We have eaten here before and whilst not considering the Cafe Bowes particularly outstanding, we have previously found it adequate. However, certainly not on our last visit. We anticipated it being busy...after all it was lunchtime in the middle of summer so obviously you would expect a large number of customers. We didn't have to wait too long before our order was taken but it was what happened after that which could either be viewed as a comedy of errors if one was being charitable or gross inefficiency by someone responsible for the catering.
We had no complaints about the staff serving in the cafe...indeed we felt sorry for them. Having placed our orders, our drinks arrived and after some delay, one of the waiters informed us that one meal wasn't available because the cafe had run out of eggs! Another choice was made and after a few minutes, another staff member came to say that meal was no longer available but reassured one of us that the same meal was available for her. Two out of the four meals arrived and then yet another staff member came to say that the meal which had been confirmed as available had in fact been taken off the menu.
Only two of us actually got the meal we had ordered but they left much to be desired. The beef panini was more cheese than beef and was served with a tired looking salad. To be fair, we were told that we would not be charged for one meal but for the quality of the food, prices are perhaps a little excessive.
Whilst accepting the cafe was busy, surely given that it was the middle of summer , the cafe management would expect that, so to run out of something as basic as eggs seems unforgivable.
We were , therefore, very disappointed and if we visit the Bowes museum again, we would not eat in the cafe.
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