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“concrete floor, terrible terrible food, a trap for tourists and a whole world of lies. If you want euthanasia, eat here - cheape”
Review of Waterside Cafe

Waterside Cafe
Ranked #5 of 9 Coffee & Tea in Arundel
Price range: $4 - $16
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: We are a café on the river Arun, we think we have the best view in Arundel! We serve fresh cut bread for your sandwiches and everything is made to order. The cakes are all made on the premises along with the sausage rolls. We have indoor and outdoor seating along with clean toilets. We also provide a self drive motor boat hire service which allows you to drive to the black rabbit and back so you can view the castle from the river.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Visiting an old friend in arundel, and parking in the main car park. We were drawn here because we could see the river. Lots of signs, etc. On entering were frankly accosted by an elderly woman (apparently the owner) who immediately made us feel uncomfortable by asking us if we wanted to hire a boat. We glanced down the concrete at the tiny dangerous looking things (only accessible by many muddy steps) and said 'no thanks, we're just looking'. The woman then went on to say, 'we do great food here, my husbands a master chef.' This made my boyfriend (he owns 4 restaurants, been a chef for 20 years) curious 'what? He was on the TV show?' ...'no, it's an award chef's get, you have to be invited.' My other half grizzled and we looked at the menu and specials board. It was lunchtime and not very busy for a summer saturday. ' fresh local lobster' caught my eye, but amazingly as it did, a teenage waitress ran into what appeared to be a shed and ran back 2 minutes later with 2 vacuum packed, frozen mini-lobsters. You have to order food from a kiosk, and when we ordered our sandwiches (wasn't in the mood for microwave defrosted lobster) we saw the diploma framed on the counter. 'world guild of masterchefs'.my bf had never heard of this, and seeing as he employs several chefs, we studied it closer. There were three obvious spelling mistakes, as we took our numbered wooden spoon to a picnic table (dirty, the spoon and the table) we really considered walking out. After 25 minutes the sandwiches arrived. Not that fresh, cheap sliced loaf, margarine not butter, packet ham in one, and what was clearly 'cash and carry' egg mayo in the the other. The salad was brown. No dressing and a chipped plate. The table next to us sent back their meatballs for being 'off'. I've eaten all over the world and have never seen ANYWHERE that would try and get away with this kind of thing. That night my bf googled 'world guild of masterchefs' - it's a website. You pay money and get your certificate. Nice. There should be a law against this kind of misadvertising. Overall. Avoid, unless you're suicidal. I'm sure these guys make money off tourists in the summer, but they probably die a few hours later. Really really nasty.

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3  Thank christineclothauld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pinkgilly_8, Owner at Waterside Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2013

We are sorry that when you visited us we did not meet your expectations. We care deeply about the experience of our customers and regret that we did not have the opportunity of turning your experience around.
We were rather shocked by the harshness of your criticism and by the extreme language you have chosen to use to describe us and our business. We have reflected carefully on your comments to try to understand how we could have got it as wrong on the day for you as you have described. We are sorry that we made you feel uncomfortable when you arrived by asking if you wanted to hire a boat. As we are also a boat hire business (with a concrete floor - the premises date back to the 1900's and was predominantly a BOATYARD - with steps leading down to the river to access the boats which operate on a tidal, muddy river) we have many customers coming in to hire boats. We are usually able to work out if a customer is making a beeline for the boats or if they have come in for food and refreshments. Clearly we got this wrong in your case and this caused significant offence which appears to have set the tone for your experience of us and ruined your visit. We are genuinely sorry for this.
Whilst we are sorry that we did not meet your expectations, we do not recognise what you have described as in any way representative of the quality of the food or service that we provide. The feedback that we receive is overwhelmingly positive.
You mention that your visit was in the summer but it appears that your review was posted a long time later in November - it does seem that your perceptions 'matured' with time (for example the lady you described as 'elderly' is actually in her fifties!). Despite this we certainly do not dismiss any feedback we receive as we constantly look to improve our offering to our customers. We are passionate about our business and the service we offer and can only apologise again if we did not meet your expectations.

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156 - 160 of 161 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2012

We witnessed an incident here that was so upsetting we left. An elderly man in a wheelchair, pushed by his wife, arrived . Despite advertising accessibility ( and tbere is only an inaccessible portaloo as well) is a difficult narrow site bordering the river with a step running the length of the entire seating area cutting it in two. The couple stayed on the lower, riverside level which is narrow, choosing the first table near the entrance leaving room for others to pass. This was the only accessible table and it is much harder to squeeze past the other tables further along the row, where a wheelchair would have been impossible . The man sat at the outer side of the table but was asked to move as he was 'blocking access'. He wasnt. His wife moved him to the river side of the table and wedged himself in sideways against the railing so it was awkward to reach the table. When the waiter came he was asked to move again for the same reason and rightly objected. There was no way he was blocking access. The manager came out and told him to move and the couple were upset and annoyed. The manager lost her temper and shouted at them , yes, shouted at them, that if they were going to be rude they could leave. They did, very shocked and deeply upset, and so
did we. Unforgivable behaviour and during the last weekend of the Paralympics it brought home how far we have yet to go for attitudes to change. Shame on you, Waterside

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7  Thank victoria_sponge007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pinkgilly_8, Owner at Waterside Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2013

We very much regret that you left with such a negative and unfair perception of us and are sorry for the impact this incident had on your visit. We remember the incident very clearly and it is unfortunate that you did not hear the whole conversation that took place with the couple concerned as we believe that your interpretation of the events which you saw would have been very different.
The site is a pretty one and has a great view being immediately on the river. Since we are adjacent to the central town car park it is also a convenient place for people with reduced mobility to come for lunch or coffee and cake. We are therefore a popular destination for customers with reduced mobility and we are very conscious of our responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable environment for them and indeed all of our customers whilst they are with us.
As we are adjacent to a fast-flowing tidal river we have to work within particular health and safety constraints in the space immediately adjacent to the river where the incident took place. We fully accept that it can be frustrating for customers sometimes when they consider that they should be able to do something but which our health and safety risk assessment forbids. These situations arise rarely but we make a point of offering sincere apologies at the time and an explanation.
In your review you describe clearly the unsuitability of this part of our site for wheelchair users. This section is indeed a narrow walkway that has to be kept clear. Due to the very narrow space there was a trip risk for other customers (who may be carrying hot drinks or who may be elderly themselves) from protruding foot rests and wheels from a wheelchair. Health and safety rules and inspections are rightly onerous for a business adjacent to the river and we have to comply with them. Signs are displayed prominently to advise our customers that this walkway has to be kept clear.
Since the area of the site concerned is unsuitable for wheelchair users we have two other areas of our site on the upper level with lots of tables where we are comfortably and safely able to accommodate customers with wheelchairs. The customers involved chose a table that was on the lower, very narrow level immediately adjacent to a sign advising that the space had to be kept clear. We very politely advised the couple of this and offered to help them move. They refused our request to move and instead changed their position to one against the railings which made the obstruction of the walkway worse. When the manager came out to speak to them to explain the difficulty further they refused to move. They became aggressive and rude stating quite loudly we were not very wheelchair friendly. Such bullying was unwarranted as our concerns were solely for the safety of our customers.
The manager very much regrets her voice rising in frustration at this point particularly since this clearly contributed to your perception of what was taking place and your negative experience however she certainly did not shout at the customers! An offer of help to move was reiterated and when this was again refused the customers were told that they could not be served if they remained where they were.
Clearly the incident could have been handled better on both sides and we take our share of the responsibility for this. Please accept our apologies once again for your negative experience. We hope that you will visit again and get a true picture of us and commitment to our customers. On a final note, you raised the point about our only having a Portaloo. We agree that this is a problem. When we took over the business there were no loo facilities of any kind as the premises date back to the 1900's and there has never been any drainage on our side of the main road in Arundel. We brought in the Portaloo on the basis that this was better than nothing. This past winter has seen the build of the new Arundel Museum next door to us including public toilets allowing us to tap into their drainage and therefore providing new loo facilities (including facilities for our disabled customers) at The Waterside. Once the final drain connections are made we will happily be able to offer much nicer w.c. facilities for everyone.

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Reviewed August 24, 2012

Took my dad and family for a trip up the river, on our return we had booked a dinner with what i have to say was a superb meal beautifully cooked and presented. Service was very good and the owner on hand was very attentive, many thanks to them for something different definetly no problem recomending

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1  Thank chris/caz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Whether you want afternoon tea or something a bit more substantial this is a great place to visit. Sat right on the Arun river banks amidst the ruins of the old abbey and with the castle opposite what more can you ask for? There is a large PAD car park behind the bistro (regularly patrolled!). We live about 5 miles away and will always take guests new to the area to the castle and then the waterside. We have never had a disappointed guest yet. Be aware that the castle is seasonal.

1  Thank Malcolm S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2017
Google Translation

Thank Dagmar M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sharyn t, Owner at Waterside Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

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