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“Great soft play but don't break the rules!”
Review of Pirates and Princesses - CLOSED

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Pirates and Princesses
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Reviewed October 7, 2011

Today, I went to Ollie's for the second time with my baby and two friends with babies the same age (first time visitors).

I really like the soft play here as it is clean and well looked maintained. Unfortunately an experience with one of the members of staff really spoilt our visit and leaves us reluctant to go again.

As our babies were getting hungry, we sat down in the cafe area to give them a snack - a few raisins and baby biscuits etc. Completely unaware of the no outside food policy at this time (the signs are not especially obvious) but we had all purchased drinks and intended to stay on and buy lunch.

A staff member approached one of my friends and lectured her in a protracted and completely unnecessary way about our food. My friend apologised immediately and explained that we were unaware of this but the staff member continued to go on at her, even saying that the future of Ollie's depended on this rule.

Fair enough to enforce the policy but it was so over the top that my friend was actually in tears by the end of it.

We left as soon as we could and will not return. Ironic that the future of Ollie's depends on this rule and yet this has lost three paying customers who would've purchased six lunches and were intending to meet there on a weekly basis!

11  Thank 141Brooksie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerPoole, Owner at Pirates and Princesses, responded to this reviewResponded October 13, 2011

Thank you very much for your feedback. I was extremely disappointed and surprised to read your comments.
Our cafe does play a vital part in the viability of our small family business and so we do have notices asking customers to refrain from eating their own food in our premises.
We have a clear and well established process for dealing with this issue. Initially, if a customer is simply not aware of this policy we would politely ask that they do not bring their own food the next time they visit. Depending on the circumstances, we would normally request that the adults put their food away but we would never stop children from eating their picnics.
Therefore, I am very concerned that your posting refers to a 'lecture' and your friend being 'in tears'. In these circumstances I would have expected the situation to be referred immediately to the Duty Manager and myself or my partner, Alison. However, we were not made aware of this incident at the time. Therefore, in view of the nature of your comments I have instigated an immediate internal investigation.
I am sorry you were so disappointed with your visit but thank you again for taking the time to provide your thoughts.
Mark Painter

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (56)
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55 - 56 of 56 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2011

I have been going to Ollie's regularly over the last 2-3 years (Once/Twice a month), with my two youngest children - who are now 10 & 6.
We recently went into Ollie's after a shopping trip & were hoping to get some lunch while the youngest played.
On this occasion our 10 year old daughter did not want to play (Understandable for a 10 year old - as the equipment is really for younger children anyway).
When we said she didn't want to play we were asked how old she was (10) and then she was asked to stand by a measuring board on the wall - she was 1" below the marked height on the wall!
We were then told that because she was 'within the age/height range' we would HAVE to pay the full 'playing' price for her to gain entry - That's £5.75 - just to get in & have some lunch!
We were quite willing to pay the 'adult' entry rate of 50p to gain her entry - as she was NOT going to be playing!

We spoke with the 'manager/owner' - Alison who was very very adamant that there was no way that she could allow any exceptions to their 'policy' - despite the fact that my daughter was just 1" below the height & 6 months too young & DID NOT want to play!
This policy is outlined on their website:

"Please note:
As a small family business we have to rigidly enforce our stated entry fees for children and so our Crew are strictly forbidden from allowing free entry. Therefore, please note that in order to gain access to our play area and facilities, every child aged 11 and under will be required to pay an entry fee, including siblings of children attending an Ollie’s party."

This seems like a very greedy policy - it is put in place so that they can take £5.75 for EVERY child under 11 who enters the premises - how about a little discretion?
Most people would be happy to pay an entry fee for a child that does not want to play - i.e the adult 50p rate.

How would this work if you were bringing in a child who was physically unable to use the equipment, but fell within the age range - I.e a child with a broken leg/in a wheelchair - that would be discrimination!

I am so disappointed in Ollie's because in other ways the place is great, such a shame that they are so greedy & they have now lost a regular customer.

1  Thank eway21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerPoole, Owner at Pirates and Princesses, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide this feedback. As advised by my Partner, Alison, I can confirm:

- Every child aged 11 and under, and who is within the maximum height set by our safety advisers, will be charged an entry fee to gain access to Ollie's.
- Children aged over 11, or who are above the maximum safety height, can enter Ollie's free of charge, but are unable to use our play equipment.
- Children must be supervised at all times by a responsible person aged 16 or above. A 50p entry fee applies to all person aged 16 or over.
- Children with a disability who are unable to enjoy all parts of our play equipment may be eligible for a reduced entry fee at the discretion of our Duty Manager.

I hope this clarifies the situation and thank you again for your feedback.
Mark Painter

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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