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“Really disappointing service”
Review of Cafe Clarkes - CLOSED

Cafe Clarkes
Cuisines: Contemporary, British
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Popped in for a coffee and cake before a show, place was busy with probably about 3/4 tables occupied but the waiter showed us to table very promptly and left us....and we waited...and waited...

Which gave me an opportunity to look around - great spot really, light, bright and airy with a really nice feel to the place. Loved the cake display in the centre and all the food coming out looked well presented...

Meanwhile still waiting......

Table seated after us got prompt attention and coffee was served virtually straight way...so, grabbed the waitress and politely asked if we could have some service to which she looked really surprised and asked who had seated us and had we booked?! For coffee??

Waiter came over and provided us with menus and left us to peruse.....and we waited....and waited.... Eventually called head chap over and asked if we could possibly order? He put our order into his swish gadget with a smile - one latte, pie and the special of chocolate cake and a coffee. It arrived promptly.....minus the cake but with two spoons....waited and waited for cake and realised nothing extra was coming so had to get up again and ask head chappie for it.....it arrived swiftly after that.
Coffee very good as was cake and pie.
Went to pay and bill was incorrect - over charged. Didn't leave tip but left quietly with a shake of my head...they were either having a very, very bad day or generally badly run....what a shame as I would definitely have liked to return to try it one evening but can't abide bad service.

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2  Thank Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Runju, Manager at Cafe Clarkes, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Really glad you enjoyed the food as our team works very hard with all aspects of the restaurant. Disappointed to read your comments about the service.

If I remember correctly, you came in before a show and we were extremely busy at that time. The restaurant was was full, not just 3 or 4 tables.

When guests arrive, we normally greet them and confirm their details before sitting them down with menus. This is standard practice. If we haven't been able to attend to the guests straight away, they do usually wait for us, so that we can confirm booking details if required. Its common courtesy observed by 99.9% of guests.

You had arrived halfway through pre-theatre service, sat yourself at a table that was reserved for one of our wheelchair bound guests. Within moments you had ushered the waitress to complain that you had been ignored.

I came over to your table straightaway, and as a matter of procedure, I had asked if you had made a reservation. There are three basic reasons why we do this :-

1. Check against our guest list and ensure all reservations are accounted for
2. Check if you were going to the theater and if you have the theatre package
3. To ensure that we confirm any special requests, ie; table space, wheelchairs, highchairs etc

You don't need to have a booking but it's normal practice for us to check with guests if they have a reservation. But for some reason, you took offense. We have many people come in for just drinks but they at least inform us that they would like a table and not just demand to be served. Even if they don't inform us, they do have the courtesy to wait for a short while for us to get to their table.

Its really unfair of you to suggest we were not organised. We had just served 65 guests, 3 course meals inside an hour so they could enjoy the Theatre. Also, you have over played the delays a little bit, I know as I waited on your table. For some reason, none of my staff wanted to serve at your table.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (165)
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103 - 107 of 165 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2014

Based at the Key Theatre, I was not expecting much having eaten at several theatre restaurants. But this was wonderful. The best eggs benedict I have ever tasted, great service a really well informed waitress, great wine. Then the main course lamb two ways, a lovely rump and a lamb croquet flavoured with mint, the rump was perfectly cooked and well worth the price. There is a set menu which again given the reasonable price has a really good selection. We opted for the a la carte. The sweet selection is really good, the triple chocolate cheesecake looked great, but my poached ginger pear with ginger parfait was fantastic. The place was packed - and given you need to walk a distance from the town centre was a testament to the place.

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Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

The £15 3-course lunch is seriously good, flavour led, food. Portions might appear smallish but, x3, add up to a very satisfactory lunch. I've heard Lee (Clarke) boast that he can get (more than?) 50% butter into his mash and, I suspect, his disciples (nearly?) achieved that in my crushed potatos! Excellent service (2 foh, 3 in kitchen, coped well with c40 covers). Only negative that I can think of is that hard floors = noisy environment. Nice setting, especially if you get a window seat..

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Thank rennatian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We went at lunchtime and it was very quiet, but clearly the key time is around theatre show times. The food was excellent, the menu a good mix of snacks and full meals. The café space is clean, light and welcoming, with the added bonus of seats outside. Well worth a visit.

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Thank StamfordWoodsie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2014

Once again first class food. How can they get it so right when others fail.

They produced great food to a tight pre theatre agenda to wonderful quality .

The team run the Banyan Tree Indian and have an interest in Clarkes so I guess as a team they are focusing on food and service where others fail?


Well done guys!

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3  Thank Droopydrawrs52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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