Saturday, April 14, 2012

'Tea and Sympathy'-Restaurant Review

I really should have heeded the warnings from friends and other British expats about 'Tea and Sympathy',  an English restaurant located in the West Village, but I thought I should try it out for myself.

I went with my husband on a Friday lunch time and the place was really busy.  We went inside and it was tiny, everyone was squashed in and it was boiling hot.  Not a great start.  We were told that the wait would be 5 minutes and to wait outside on the bench.  Fair enough.

They also have a shop next door so I popped in to get some Branston pickle.  I found it to be very expensive and they were charging a lot more for items that you can easily get in your local supermarket such as Fairway or Morton Williams.  For example, they charge $4.95 for a bottle of HP Sauce, whereas Fairway only charge $3.49.

After 5 minutes I went back to the restaurant where my husband was still waiting on the bench.  Lots of people came out of the restaurant, so after a few minutes we popped our heads in again to make sure they hadn't forgotten about us.  We were met by one of the rudest English women I have ever come across.  She didn't even bother to look at me when she barked at us to wait outside, then as we were still in the doorway she kicked the door so hard it slammed on us.  Well, as you can imagine we didn't bother staying and found a lovely little French cafe down the street.

My husband was fuming and was adamant that he would write a review about the place when we got home.  However, it turns out that almost everyone who has been there was treated the same way and the Internet is full of negative reviews about the rudeness of the staff, this woman in particular.  I don't know why this place is still in business, but I would avoid it at all costs if I were you.

So, I still haven't tried the food at this awful place and won't be going back again either.  I should have listened to my friends when they told me the service was awful, the restaurant was cramped and the food was ordinary.  I'm sure you can get tea here, but I would definitely go somewhere else for sympathy.

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