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“Rudest Tea Shop Owner Ever!”
Review of The Hidden Tearoom and Bistro - CLOSED

The Hidden Tearoom and Bistro
Restaurant details
Reviewed August 29, 2012

We asked for a cup of tea at this so called "Tea Room". Not, you would think, an unusal request. We were met with rudeness from the owner, Mike Clark, who wasn't prepared to make us tea unless we had something to eat too. He continued to be rude as we left the buildng. Later that day a lady at another tea shop told us there were often complaints about him and he had been known to throw crockery at his staff.

Don't waste your time with him. There are plenty of other places in the village where you will receive a courteous and friendly welcome.

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10  Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (226)
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215 - 219 of 226 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

The man running this place can be extremely friendly and the beef burgette I had was absoutely wonderful. Be warned though I think the owner might treat some people differently and may not want to serve them but he was very friendly to us and I think it you are nice to him you get good service in return.

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2  Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

This was the most bizarre tea room I've ever visited. The owner only let us have a cup of tea because we told him the cash machines were broken and we only had cash for tea and not food. he grumbled to his staff about having to monitor the situation as if others would come by and try to just get a cup of tea. We were frowned on, commented on to other diners and made to feel like thieves. They didn't bring enough cups for the amount of tea ordered so when we asked for another one were told we'd have to buy another drink! We had to argue just to get our original order. Then before we had finished our drinks the waiter was sent over with 25p in his hand saying the bill was £9.75 and he'd brought our change! Not only had we not asked for a bill but the cheeky waiter had been watching our table and seen we had a tenner set out!
The utter rudeness was beyond anything I'd seen. Whilst there the owner was rude to just about every diner. The prices were extortionate and the wait staff snotty.

We were genuinely confused to find out that he doesn't permit people to stop at his tea room for just a cup of tea. He will not serve you unless you have food as well. The only reason we got served was because we argued about there being no working cash machines in Castleton which was true.

The biggest problem with this is place is that it is ideally located and should be a nice place to have a cup of tea. Unknowing tourists are sucked in by its prime location and because they don't often look up tea rooms probably haven't seen this!

Surely they are operating illegally by not allowing people to have just a drink?

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13  Thank Gena L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

After a day's walking and a need for a drink, this was the first cafe we came across. We also found the owner extremely rude, demanding that we ordered food or left.We were offered scones and at over £3 each now realise why we were not offered a menu. One of us ordered coffee which arrived full of coffee dregs. When we pointed this out to the owner, he stated that, that was why she was given extra ! It was certainly an experience but not one to be repeated.

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6  Thank newlyretiredleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

If you like your afternoon tea served with a large slice of unwelcome and a pot of distaste to wash it down, look no further. Indeed, if you enjoy the concept of being insulted and made to feel uncomfortable, this could be the place for you! Perhaps, you are huge fans of Fawlty Towers and would like the experience at the standard price of a cream tea (which are allegedly tasty) then Dolly's "Hidden" Tea Room/Bistro in Castleton, Derbyshire is probably the place for you. Having spent a good half hour enjoying our coffee and the shade (on a very hot day), but being regularly appalled by the rudeness displayed to all and sundry that dared to approach the proprietor, I think it is in good order to warn any friendly folk of what awaits. Indeed a nearby local said to us as we left sharing smiles, "Did you enjoy Fawlty Towers?" mirroring our own opinion of just minutes before. To be honest, it would have been hard to overshadow a very pleasant day in a beautiful setting, but the proprietor came dangerously close to taking the edge off it. In the end, what goes around comes around - and I imagine that he is the loser in the long term. Any man that feels the need to boast to his customers "I sell a thousand scones a week" (that his poor wife allegedly bakes) is probably not just treading water, but trying to avoid drowning in his own incompetence.
The cafetierre had a damaged spout and the proprietor smoked within breathing distance of us and other customers.

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8  Thank Elvis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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