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“It's all in the detail !”
Review of #4

Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $3 - $10
Cuisines: Cafe, British, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Owned by the same family for 30 years - only using local suppliers from within a 5 mile radius including bakers, milkmen, butchers and fishmongers. Even the coffee beans are roasted and blended by a local supplier.Producing traditional home-cooked British fayre including Fish & Chips, Stew & Mash, Burgers, Grilled Meats, Salads, Soups, Toasted Sandwiches, a multitude of Breakfast dishes, plus a selection of Daily Specials.Facilities include high-chairs and a changing station for babies, central heating, newspapers, music, and free Wi-Fi for customers. We are also dog friendly and overtly welcoming to the biking community.Our aim is to provide a relaxing and homely environment for customers, delivering good old-fashioned home cooking at an affordable price but with a passion.We also sell fantastic coffee and great wines - just ask the customers who have been returning to us for each of the 30 years we've been in business.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“It's all in the detail !”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

Started by ordering 2 breakfasts, The server asked what drinks we would like, I ordered 1 fruit juice and 1 cup of tea and then paid.
While we waited we noticed that there was free wifi (nice touch) and the wifi code was on the blackboard, We both tried the code and got the same message 'Unable to join network'. We asked the guy behind the counter who advised us that it was working just fine and we must have entered the code wrong, he was quite abrupt in his response which was rather rude.
Then our breakfasts arrived but my wife still hadn't received her cup of tea, we pointed this out to the gentleman and instead of just sorting the issue he spent a few minutes going through his hand written order and the till receipt to tell me I hadn't paid for a tea, now instead of just getting me a cup of tea and sorting the money out later I had to leave my breakfast and return to the counter to pay for the tea, I then sat back down expecting him to bring the tea over this was his mistake to begin with, but NO, he place the tea on the counter and made me return for it again.

Shocking service ! Will I return ? No.

Its a bit further to walk but I'll be returning to 'Lazy Daisy's' in Windermere where the staff are friendly and helpful.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank PappaCanoos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
number4bowness, Owner at #4, responded to this review, November 19, 2013
It’s All In Your Mind !!!
The fact is sir, you epitomise why so many hard-working owners and managers of the hospitality sector despise this very website on which you have chosen to slate us. Whilst you may well claim this to be your prerogative, in return it is my right to reply – and in doing so I will voice the frustrations of many an establishment that actually (and please keep this to yourself............. but actually would prefer certain people NOT to visit their premises).
So let us return to the day in question ......... Sunday.
Now before I carry on it is worth saying that the beauty about things like cashier tills is that they can be great tools. They can show what I was doing at any particular moment in time (how busy we were, how quickly people were being served, what people had ordered and paid for) and furthermore, when there is a room full of people it also means that there were witnesses to what in fact could be deemed as ‘the REAL series of events.’
With great relish and strength of conviction I will now outline Sunday’s events from the perspective of an owner – me! And I shall enlighten you to the fact that your ‘visit’ to our cafe was openly discussed the very minute you vacated the premises. Not by me (I did mine later). But by some of the regular customers that were in the cafe at the time, who remarked on how distasteful they found your overall behaviour – both in general but also in your attitude towards me. I think that in itself says enough. However, what I will do for you is now itemise the series of events.
On entering the building you sat on the table next to some friends of yours, who had already placed their orders and paid for the food and drink.
It is worth noting to the general public who will be reading this reply that we are a Counter-Service cafe where you place your order and pay at the counter. Exactly the same as the likes of a Costa! It is written very clearly on all the menus and when appropriate customers are highlighted of this fact on entering the cafe.
So, in you walk. But you fail to mention that in fact it isn’t just two of you, because you also have two small children. Your wife then walks to the back of the cafe and at great annoyance to everyone eating, the highchair is dragged, screeching every inch of the way along the floor until arriving at your chosen table. Any decent individual would have simply PICKED IT UP and carried it the short distance – but no, it had to be done in such a fashion that the noise was ear-splittingly uncomfortable to everybody else in the room.
After a while you then come to the counter and place you order .................. but not just for 2 breakfasts, 1 fruit juice and 1 tea as you have suggested. For some reason you have a problem recollecting events as they occurred, including the fact that were indeed a party of four! Once again, our till can itemise the items you ordered, including the scrambled egg and sausage you ordered for the children plus their drinks. So that immediately proves your facts are TOTALLY incorrect.
So ................ you are at the till placing your order. Now we have a process, one which I follow diligently. Each order is written down on a ticket and then I recite back to the customer what they have ordered as I input their order into the till. This allows me to ensure that I have got it correct (what the customer has ordered), but at the same time it allows the customer to inform me if I have got anything wrong. Very simple.
The only thing is, you were too busy playing around with your phone and obviously paid zero attention. To the point that (having now paid at this point) you have sat down with your own drink, and with drinks for the kids........................ BUT WITHOUT A DRINK FOR YOUR WIFE !! Nice one.
So let’s call it an oversight, but everyone now has a drink except your wife. Now of course that it going to make it MY fault. Obviously.
Whilst I am next stood at the counter your wife then shouts out across the cafe ......... ‘Yur wi-fi don’t work.’ Totally out of the blue. No warning. No comment before. No ............ ‘excuse me please,’ just a bark of ‘Yur wi-fi don’t work.’ To which you also then joined in with a ‘Yeah, yur wi-fi don’t work.’
Forgive me. But I was brought up to use please and thank you’s. And NOT to (and I will use the word) BARK across the room at someone. Perhaps you inability to join the wi-fi network was what had led you to be distracted at the counter when you failed to order a tea for your wife. Could this possible be true??????
This more than anything is what other people in the cafe took most offence to – your shouting across the cafe in such a derogatory, rude and offensive manner. Once again - I don’t need to disprove my claim simply because there was a room full of individuals that will bear witness to this fact.
However, it provided many hours of entertainment that night as every establishment myself and some friends visited that evening was met with a chorus of ‘Yur wi-fi don’t work!’ On explaining ourselves to the respective hotelier they too joined in our chant, providing us with great enjoyment – and all thanks to your good self.
Sadly for you though, the wi-fi had been working all along. If you didn’t like the manner in which I replied then it is quite simple - take a good look at yourself in terms of how you asked. Not only were you exceptionally rude sir, but you are now proving yourself to be highly hypocritical in your accusation that I was the one with no manners. Perhaps if you had started with a slightly more polite attitude you would have been given a more engaging reply.
However, in case the satellite governing our internet connection had fallen to earth since the departure of a friend of mine some 5 minutes earlier, I decided to check it for sure. So I popped into the kitchen and picked up my own mobile and immediately logged on to the signal. I then took the phone to your table to show you that the signal was working perfectly well. Any hint of ‘sorry – we must have got it wrong.’ No, or course not. But at some point you obviously did manage to log on to the network as you then spent some time indulged in your phones. Do you think it was possible that you had initially input the password incorrectly.
Then............... your wife eventually comes to realise that the doesn’t have a cup of tea (now remember folks that this of course if my fault). So she comes marching up to the counter to tell me I haven’t given her the tea that you had ordered. Now I’m really sorry if you have a problem with this – but if a customer tells me that I have failed to give them something I do like to check. A task which takes SECONDS (not the minutes that you imply). I am obviously stood at the counter at this point (behind the till), so all I had to do was open the cover of the till and check the till roll. Probably takes about as long as it has taken me to write that last sentence. So once again your facts are totally incorrect.
I therefore relay to you the fact that neither had you ordered tea, and in doing so you would not have paid for it either. Sorry – did you expect me to give it to you for free???? And it had taken you all of 5-10 minutes to even realise your wife was without a drink. And how far was your table from the counter............. ooh let’s say 2m maximum. So all you had to do was stretch out your hand to pass the money to your wife ............ but no you depict this scene of having to leave your breakfast and walk over hot coals in order to get back to the counter.
Furthermore you fail to notice that there are people waiting behind you wishing to get served (once again proven by the times on the cashier till print out). If you go to Costa and mess up on the order that you give the staff, you then have to return to the back of the queue, wait your turn, and then place your order and pay for what YOU mistakenly failed to do in the first place. For your information we use the same system. But you already knew that. You simply want to paint your mistakes as somebody else’s errors, but in the case you’ve picked on the wrong person!
At the dis-belief of those customers around you, you then depart with a total disregard of the mess which you have left behind. I think there was more food on the floor than what you could have eaten – which Ok I will accept as my job to clear up. But as a parent that has just used someone’s facility such as a high chair – which somebody elses child is then going to use, I would make an effort to return it to a state that resembled a state of decency.
My Mrs has owned that cafe for 30 years. We benefit from loyal, beautiful customers who honour us with their presence every time they come to Bowness. And yes we do have customers that have remained with us for each of those 30 years. So in our eyes we must be doing something right.
We also benefit from the tens of thousands of people that have visited the cafe over the years who have simply passed through. But each and every one is treated with friendship, compassion, care and respect. We work exceptionally hard, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and we try to look after all our customers with enthusiasm and dedication.
It is fair to say though that our environment will not be found suitable by everyone – and I will explain why.
Call me old-fashioned but I am a great believer in things such as manners, discipline, standards, courtesy, etc., and I try to ensure that the cafe reflects such a culture. The cafe is a place where like-minded people find it a haven for decent home-cooked food where the owners attempt to create an environment where people talk to each other, they sit for hours reading the free newspapers that we provide, or chill out listening to the music which we pay a small fortune for in terms of licenses, even log on to the free wi-fi (that’s if it’s working of course, cue chorus of ‘Yur wi-fi’s not working’). We try to get to know all our customers so that they feel the cafe is a place where they will always receive a warm welcome and we have parents who know that they can bring the infants along and the kids can play, shout, scream and generally have a good time.
But these are all conditions which myself and my partner have set. This is our home as we spend more time here than anywhere else. And we expect people to respect this fact. I wouldn’t walk into your house and mess the place up. I wouldn’t allow my children to jump all over your leather sofa’s with dirty shoe’s on.
Quite simply – we set the rules. We set the parameters of what behaviours is and is not acceptable. I have removed from the building people who have either been rude to staff, have made racist comments, wanted to use the cafe as a picnic area, or have thought it appropriate to just use the place as a public toilet.
Well I am sorry to break some people’s myth that ‘all customers are equal’ because they’re not. And in my little world which I control, then I take some comfort in knowing that for the benefit of both the customers whose company we cherish, plus my own sanity, there are some people I would rather didn’t visit our cafe.
So it is with relief and pleasure to learn that you will not be returning to our cafe - because our business is better for the loss.
Thank you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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341 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Friendly and yummy”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

Had a wonderful cream tea here, delicious scones. Also had a sandwich to take away which was also delicious, generously filled on tasty bread and with yummy pickle. Nice atmosphere inside and owners very friendly :)

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seaham, United Kingdom
1 review
“Homemade food at it's best”
Reviewed November 1, 2013 via mobile

So much choice for food stops in Bowness. We're really glad we stopped here. The food was absolutely fantastic...

Thank Jelly_Turtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Quality food at great prices :)”
Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

Our first time in Bowness on Windermere so we had no clue about places to eat/drink, stumbled on #4 whilst walking round waiting for a lake cruise and popped in for a hot drink. Nice atmosphere and not too expensive. Food menu looked lovely so we decided to come back after our cruise for lunch.

Upon our return, the place was packed! We were disappointed but decided to wait as we wanted to try the food. When we eventually got in, my fiancé ordered a steak and blue cheese sandwich with chips, and I ordered the grilled chicken. He loved his sandwich, saying there was no fat at all on the steak and the homecooked chips were really tasty. I absolutely loved the chicken, so simple yet beautifully cooked and absolutely delicious. We had to wait around 20 minutes for our food but it was worth the wait!

I would recommend this cafe to anyone. It seems to have been recently refurbished and has a great atmosphere, with a polite and friendly lady (blonde) behind the till.

My only recommendation would be to utilise the upstairs space better to fit more tables in as at the moment it doesn't seem to have been refurbished and does not seem to be in use.

If we ever visit Bowness on Windermere again, we will be sure to come back to #4!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CLW1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Not worth the long wait”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We stopped off here for breakfast one morning as I’d been before and it was nice. This time I had a somewhat different experience. I had to queue for around 15 mins just to get served at the counter even though there were only 2 people in front of me. The guy behind the counter was very pleasant but informed me it would be a 20-25 min wait for 2 breakfasts which I was a little surprised about as the café wasn’t very busy. Well we waited and waited and waited (meanwhile others were complaining). In the end we asked how much longer only to be told our order had already gone out of the kitchen but had been given to someone else! So we had to wait a bit longer. When it finally arrived they had obviously rushed cooking it as it was so undercooked I couldn’t eat it. Needless to say we won’t be returning.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank Summer728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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