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Queen Kathy Menz   

User's reviews

  • The Secret Garden Gift Tea Room and Gift Shop


    I'm a RED HATTER, and I WILL NOT BE GOING BACK! On December 13, 2009, a group of 37 Red Hatters had 10 a.m. reservations at the tea room for a tea party. This reservation was made in October 2009. When we arrived about 10 to ten, in the cold (temperatures were below freezing that morning), we were not allowed to enter as they had JUST MOPPED the dining room and the floors were wet! The tables hadn't even been set yet. After MUCH discussion about these elderly ladies standing in the cold we were allowed to enter, but only into the GIFT SHOP! If you have ever been there... 37 ladies with tea party hats don't fit in this tiny little gift shop, we were in the hallway and on the stairs waiting. About 10:15 while we were waiting for the dining room... someone showed up at the front hallway to mop it... Needless to say, I spoke up and insisted they NOT mop as many of our ladies were in their 80's and we did not want them slipping on wet floors! The food was lovely; the service was difficult to get additional hot water to our tea pots however. And I caution you to be very careful about the TOTAL price for the tea! We were told 31.95 per person. When checking out, 9% sales tax and 18% gratuity were added. Yet on their web site... the 'RED HAT' tea is $30 and states; 'includes tax and gratuity'. Our menu was VERY SIMILAR to this $30 tea advertised on the web site! Our hostess had to pay an additional $309 to cover these costs out of her own pocket. We were also informed about 'If it should snow'... unless the State Police tell the media that traffic should stay off the roads because of snow... you will be obligated to pay for the tea. I found the owner uncompromising, and not very gracious... and sincerely hope you will get in writing from HIM, with his signature... the TOTAL cost of the tea per person which would include any additional charges such as tax and gratuity... prior to committing your group at this facility. I feel this review may not get posted, as I said, he was very unprofessional and closed minded and didn't seem to care if we'd return. It should be noted that we had planned that day to return in August and again next December, we will not be returning, we will take our business some where that may be more upfront with the costs and housekeeping, as well, shows some type of holiday greeting for Red Hatters. Please also note: that if you take your own PA system, the staff will use it with out so much as a thank you. All in all, my second time there was an absolute disappointment, not much holiday cheer from management at this facility!

    Tearoom response:

    We open at 10:00, but allowed this party to enter at 9:45, after a minute of clearing vacuum cords and other hazards out of the way. We asked that they browse in our gift shop or wait in the hallway while we finished rearranging tables and chairs for this group. (Tables were set the night before.) At 9:58 (2 minutes before we open for business) we turned the dining room over to the hostess, who with an assistant set out party favors for over 15 minutes. Concerned about the guests waiting in the hall, I volunteered my staff to assist with the favors, but help was declined. The hostess of the party recognizes that the menu she selected was not one of our special 'group teas', and that it was her oversight that the tax and gratuity were not included. The Victorian Christmas Tea includes many items not served on the $30 Red Hat Tea: three savories, two desserts, extra fruit and the Cranberry Pudding Cake with Vanilla Butter Sauce. These additional items not only add to the food cost of the tea set, but are additional courses to be baked and prepared by our staff, and additional dishes to be delivered by our servers and washed by our dishwashers. The lovely and gracious hostess of the party has contacted us to apologize for the scene that was caused and to assure us that she will be back with her group of Red Hatters and that everyone had a great time. She also assured us that our server who used her PA system to present the tiered racks thanked her for the use of it. We are sorry that you feel your experience was less than excellent. We hope that you find a tea room that is able to accomodate your needs.