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“How disappointing !”

Oast House Tea Rooms
Ranked #1 of 1 Coffee & Tea in Challock
Restaurant details
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“How disappointing !”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

I have driven past this tea room once before but last Sunday (May 5th) I decided to go in for a cup of tea with my mum, daughter and two young grandchildren. It seemed fairly busy but there were a couple of empty tables albeit not cleared of dirty cups etc. My mum sat at a table with the children whilst my daughter and I went in to order. We stood at the counter and a lady came out of the kitchen, took something out of the chiller cabinet, totally ignored us and went back in the kitchen. A moment later a young girl came out from the kitchen carrying a tray of drinks and also ignored us. Even though they were busy an acknowledgement would have been courteous. It took almost 7 minutes before anyone even spoke to us. We ordered tea for three and waited at our table. Whilst we were there the lady on the next table asked if her teapot could be topped up as she had drunk it but was still waiting for her toasted tea cake which had failed to appear.The older man serving her apologised and returned with a fresh pot of tea. Her tea cake followed a few minutes later and was burnt and I would have been embarrassed to serve it. I watched another customer clear his table and take his dirty dishes to the kitchen at the same time an old dog (a resident) wandered into the kitchen. Not good on a health and hygiene front. After a 25 minute wait, an extremely bored 18 month old grandson and no sign of our tea I decided to ask for my money back. I had to wait in line to do this too. Some ladies, who were just ordering tea and cake , were given their cake at the counter by the older man, who joked it might be six o'clock before they got their tea (it was currently 1.40 p.m). That was his joke, which I felt would have been funny had it not been quite truthful .The older man also said that it was a ridiculous situation and they should have more staff .When I asked if I could have my money back , the man was very apologetic and offered me a drink on the house . I explained that I didn't want a FREE drink but any drink. I took my money and left . With the right amount of staff I'm sure it could have been a different situation. The 2 ladies in the kitchen need to learn a few basic manners when dealing with the general public. A mere *Good afternoon, I'll be with you as soon as I can " would have sufficed but totally blanking your customers is not acceptable.The older gentleman on the other hand was charming and was doing his best even though (as the older lady in the kitchen put it) "We have help but not the sort of help we need " referring to the older man. I have written on Tripadvisor a few times but never in a negative way, as I'm usually a firm believer in "If you don't have anything good to say it's best to say nothing at all ", but felt that maybe an honest appraisal from a customer might get them to address their staffing issues.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Service
1 Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Poor service, felt very unwelcome”
Reviewed October 31, 2012 via mobile

Took a visit during the summer we settled outside the tea rooms, which looks pleasant but on closer inspection is shabby and run down, my mother wondered inside to see what they had on offer and was firstly ignored (they had no other customers) only as she walked out the door they called her back "can we help you" another two elderly ladies walked in at this time they choose to serve first. Anyway we decided ice cream would be a nice option on a rare hot day in the summer so my mother asked if they had any in which a voice from the kitchen "yes" (it seems just to get our custom) so we ordered, When it came it was very poor like cheap ice cream from supermarket, mainly ice. We ate it anyway as they had not a lot else on offer. During this time we took a look at our surroundings in which we noticed a bee nest in the roof of the tea rooms, obviously they were at this point all over the food and very off putting with the baby around we pointed it out to the tea room staff, they struggled it off as quite a novelty, and stated the bees come back every year...Not nice!! Anyway we ate and chatted, another couple came sat down and ordered before they got their scone the tea room owner seems to go for a walk around come back and saw the couple sitting still there with nothing... " ohh I forgot your order" hardly difficult with only 5 other customers!!! Very rude people. Anyway we paid and left dissapointed.

    • Value
2 Thank Wilkinson_mum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Love it here, Puff is a legend!”
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Often go here for post run coffee and cake. Lovely to sit outside in the sunshine with the chooks pecking around for crumbs and the boggle eyed goat eyeing your shoe laces.

Had a sunday lunch here once which was very entertaining!. Was a case of you "get what you are given" but it was all very fresh, wholesome food. They have a licence now so if you fancy a cider or local wine it's available.

It's one of those places that you are reticent to tell people about in case it gets too busy, so keep it to yourselves ;-)

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank lynne2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“nice afternoon out”
Reviewed February 18, 2012

small enough for older folks to walk around ,i enjoyed sharing my cake with the chickens.

Visited May 2011
1 Thank lesley1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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