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“Smallest cream tea ever - picture on their website fantasy!” 2 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: Local cuisine, Groups, Kids, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats, View, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Brunch, Lunch, Breakfast, 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.
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
117 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Smallest cream tea ever - picture on their website fantasy!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014 via mobile

We paid £11.95 for cream tea, so disappointing. Two minute triangles of smoked salmon sandwiches and two of egg, should have left crusts on, maybe would have then possibly each been bigger than a 50p! We went in to choose the cakes and were told that we didn't have a choice of the amazing looking cakes on the counter. Limited to 2 types of small muffin type ones. One scone, (cream&jam), all fitted on top two tiers of cake stand, leaving the bottom plate glaringly empty. Service was very friendly but not very experienced, kept going back to cafe to check different things.

Two people in our party ordered scampi and chips, when they arrived, they were asked who has ordered it well done ?? One plate was very dark brown, other was "normal" colour, they took the order, but it really should have gone back and been cooked again.

Such a shame, they have an amazing location and in good weather a captive audience, need to be better value and some support for the waiting staff.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Annieb1900
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, 17 July 2014
Thank you for your review, our Riverside Cream Tea is very popular and comes displayed on a 3 tier cake stand - it comprises a large scone, clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches of cucumber and smoked salmon (we kindly accommodated your change of sandwich choice), we found that most people cant manage that and a large slice of cake so we asked our cake lady to make exact replicas in mini sponges (not muffins) of our most popular 3 and we offer a choice of 2 on each tea. I have to say this is the first complaint I have ever received that there was not enough food!
My staff are very helpful and polite and would certainly have asked if there were questions they were not sure about.
The scampi was simply a difference in batches, we would have happily replaced it if, as I say time and time again, you had brought it up at the time - all the food was eaten....
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
Storrington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
97 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Summer evening opening - not to be missed!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

We enjoyed a wonderful evening meal on the riverbank watching the sunset. Newly opened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings this is a chance not to be missed. We enjoyed generous starters of a Spanish influenced cold platter, pate, a pizza and 'river' burger washed down with reasonably priced beer and wine. The setting is great and if you have the chance then its a brilliant place to chill of an evening.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jenniegSussex
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!
We have been so pleased by the response to our decision to open in the evenings, it really is lovely to sit out by the river when the sun goes down!

We look forward to welcoming you back soon,
Best regards
Francesca
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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