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“Afternoon Tea”

Crooked Barn Restaurant
Ranked #56 of 182 Restaurants in Lowestoft
Price range: US$116 - US$116
Cuisines: British
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed 12 July 2014

A beautiful venue but unfortunately the afternoon tea left a lot to be desired. I have had many afternoon teas which have all been beautifully presented at other places but this particular tea was more like a Sunday School outing. Crusts were not removed from sandwiches and the scones were huge. I understood that afternoon tea should be bite size pieces! Also no teapot on the table for people to serve themselves. I suggest a look at Mary Berry's programme this week on TV would give some idea of how things should be done! A big disappointment when my friends and I were looking forward to it so much!

    • Service
4  Thank Eileen806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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143 - 147 of 181 reviews

Reviewed 13 June 2014

My friend and I attended the Italian evening, the first of its kind.
We arrived into the bar area and were given a glass of wine (white or red) top ups were free flowing and the staff very attentive and fun.
When it was time to be seated we were shown through to our table, the event was set up as tables of ten so whilst you were with the person you came with, you were also sat with people you didn't know. This was actually very refreshing and a fun way to eat.
More wine was poured and then it got real.....
There was a speaker, to talk about the wine. Very nice chap, well informed and funny. He spoke until our first course arrived.
Crab ravioli. Beautifully presented, with a very nice bisque. Unfortunately this was the first thing we had been given to eat, and most of us were already three glasses of wine in.
The portion was very small, and the food was over within a minute or so. The wine, however, was flowing.
The second course was a lasagne. Again, beautifully presented and delicious, but a tiny portion again. By this point I had begun to worry. I was very very hungry and becoming the wrong side of drunk. Its natural that when you are in the company of strangers, you keep busy, and the only thing to do was to sip wine!
Two more glasses of wine arrived, which I declined, I had two glasses on the go already!
Then more chat from the wine speaker, which by this point had become tiresome. My friend and I were starving and half cut, we didn't want to be told to be quiet and listen to more wine talk! We were not the only ones, the room was decidedly more animated and more difficult to settle for the speaker, but on he went!
The main course came out, gorgeous looking, again, ridiculous portioning. The meat was perfectly cooked, a deconstructed saltimbocca, though I didn't detect any sage. The infuriating thing was it was served with two tiny pieces of potato. Vegetables were plentiful and served in bowls for the table, so there was much passing back and forth.
After the plates were cleared we waited for dessert.
More wine, dessert wine this time, very nice...
My friend and I had become accidentally steaming drunk by this point which I believe was because of the lack of food!
More wine talk, more tellings off to the room for not being quiet when the speaker was talking.
The dessert was a bit of a poor show. The panna cotta was not a panna cotta, it basically tasted of lightly whipped cream that had been aerated. The tiramisu was fairly tragic. A very harsh coffee mousse on a tower of sponge and cream, the sponge was incredibly rubbery. The tiramisu had no taste beyond the bitter mousse that topped it. Whilst the cocoa powder decoration was pretty, it just further added to the bitter and dryness of the dish. The best part of it was the dark chocolate cherry that sat on the top, which technically had no place there. The dessert wine was the highlight of the meal for me.
The food here was mostly amazing, lets not detract from that, there just simply wasn't enough of it. When serving so much wine, canapés are essential, and so are table adornments such as bread, or olives. The evening didn't feel especially Italian, in the food sharing, robust sense of the word. I was expecting a jovial meal, with plenty of food. It didn't happen for me. It felt very formal, almost like someone incredibly formal was trying not to be. The wine speaking became intrusive and honestly quite dull, but that's not to say I wouldn't have enjoyed it if I hadn't been starving and tipsy!
Let me just talk about the staff for a moment. You will not find better in Lowestoft in my opinion. Very good humoured but very aware of their job roles. Well dressed, sharp and excellent at what they do. These were a credit to the Ivy House.
In conclusion, The evening was excellent value if you can hold your wine, not so much if you like your food! The food was pretty, and of an incredibly high standard, but fell short for me. I would return for an a la carte meal to see if this was the norm.
The setting is gorgeous, the grounds beautiful and the staff amazing.
I would not think twice about having my wedding here.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank Ramit61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Visited here over Easter weekend with a group of friends for lunch. We were presented with a menu containing main courses, ranging between £13 - £20. Starters around £7. Needless to say the restaurant was nearly empty. Drink service was slow, one drink was even put down and taken away again (Fawlty Towers style!). When the main course arrived, my £17 salmon dish was missing the noodles. It took what seemed an eternity to attract the attention of a staff member, who then brought out a dish, which I hasten had to be shared with a fellow diner (not adequate) with no serving spoon. Wouldn't be surprised if this restaurant folds, drastic I admit, bit a reflection of poor service, poor value and overall I felt extremely disappointed , will be dining elsewhere in future !

    • Value
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Thank luckystarSuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Never been even though we live on the doorstep always way too pricey,having heard good reports decided to pay a visit. Very nice surroundings and lovely sunny drinks area however every fancy gin you could imagine but no Gordons. The restaurant manager was very friendly although his suit had a very unpleasant stain on the pocket which we thought looked a bit scruffy. Starters were great no complaints at all and the bread was really a nice touch. The beef was very nice but we wish the restaurant manager had told us how fiery the horseradish sauce was,also with a large party maybe going round every individual with the dish was time consuming and resulted in the last person to be served having a cold dinner, bit of an issue with timings on the veg and very disappointing gravy almost water and clearly made from gravy granules!! Dessert was lovely. Think they could have offered more coffee at no extra charge. All in all nice but a few issues which when addressed would make this that bit more special.

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Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

Just returned from Crooked Barn venue (Ivy farm) after a first class meal. Service was exellent, as was the food. Ambiance also very relaxing. William the head waiter/restaurant manager was attentive and kept his eye on the proceedings.
Can recommend without reservations.
Looking forward to next opportunity to visit.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank Dougal2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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