How to write a review for New FCE exam part 2

How to write a review for the New FCE exam part 2 – review of a restaurant, hotel etc? Here’s a sample topic that has been divided into paragraphs and each of the sections explained. 

Part 2 

You must answer this question.

Restaurant Critics Wanted!

Have you visited a new restaurant in your area recently? We’d love to know your opinion, please tell us not only about the food and staff but also the prices and the staff. Would you recommend this place to other people? The winning review will be published in a local magazine plus awarded with £100 cheque. 

Write your review in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

Sample answer:

Cote Brasserie is an amazing French restaurant located in Muswell Hill, North London. I have recently dinned there as a friend of mine advised visiting the place not only due to reasonably priced food but also the magnificent décor which makes you feel as if you were in one of those cosy Parisian’s restaurants.

You start with Paragraph 1- Introduction
In the introduction you :

– give some basic info about the restaurant e.g. name, location, reason you decided to visit it, maybe you heard something about the place before you actually visited it, who visits the restaurant most often.

Phrases you can use in the introduction:

* it’s located/ situated in
* in the heart of / in the suburbs of
* it was recommended by/ it is a favourite hangout spot for people…/
REMEMBER:  A review is a special type of article written for publication in a magazine, newspaper, etc giving a brief description and evaluation of the restaurant, hotel, etc . It may be formal or semi-formal in style, depending on its intended readership, and is usually written using variety of structures e.g. passive, adverbs, plenty of adjectives, past simple/ perfect.

Being a vegan prevented me from selecting such delicacies as duck breast or steak sirloin nevertheless, the restaurant offers a wide variety of vegan dishes. My two-course meal consisted of a typical French, rather spicy, onion soup and a goat cheese salad, which was kindly amended by an extremely helpful waitress, who replaced cheese with some organic walnuts.

 In the 2nd and 3rd Paragraph you :

– provide more details about food / prices

– you can also add comments about service / atmosphere

Phrases you can use to in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph:

Writing about food
* a wide variety of mouth- watering starters/ main courses/ deserts
* I ordered steak sirloin accompanied by side dish of roasted asparagus
* main course consisted of 
* to be starving hungry / to be dying of hunger
* poor quality/ overpriced/ reasonably priced/ good value for money/ pricy
* stodgy/ bland/ tasty/ delicious/ exquisite/ processed food
* home-made / take-away / ready meal
* large selection of …
Writing about staff 
* attentive/ friendly/ charming/ helpful/ caring
* forgettable/ accetable
* can hardly get a smile/ inattentive / slow/ disappointing
If you’re writing a restaurant review you’d also need to learn the vocabulary describing dishes e.g types of fish/ meat/ etc.

I was enjoying my meal being surrounded by typical Côte decor of rather basic leather chairs, wooden tables and mirrors. What I disliked most were English songs played in the background, and so neither the decor nor the music impressed me much.

Phrases you can use to in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph:

Writing about atmosphere/ decor
*magnificent decor/ modern/ antique/ cosy
* spacious / spotless
* dull/ dusty/ filthy
Writing about hotel / hotel room
*attractive/ magnificent/ disappointing settings
* indoor/outdoor/ heated swimming-pool
* entertainment / children’s club
* not worth the money
* book in advance
* noisy/ quiet rooms
* rough neighbourhood

Overall, I’d really recommend Cote Brasserie as it  serves delicious and relatively inexpensive French food, without a doubt it would even appeal to a French dinner looking for tasty dishes accompanied by caring and professional staff, if only the interior was better. 

In the last paragraph you :

– include an overall opinion/or a recommendation, usually with justification
– you may also be asked to give reasons  how it has influenced you, etc.

Phrases you can use to end the review

Making a recommendation
*I would highly / strongly recommend …
* I certainly wouldn’t recommend …
* I strongly advise you (not) to …
* Everyone should see / do / read this … immediately!
* … is not to be missed!
* You should give … a miss!
* Don’t bother reading / seeing / going …
* It is a classic of its kind/ It is sure to be a hit/ best -seller
Your review should include both positive and negative comments, however it’s also crucial to state your overall opinion. 
Expressions for say you liked something: 
– I was pleasantly surprised by….
– …. would appeal to ….
– the thing I like most was…
Expressions to say you disliked something:
– What I disliked most was…
– I was quite/rather/bitterly disappointed by/ with…
– I was extremely dissatisfied with…

Over to you:


 You have seen the following announcement in a magazine.


What’s your favourite gastropub in your city? 

• Is there one special pub that has had a great influence on your life?

• Write in and tell us about it.

• Tell us briefly where the pub is, why you like it, why is it special to you and most importantly whether you’d recommend visiting it. 

• The best entry will he published in the near future.

Prize: £100 in vouchers to spend in your gastropub!

Write your review in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

Here’s the next task you can do:



The magazine published by your school’s English club is asking students to give opinions on their accommodation. Write a review of a room you’ve been renting throughout your stay at school , giving your views on the following points:

• location

• its design

• prices

• owner/ landlord/ other lodgers if any

Write your review in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.