What a disappointment our “tea with a twist” was this afternoon. I would advise anyone thinking of going to give it a wide birth.

It is a brilliant idea, executed very badly. The idea is that they serve “afternoon tea”, but substitute tea for cocktails.

We arrived a few minutes early. Eventually a cocky waiter saw us to our table and told us that someone would be with us in a minute. Finally about 20 minutes later someone brought us out first cocktail (of two included in the price).

Shortly after, our plate of eats arrived. It looked like someone had popped down for a few goodies from Tesco’s Value Range. Sandwiches were cut in half (crusts not removed, as they normally are for afternoon tea), cakes randomly cut, all plonked on a plate and left out to dry. When the corners of the bread were dry enough to form sharp edges and the scones were nice and hard, the plate was brought out and presented to us. Clearly they also didn’t think butter was required.

We nibbled at a few things, and finally when we could attract the attention of a waitress, told her we were unhappy with the quality, she uttered a sheepish “sorry” and asked whether she could get us anything else to drink. Confused, we suggested that perhaps she could bring us the other drink which was included in the deal. She disappeared and didn’t return. 15 minutes later we lost both our humour and patience, got up and left. Unfortunately it had been pre-paid, so no leverage there, other than to discourage anyone else who might be considering it.

In my opinion, if you’re running an offer either:
– your business is struggling and you want to increase footfall and tempt clients to your institution;
– or it is merely a marketing plan, trying to get on the ‘afternoon tea bandwagon’
But either way, delivering it badly can only backfire.