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“Good afternoon tea, but beware parking issues and rude residents!”

The Romney Restaurant
Ranked #125 of 342 Restaurants in Maidstone
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: At the Romney Restaurant & Bistro, our chefs use locally sourced ingredients, freshly prepared and served with the attention to detail that you would expect when eating in such a sumptious setting.From the outset it has always been our intention to ensure that wherever possible, the Romney Restaurant & Bistro supports local producers and suppliers, farmers and market gardeners and we are proud to be members of Produced in Kent which helps support this invaluable community.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

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.

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9  Thank siriamis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick S, Public Relations Manager at The Romney Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review of Mote House in which you highlight many positive aspects of your visit – however I was concerned by the other comments which we have immediately acted upon.

You quite rightly state that Mote House is a Retirement Village for the 55+ age group and we aim our advertising accordingly however we are pleased to report that many customers are very mobile and so the walk from the public car park to Mote House is not a problem. The spaces at the front of Mote House are all allocated resident spaces for their personal use or for their guests/visitors. However we do recognise that mobility may sometimes be a problem and for future bookings we will have a drop off service where a member of staff will meet the party at the front of the House whilst the driver parks at the crossroads and offer assistance back to the House if required.

I apologise for the poor welcome you received along with your grandparents and would encourage you to contact me directly so that I can ensure you have the 5 star service that we aim to provide every visitor, on any future visits.

Yours sincerely

Chris Lally – General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (44)
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41 - 44 of 44 reviews

Reviewed November 30, 2013

We have now had two Sunday lunches at The Romney restaurant and Bistro in Mote House, which is situated in 420 acres of the beautiful Mote Park in Maidstone. Mote House is part of a retirement village within Mote Park and the restaurant, whilst servicing the needs of the residents of the retirement village is also open to the public. There are access and availability conditions, for example there is an informal dress code (fairly informal though) and residents are given priority on booking seating in the restaurant. We have never seen children in the restaurant or bistro so it may be best to check beforehand if you are planning a family meal. Advance booking is very advisable.

We had booked our most recent visit about two weeks in advance, but on the morning of the Sunday we were visiting the restaurant telephoned us to say that as the restaurant had been fully booked by residents of the retirement village, we would be seated in the Bistro. Being aware of residents being given priority we were not particularly bothered by this but I asked that as my wife had back problems whether a padded seat could be made available for her. I was pleasantly assured that this would not be a problem.

When we arrived our table for four had been set with two fully padded seats fort he two ladies in the party and were judged as extremely comfortable. Eating in the Bistro was every bit as good as eating in the restaurant as we had previously done. The set price menu offered three courses for £20.00, (lower for two courses) with about 4 choices for each course. The staff were attentive, extremely pleasant and very helpful.

The meal itself could not be faulted. Of course everyone has different likes, dislikes and standards but for us it was just perfect. Well done to all concerned.

We will certainly visit again and I have no hesitation in recommending this restaurant.

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1  Thank Vernon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

We ate at the Romney on a Sunday lunchtime and can't fault it - the set menu price was reasonable, the food very nice and the service - especially from Armand - was excellent. Two of us have a wheat allergy and although there was no wheat-free bread available they told us that if we were to book again we just needed to let them know a few days in advance so the chef could get some in. Nothing was too much trouble and the surroundings were very nice. It's in a manor house which has been converted into retirement flats, and I'm a bit jealous of the residents - wish I was old enough to move in!

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Thank suzied2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

This Restaurant is in Mote House located by the side of Mote Park Lake and has superb views from the dining rooms. We dined in the main restaurant in the evening ~ there is also a Bistro which is mainly open for lunches during the week.

The Romney restaurant is part of a major refurbishment of Mote House which has a number of superb (up-market) apartments. The general atmosphere, furniture and fittings are of the highest standard and help to make a very enjoyable dining experience.

The Staff are very helpful and attentive, without being intrusive, and there is a wide choice of dishes from the menu.

In all, a great experience and highly recommended ~ we are looking forward to our next visit!

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1  Thank RAY A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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