As a family we really enjoy afternoon tea, and so it was, as part of my youngest daughters celebration of her graduation the day before in Manchester, that she chose to have afternoon tea en route to going back home to Cardiff at Callow hall.
This had been pre booked and there was the option of Champagne for those who wanted.
We arrived as planned and booked on a Friday afternoon at 3.30pm. It was glorious weather and the place looked lovely, but quiet with staff busy getting ready for a wedding celebration.
We announced ourselves and as a result of the surprise in the body language of the young lady in attendance, one wondered whether guests showing up for afternoon tea is a rarity.
That said, we were ushered quickly into a side room which was not set up for any other purpose other than a lounge area.It certainly was not set for afternoon tea, and as there were four of us, we proceeded to arrange the furniture for our comfort. After a short while, the afternoon tea arrived, No offer of champagne was made, so we did not press, and to be fair, the afternoon tea was very nice. There was however, a nervousness about the service, and the staff passing by the open door to the room where we were seated, couldn't help but gawp each time they passed. There was no background music either to create some form of atmosphere, which did feel like we were having afternoon tea in the middle of a full blown function set up.
The hotel was once a Von Essen hotel, a group which collapsed with major debt after grossly inflating their capital value, therefore the owner has some way to go, to restore the hotel to it's former glory, whch does appear a little jaded.
The staff were young, pleasant and attempted to please, but there was a distinct lack of supervision, until we came to pay, and I assume that it was the owner who barged past me and highjacked my conversation with the receptionist.
Would we go back, for sure if more effort was made to improve the welcome and the overall feel of the place.
If you own or manage Callow Hall, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.