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“Could have been so much better - if they had tried”

Harriets Cafe and Tearooms
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Halesowen, England
Level Contributor
75 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Could have been so much better - if they had tried”
Reviewed 26 June 2011

My wife and I took my father and aunt for lunch here, on recommendation from a tourism leaflet. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the serving staff all looked smart in their uniform. It reminded me of Betty's tea rooms, partly because the prices were on a par with Betty's.

We ordered 2 home made vegetable soup, 1 egg/cress sandwich and pate with granary toast. To wash this down we ordered 2 pots of tea.

The good points first: the tea was excellent, no tea bags, real tea. My pate/toast was also very good. Then our problems started. My wife's soup was luke warm, so it went back to be heated to an acceptable temperature. She then tasted it, absolutely no seasoning, it also looked and tasted like cabbage broth - no substance to it, very green in colour, nothing like any vegetable soup we have ever tasted. The bread was two thick chunks of what could have been crusty bread. Unfortunately it was stale and almost inedible. My father's soup was similar, he left his bread, which was also stale, but ate his soup, with lots of salt. My aunt's sandiwch was two slices of bread and 4 slices of egg with a little cress on top. Difficult to eat, it could have been so much better presented, especially for the price paid.

We raised the issue of the soup, the waitress was apologetic and took it away, offering an alternative, this was declined. I then went to pay, I pointed out our experience and some apologetic noises came across, the one soup was removed from the bill. The manager had to come over to remove this item from the bill - he rushed in, ignored me totally, pressed keys on the till and departed as quickly as he came. This annoyed me more than everything else - it implied no customer service value ethic at all - if I had been manager I would have spoken to the customer to find out what was wrong - no, not even eye contact with me.

If a restaurant purports to embrace old-fashioned values then they have to do more than pay lip service to them, this is what we felt had happened - all the gear no idea.

Definitely not recommended, unless you want workhouse broth and stale bread - now I know what our ancestors felt like when they fell on hard times !!

Oh and the bill - £31 for 2 soups, one sandwich and pate with toast, accompanied by 2 pots of tea - outrageous given the service we received, still over priced if we had received good food and good service.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank hobbit8602
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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370 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Essex
Level Contributor
195 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“great place”
Reviewed 28 March 2011

Really enjoyed our lunch here. Yummy sandwiches and great scones with jam and clotted cream!!

Loved the piano player and the staff wearing traditional uniform - shame they weren't a little bit happier though

  • Visited March 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank LandDEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sudbury
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic service of yesteryear coupled with good value traditional food.”
Reviewed 6 February 2011

Harriets really have got it right. Service is snappy yet sophisticated and you'll not have to lift a finger. We were told the food was all home cooked and you can really taste the difference. We had fresh leaf tea and my wife the house coffee, all served the proper way. I would recommend this place to anyone wanting breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea although if you just want to meet for a coffee this place is equally welcoming.

  • Visited January 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank SudburyKiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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