After reading so many highly rated reviews, I decided to treat my mom to a visit to this establishment. My thoughts were our visit would be a mixture between a proper English high tea with the fun and whimsy of a tea party; nothing could be farther from the truth. I made reservations a few days prior and ordered their best Afternoon tea service, The Queen Elizabeth.
The interior is very quaint, frilly, girly... and we thought it was great.. the chandeliers were beautiful. Upon arrival, even though we were the only ones there, the staff merely asked if we had reservations, no greeting, no " welcome to ....", I found that rather odd. They seemed rushed even though they just opened and we were the only ones there at this point. We we shown to our table and left to our own devices for about 10 minutes, so we figured we'd try on hats as we'd seen so many reviews of others doing so. I guess maybe those reviewers had little kids or something because the girl and one other lady answering the phone just stared at us as if we weren't supposed to be doing so. It was rather bothersome to the point I actually asked if it was okay to wear the hats as I'd read, to which I was then told "sure". Nothing more, no excitement from staff, just strange looks. It got to the point after my mom and I kept trying to take pictures of ourselves in these lovely hats that we just gave up and put them back on the hat rack. We sat down at our table, and must've waited close to 10 minutes before another lady came out to take our order, yet there were only two other tables by this time that has come in. ( total of 6 people in the entire place). We ordered or tea, I had peach, mom had passion fruit, both of which were very good. We were loving the decor, and our little mis-matchef tea cups, both disappointed that the teapots that we were both served had huge chips on the spouts. The entire spout rims of both were completely gone, which was really surprising that they would even serve customers with broken wares. Within the hour, the entire place was filled, and VERY NOISY as others have mentioned, despite the acoustic tiles. There were no children during our visit, just normal chit chat, yet it was still very hard to hear my mom during our entire lunch. It was strange to us that while there were four people working, only one woman was taking orders, bringing food out, and taking checks; whatever the reason, it definitely adds a lot of waiting time.
Onto the food reviews: for $54 (taxes incl) both my mom and I were left wanting. The quantity of the food isn't the issue.. however the quality IS. If this is home made / made from scratch, then they need to hire a chef and start over.
Quiche & soup: The quiche was underbaked, soggy, mushy and had the consistency of pudding; top that off with sticking it on top of a paper doily and you end up eating paper. I ordered the potato soup, my mom ordered the french onion: potato tasted like a box mix that then had potatoe dices added to the mix; the french onion tasted like beef bullion stock with some onion flavor and not much more.
Sandwiches, Scones, Desserts:
beautiful presentation to be sure! The best thing on this plate was the chicken salad and the cucumber circle with cream cheese on wheat round. My mom liked both of these as well as the bruchetta. The scones are not scones but biscuits... they served vanilla and white chocolate cherry, and here's where desserts completely fall apart. Every single dessert from the scone to the little parfait, to the beautifully decorated cake is all artificially flavored and heavily. This day it was heavily with artificial cherry flavoring. Even the whipped cream was artificial.. like Dream Whip... it most definitely was not fresh whipped cream. What a big let down. For such a wonderful little place and for so many people today trying to get away from articifical things, this should've been a no brainer. We took a bite of the parfait, a bite of each scone ( along with the Devonshire cream and lemon curd...cream was ok) and small piece of the little cake to taste.. then boxed the rest to take home for my husband and son to try. Unfortunately, they didn't like it either and commented on how artificial it all tasted as well.
All in all I have to say I'm disappointed in our visit, but it would be a great place if they made improvements. I can definitely see little girls living this place, however I would not return nor would I recommend it to anyone unless changes were made to the menu in a major way.
If you own or manage Pinkadilly Tea at Smythe's Cottage, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.