My sister and I took our mum out for a late mothers day afternoon tea on a Friday afternoon. We didn’t tell her where we were going, so when we arrived in the Dominions Arcade she was rather confused. I was surprised to find a hotel in the arcade, I haven’t been there for a while. We took the lift to the top floor for Marco Pierre White Steak House, she still had no idea where we were going.
When we arrived my sister went to the greeter. For some reason they didn’t have our booking. My sister showed her email confirmation and that she had prearranged her dietary requirements. We stood for a few minutes while the lady looked confused, we were then shown to a table in the restaurant area. The table was nicely presented and the restaurant was busy. We sat down, but it felt awkward as we didn’t really know what was going on. A lady came to give us a menu and my sister said we had booked afternoon tea. The lady looked puzzled and went away. The greeter then came to say that we hadn’t said we were here for afternoon tea, even though that was on the booking email.
We were then worrying they weren’t prepared for us and hadn’t made cakes etc. When the waitress came back,she said the chef had the email booking so it was ok. Odd?? She asked us if we wanted tea or coffee and that she would take the drinks to our table in the bar area. We had to wait at the table as our table wasn’t ready yet.
We waited about ten minutes before being show to our table. It felt a bit embarrassing walking through all the diners eating their lunch. When we arrived at our table, we went to pour our tea and then noticed there were no teaspoons for mum’s sugar. A lady did bring them out and said they were hot out of the dishwasher.
The food was delivered shortly after. The waitress just left the two stands and did not explain what anything was. We also weren’t sure if my sisters dietary requirement had been arranged.
When we started to eat the sandwiches we noticed we had no plates. I was starving so I had to start and eat something, then try to catch the attention of a member of staff. There was no one around. After five minutes I had to go up to the front desk and stand there like a lemon while a lady was on the phone and the other lady was looking at her computer. There was a big queue of people who had just walked in. I had to try and say ‘ can we have plates please?’ before they served the new customers. The plates came about five minutes later.
The steak sandwiches were full of gristle and we all had to spit it out. I didn’t expect to be doing that in a ‘posh’ restaurant.
When we started our scones we noticed we have no knives! I was thinking this is getting frustrating now, I can’t go up again, but yes, I had to go up to the front desk to say we don’t have any knives.
When the knives arrived I cut into my scone, on my dirty gristle plate. The scones were large. There were three people, yet they only gave us two Tiptree jam’s. This was not enough because the scones were big. My sister asked the waitress for some more jam and it never arrived. We gave up.
By this point I wasn’t really bothered about eating the cakes. I ate one which was a cheesecake.
My sister asked for the bill and we waited ten minutes and it didn’t arrive. Then we went to the front desk, yet again. My sister was going to pay for all three of us, so we could arrange the bill after. The afternoon tea is £19.95 per person. When she was about to put the pin in the machine she realised the bill was higher than it should be. When she queried this they then stated there was a service charge. I think our mouths must have dropped as the lady said ‘would you like me to remove it?’, which my sister replied ‘YES!’
The toilets were a bit of a trek away from the restaurant. Mum definitely would have got lost if she went on her own!
My sister and I were so disappointed and even my mum started getting annoyed- which was not what we wanted for a mothers day treat!
The venue decor was decent, but the food was not up to scratch and the service was so bad I would not be returning. If it was a brand new restaurant then I could understand teething problems, but its been open long enough to be running smoothly.
I wonder what Marco Pierre White would think of this review? Sorry Marco.