If we're in Montgomery we always eat at the Castle Kitchen and I have reviewed it previously but following two recent visits my views have changed slightly.
Firstly, a fortnight or so ago we phoned to enquire what specials were on (quiches etc) as we had an hour drive ahead us to reach the cafe. It was a Bank Holiday and so when arrived to find the cafe busy we weren't surprised. We asked how long it would be for a table, happy to walk around the town and castle first, but were advised we could not book/reserve a table for our return....strange considering a) we'd called in advance and b) we've seen tables reserved previously. We were also told that they may have 'ran out of food' by the time we came back and they hadn't got enough out, I'm sorry, but a bank holiday is usually a busy time and to have nearly sold out of food by 12:30/12:45 is poor show.
Our second visit was much quieter and we happily got a table, notably next to two reserved tables (obviously it depends on who you are whether or you not this is an option). On this occasion there were again one or two things letting the side down.
1) The board displaying cakes available wasn't current despite being written in chalk.
2) They informed someone they had no egg mayonnaise sandwiches available despite having a huge tray of eggs clearly visible on the kitchen side (poor preparation?)
3) The soup of the day was mushroom, horseradish and thyme, and so I enquired if the horseradish was a prominent flavour. The waitress indicated it was subtle and unfortunately it wasn't. We both felt the soup had an overpowering flavour of horseradish, so much so I left half of my portion, something which the server could have avoided.
4) The scones are amazing! Totally delicious and served with clotted cream - yay # but on the downside they are served with a tiny pot of jam which barely covers the surface of half the scone, such a shame and easily rectified.
5) It's been noted previously by other trip advisor reviewers and I have to say depending on their mood the staff can give off a funny atmosphere at times, one waitress made a comment regarding the door being left open in a very sarcastic manner and it doesn't give the cafe a nice welcoming feeling. The door sticks, if you want it to close easily, get it fixed or don't audibly moan about the odd occasion you have to pop and push it to.
Finally I would like to say that the food on offer is fantastic, the cakes are beautiful, never disappointment, the quiches are always fresh and the flavours (bar the soup above) as usually bang on. However sometimes it feels as if the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing and staff are continually in lengthy conversations amongst themselves or with regulars hence the delay in service and apparent discrepancies in what food is available. Such a shame that service alone is making us think whether the food is good enough to warrant the drive... A lovely venue with quality food is becoming unwelcoming and it is beyond a shame.
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