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Reviews for Speight’s Ale House
by Marie A.
18th January 2013
This business is a MenuMania SponsorOne of the Business' Favourite Reviews
Completed impressed by the quality of the food, standard of service and the decor is new, relevant and trendy! When we arrived the welcoming from staff was first rate. We were seated straight away and ordered drinks which were promptly brought to us. From there the breads and dips we ordered which I may add was delicious! The mains – drunken steak and linguini were cooked to perfection. The beer battered fries are unreal! Would have no hesitation in recommending this establishment to all and we will definitely be back!
by Steve W.
17th April 2013
Went in at lunch time and the place did not seem very busy but it still took over an hour from the time of ordering until the food arrived. The staff were good and friendly. Food was poor. Do not go there if you are vegetarian – not many choices and the dish that arrived was very salty, and served on a bed of mushy potato with bacon in it!. We did ask before ordering, and when we complained the waitress said she did not know the dish had bacon.
Expensive for what we got and we will not be going back.
14th April 2013
Absolutely delicious!!! Everything about the meal and experience were were awesome!!! Staff (think our waitress was Charlotte) were lovely!!! Food presentation was great. Food was 10/10. Unfortunately we didn’t have room for desert!!! Would definitely recommend a visit!!!
by Karon S.
21st March 2013
We have had lunches (yum lamb shanks) and evening meals at the Speights Ale House and we couldn’t fault it. Latest Saturday night compliments to the chef we all had different meals all were perfect. The surroundings are great as was the service.
by Tim S.
31st January 2013
Awful. Undercooked chips, gristle in the chicken burger and unripe, un-melted brie in there too. Really disappointing. How hard is it to make a chicken burger?!
Drinks orders were taken twice and had to be followed up 15 minutes later at the bar. Then we were overcharged!
The musician playing was ace – thank god. He was the place’s only saving grace.
21/02/13: Having been invited back to give Speight’s Alehouse another chance, I was very happy with the service – the waitress was attentive, friendly and professional. I had a lovely Entre (prawns and feta) and the fish of the day dish (Blue Cod) was inventive, fresh and perfectly cooked.
After a second visit, I have dismissed the first visit as a one – off and would go back again!
18th December 2012
We have dined at he Ale House for about our sixth time tonight and this place is so worth recommending. We are a couple who spend a fair amount of time eating out in Nelson and would have to say Speight’s has consistently served up beautiful meals as well as excellent service. From the time we walk in the door to the time we leave I have to say I can’t pick any holes in this place. I recommend the Fish of the day I have it every time and its been beautiful and different each and every time – Keep it up Speight’s!!!
12th July 2012
Lovely food and attentive efficient service, they checked every course that we were happy with our meals and very friendly and accommodating.
We’ll definitely be going back.
12th July 2012
I have been to the Speights Ale House a few times they have always had horrible customer service, we came here for a birthday dinner with my family, we had to wait over an hour for our meals to come out and when they came out they were nothing what we had expected, My Grandad got flounder which was covered in hundreds and thousands, I ordered the Highland short ribs which was suppose to come with portobello mushrooms but instead had button mushrooms, we ordered a jug and that took an hour to get to the table, they weren’t overly busy because all of their rude staff were chatting around the bar while people were waiting. When we went to pay they would not let my grandparents who were paying use my speights loyalty club card because they said I wasn’t paying and we spent well over $400 there.. What’s the point in having one if I cant use it?! All up it was terrible service I never recommend this place to anyone and I certainly never go back!Comment from Gareth C. of Speight’s Ale House 10/10/2012
by Maggie P.
6th July 2012
The web site says the Ale House is a Sports Bar – Wrong! If you are keen to watch sport don’t go here. There are small TV’s but you have to ask to watch the sport, then you aren’t allowed to hear what’s going on, even when a big rugby game is on, no sound allowed even if only one person in the room objects to the sound being on. Speights Ale House is ok to go for a meal or a drink (even though a bit expensive) but definitely not for serious sports fans. They shouldn’t advertise themselves as a sports bar, they are not!Comment from Gareth C. of Speight’s Ale House 10/10/2012
by Anastasia C.
17th June 2012
First time, we have been there, the food was fabulous and generous portion. The atmosphere was really nice, cozy and warm. Staff were really great and welcoming. Definitely we will come back for dinner. Highly recommended!
15th June 2012
Dined at the Ale House again last night & again it was awesome I had the fish of the day crispy skin White warehou with mash & crab bisque it was awesome & the White Warehou was so tasty & moist. My wife had the Swordfish this time & commented on the freshness & quality. We couldn’t ask for better, great value for money
by David T.
1st June 2012
I haven’t lived in Nelson long, but I have eaten almost everywhere and this was by far the best I’ve tried in a very long time.
I normally go for red meat dishes like steaks, but I had heard from a friend that these guys have Swordfish on the menu!
It was perfectly sized and excellently cooked, so will be getting that one again!
I did the same thing with food as with drinks, where I normally drink red wine, I tried out the range they have on tap. The Speight’s Porter is amazing… enough said.
This place is highly recommended and for good reason.
by Will T.
29th May 2012
I had the pleasure of having a bar lunch here when I was down on business 17th May 2012. Service was excellent and friendly and the food was superb, I recommend the flounder, my mouth is watering thinking about it.
The atmosphere was the best I have been in since I lived in Scotland.
This is a great place for either social or corporate meetings or presentations.
Regards Will – Auckland
by Nicky W.
11th April 2012
Wow, lovely restaurant but very pricey, you could eat at some of Nelson’s “fine dining” places for less. No complaints about the actual food or service though, but lets be realistic it is a bar/pub/family restaurant after all.
by Anita T.
10th April 2012
Had a great evening. Hubby’s surprise 40th 20+ people meals service was great, Bread was divine, mains were all delivered and presented well and were delicious. But best of all the music and music videos were the best. Will go again.
by Luke R.
29th March 2012
Top restaurant for service food and decor!!!! This restaurant is rated top of the top for service. My partner and I went for dinner and were treated like absolute royalty! Service with a plus! Please take a bow Riley and Naomi from Nelson!!!! We had a night that is unforgettable. We have dined everywhere in the area and have never felt more important…. would recommend for dinner for two or function dining as have been witness to the most perfect overall dining experience. Menu is absolutely divine! Keep it up! We will be back with our friends.
by Rob W.
16th March 2012
My wife and i had dinner at the Speights Ale House last night, as I had visited a number of times with mates for a Friday beer and really enjoyed the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We were slightly nervous as i’d heard negative feedback about meal delays from a colleague who had dined there, but as it turned out we needn’t have worried. I had the Flounder, my wife the Salmon – both delicious and exceeded expectations, although next time we wouldn’t have the bread loaf first (it’s huge!). Our drinks order was taken before we went upstairs – and almost beat us to the table – both the meal order and subsequent drink refills all happened in appropriate time, despite the place being pretty full. All round we were very impressed and will definitely recommend to friends and family…..and be back for more!
by Julian K.
15th March 2012
I took my family to the Speights Ale House this evening for one of our children’s birthdays. I had already eaten a couple of times with clients and had enjoyed the food, atmosphere and service.
With high expectations and tired children in tow we arrived to a warm welcome from the manager and were escorted to our upstairs table.
We were introduced to our waitress and she then made sure we were all happy and comfortable advising the daily specials and taking drinks orders. The restaurant was relatively busy and we were really well looked after in terms of understanding our needs, interacting with the children and just making sure everything was OK.
The food was lovely and plentiful and the kids were really pleased with their meals – and they are hard to please.
Great flavours and great portion sizes meant we all went home well fed, well watered and content!
We will definitely be back and the manager and his team went out of their way to make sure we had a good experience. I will be recommending friends to try out the Speights Ale House and support the town’s newest bar and restaurant which I believe has something for everyone…
by Murray L.
9th March 2012
I have eaten and drank (Heaps!!!) at the Speights Ale House Nelson – the food, service and welcome is exceptional. I have entertained clients there, and everyone enjoyed the experience.
Try the whole flounder!!
Honestly, thoroughly recommend it – and remember, most of the negative reviews on here are from opposition food outlets!
by LOIS M.
2nd March 2012
Hi. 4 of us locals visited on 1 March 2012. My partner had gone to the bar to get us drinks but a waitress noticed I didn’t have a drink and came and asked if I wanted one- well spotted. Not long after we were asked if we were dining in that evening and the waitress guessed who we were and showed us to our table. Great decor, noticed all Speights detail of 3 stars on base of bar stools, restaurant chairs, etc. Loved the tartan on back of some of the seating.
Meals took 20 mins to arrive, unfortunately just the 2 arrived at once, we had to wait 5 mins for the other 2 which wasn’t VG. All meals well presented. Rib eye steak was done perfect to medium rare as requested. Shank and cod and chips were also enjoyable. My meal- the beans were blanched for about 2 mins in water so were like raw and one I tried was stringy. The waitress was apologetic and while the meal was returned to the chef to sort out, she offered me a complimentary alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. My meal was a goat, bacon and mushroom pie- when I tried the pie, all I could taste was an aftertaste of pepper- my friend also confirmed this when she tried it. We told the waitress to pass this info on to the chef which she did.
Summary- excellent polite service from everyone concerned, 3 out of 4 meals were well received, just need to make sure all meals at one table are served within a couple of minutes so all at the table can start their meal at once- some restaurants ‘borrow’ another waitress to achieve this. We would return and would also recommend to others.
by Laura T.
27th February 2012
I recently dined at the Speights Ale House for my Birthday. We had a table of 30 people and all left very impressed! The food was fantastic and the service faultless.
I had the Black Cherry Chicken– which was to die for, and my partner had the drunken steak and he was very impressed – going as far to say its the best he has had!! The meals were large, very satisfying and beautifully presented. I cant wait to get back there any try more on the menu!
The staff were extremely friendly and professional and our waitress really went the extra mile. Nothing was a problem for her!
We will definately be going back there and would recommend it to anyone. A+++++
by Geoff D.
22nd February 2012
My wife and I visited here on the evening of 21 February 2012. It was our first time here and arrived on spec, without a previous booking. First impressions were very good, decor and general setup pleasing. The young lady at the reception was welcoming, smiling and generally very helpful. Because we had not booked we were told we would have to wait about 15 minutes while she juggled the table bookings and we accepted this. However, after five minutes, she called us in to the bar area for a two-seat table which was then available. On this occasion we did not require drinks and, after about eight minutes, a very pleasant young waitress took our order which was for mains only. While waiting for our meals, we noticed that all the staff appeared to be in the 20s/30s age group and continually on the move – the place was full. All appeared to know what they were doing and very efficiently did it!
The meals duly arrived after 25 minutes – in our view a reasonable wait considering the number people being attended to. The meals were well presented. Quantities were very good but, as we found, the quality was at best only average. My wife’s meal – vegetarian – was much too oily. My own meal – Drunken Steak – was good except for the main ingredient, the steak. I asked for it medium rare, which it was and tasted good, but I suspect it was not the cut it was supposed to be, more like stewing steak grilled, and was tough! If not that, then the beast it came from was not in the best of condition!
by Janis R.
21st February 2012
I am an owner of two motels in Nelson. I commend the ‘Speights Ale House’ for their decor and cheerful, helpful staff.
However – two weeks ago I took clients there for lunch, meal was great but the service was very slow. So I thought I would give the place a second chance and tried another lunch date. We sat there for 15 minutes without being offered even a drink, let alone having our meal order taken. As a suggestion from a mutual business owner – you have the basic great facilities, you really need to address you staff issues… a great manager could make or break the place, at present you do not have one of these….
by Jim D.
14th February 2012
Last evening my family made our second visit to Speight’s Ale House to see if things had improved since our first visit in mid January. Unfortunately things had deteriorated.
On the January visit we took some friends from Wellington to our new local. They paid for two rounds of drinks for our group and we then decided to order the seafood platter to share. This duly arrived and we disposed of it as we finished our drinks. The pate was accompanied by only four pieces of crisp bread – not nearly enough to use all the pate. We requested some more bread and were informed that this would be no problem but that an additional charge of $3 would be required! This was after a tab of more than $100 at the bar and $48 for the platter! So much for their byline ” Generous to a Fault”. This is not a good policy for a new establishment.
Last evening our family went for drinks and a meal to give that place a second chance. We made a booking and were told that all tables would be in use until 7.30pm but we could eat at a bar table. We accepted this and arrived about 6.45pm. No one approached us to take our food orders. We eventually attracted a waitress who took our orders about 7.20pm. We requested a dining table if one became available . We waited nearly 1 hour for our food and were told that a dining table was available upstairs. At the table we were served our food but with no cutlery or water. We had to call downstairs for the cutlery and were advised that the water was coming.
The food was hardly average. It was just warm, lacked flavour, the Scotch fillet steak was doubtful and seemed more like a cheaper cut, the tuna salad was not prepared as our vegetarian daughter had requested and still no water!
As we finished our meals the water arrived and the child in our group was offered his ice cream dessert at about 9.00 pm. We need to leave by this time so we took the dessert in a container.
When we paid to leave I complained to the Duty Manager. She attempted to defend her staff by insisting on retrieving the order docket to challenge my timing issues. So much for accepting my dissatisfaction and attempting to put things right!
The whole experience was very disappointing. This is very ordinary pub food at city restaurant prices, poor and slow service and a weak customer focus. This Speight’s Ale House over promises and under delivers. We won’t go there again.
7th February 2012
My partner and I came here for dinner in late January just a wee while after it had opened. We booked for 7pm and it wasn’t as busy as i thought it would be. Our waitress was really nice and helpful during our time we were there.
I did happen to notice that the staff were all quite young (maybe no older than 20) that we saw. I think this could be an issue for when it gets busy as I’ve heard it does. There doesn’t look to be a well experienced on floor manager which they could benifit from.
BUT the food was soooo good, and the beer was fantastic as Speights always is, and the sevice was friendly and nice =)
17th January 2012
Went to the ale house on New Year’s eve with a group of twelve, it was a great experience and we ended up having a great night. We were welcomed by the manager who was a great guy and very polite which was the demeanor of all the staff. We were shown to a table where we had a few rounds of beers and wines ect, and the staff were quick to come and ask if everything was okay or if we required more drinks or if we would like to see the menu, which is fantastic and exactly what you want on a dining out experience. We ordered entrees to begin and completed these before our mains were brought out. The waiting time was short and the quality of the food was exceptional, the best we experienced in Nelson over our New Year holiday. We followed this by having a few drinks until about one o’clock, the atmosphere was great and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
11th January 2012
Me and two friends went to the speights ale house for the first time tonight and i was dubious as I’d heard alot of negative feedback about it, first impressions were good the place has a good atmosphere about it and wasn’t very packed when we were there. We ordered some drinks at the bar then found a table. A waitress came over a short time later asking if we required more drinks and we asked for a dinner menu at the same time. We got a garlic bread for starters which was served within good time but mains came out before we had finished the garlic bread. Not much to choose from on the menu so I just went for one of the nibbles options (chicken bitterballs) which were a deep fried but tasty dish. My friends ordered burgers one beef one chicken, the pattys did not appear to be home-made and were of the processed form, one of which was still cold so possibly not properly cooked. One wine was forgotten about so was never served. Wasnt too impressed about the kids from a certain family jumping all over the tables but more the parents to blame rather than the staff but maybe a discreet word to the parents would have been sufficient. I think its fair to say its a new business and they are still trying to find their feet so hopefully they will get it together within the next few months staff are very friendly and helpful however.
by James C.
6th January 2012
I am from Wellington and was visiting my family in Nelson over Xmas. I took my mum, Nana and Step dad to the Speights Ale House on the Thursday the 22nd of December.
Loved the set up of the place as it looked really modern and also had plenty of TV screens so I could have the odd cheeky look to check the score in the cricket.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a friendly member of staff, also the manager introduced himself to our group which we thought was a nice touch.
Service was fast and efficient. I went for the steak and loved it, the chips were beer batted and were amazing!
by Kate M.
5th January 2012
We were warned by friends about the long wait at the new Nelson Speights Ale House, but thought we’d give it a go last night anyway. We were initially impressed with the nice bar, decor and atmosphere. Unfortunately we had the same experience with a very long wait for our meals. We had a drink in the bar while we waited for a table, but when we returned to check about the table, the maitre d’ had crossed our name off the list ‘as she couldn’t find us’ (or couldn’t be bothered looking for us). She managed to get us a table quickly which was appreciated – though her attitude and demeanor was pretty sour. We ordered our meals at 7.30pm, was served our entrees at 8pm which we were ok with. Our main meals finally arrived at 8.45pm. There was no explanation or apology for the long delay. The food was very average, overcooked duck and lamb shanks, terrible mash with the shanks, etc etc. For the price of the food, the quality was very average. Our waitress was pretty good, I think she had had enough of complaints about the slow food though! I have had several meals at the Chch Bealey Ave Ale House which was excellent. I hope the Nelson restaurant can sort it’s shit out and get up to the quality we would expect of this chain. It is not a good representation of the Speights or Ale House brands. I hope their marketing managers see all of these complaints and get it sorted, as if this level of food and service continues, there won’t be many locals dining there.
by Daniel H.
4th January 2012
We dined at the Speights Ale House on the 2nd Jan. I can honestly say the place is magnificent! The bar is upmarket and trendy which was complimented by the standard of the food and service we received. Would recommend to all!
3rd January 2012
We waited over an hour for our meals, we were about to walk out when they finally arrived. Service was terrible and we kept getting told they were understaffed in the kitchen and terribly busy. When we went to pay they had charged us for double drinks and some of the meals twice too. Very disappointing!!! We are locals and had been looking forward to the Speights Ale House opening here for somewhere new to go. The meals were ok, although some people had burnt bread on their plates. Such a shame since Speights Ale Houses have a great reputation elsewhere!
3rd January 2012
As the other review on this site sounded suspiciously like a plug for another restaurant i decided to check out the ale house for myself while in Nelson for new years. My suspicions were correct. Went to the ale house for a few drinks on new years eve and ended up staying all night. Great atmosphere, friendly staff with great service. Came back the next day for lunch, so much to choose from we ended up coming back the next day to try something else from the menu. delicious!! Great work Nelson will def be back soon
by Malcolm W.
31st December 2011
30Th December 2011, 12.15pm with a party of 10. Was told there would be about a 20 minute wait which turned out to be over an hour.
Shown to our table and waited for another hour for our meal, the fish of the day meal was just OK, the chicken burger contained a crumbed greasy chicken schnitzel. this was advertised to be a gourmet burger but did not fit the description given on the menu, plus the schnitzel was over cooked and burnt crisp.
We did mention this to the waitress that we were disappointed and to pass it on to the front of house manager,who then made the decision to give us our first round of drinks free.
As we had two small children with us it was very hard to explain the lateness of our lunch.
We have dined at other Speights Ale Houses and we know this is below their standard, we will try again and our expectation will be to receive a positive customer experience as befitting the Speights Ale House brand.
by Dave S.
30th December 2011
Just had a few drinks and a meal here. Was told to wait 20 minutes for a table and then forgotten about. Sorted a table out ourselves. Ordered food and 30 minutes later was told the pie I had ordered was not available. The food finally arrived after a further long wait and was very poor, burnt wedges, burnt toast with the ordinary pate and all of it cold. When we complained we were told it was because they were busy and when we finally got the bill they had overcharged us one round of drinks ! I for one will not be going back. Rubbish.
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