Chessill Pottery, Isle of Wight

Visited on 29/9/11

Business Type:

Pottery and tearoom

Ambience:

Very much a family place; we sat outside in the courtyard which was well kept, plenty of garden, and even a trunk of outdoor toys for children to play with.

Goods:

Typical tearoom fayre, although staff are proud to tell you that it’s all either made on the premises, or at the very least originates from the island. The scones for the cream tea were homemade, the jam was made by the ‘man down the road’ and the clotted cream was from a local dairy too. This was perhaps why the cream tea was advertised as ‘the ultimate’, which is a big claim and therefore leads to high expectations. Chessill Pottery was awarded the 2009 and 2010 prizes for the best Island cream tea, so this is probably why. Victorian lemonade and ginger beer is also available, as well asthe usual beverages such as Coke for those who are a little less adventurous. All portions are very generous, and there’s an excellent choice – there were four varieties of scone available with the cream tea, one of which was chocolate and apricot (unusual but very nice). There are also six or seven homemade cakes to choose from not including the numerous pastries.

A particularly thoughtful touch was that yesterday’s scones are sold of the next day in bags for 50p; great for minimising waste as well as providing a popular bargain!

Customer service:

Excellent service, engaging staff, keen to help and happy to talk.

What we had:

  • Cream tea
  • Ginger beer
  • Cheese scone
  • Chocolate cake

How it could be better:

  • The current system for bringing out the food and calling out for any takers isn’t very successful, several times the waitress had to take more than two laps of the yard before matching the food with the right customer. Perhaps table numbers might work, or perhaps if the person who took the order was the one to deliver the order – but at the moment the current system is a little intrusive and frustrating for all concerned.
  • Perhaps as well as the choice of scones, a choice of tea could also be offered. The tea was the low point, just normal tea, even a small choice would have been an improvement. But that said, it truly was the ultimate cream tea.

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