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“Difficult to find anything positive to say”

The Hidden Tearoom and Bistro
Ranked #5 of 5 Coffee & Tea in Castleton
Restaurant details
Reviewed April 9, 2013

I always try to find at least one positive thing to say but I'm at a loss.

We visited this tea room here a few years ago when we were last in Castleton and it was really very nice. Unfortunately we made the mistake of returning on our last visit to the area and we found a tired run down establishment that was a shadow of its former self.

The owner greeted us with the question "Tea & Scones or light bites?" it seems that if you were having only tea and scones you had to sit on specific tables. We weren't sure what we wanted and a table was eventually located in the middle of the absolutely empty tea room.

Tea was fine but served in a cafetiere for reasons I can't fathom. Fruit cake was tasty enough but unfortunately we found that some of the cheese served was mouldy. In the course of our visit we saw the worrying attitude of the proprietor to another customer who arrived after us and didn't want an argument so we paid the absolutely exorbitant bill and left as quickly as we were able to.

In retrospect a quick look at Tripadvisor before we went would have saved us a deeply unpleasant and incredibly expensive experience.

Since returning and looking at other reviews I too have read last years food hygiene inspection report and feel rather fortunate that it is only our wallets that have suffered following our visit.

Never again.

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7  Thank Pete S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (224)
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192 - 196 of 224 reviews

Reviewed April 6, 2013

We visited the tearoom on a delightful spring day in the lovely village of Casleton.
What happened in the 30 minutes whilst we were in the tea room was very disturbing and upsetting. It felt like some nightmarish alternative reality which was very bizarre. I would urge everyone to avoid it at all costs.
Upon entering the clearly mentally disturbed manager asked if we wanted "scones" or "light bites" when I replied "scone" he quite aggressively asked what was wrong with his food and accused me of sneering at him. We assumed he was joking and laughed nervously. We were shown to our table the whole room smelt of stale socks with a damp feel to it.
We then looked at the menu, I asked if he accepted cards and was shouted at by the manager who's answer was no.
Against our better judgement and in the polite spirit that is quintessentially British we then attempted to order some food. They didn't have the scone I wanted to order so stated I would share with my companions. The owner look enraged and shouted at me because I didn't want a walnut scone. He shouted "what's wrong with you, why don't you like walnut?!"
When we received the food and drinks the tea taste very odd and the scones were very dry. I was also scolded by the manager for resting half a scone on a saucer after he stated "no, for god's sake that's why I put that plate in the middle".
We witness 2 other parties of unsuspecting tourists entering the cafe only to be insulted by the manager and leaving very quickly looking upset.
He followed one group down the stairs and we heard shouting wafting up the stairs. He returned 5 minutes later very red in the face. The tourist presumably were never seen again...
We quickly left all feeling quite unwell. We felt even more unwell after arriving home and reading the hygiene reports for the place.
It was quite expensive, but we didn't want to enrage the owner further because to be honest we were all quite scared of him and worried what would happen to us if we did not pay.
Overall quite a traumatic experience, it is a real shame because it is a lovely setting and could be a great place.
After leaving we all felt dirty, upset, unwell and quite amused that a man trying to run a business could be so outrageously rude to everyone he meets and charge so much for some stale scones and disgusting tea.

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12  Thank Bridge29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Sadly, I wish I'd read all the previous reviews before approaching this tea room. I concur with EVERY negative thing said about this place.

I will never return!

4  Thank Deborandum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Having had a lovely walk in Castleton I really fancied a lovely cup of tea. Unfortunately the Three Roofs Cafe where I would normally go was packed out, so were all the other cafes in Castleton. I decided to try the Hidden Tearoom because I had walked past it lots of times. Upon entering the room it smelt of unwashed clothes, it wasn't pleasant but since I was alone I decided to carry on up the stairs and just see what it was like. There was no-one apart from a large man, who was the owner. I asked for a cup of tea, his reply was, 'and a cake' I said no it's OK I only wanted a cake. He said 'I've cooked the scones fresh this morning'... I said, thank you but no. Then he started to say, 'we only serve drinks with cakes but by themselves'... since I was alone, I decided to have the scone with jam and cream. The tea was OK, although the teacup wasn't the cleanest I've seen. The score was clearly not cooked that morning and the cream smelt funny. Do not be fooled by the 'false advertising' on the main road about 'award winning scones'. They are certainly not that. When I came home, I decided to look on Trip Advisor - Oh how I'd looked BEFORE I'd parted with my money. PLUS, I urge you to read this:

http://www.ratemyplace.org.uk/inspections/the-hidden-tearoom-and-bistro-castleton


Never ever ever again. This place should be shut down!!!!

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9  Thank MiriamBen83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Easily the most disappointing and overpriced 'cream tea' we have eaten. Do not be persuaded by 'a local' recommending this as a 'hidden gem, best in Castleton'. Hidden it may be but that is all.

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3  Thank Ian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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