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“Afternoon Tea - Pleasant but No Wow Factor.”

Netherstowe House Restaurant
Ranked #33 of 162 Restaurants in Lichfield
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Private Dining, Reservations
Reviewed November 2, 2013

First of all, I would say that we had an overnight dinner, bed & breakfast visit the previous week for my 60th, which I have reviewed under the hotel, and since we had different experiences, I think different reviews were warranted.

We arrived a few minutes early for our 3pm table and were warmly greeted by a pleasant member of staff in the car park. We were put in the lounge, and eventually asked if we wanted a drink from the bar. A bit strange when you are there for tea, but never mind. We were soon seated in the Ivy Room. There was a card congratulating us on our first wedding anniversary.

We ordered a pot of Assam for 2 which soon arrived, along with a pot of hot water. Our sandwiches, cakes and scones were on the table promptly too. The sandwich fillings were all delicious, although they are a bit 'gobby' in style, rather more corner café than afternoon tea.

There was a scone each, and we had requested in advance one without fruit, and this was pointed out when served. However, it actually contained almost as much fruit as the fruit scone! It was a different shape, and fell apart when cut, so I believe that in error they served a gluten-free scone rather than a fruit-free. Frankly the scones were ok but no more. There were small pots of cream and jam, but not really enough. We didn't see any staff at this stage to ask for more. I was more concerned that at no stage did anyone enquire if everything was to our satisfaction, when the matter could have been raised. We did mention it at the desk when paying, but it seemed of no concern to the desk clerk.

The tea was completed by a small macaroon, a tiny chocolate confection and an Eton Mess in a shot glass. All were extremely tasty. However, overall the offerings were not particularly generous and at no stage were we offered any extra portions.

The Assam tea was good, and we soon drank the pot, refilled it and finished that too. So we ordered another pot as tea was supposed to be unlimited. The 'fresh' pot remained weak and tasteless even after standing, so I can only conclude that the same leaves had just been topped up with more water. Assam tea should be strong and malty! A disappointing end.

The ambience of the Ivy Room was pleasant too, except for the fact that in the adjacent room there was a group of about 8 extremely loud women. Not much that can be done about that, of course, but it made conversation rather difficult!

So would we go again? To the hotel, and for dinner, certainly. But not for afternoon tea; there are better options, I'm afraid.

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1  Thank Hacendado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NetherstoweHouse, Manager at Netherstowe House Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

I am very sorry to read that your visit was not entirely to your satisfaction. We will take your feedback on board and whilst our Afternoon Tea is extremely popular and much loved I realise and regret that we did not create this wonderful memory when you visited us on this occasion. All the team sincerely thank you for your five star Dinner, Bed and Breakfast review and hope that you will give us another opportunity to show you what a truly special afternoon tea service Netherstowe House has. With best wishes from the whole team.

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224 - 228 of 312 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2013 via mobile

I've been here a couple of times for afternoon tea last time for 70th, 65th and 50th birthdays and we had the deluxe tea. The staff are all really helpful and attentive (but not intrusive) and the food is wonderful and always lots of it. They are also always happy to adjust the menu for vegetarians or any special dietary needs. A really nice treat and even better if they have a two for one offer on which they happened to when we went. A friendly atmosphere, great service and tasty food - what more could you ask for? And the birthday cards for everyone were a really nice touch.

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Thank FionaC1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NetherstoweHouse, Manager at Netherstowe House Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your latest visit to Netherstowe House for Afternoon Tea. Your positive feedback is a real boost for the whole team who very much enjoyed reading it. Our Deluxe Afternoon Tea is a mouth-watering and utterly scrumptious experience which is very popular with our guests. Delight in a homemade sorbet to cleanse your pallet before indulging in your choice of speciality loose leaf teas from around the world, a delicious array of open finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, selection of Head Chefs favourite sweets, freshly baked scone with seasonal preserve and Devonshire clotted cream. We very much look forward to warmly welcoming you back again soon when you fancy another indulgent afternoon with us! Until then, best wishes from the whole team.

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Reviewed October 21, 2013

It has been about a year since we last dined at Netherstowe and I think it was better than last time. The food was very enjoyable and the surroundings and atmosphere also very good. I would not disagree that Netherstowe is one of the better dining experiences around Lichfield.

I do have some constructive comments for the management. Netherstowe prides itself on service and is trying very hard to provide a high level of service, with nicely dressed waiters and waitresses with white gloves etc etc. But as hard as they try they do not quite make that higher level and here's why.

1. We had to wait ages to be asked if we would like a drink whilst in the lounge pre dinner.
2. We ordered a bottle of wine with our dinner and the waitress open and poured the wine without asking if we would like to try it first. She also poured red wine white wine glasses.
3. At no time did anyone come round to top up our glasses and see if we wanted any more.
4. When our food was served, they bought out 2 meals and then had to return to the kitchen for the other 2. All 4 should have been brought out together.
5. When they delivered the food they did not know which meal was for which person. This was very poor.
6. No one came to ask if everything was alright with the meal.
7. During our meal we wanted another bottle of wine, but as no one was paying us much attention we had to wait for a waitress to deliver some food to another table and call them over.

You might think these are small points and you would be right and they did not detract from our enjoyment of the evening, but if Netherstowe purports to offer top level service then they need to deliver.

This was clearly a training issue and one that the management must take responsibility for. This was another observation, there was no obvious Head Waiter and certainly no one making sure these little things were being carried out.

Having read previous reviews, clearly my observations are not unique. Also reading the responses it is clear that the manager only appears to pay "lip service" to any criticisms made and use the rest of their response to sing the praises of the hotel or restaurant. Perhaps he or she should pay more attention to the reviews and act upon them rather than trying to use it as a marketing opportunity which I am not really interested in.

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2  Thank CruisingBrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NetherstoweHouse, Manager at Netherstowe House Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2013

As an hotelier, and the person responsible for Netherstowe House, I am naturally very disappointed to see a review that does not reflect an entirely satisfactory visit. I sincerely apologise that your overall experience was marred by the incidents you described. Please rest assured that every day we work passionately on delivering exceptional service experiences and creating lasting and meaningful memories. Our team is unashamedly proud to embody a positive culture of constant self-assessment and improvement meaning we enjoy working hard to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today. We take all guest feedback very seriously and review in detail during our daily line-up meetings. I have personally highlighted your experience with the team and look forward to doing a better job for you next time.

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Reviewed October 13, 2013

Visited the hotel to experience the fine dining they have on offer.

The staff are very attentive, greeting us at our car with umbrellas as it was raining. The whole experience was very relaxing and the quality of the food was excellent.

Having dined at Purnells, one of Birminghams few Michelin restaurants I can honestly say the food was on par.

Stunning wine cellar and some excellent whisky to choose from.

Will certainly be visiting again.

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Thank SlLVER_FOX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NetherstoweHouse, Manager at Netherstowe House Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2013

Thank you for your excellent review. At Netherstowe House we always aim to give our guests a high quality experience that combines the best standards of traditional hotel keeping with the warmth and informality of the modern age. The whole team were absolutely delighted to read about your relaxing fine dining experience and very much look forward to nurturing our restaurant for you to continually enjoy in the future. We have one Fine Dining menu but three individual dining rooms, each with its own character and style as well as the bar and lounge areas. The beauty and intrigue of Netherstowe House has always drawn diners who are looking for something different but an experience that is almost timeless; a genuine step back into an age of sophistication, manners and elegance. Our wine list features over one hundred wines from thirteen countries as well as The Netherstowe House Private Collection. It is built on interest rather than ancient vintages at astronomic prices. Our house wines and champagnes are excellent quality and value. We very much look forward to your return visit and until then, best wishes from the whole team.

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Reviewed October 10, 2013

Very professional and attentive staff in very pleasant surroundings.Extensive wine list to suit all budgets.Starters and mains were very good and well presented,if the desserts had a little more of a surprise element and more invention then surely the whole enterprise would be deserving of a Michelin star.Great to have this quality food in the midlands.

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Thank watchmakermichael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NetherstoweHouse, Manager at Netherstowe House Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2013

Thank you for your excellent review. The restaurant is, and always will be, at the heart of Netherstowe House as our dedicated team is passionate about delivering refined technical service paired with caring, gracious hospitality, and soulful seasonal cooking. Head Chef and his Kitchen Brigade are focused on creating flavoursome, classic dishes with a modern twist, freshly produced on site using the finest seasonal ingredient and very much look forward to improving everyday and ultimately making your next dining experience at Netherstowe House even better than your last. We all very much look forward to seeing you again soon. Until then, best wishes from the whole team.

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