A few weeks ago, my friend Channon asked me if I wanted to go for Afternoon Tea. I said “Yes- why not” not knowing what it was all about to be honest, but after a few searches about places to go for our afternoon tea, it became very obvious what it was all about and seemed quite… erm… posh! #lol. Anyways, just to be certain, I did a google search on what exactly Afternoon Tea is and this is what google had to say –
“Afternoon Tea is a tea-related ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s. It evolved as a mini meal to stem the hunger and anticipation of an evening meal at 8pm. Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of sandwiches (usually cut delicately into ‘fingers’), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes.”
… and there you have it!
So we found a place on AfternoonTea.co.uk – the perfect spot! (or so we thought) – Browns brassiere and bar. We made a reservation, got ourselves booked in and waited eagerly for the ‘D-Day’.
When we got to the restaurant, we were both quite excited as the area looked so beautiful! We were greeted at the entrance by the host who searched on the system for our reservation and then directed us to some seats within the building. Although the weather wasn’t particularly great on this day, the view from the patio outside the restaurant was much better than staring at some seats inside. So we asked if we could seat outside but we were then told they didn’t serve afternoon tea outside -_- #strange. So, we had no other choice than to settle for the seats inside but opted for ones beside the window where we could stll look outside to the calming view of the River Thames.
We waited and waited for about 20 minutes for a waiter to attend to us, which we also found a bit odd because we did make our booking in advance, so surely they knew we were coming and knew exactly what meal we were going to order. When the wait became unbearable, we decided to call the attention of one of the waiters ourselves. The waiter in question informed us that she was not in charge of attending to customers in the area we were seated, but still offered to take our drink orders and then handed us over to her colleague. Then another ‘wait series‘ started.
A few moments passed and we spotted the gentleman who was meant to be attending to us by the bar. He had two cups of hot-chocolate (our order) in a tray with him and instead of bringing them over to us, he spent about 5-10 minutes chatting to another colleague by the bar, over our drinks! Clearly, this posh meal wasn’t going so well; but we decided to be patient and try to look on the bright side of things but this was proving to be a very hard thing to do as we were both getting very hungry.
Eventually the waiter came over and served us out drinks… and then… another waiting episode began! -_- Can you see where this is going?
It got a bit too much and I knew this because I eventually stood up from my seat to go and talk to the host himself. I explained what was going on and he told me he would go right away to find out what was causing the delay and just then, our meal appeared -_- . Imagine how awkward that was for me – I had just walked up to complain and while he was about to go ‘find out’ the cause of the delay, it appeared. I almost felt like he would have said to himself ‘You see! Why are you complaining?’. Oh wells! At least it turned up right?
So we began to eat and talked about life and all the stuff girls talk about and then… it happened! Outside, on the very same patio we were told Afternoon Tea wasn’t served, 3 different platters, identical to ours, were taken to customers outside the restaurant!!!
At this point all sorts of thoughts began to run through our minds – Why did he lie to us? Did we look odd? Didn’t we meet up to the dress code? #SmartCasual; What exactly would be a logical explanation for not having our Afternoon Tea outside? lol… I was soooo confused.
Luckily for the host, we had already finished our mini bites and so we couldn’t be asked to move tables… AGAIN!… but we still wanted to know why he denied us the privilege of sitting outside.
Unfortunately, as we were about to vacate our seats, we spotted him walk down some stairs which seemed to lead down to the staff room but there was another gentleman who took his place. We called for his attention and asked to speak to the manager and guess who he was? The manager himself Dum dum dummmmm!
We didn’t spare one detail! We told him everything that had happened and most importantly the misinformation we were given by the host and in all honesty, the poor service we had received through out. He looked very puzzled himself and couldn’t understand why everything had happened the way it did and said that it was really strange that we were told we couldn’t sit outside. He apologized and apologized and explained a bit more about how things were run in the restaurant but the 3 of us still remained very confused as to why the host said what he said.
Anyways, he offered to take 50% off our bill as compensation for all that had happend and like the bargain hunter I am, that made all the ‘bad experience’ seem so worth it! #lol
So that was it – my first time going for Afternoon Tea. Was it worth it? Would I be going again? It wasn’t the best experience I guess but for how much we spent, it doesn’t seem so bad anymore but if I do decide to go for Afternoon Tea again I’ll be visiting the Hilton (lol) and at least I’ll have an idea of what to expect!