One of my Christmas presents from Dan was for a Champagne (shamperz – my wording, purely so it would fit in the title section on my site!) Afternoon Tea at a chain restaurant and hotel called Crazy Bear. We went last Sunday to the Beaconsfield one (the flagship restaurant – we overheard one of the waitresses telling some other guests) but there’s some more dotted around from what I can gather.
Parking was atrocious, it’s a very busy and small town and the place itself only has a couple of spaces outside it. We had to keep driving around the town until eventually I cracked and jumped out of the car to make sure they weren’t going to give our table away (we were late from trying to find somewhere to park) while Dan carried on finding a space somewhere.
Walking into the place, I could straight away see why it was called ‘Crazy Bear’. There were stuffed animals everywhere! Whether they were real stuffed animals, I was too afraid to ask, but fear they probably were. Even so it made for an artful discussion and lively atmosphere.
Though they were busy, they luckily hadn’t given our table away so I was shown to it and waited for Dan to arrive. The tables inside weren’t really table-tables, but a series of low coffee tables next to one massive L-shaped sofa that ran the edge of the room, which honestly was a bit of an awkward angle to be eating at. How anyone could eat a proper evening meal from there I have no idea. The turn around of clientele was quick in this place too, one minute it would be heaving, the next practically empty, then all of a sudden it would be heaving again. Which I am in no doubt was because of the awkward seating/eating arrangement. It’s certainly one way to get your customers eating and out of the door quicker.
While I waited for Dan, the waitress poured two glasses of Champagne and once he had arrived, it was a mere matter of minutes before our stand of sandwiches, scones and cakes arrived too. We were getting stuck in before we knew it. I’m sad to say, the ‘Crazy Bear’ theme did not continue into the food itself. There was nothing different or outstanding about it, it was just your run-of-the-mill, average afternoon tea; alright, but nothing to write home about.
The sandwiches were OK and surprisingly I would say the coronation chicken sandwich was the best item on the whole entire stand. This is not a good thing! When you have a plate of cakes in front of you and a sandwich is winning…there’s something wrong with that in my opinion.
For the sandwiches there was a choice of a classic or vegetarian option, we both went classic which included coronation chicken, salmon and cream cheese, ham and mustard and egg salad. We quickly moved on to starting the scones (which weren’t the best scones I’ve ever had, but also weren’t the worst either) then really slowed down as the food started hitting our stomachs after which we had to take little breaks from eating so we could finish the rest. The cakes were a random selection of chocolate mousse, lemon meringue pie, fruit tart, carrot cake, cupcake and some prune cake thing.
All in all we were there just under two hours and though the food was just OK, the company I was keeping couldn’t have been better – it had been a lovely afternoon out with my husband. Merry Christmas!
Dan had pre-paid so we were a little taken aback when we were told the bill was on the way. Turned out they wanted extra for a service charge. We know how these things work, we weren’t born yesterday Mr Business Owner that pockets it and doesn’t give it to the staff anyway! So we just upped and left, and felt justified when, taking the long walk out of there, we were not thanked or wished-well by any of the staff we passed – like you are when you even leave a clothes shop.
Would I go back? It wouldn’t be my first choice, there are certainly better – more cheap and cheerful – places to go for an afternoon tea. Just because something is on the pricier side, doesn’t always mean it will be better. A motto for life that.
Until next time. x