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“Disappointed” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Orchard Tea Garden, Granchester

The Orchard Tea Garden, Granchester
45 Mill Way, Cambridge CB3 9ND, England
01223 845788
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Ranked #100 of 526 Restaurants in Cambridge
Price range: $7 - $14
Cuisines: Tea Room
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

We went to this café in early October, 2013, after reading favourable reviews. What a disappointment. The food was mediocre/passable - but having selected an apple pie (amongst other items) at the cafeteria style counter and then asking for cream to go with it, I found there was no whipped or clotted cream, just double thick cream (supposedly) - it was the runniest double thick cream that I have encountered. There were no tables available inside so we sat outside. When the food and drinks arrived, this was announced by an electronic pager - I was then required to walk to a door near the kitchen where the waitress handed me the tray. This is very unusual in my experience for a café. What was more unusual was the requirement to return your tray and leftovers to a window near the kitchen, where you were expected to sort out your rubbish and put into different bins. Incredible - I don't think that even in McDonalds you are expected to sort out your rubbish. This café reminded me of a school canteen, except that they charged like an upmarket establishment. I would not bother going again. I think the owner(s) believes that simply the fact that poet Rupert Brooke and writer Virginia Wolf used to frequent the place decades ago, entitles him/her to charge high prices for mediocre food and poor service.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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155 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    60
    22
    14
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Bedford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Bit of a tourist trap but still enjoyable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Lovely to sit under the trees, we found somewhere quite tucked away. Tea and cake was good, and afterwards we took a walk along the river in the meadows - wonderful.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Resting on their laurels”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

The sad truth about the Orchard Tearooms is that it is just very tired. It seems that the management have worked out that without any effort in the form of quality, choice, service or comfort, people will still turn up and empty their wallets just because of this Tearoom's renowned history.
Our last visit was on a warm September afternoon. Upon arriving it was chaos as there are no menus or lists displaying what is available. Instead, customers have to roam along the queue, peering between those waiting to pay, in an attempt to ascertain what the choices are.
We finally plumped for a slice of Victoria sponge, a fruit scone with jam and cream, a pot of tea for one and a hot chocolate which cost around £13-14. This is already quite a lot to pay for basically two hot drinks and two cakes. However, when you factor in the bird-poo coated rickety deck chairs, constant smell of rotting apples and 'antique' toilets, it all becomes a bit hard to take. There is a difference between character/charm and shabby/dirty; unfortunately this establishment has well and truly crossed the line in to the latter. To top it all off the cakes were average at best, the pot of tea only delivered slightly more than one cup and the hot chocolate tasted like an instant powder mix, with some cream on the top a supplementary cost.
All-in-all, we feel really disappointed. The owners are basically trading in on this tearoom's heritage to line their pockets; a real missed opportunity.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Top Contributor
217 reviews 217 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
“A Summer Idyll”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

I can't think of a nicer summer day than a punt from Cambridge to the tea garden at Grantchester. It was lazy. It was sun-dappled. It was a tasty tea, with all the right foods. It was friends lingering a long time and even snoozing in the garden. It was this American's dream of a British teatime. It was dreamlike. And it was real. I think it was real. Because it seemed more like a beautiful dream. What did that white rabbit say?

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Untouched by time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

We visited The Orchard on our way back to Cambridge from IWM Duxford.

It was a beautiful late-summer afternoon and many other visitors had had the same great idea : it took a while for a space to become vacant in the car park. However, the tables and deck chairs are set well apart in the spacious grounds, so it doesn't feel crowded, even on a busy day.

We had what we call in Australia a Devonshire tea, and others call a cream tea - scones with jam and cream. The method of "constructing" the afternoon tea was unusual - each item is priced and arranged separately and you put them together in a self-service line. The tea was tea-bag tea, a bit disappointing for tea rooms!

Still, it's more about the setting than the food, which was average (the scones at Cambridge markets were cheaper and lighter). Sitting in the dark-green deck chairs, ducking the occasional apple as it dropped from the branches above us on a glorious day, in an orchard rich with history, was what the visit was all about - the food was just an excuse to enjoy the experience!

A lovely and relaxing way to spend some time on a picture-perfect day.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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