be 'tasty'. One day I opted for a pork stir fry which was inedible as the pork was so chewy. The staff however were brilliant - they apologised and took my plate away. The chewy pork however remained offered and there were quite a few plates with this left on the side that evening. I was glad that it was buffet dining and I was able to pick an alternative. 



The children loved the concept of buffet dining, and there was always something on offer which the children liked. Harry loved the sausages and mash one evening and Sam the pasta bolognaise. There really was something to suit all the children, however fussy they might be.



The children loved the choice of desserts and as all good parents do, we bribed them with eating a good main course and then they could pick dessert - what ever they wanted. Picture the scene.....Harry is a fussy eater - well, he'd rather not eat than eat. However he ate all his shepherds pie one evening with the promise of chocolate sponge and custard which is one of his favourites. Imagine the disappointment when the plate of Shepherds pie was eaten only to find that they had run out of chocolate sponge! Luckily the staff managed to find a few more pieces but the people behind us in the queue were not so lucky I am afraid.




The food was OK. They were catering for an awful lot of people so under the circumstances they did a reasonable job. For us personally, we wouldn't book premium dining again and would eat out in local restaurants or self cater.

Disclosure - I am a Butlin's Ambassador and was given a free weekend away in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. Kids love a buffet don't they ? Mind I'm partial to a nice one too

    1. Yes they do...and there is nothing worse than ordering a meal for them, it arriving and them not liking it. At least this way if they really don't like something they can pick an alternative which takes the stress off the parents (and the child).

  2. Our experience at The Deck in Bognor was similar. I filled my plate with lots of lovely looking food - for review purposes too you understand (!) and was also disappointed in the lack of flavours. It's such a shame when it's all presented so beautifully! Nice to see an honest review about it (like mine!).

    1. I agree - it really is a shame as it was presented well and the staff were fantastic. It wouldn't take much more to make it a really positive experience...just because it's a buffet does not mean that the food should be bland.


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