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“Best fruit cakes” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riverside Cafe Tea Room and Gardens

Riverside Cafe Tea Room and Gardens
Ranked #2 of 2 Coffee & Tea in Amberley
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$15
Cuisines: Cafe, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats, Child-friendly, View, Kids, Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Situated on the banks of the River Arun, Riverside offers breakfast, lunch and traditional afternoon teas all year round. Enjoy sitting outside by the river in the South Downs National Park, drinking a cold beer or enjoying cream tea, we are opposite Amberley Station and 5 minutes walk from the South Downs Way.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best fruit cakes”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

We enjoyed visiting this cafe on a very sunny day and the views of the South Downs and river were brilliant. The tea was excellently presented in bone china cups and teapot and tasted good. The fruit cakes were the best that we had ever tasted. The prices were very steep, but we will return due to the location and we are not from the local area.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 492Helen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francescula, Owner at Riverside Cafe Tea Room and Gardens, responded to this review, 10 August 2014
Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review! I'm very pleased you liked our fruit cake, we love it too!
We hope to see you here again very soon,
Best regards
Francesca
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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250 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    136
    55
    29
    16
    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Dorking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Need to do more on customer relations”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2014

Have been using this tearoom for a few years and has always been ok. On the last visit we ordered a cream tea with a plain scone, the scone was not cooked and could not be eaten,the scone was taken away and as it was the last one we could not have another one. I have been in business for over 30 years and know that mistakes and problems happen so the scone was not a major problem but the cup of tea was charged for that was part of the cream tea, this i consider to be very bad business practice and left us feeling rather upset. If you make a mistake make sure the customer is happy with the out come. We all make mistakes but the clever one is the one who sorts it out and in this case it was not.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Colin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francescula, Owner at Riverside Cafe Tea Room and Gardens, responded to this review, 5 July 2014
Thank you for your review, you are quite correct and we shouldn't have charged you for your tea, it was an error that shouldn't have occurred.
Please accept 2 free cream teas by way of apology, if you could e-mail your details to me at francesca@riversidetearooms.co.uk I will ensure you will have a fantastic visit next time!
Regards
Francesca
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Not so good for weary walkers....?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

I last visited this establishment probably about 2 years ago as I call in there usually at the end of a days walking if I've missed the train at Amberley station or need refreshment before travelling home. Then I was greeted with a basic clean cafe type area hung with local pictures and selling local produce (jams, cards with local views etc). I purchased a mug of tea and a hunk of delicious cake. So it was with much anticipation I led my friend there after an 11 mile walk along the South Downs way. Rather sweaty and grubby we entered but in our rather disheveled state I immediately felt rather out of place as the interior was very smart. The staff were very friendly but it was table service only. We had a pot of tea for two and I had a Portuguese custard tart which was very tasty but also very tiny and dear enough at £2.55 for a couple of mouthfuls. We sat outside - strangely enough the outside area is much less smart than the inside, despite the palm trees, with plastic ground covering on steps and bog standard wooden picnic benches. I just feel that for the majority of the likely clientele (walkers, bikers, river users) the new image is not right. It's just too posh for where it is situated. Maybe there is an argument for having two seperate areas - one more up market for the clients that the establishment seems now to be trying to target and another area for the more rough and ready types of which I count myself as one after a day out on the trail. It's not that there is anything wrong with the tearooms - maybe it is a little on the dear side but I could forgive that if I felt at ease there which sadly I didn't really. It is a shame because although I visited infrequently previously I would look forward to a visit at the end of a good walk as a real treat whereas now though staff are friendly it's all a little too stiff and formal and self conscious of itself. I have read the responses to other reviews that have been similarly critical and think it's a shame they seem to be totally discounted because there does seem to be a theme to what is being said so maybe there does need to be some credence paid to the general drift of whats being reported. I only like to post a review if I feel I have something valid to say or feel strongly and I would say if you have a special event and want to celebrate in style in a beautiful rural setting then this is the place for you. But if you are a weary traveller and you want a hale and hearty mug of tea and hunk of cake and to rest awhile in a homely atmosphere then I should try the pub nearby instead. We went on there after the tea rooms and all the cyclists had migrated there and I can understand why. It seems a shame because there should be enough trade from cyclists and walkers for both pub and tea rooms and as a customer its nice to have a choice - but I know which I would opt for on future visits - though I will miss that nice mug of tea and chunk of cake. I suspect I will feel the wrath of a reply and be told they are glad I probably won't darken their doors again but it would be nice to think my criticism could be taken as constructive because it is certainly how it is meant.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francescula, Owner at Riverside Cafe Tea Room and Gardens, responded to this review, 4 July 2014
Thank you for your review, to clarify our position we are having approximately 1000 customers visit us every week, a large percentage are walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists who don't feel out of place with our new decor, we welcome everybody in exactly the same way as we always have!
I think that suggesting "another area for the more rough and ready types" would be very insulting to those customers who stop here for a well deserved rest and a bite to eat, of course if you prefer a pub environment you are most welcome to stop there instead when you miss your train.
As for "feeling the wrath of a reply" it is impossible to stand back as a small business owner and do nothing when people try and damage what we have worked so hard to build up, affecting both my livelihood and that of the 20 or so staff I employ.
Regards
Francesca
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worthing, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

I have visited this tea room for many years but sadly will never visit again. Everything about it has deteriorated in the last few years. The tea room occupies a stunning position next to the river and ancient bridge but appears to be attempting a tropical look with palm trees and oddly metal tables. The menu is incredibly expensive but the food average. Also staggering that what is essentially a tea room does not even sell ice creams any more, and this is the problem, the Riverside Tea Rooms does not know what it is, certainly it is not a bistro and I anticipate will lose many loyal customers.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Vanessa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francescula, Owner at Riverside Cafe Tea Room and Gardens, responded to this review, 29 June 2014
Thank you for your review, I must however take you up on a couple of points as you have chosen to share your opinion on a public forum:
Expensive"? No, we are no more expensive than any of our local competitors and please feel free to visit them all to check.
Our business has had a large investment made over the last few months so it has in no way "deteriorated" as you so put it - if it is an ice cream you want I suggest the village shop, we are catering for customers who would like to spend some time enjoying the views with great food and service.
Luckily our loyal customers understand what we are trying to achieve here so we won't lose any of them.
Regards,
Francesca
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Sussex
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What do people really want”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014

Denise and I have been going to the Riverside since Frankie and the family took it over must admit they were a little bit out of there depth not being in the catering trade before. Last winter they were flooded for a few weeks but they have come back with a vengeance with bloody hard work and determination. There staff are always pleased to see you and helpfull me being a bit of a fussy eater they will accommodate me with my wishes.what more can you want. The position is perfect right by the river and you can sit in the garden amongst the palm trees on a nice day you could be any where. Perhaps you might have to pay a little extra but it is worth it so some of you unhappy people stop moaning and go back and get your purse and enjoy we think it is great Denise& Tony

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francescula, Owner at Riverside Cafe Tea Room and Gardens, responded to this review, 4 July 2014
Thank you Tony and Denise for always supporting us, rain or shine, and for standing up for us on this public forum!
27,000 customers cant be wrong!
We look forward to seeing you and Ricky and your lovely friends that you bring here very soon,
Kind regards
Frankie x
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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