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“terrible experience at Dolly's” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Hidden Tearoom and Bistro

The Hidden Tearoom and Bistro
Ranked #5 of 5 Coffee & Tea in Castleton
Cuisines: Cafe, British
Dining options: Drinks, Seating
Restaurant details
Dining options: Drinks, Seating
Loughborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“terrible experience at Dolly's”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

Unfortunately we visited this place last year because I searched for Dolly's on TA and it didn't come up! It has all been said in previous reviews but want to flag this in case others are searching for Dolly's. Must be one of worst experiences in the UK. It would help if tearoom name can be changed on TA.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank BigFella70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Westcliff-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“What a friendly welcome.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2013

I do not know who the other reviewers met. The owner gave us a warm welcome. He showed my young grandson the beautiful fair and treated us all very well indeed. The food was lovely.
Looking forward to our next visit.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank GibbsJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Settle, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Hidden for a reason - never go in”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2013

the owner seemed to make us go in even tho we were just reading the menu and looking in window. we went in, ordered pot of tea, seemed to be in cafetere and was rubbish loose leaf tea. i thought it would be a teabag in a teapot - my mistake !! I then ordered quiche with salad - salad wasnt very fresh as lettuce was going brown on edges. partner ordered hot beef bagette - thought it would of come with chips or soething, but it was a plate of gravy with hard bagette and bit of beef in middle. its called hidden tearoom for a reason and shouldnt even be open. The owner also made us feel like kids as he made us switch on the funfair thing. hideous !!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank boothiebabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Level Contributor
47 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Nice Jam - shame about...everything else”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2013

We visited the Hidden Tearoom after leaving Peak Cavern. It was the closest establishment to the front gate of the cave area...which is about the only thing going for it. We walked up the stairs thinking "this smells like an old ladies house". Having enjoyed "tea at Nan's" many times we weren't immediately put off. However when greeted by the gnome-like owner we were slightly less excited about what was coming. The opening gambit of Tea and Scones? was a bit peculiar, perhaps he was a mind-reader.

There was a fair bit more on the menu and some of it sounded quite nice but we opted for tea and scones, the kids chose cakes and soft drinks. He seemed quite pleased we had chosen his signature dish however one of my children asked for a flapjack and was told she should have the chocolate cake instead. She insisted on a flapjack and this was met with a grunt. Off he trotted to prepare our food and drink at which point a younger couple arrived at the top of the stairs.

Prop: Tea and Scones?
Couple: Coffee?
Prop: NO...FOOD ONLY!!

At which point he walked off leaving them looking a little bemused. I wish at this point we had followed them down the stairs and found one of the other much nicer places in Castleton.

So the owner comes back and brings us our drinks. The tea was served in a really old cafetiere with perhaps half a teaspoon of leaves in, it was little more than off-white water once fully "brewed" and milk added but we were lucky to have an extra - a few leaves had escaped the loose filter to add chunks to our tea. The pop was ok but not genuine Coke. The milkshake announced as "brown milk" was barely off-white as well and didn't taste chocolatey at all.

To be fair - the scones were good, the jam was exceptional. Not sure about the clotted cream, it was like no clotted cream I had ever had but it was passable. The chocolate cake and flapjacks were all decent. For this reason only I have given this two out of five rather than one.

Prices - best part of £30 - I think £12-14 would be more appropriate for what we had.

Ambience - dusty gloomy room, banknotes from all over the globe pinned to the beams, furniture was decrepit and the carpet was filthy. The saving grace was a range of model fairground rides which were running when we arrived. Shortly after...the owner switched them off.

Service, very gruff and abrupt to start with, he tried to engage in a little pleasantry when he came back but then ruined it as he told my daughter to put her phone away as he encouraged conversation...that said it was dead quite in there and you felt self conscious saying anything above a whisper. Especially after the coffee-loving couple had been seen off so brusquely.

So - If you want a "Basil Fawlty" experience this is pretty close, without a doubt the worst service I have ever experienced anywhere in the UK.

We won't go back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank daveyh9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
181 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Bucking the trend”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

Went in on a Sunday.
The owner was a little rushed to start with, but soon warmed up and became very friendly.
No issues with the food and the portions were big.
Not sure why our experiences differed so much to others as the chap even lit up the circus toys/displays for our kids.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Neal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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