I booked afternoon tea for a client and myself based on the recommendation of a local expat website. The gentleman who took the reservation by phone was lovely and I had high hopes that this would be a delightful respite before a late afternoon of shopping and strolling around Zurich.
I had expected a somewhat bustling tea room with a kind of "ladies who lunch" crowd. Instead, the uncomfortably warm room was empty except for two exceptionally loud and crude Germans who must have assumed that I spoke no German, as they spent the better part of a half hour disparaging the Swiss as arrogant, cheap and rude. How ironic. Sadly, I was seated directly next to this charm-free pair and decided to see if they would leave before my client arrived. Thankfully, they did. Oh, it took 15 minutes before someone came into the bar area to seat me.
Once seated, I explained to the waitress that I was waiting for someone who would be arriving in about 15 minutes. She came back 3 times in the following 10 minutes to ask if I was ready to order, each time I declined and explained that my friend was en route.
When my client arrived, the servers had evaporated and we waited nearly 20 minutes for another server to arrive and take our order. With no air conditioning, the steamy wait felt like an eternity, but fortunately, the tea tray arrived rather quickly. It was stocked with a visually appealing assortment of sweets and finger sandwiches. Sadly, while the finger sandwiches were fine, each of the baked items was either flavorless, starchy, dry or stale - the exception being a mini white-chocolate mousse. No one ever returned to freshen our tea and I had to get up from the table to find someone to give us the check. It was the most abysmal service I could have imagined [particularly for a 5 start hotel] - and I LIVE in Switzerland, so I know to keep my expectations low when it comes to customer service. Now, in fairness, when people did show up, they were very sweet and offered warm smiles - which really means a lot to a customer. It is because of those smiles that I am giving the "average" rating and not something lower.
I had hoped that the Eden au Lac afternoon tea would became a personal oasis on my trips to Zurich. I'm going to have to keep looking.
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- Also Known As:
- Eden Au Lac Hotel
- Eden Au Lac zürich