I recently took my grandparents to the Romney Restaurant for afternoon tea, to celebrate my grandmother's birthday. I had to give all our ages over the phone when I booked, as the restaurant is adults-only - fair enough, as it is part of the retirement community.
Unfortunately, we didn't receive a very nice welcome from one of the residents! The signage around the entrance to the Audley House complex is quite poor, with no visible signs for visitor parking - consequently, we ended up directly in front of the main house, where there are several bays all marked 'residents parking'. At least 7 or 8 of these were free and they didn't appear to be allocated to particular homes, so I pulled into one with the intention of getting my grandmother out of the car and into the building (she has hurt her back and cannot walk very far), then immediately moving it in search of visitor parking.
As soon as I'd opened my car door, I was shouted at by one of the residents who was unloading shopping from her car. I politely apologised and explained the situation, but she continued to verbally abuse us as we made our slow, shuffling way towards the main door. My grandmother got very upset, and unfortunately this almost ruined the experience before we even got in the door!
When we were seated, it was lovely - the house has been beautifully converted and furnished, and the lady on duty kindly sat us in the restaurant even though we'd only booked for the bistro. We were very well looked after, with plenty of coffee and tea, as well as fresh sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and cream. Only criticism is that the scones were cold and a bit hard (maybe kept in the fridge?) but still tasted great.
The views of the park from the restaurant are stunning, but it could have done with a little background music as there were only four of us in there so we were nervous of talking too loudly as it felt a bit like being in a library. Tops marks to all the staff as they were lovely and friendly.
When I went to move my car (less than 2 minute's later!), I was directed to the visitor car park, which was a few minutes' walk up an unveven, gravelled track, which my grandparents would never have been able to walk down - it seems odd that a restaurant catering for the over 50s has no parking within a few feet of the door!
All in all the restaurant and afternoon tea itself was great, but unfortunately soured by the rude reception. I totally understand that residents may have issues with diners using their spaces, but this is a problem the building management need to sort out as there is currently nowhere to drop 'less-mobile' visitors.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.