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“Pleasantly surprised with high quality meal” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Lilli

Cafe Lilli
83-85 High Street, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees TS20 1AE, England
01642 554422
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $23 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Continental
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Whitwick, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised with high quality meal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Visited for a business lunch. I have driven past the restaurant on many an occasion, but never stopped before as I had just assumed it would be another "coffee and cake" establishment (of which there are many in the area).

I was pleasantly re-educated!

I had the roast chicken with truffle mash for lunch, followed by coffee and a brownie. It was actually very very good. The chicken had been prepared very nicely and was lovely and moist.

The brownie was umptuous and velvety.

The restaurant itself is well layed out, and fairly spacious. The staff were friendly and efficient.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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246 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    150
    65
    21
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Always a brilliant evening”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

We go here every month if we can and our last visit was 3 weeks ago (Saturday 21st September) and as always had a lovely evening. In response to an earlier review, if you are visiting Cafe Lilli on an evening you should be aware that they do not take bookings for tables after 6.30pm, the routine is that as soon as you walk in, a member of staff will come to you and explain how long the wait will be for a table, and then it is your choice whether you stay or not. My experience is that they are usually very accurate about the waiting time and they have an incredibly efficient system to make sure that everyone is taken care of. We always choose to stay and stand at the bar and have a drink (there is only one sofa at the entrance and a few bar stools) so standing is common but the place buzzes with atmosphere and friendliness, there is a constant hum of chatter but you are never aware of any specific conversation except your own. Don't panic if they don't immediately give you a menu - you haven't been forgotten, they bring you the menu when you are getting close to being seated, so relax they know what they are doing!
More importantly the food is always beautifully presented, well thought out and very flavoursome. The specials are always worth trying, as is the house wine which is always good, I rarely have space for dessert but the brownie is the stuff of legend! In all the time we have been going to Cafe Lilli we have never had anything 'bland'.
The staff are brilliant, they work flat out all night but they smile and genuinely look like they enjoy their work. Daryl (one of the 2 owners) is usually on when we go and he is so good at what he does, I love watching him fly around! Even when he is extremely busy he makes time to chat to everyone, making sure everyone is happy.
It is a great place in my opinion, but if standing for half an hour to an hour while you wait for a table will be an issue then you won't enjoy it here.If you know what to expect beforehand its not a problem just have a drink and watch everything going on around you!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Hartlepool, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“First and last visit”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

Went for a special meal with a few family members and had heard good things about the restaurant. On arrival we had to stand for an hour, with an elderly relative and no chance of any seating, before getting a table.
My starter arrived and was completely tasteless and unfortunately, my main course was even worse. I would have preferred my main course to have been tasteless too, as I was unable to eat it at all.
The restaurant was very busy and therefore very noisy and meant we could not hear each other speak.

The only saving grace of the whole experience was that the staff were all very nice.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lillicafe, Owner at Cafe Lilli, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Hello .Thankyou for finding the time to write this review,but I am very concerned about this since you have not told me the following-when you visited or what you had to eat. I presume you visited us on a Friday or Saturday .On the review you said it was your first visit , I would have presumed then that you would have called us or looked at our website for information on bookings ,especially if you had a elderly relative in your party. Cafe Lilli is a very busy restaurant and it has been our policy for the last 10 years that we do not take bookings after 6.30 on a Friday & Saturday.( the rest of the week including Sundays you can book all the time) All our booking information as well as our news and menus are all on our website.
My concern is also that no-one in your party complained about the meal or the wating time to me or my team, therefore I was not given the opportunity to speak to you about your concerns,instead as soon as you left you had the courage to take to the internet to write a very negative review,one that I feel is very unfair.I would have done my best to make sure that your first experience in Cafe Lilli would have been enjoyable. We take all our clients comments /feedback seriously, as we feel in this way Cafe Lilli can grow,unfortunatley you missed this opportunity.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
middlesbrough
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastico Sunday Lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Have been here many times but just had to try the Fantasico Sunday Lunch now they are open Sundays. I was not disappointed. as usual food sublime, service great and staff wonderful, all served with a glass of wine from the area of Italy featured What did I ever do before Café Lilli came along. Looking forward to bringing friends from out of the area to celebrate over the Christmas period!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“lovely meal!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

went for dinner on a thursday night. delicious venison and nice glass of fizz. had to wait a long time to get drinks but that didnt spoil our dinner. gentlenan in bar was charming!! will be coming back!!!

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

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