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“Mixed feelings” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tea Room at The Watermill

Tea Room at The Watermill
Ranked #8 of 18 Coffee & Tea in Penrith
Price range: US$0 - US$8
Cuisines: Cafe, British, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Seating, Takeout
Description: Welcome to The Watermill, where everything you eat or drink has been produced by organic or biodynamic farmers and growers. They are all very dedicated, growing and making everything with great care, and we think you’ll find it shows in the delicious taste and quality of our food.
Clitheroe
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2013

I had been looking forward to visiting this mill for a while after having bought the flour locally on many occasions. I had also seen that it was Cumbria Life tearoom of the year for 2012. My first impressions of the menu were that it was limited and pricey but having embarked on a walk and deciding that this would be my lunch stop I decided to go for it. I had the welsh rarebit with "special" salads but didn`t really find anything special about grated carrot and puy lentils. I did enjoy the expensive welsh rarebit though and decided to have a piece of lemon cake to follow but wished I hadn`t bothered as it was dry and I think stale as the icing fell off the cake. The staff were very pleasant and the place has a nice rustic feel to it, but if anything a little too rustic as there is a slight feeling of neglect to it, as if someone has taken their eye off the ball. I will just stick to buying the flour in future.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Tina668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    26
    24
    8
    9
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
229 reviews
149 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Nice location, worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

Well contrary to some previous reviews we think this place is delightful to the point we need to win the lottery to buy it as it is for sale. We had cakes, tea etc one Saturday morning and thought it was tasty and fairly priced. The big theme is obviously the mill & flour so the produce is heavily related to this and not standard boring cakes.
We don't mind paying a bit extra to support small local business. Nice to sit outside and watch the chickens etc

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 321KSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“All sizzle and no substance.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2013

I stopped in here for lunch today halfway through a long walk while visiting the local attractions, I was looking forward to visiting the mill tea room though having now sampled the quality of their baked goods I will be sure to pack a sandwich if I intend to follow the same walking route in the future. The quality of the fare on offer somewhat lacking and the prices they charge for the items on their limited menu far exceeds anything any sane person would want to pay for them. I did not try the cheese on toast though I can only imagine that it must be the greatest in the world given that they expect people to pay nearly £9 for it.

Two of us were ordering so we decided on earl gray tea for two and two slices of Victoria Sponge, the tea arrived in a large pot accompanied by two large lovely handmade pottery cups and saucers. The tea was a good strong high quality brew and I have no complaints as far as that was concerned though the cake they brought was something of a disaster, a slice of dry sponge with a lair of gritty butter cream through the middle. Having looked at their website the Victoria sponge illustrated is garnished with strawberries whipped cream, if jam and butter cream are not good enough for their website I would have to ask why the owners of this place seem think it would be good enough for their paying customers?

This place sells itself on its flour and if that cake is the best quality their baker can produce with their flour then I would suggest that they get rid of the baker or close down the mill because it really was poor quality. Homemade is all well and good when done by people with skill and an eye for quality though something being homemade is not a valid excuse for charging patisserie prices for substandard fare.

When we came to pay the bill we discovered that two cups of tea and 2 slices of dry sponge apparently costs £12.10, which is a price at the very upper edge of what you would expect to pay for tea and cake anywhere else in the locality with a quality of product little better than what you would expect to find in any downmarket cafe. Unless you are the sort of person who is happy to pay high prices for low quality food if there is a few buzz words attached then I would avoid this place without any doubt.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank tigerwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbria, England
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Interesting Place but Pricey !”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2013

We called off here on the way home from a few days away near Carlisle. I had been wanting to visit this mill for quite some time as I have purchased their products in supermarkets & top baker Dan Lepard recommends their flour.
It's a quaint, quirky place with chickens running around & working water wheels. I went in the shop/cafe as I wanted to buy flour for breadmaking. The small shop is well-stocked & the range of flours is excellent. Everything is organic/biodynamic and the wheat for the flour is English. As is usual with these places prices were on the high side. I bought a bag of flour, a bag of oatmeal & 2 scones.... total price £8 ! I was charged £4 for 2 (over-baked) scones to take away, which I think is excessive to say the least. I bought a delicious scone at an artisan bakery in Corbridge the day before for 85p & it was actually much nicer !
The kitchen/cafe area is open plan so you can actually watch bread being made & baked. When I visited on Sunday morning there were no other customers. The 3 female staff were all busy in the kitchen area. As the only customer in the shop it would have been nice to have been acknowledged & perhaps offered some info or advice on all the different flours. As a keen bread maker myself it would have been good to discuss the different flours, bread making techniques etc. I asked one member of staff if the flour I had chosen would make nice bread. She didn't really know, shrugged & just said "I think so" !
As it happens I made a loaf the next day using the flour I had bought (85% Wholewheat) & the result was a delicious, well-risen loaf ! So I can recommend the flour !.
This is a nice place to visit if you are in the area but things are pricey & I was a bit disappointed in the lack of interest/knowledge from the staff.
If you want great scones go to the artisan bakery in Corbridge !

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vick2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Reluctant criticism”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2013

I am reluctant to write anything negative in the face of such a number of glowing reviews, and expect to have my head bitten off, but our experience was not that great. Granted, we have only been once and it might have been an off morning. There were indeed good points - homely decor,organically grown produce, home milled flour, nice pottery, free range chickens - all things we admire and believe in. BUT it is important not to trade on these beliefs by producing expensive goods and services whose quality may not warrant the cost.

We visited on a Saturday morning, the only visitors at the time: this seemed to have the effect on the three staff of making them think we weren't there and couldn't hear them talking( loudly). The subject of their discussion was embarrassing from an employer's point of view and should never have been heard by a visitor. This suggests that the employers might consider paying more attention to their employees' wellbeing and also giving them better training on how to behave around the public.

We had a fruit scone and cup of coffee each. The coffee was okay, served in a capacious cafetiere and nice big cups. The scones were very dry and tasted too strongly of raising agent, an old mistake many of us made when first learning to bake with wholemeal flour, but not expected from professional cooks. With them came a small dish of very nice homemade jam (you were charged extra for this) and two little marbles of butter, one of mine slightly off.

Everyone should be given a second chance and it wasn't so awful we would never go again, but we wouldn't go out of our way. Luckily we don't live very near!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Venusjupiter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick J, Front Office Manager at Tea Room at The Watermill, responded to this review, 9 September 2013
We have taken on board what you said regarding your visit to our Tearoom in July and are naturally very sorry you felt everything wasn't up to our usual high standard - we hope you will enjoy your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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