Sunday, May 29, 2005

Serendipitea - jury is out whether a happy accident or not...

Serendipitea -- a cute name for a fairly new Tea Room in downtown Midland Ontario. The decor is lovely, it has that wonderful old fashioned Victorian feel. Tables at the front and a couch and chairs at the back add to the warmth and charm.

The food that Brian and I have had was wonderful. Very nice presentation with little doilies under the cups added to the charm. Tea is served in china cups and saucers. The menu is limited, which I often think is a good idea. That way you are almost bound to get good food, whereas if the menu is large, it's not always possible to achieve greatness with every item. I prefer quality over quantity!

I had the scones with clotted cream and homemade preserves and it was very good. I'll let Brian talk about his meal.

So those are all the good points - good food, great decor. Now comes the bad -- service. It stinks.

Brian and I have been there twice. We had different servers both times. First time the gal serving was sloppily dressed, wearing a hoody and jeans. It doesn't fit with the atmosphere! C'mon let's have the staff in long skirts and little blouses or something more suitable for this cute tearoom!

Our server never smiled. She sighed, as in "Do you know what you want? (sigh)". She brought our tea and coffee without spoons to stir them. She didn't bring serviettes. We had ordered 1 tea, 1 coffee, 1 scone with cream and preserves. Hmmmm is it that hard to remember to bring tableware and napkins?? When I asked for a spoon, she sighed. When I asked for napkins she sighed. I was pretty sure she wanted to lie down and have a nap.

Okay next time we went, we had a different server. Still not great in the wearing apparel but better than a hoody and jeans. This one also forgot our napkins. She forget the milk for my coffee. We both ordered scones and instead of bringing us 2 servings of the cream and the preserves with the 2 scones, we were given one tiny serving of cream and preserves, exactly the same size as when I had ordered one scone. So I asked for more. She told me this was all we get. I said that since one order came with this size serving of cream/preserves then obviously 2 orders came with double and it wasn't enough for both of us, could we please have more. She shrugged her shoulders and walked away without a word. No more cream or preserves appeared.

We haven't been back since. That's a shame because we loved the idea of going once a week as an outing. The owner is friendly and gracious and is perfectly groomed for the style of this tearoom but she needs to have a better handle on her staff - especially their lack of friendliness and their inability to get customer orders right.

I'm torn on how to rate this tearoom. For decor and food I would give it 4 out of 5. For service and friendliness I'd give it 1 out of 5. Okay I've decided. It's an overall experience and for me, the good food and decor doesn't make up for the unpleasant experience of disinterested, forgetful and rude staff. I rate Serendipitea as 2 out of 5 teacups

2 tea cup rating for tea room reviews

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