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“Gobsmacked by other reviews”
Review of Heelis

Heelis
Ranked #19 of 51 things to do in Swindon
Attraction details
Cheltenham
Level Contributor
634 reviews
170 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
“Gobsmacked by other reviews”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

I am not sure what happened for others by we went and thoroughly enjoyed - 4 adults and 2 children 4. We popped in at start of day c11 and had a coffee and snack and popped back for lunch at c2pm.

Excellent service, nothing too much trouble and food good. We had a mixture - jacket potato, tuna melt baguette, nachos. All good. Flat white coffee very good.

Tip highly recommend flat white and nachos great value. Very helpful staff.

Could be improved - only 3 loos working and could be better at clearing away.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank MattyA32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Disappointing experience”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

A visit to swindon with a friend who isnt atuned to national trust tearooms, i thought it would be the benchmark and pride of all tearooms, Its 11.30am..the cafe wasnt what i had imagined,Asking about food to the staff, rather bland wrapped food, sandwiches and late breakfast was available the signs in the cafe say homemade food.. The cakes weren't home made but manufactured cakes! There was no NT atmosphere, we eventually determined we could have a sausage roll and eggs on toast..goodness me..have you actually tasted these products it reminded me of a greasyspoon of long ago or from a lorry cafe! The leather sofas were caked in crumbs, table sticky with coffee rims & food, we were served food no engagement a smile..just put down and walked away the cafe was quiet, no one queing or wanting to be served, this isnt what you expect from NT. plenty of staff around lumbering around chatting, not that this is the issue but look at the customers envionment, yet NT Prides itself on the tearooms and cafes elsewhere in the country and they really are what you expect that National Trust is renowned for. As for The HQ cafe has to be the very worst i have ever eaten in..im afraid i didnt convert my friend to NT tearooms....time to get out from under the desk upstairs look at cafe and not rest on laurels or brand NT...come and smell the coffee.!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Lynn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NTFood_Beverage, Head of Food & Beverage at Heelis, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Many thanks for your feedback, I'm really sorry to hear that your recent visit to Heelis Cafe was not as you'd expected and that you weren't able to give your friend a good first impression of National Trust catering.
I'll discuss your comments with the team at Heelis to make improvements where necessary. I'm particularly concerned about your feedback on cleanlines, efficiency and friendliness as this doesn't reflect our usual high standards.
I'd like to point out that our cakes are homemade each day on the premises as are our sandwiches, hot meals, soups and snacks. I'm sorry to hear that you found there to be no atmosphere either. Heelis has a very different look and feel to our historic properties, but we'd hope to provide food and service that sets the benchmark for our other cafes and tea rooms.
Thank you again for commenting.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wish I'd gone to Ed's!”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

As a NT member I like to support the Trust when I can. At the Designer Outlet, the choice is between Ed's Easy Diner and Heelis. I guess I had hoped that Heelis would be up to the standard of many of the cafes in NT properties. It wasn't bad, just wasn't as good as I've had elsewhere. NT managers, please go out and visit some of your properties and see how it's done properly. It's gone a little too corporate at Heelis and lacks the charm that cafes at properties have. Also I find the staff at properties have more pride in their work, at Heelis they didn't seem that bothered.

Sorry NT, could do better...

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank mhlz79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NTFood_Beverage, Head of Food & Beverage at Heelis, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Many thanks for your invaluable feedback and I'm very sorry to hear that your recent visit didn't meet your expectations of the National Trust. We're always looking for ways to improve and we have plans in place to do so at Heelis, although we will never be able to emulate in a modern building, the atmosphere in of our cafes and tearooms within our historic properties. Nevertheless, the food that is offered at Heelis and the warm welcome of our staff should set the standard, so we will discuss your comments with the team.
Thanks again for your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiltshire, UK
Level Contributor
71 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Disappointing very little selection and not great quality.”
Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

I went in with my children for lunch and a cake, the selection is poor the kids bags were paper bags which promptly spilt open. I had cheesy nacho which were greasy and not great. They had hardly any selection of cakes far less than any other nt cafe I've been to. The cafe it's self was full of staff having meetings which made it feel like a staff canteen rather than a nice cafe. Steams cafe or the coffee shops in the outlet are better.

Helpful?
Thank 01Ams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NTFood_Beverage, Head of Food & Beverage at Heelis, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Many thanks for your feedback and I'm really sorry to hear that your experience at Heelis Cafe was not up to scratch.

I'll discuss your comments on specific menu items with the team so that we can make improvements where necessary. The paper bags that were provided for children's food were a temporary solution - we created a great kid's lunch box with activities linked to our national 50 Things campaign. The box includes a packet of seeds so that children can take the box home, convert it into a tray and plant cress in it. This should be provided in the future and we hope that you'll return to enjoy a more positive experience.

Thanks again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bromsgrove
Level Contributor
226 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
“Oh Dear! This Was Awful”
Reviewed 20 February 2014

Whenever we have visited the Outlet Village, we have lunched at the adjacent National Trust cafe which is part of the head office complex and have always been very satisfied.

Today, however, our experience was quite different and we were served quite the worst food that we have ever had at a National Trust eaterie. Indeed the steak and ale pies werfe by far the worst we have ever tasted anywhere. They were served as small individual pies, tepid on the outside and cold and dry in the middle, with thick, very hard and largely inedible pastry and not a hint of ale. It was accompanied by a watery vegetable mash and red cabbage which was the best part and a splasg of gravy.

The coffee was OK but I had a lemonade served in a glass which was probably clean but you couldn't really tell as it was covered with scratches and a sort of misted surface and which should have been consigned to the recycling bin months ago.

Fortunately this isn't typical of the National Trust catering in its various properties but you would expect the head office to be setting an example and not serving up such rubbish. Of course we should have complained but the place was full and we were in a hurry so we let it go. I see the Outlet Village is expanding its catering facilities so perhaps a bit more competition will give the NT a wake up call.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank demoncodger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NTFood_Beverage, Head of Food & Beverage at Heelis, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Thank you for your feedback following your recent visit to Heelis Cafe. I'm really sorry to hear that your experience this time didn't reflect our usual standards that you've experienced on previous occasions.

I will discuss the points you've raised with the team at Heelis - specific feedback such as yours helps us to make improvements and to provide consistent quality and service.

I hope that your next visit is much more enjoyable.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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