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“poor value very disappointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Ramblers Retreat

Ramblers Retreat
Ranked #3 of 12 Restaurants in Alton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$19
Cuisines: Cafe, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Groups, Special Occasion Dining, View, Kids, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: The Ramblers Retreat is an award winning country tearoom nestled in the Dimmingsdale, part of the beautiful Churnet Valley in Staffordshire. Our menu is homemade using only the best ingredients, many of which are sourced from local suppliers in the Staffordshire Moorlands. And as well as a delicious meal you can also enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of Dimmingsdale, this spectacular valley by following one of the established woodland walks. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“poor value very disappointing”
Reviewed 23 August 2010

Was really looking forward to a meal at the Ramblers Retreat after a 8 mile walk.
we had 2 very good bottles of beer also called Ramblers-but the food!
We were going to order the open sandwiches, (thick farmhouse bread), but after seeing someone elses the bread clearly comes from a packet- it was a perfect square.
So we ordered a Ramblers Platter for 2 cost £11.95- it consisted of hand craved ham enought for 2 but the rest-----
3 small peices of cheese, 1 spring onion- yes I repeat 1 spring onion , halve a stick of celery( both to share)-how do you share a spring onion!!. There was a cheaply made pork pie cut into 2( not locally sourced unless you count Tesco in Uttoxeter). A small part baked baguette again to share, 4 pats of hard butter, 4 thin slices of tomato( not even a tomato each), 4 cheap silver skinned pickled onions,some nice chutney, and loads of tasteless cheap flat lettuce. This wasn't a platter for 2 !!!!.
My husband decide to have an icecream after seeing other peoples and he did enjoy it. I tried to ask for a muffin thinking they would be homemaded, but after listening to the staff conversation about what they had - the were clearly mass maufactured. The icing on the cake was my so called cappuccino- why do people think they can sell these from a push button machine -you need a proper milk steamer- so on seeing it I asked for my money back , listening to an excuse that the machine wasn't working--so why sell it to me in the first place.
Its a lovely place but the food is over priced for what it is.

    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jorden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Ramblers Retreat, responded to this review, 26 August 2010
I am very sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your visit to the Ramblers Retreat on Sunday 22nd August.
As a family run business we work incredibly hard to ensure all our guests enjoy their visit. We have very high standards and take any complaints very seriously, investigating them thoroughly and putting corrective action into place where necessary. In response to your comments:

Ramblers Platter:
Our Ramblers Platter consists of a 10 inch French Bread baguette, Derbyshire hand carved ham, locally made cheeses (from Leek, Staffordshire), pork pie, sweet pickles, fruit chutney and salad.
Our Platter was introduced last month and has proved very popular. Because it is a new item on our menu, I have personally spoken to as many customers as possible to find out their thoughts. Feedback has been incredibly positive, however a number of guests have commented that they were over faced, particularly by the amount of cheese. Our restaurant is well known for its generous portion sizes. As a result, I chose to reduce the size of our Platter, particularly the amount of cheese provided.
Obviously, it is very difficult to please everyone, as tastes and opinions differ, however I would have been very happy to provide you with extra cheese or bread if you had asked.
I respect of your comment re one spring onion and one stick of celery on a platter for two to share, I shall ensure that in future there is at least two of every item on the platter.

Farmhouse Bread:
The bread used on our open sandwiches is bakery farmhouse bread - it is simply square in shape!

The vast majority of our menu is homemade using high quality, local ingredients whenever possible, indeed we have won many awards for the amount of local produce we use in our menu. We bake every day to and I believe we are one of a handful of restaurants offering in excess of 12 homemade desserts on a daily basis!
However, you are quite correct, our muffins are not homemade. They are quality boulangerie muffins which again according to customer feedback are excellent. We decided to offer muffins during the school holidays to offer parents a cheaper alternative for children who wanted a dessert but would not be able to eat a portion of our generous homemade desserts.

I must apologise for the cappuccino. Our coffee machine is an Italian Bean to Cup Coffee machine (Franke) that automatically grinds the coffee beans, produces the coffee and then adds the steamed milk and froth. These types of machines should produce a consistently high product every time. Unfortunately, on the day of your visit our coffee machine was not producing milk froth. An engineer has now been to repair it; however it requires a complete replacement so in the meantime we will be hand making cappuccinos using our milk steamer until we have replaced our coffee machine. Again, please accept my sincere apologies that the cappuccino was not up to its usual standard.

As previously stated, as a family run business we try very hard to ensure all of our guests leave thoroughly delighted. In our restaurant, we talk to our customer during their meal to ensure they are completely happy. We also try and talk to all customers dining in our garden to ensure they are happy with their meal - however this can be very difficult when it is extremely busy.

We also issue customer comments forms to customers dining in our restaurant and have two visitor books on display to ensure we are aware of all of our customer’s views. I’m sure you read the extremely positive comments in our visitor book.

Finally, we state at the start of our menu “As a family run business we are incredibly proud of our restaurant and work incredibly hard to consistently provide high standards of food and service. Our aim is to ensure you leave the Ramblers Retreat feeling thoroughly delighted with your dining experience and pass your experience on to your family and friends.
Therefore, if you have any questions, queries or concerns during you visit, please bring it to the attention of a member of staff immediately and we will do our utmost to satisfy your requirements.”
We openly state this, so that if a customer has any concerns we can rectify them immediately and the customer can enjoy their dining experience.

I am pleased to say that we rarely receive complaints; more often we receive personal letters from guests who have thoroughly enjoyed their experience. However, I am extremely saddened and disappointed that on this occasion you left unhappy but did not give us the opportunity to rectify the situation to enable you to enjoy your visit.

I do hope this answers some of your concerns and I hope you give us the opportunity in the future to demonstrate to you why our family-run business has remained successful over the last 25 years.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Smith, Proprietor Ramblers Retreat
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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311 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle Staffs England
Level Contributor
142 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“What a gem”
Reviewed 25 July 2010

Having been told so much about this place we eventually got to go there....and what a gem it is. No wonder it has won awards. The venue is as neat as a pin - large airy conservatory restaurant which looked delightful. However, the garden at the rear is a total delight of pretty canopied sitting areas and lots of beautiful plants and pots. I particularly loved the wooded area set aside with bird feeders - spent ages watching the countless birds that come to feed here (even saw a woodpecker). There is a small summer house where you can get closer to them - spot the mice as well!! We had a cream tea - 2 large scones and cream and jam and a good pot of tea. Felt really guilty afterwards but it was superb!!! Has a good website to check out. Go on indulge yourself

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank PaulineT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely position in the heart of the...”
Reviewed 7 March 2010

Lovely position in the heart of the countryside. A walkers paradise. The service tends to be slow because of how many people go. The food is nice but not the chips. But on a summers day and you are there outside in the lovely garden ramblers can't be beaten.

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

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