I went to the High Tea Cottage in March with a friend I hadn't seen in many years. We both loved it. The tea was good, the food tasted delicious, and it was a nice little tea house. Now, a few months later, I wanted to return with my mom and 3 young nieces (9 and 6 years old). Unfortunately they are unwilling to be accommodating to our needs. While I understand that there must be a splitting charge and the like, being unwilling to change the type of sandwiches given seems unnecessary. Are they really loosing money by giving us apple and cheese and cucumber sandwiches over egg and chicken ones? This is especially true when their prices are so high! Paying $18 for a 'fairy' to come is a bit ridiculous if the children are not going to drink the drinks they offer and only want a piece of cake and enjoy the atmosphere. They also seem to not adhere to their on-line menu, so I'd recommend asking before going if there is something from the menu you are interested in. Unfortunately for us, we won't be returning to this location and we'll stick to others that are more family friendly.
While I never respond to reviews on Teamap, this time I feel I must. You sent an email requesting 1 Royal High Tea with substitutions for the egg and 1 Princess Tea What you wanted was to bring 5 guests to Tea and order 2 items. 3 of the guests were children. I emailed you back and told you we could substitute the cheese and chutney for the egg and due to the split charge of $10 you would be better having 2 Parlor Teas, you emailed me back and said that was fine. You also stated that you did not require food for the 2 six year old children as they only drink water, yet you wanted them to have the full experience of Tea. I explained to you that it is our policy for all children to have the Princess Tea as it comes with the Tea Fairy and in the past we have had problems when children do not eat and then there are tears due to the Tea Fairy not bringing a gift to them, they see other children in the Cottage go looking for the Tea Fairy and receive their presents.
While I do not object to reviews being left on Teamap it would be appreciated if you would indeed be honest. I clearly stated in the email you could substitute egg for cheese and chutney, Your comment....While I understand that there must be a splitting charge and the like, being unwilling to change the type of sandwiches given seems unnecessary. Are they really loosing money by giving us apple and cheese and cucumber sandwiches over egg and chicken ones?....this is directly opposite to what I said. I am known for being extremely generous to our clients, we offer all dietary requirements from Vegan to gluten free, sugar free jams and heart condition menus. We substitute sandwiches all the time with no extra monetary charges including taking children to the kitchen to tell the chef exactly what they would like to eat when they are fussy eaters. Many Moms have told us their children will eat food at the High Tea Cottage while they will not eat at any other establishment.
As for the children, when other little boys and girls are in the Cottage and the Tea Fairy, which is a theme through the children's tea leaves gifts for the children, it is very sad for us to not be doing the same for other children in the Cottage who parent or relative has decided not to order the $18 Prince/Princes Tea or any food for the child. This has resulted in tears, not just for the child or children involved but also the staff. We are a business, not a charity, the jewelry given from the fairy is not a cheap trinket and costs us money as well. It costs us money to have a guest sit at a table, even if they order nothing at all. All china and crystal must be re washed, cloths changed etc,. The opening line in your first email was....In March I visted your tea house with a friend and loved it! I would love to go back next month with my mom, and three young nieces' I do not see how you can leave 1 star for service after your comment to me was this, still your choice. I am sorry you do not understand the principles of doing business in this economy.
While I enjoyed the food and service was decent, I was very disappointed with the experience as a whole. The cups used were basic white and not decorative. I felt like I could've been at a Starbucks. If they added some more traditional tea-cups and maybe some kid dress up apparel (hats, scarves, etc) - this place would be going to again. I went because of the reviews on this site, but I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for a true tea-house experience with cups, teapots and the like. That said, the tea was delicious (I had a Lavender Earl Gray and my niece (8 yo) had the Sweet Dreams (because it had Egyptian Chamomile and she LOVES Egypt). The scones were delicious as well (there was a mix up, but they quickly fixed it). I don't think I'll go again because I live 15-20 miles away. If I lived close by I might go to study ($3/2 cups of tea).