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“Champagne Afternoon Tea”
Review of Carnaby Restaurant

Carnaby Restaurant
Ranked #18 221 of 25 457 Restaurants in London
Price range: US$19 - US$51
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: Soho
Description: With a fantastic location in the West End, directly opposite the famed street and namesake, Carnaby is a bright and modern brasserie, serving lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and casual refreshments throughout the day. Located next to the London Palladium Theatre, Carnaby Brasserie is ideal for pre or post thearte dinner, casual lunches, or just a long and leisurely afternoon tea with friends, The Carnaby is a welcoming and vibrant eatery for every occasion.
Reviewed 20 July 2018

Having previously enjoyed the excellent champagne afternoon tea at the Carnaby Brasserie in the Courthouse Hotel London, we (myself and 3 family members) re-booked for a second visit on 7th July through lastminute.com and expected the same excellent service that we had previously enjoyed. However, on this occasion it fell seriously short in both service and quality.

Firstly the service was extremely slow, in fact we had to ask numerous times for the pots of tea, which we would expect to be provided at the same time as the food but instead only provided with a glass of warm water, not even iced water considering the extreme heat on the day, to help digest the food. When the tea eventually arrived we didn’t have time to drink it. Other people were also having to ask for their tea and some were leaving the restaurant without even receiving theirs at all and some had their tea way before their food arrived.
The bread in the sandwiches was dry and not fresh, they had clearly been left out for some time uncovered. The cake (lemon) was also very hard, indicating that it also wasn’t very fresh. As they are all pre made (according to the waitress) it was difficult to understand why the delay and how long it takes to make a pot of tea!
The ‘glass’ of champagne fell far short of what we expected in terms of measure! In fact no two glasses were equal and between the four glasses would have measured no more than two glasses with 2 being barely quarter full and the other 2 no more than half! I mentioned this as the waitress was putting the glasses down but my comment was completely ignored. We didn’t have time to complain on the day but I contacted the Courthouse via their website the next day. After 10 days I have still not received a reply. Obviously not concerned in customer relations. Very disappointing in you Courthouse Carnaby Brasserie.
There was also no air conditioning working so it was very hot.

    • Service
1  Thank merrilee63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 107 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2018

We did not stay over at the hotel, but we had afternoon tea here. It was lovely, the scones were amazing and there was enough food to fill us up. The service was good and we were offered more tea when ours were empty. However, the voucher we received made out like you could look round the old jail cells and court rooms, but this did not happen, it was just afternoon tea in an old court room. Still very lovely and worth a visit, but it was quite out of our way for an afternoon tea alone. Shame the rooftop terrace was closed as it was a beautiful day and we would have liked to have gone up.

    • Service
1  Thank Jayne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2018 via mobile

So I bought an afternoon tea experience through Virgin Experience Days for my partner as a Christmas present and we finally got round to using it today.

We were a little early as the restaurant didn’t open until 1pm so we went for a drink in the hotel bar. We were the first and only people here. The bar man didn’t welcome us at all and after reviewing the cocktail menu he was unable to make two different cocktails, one because the tea and coffee machine was out of order and secondly (a cosmopolitan), which wasn’t on the menu! So we had an orange juice and a lemonade.

Once in the Carnaby Restaurant we were greeted by one member of staff. The only other staff in the restaurant was behind the bar, so this poor lad had to manage all the tables on his own as well as meeting and greeting new arrivals. We were seated and the menus for tea presented. We were then presented with a glass of champagne and some tap water. Everything seemed a little rushed, but I think that was because the waiter was on his own and very flustered.

The afternoon tea then arrived. The sandwiches were quite basic. Cream cheese and cucumber, smoked salmon, ham, chicken and roasted tomato, and an egg and cress. We also had a tower of sweets. There was a shortbread biscuit, a chocolate mouse (quite heavy) and a chocolate fudge cake and what looked like a lemon or traditional sponge cake. Everything was fine apart from the sponge cake which was stale and rock hard. Thankfully there was some lemon curd to have with it.

We were also served some hot scones, which were clearly freshly baked and very nice indeed. However, we were only served strawberry jam. We did ask for some cream from the waiter, this took some considerable time to get back to the kitchen as he was too busy attending tables and incoming guests. At first he was unsure what we were asking for, but after explaining he went away to ask the chef and we were told there was no cream. Slightly odd as the chocolate mouse was topped with a whipped cream!

Overall the experience lasted about 30-40mins. It was a nice setting and the food was average at best, but could certainly be improved upon for such an upmarket venue. Just seemed like they were cashing in on a concept which made it all a little disappointing.

They also need to assign at least another waiter to serve tables or welcome guests.

It was nice, but no recommendation from us.

Thank AuntyDom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2018 via mobile

I'll start on a positive note. The food is good and so is the location..... then it heads downhill.
I can't help thinking that the Carnaby Restaurant is the poor brother to the silk restaurant which is in the same hotel.
We walked in and stood in the middle of the restaurant just to be starred at by the waitresses.
Eventually we were told to "Just sit down." At this point starting to feel like the prisoners that once stayed here. Or starting to feel like I'm at work and being treated like a piece of poo by a defence brief.
We were then offered a warm glass of tap water. Not even chilled or with ice.
Eventually afrer trying to make eye contact with another waitress to take our order as the original one just decided to blank us we managed to place our order.
Starters were ok. The scotch egg with pickle was freshly made and was lovely. The ceased salad with bacon etc had a lot of ceaser and no bacon at all.
The mains were good although I'd argue the roast beef was in fact splatted bits of beef steak that were then grilled. But... tasted good.
And then the wait to try and order desert...... Well we walked in at 5pm and it took until 7.15pm to pay the bill and leave and that's only because we had to go and find someone to take our money. And we wernt the only ones running around trying to pay.
By desert the original 2 waitresses had gone..... who knows where.... maybe beamed up by aliens that needed to run tests as they couldn't belive that humans could be so incompetent.
Now to the final waiter.... Well i though I was a customer in fawlty towers and Manuel was serving us.... clueless..... I explained i needed to pay as we had to be at a theatre which was a 10 min walk away.... so being the ever helpful imbecile he went and served others leaving us stood at the serving hatch with our coats on and bank card in hand leaving us to wonder if they actually wanted our money.
The moral of this story.... Food is ok but there's much better around.... service..... Well if you have plans anytime in the next 24-48hrs and like being treated like the scum that used to occupy the cells there i would go elsewhere. I've had more helpful diarrhoea!

Thank dantheking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2018

Well, it was St George's Day, so what better way to celebrate than to try The Carnaby restaurant at The Courthouse Hotel and their British Theme menu? The hotel was once a real courthouse and there are still prisoners' cells to view or book! The restaurant's name comes from the fact that it is situated opposite the top end of Carnaby Street, still one of the capital's must-see sights. It is also more or less next to the stage door of the London Palladium theatre, another of the capital's landmarks. The British Theme menu offers starters of Parsnip & apple veloute, the Carnaby mixed salad with Brie, a mini Chicken & mushroom pie and Scotch eggs. The little pie was delicious, served hot with a filling of minced chicken and mushrooms - very tasty. The warm homemade Scotch egg was accompanied by pickled silverskin onions, making a nicely sharp contrast to the egg encased in its minced pork jacket. From the main course choices of Steak & kidney pudding, Onion & goat's cheese tart, Sausage & mash, and Fish & chips, we chose the last two. Resting on a mound of creamy mashed potato, the sausages were served with plenty of thick, unctuous onion gravy. The Fish & chips came in a splendid double wire basket in paper cones, with mayo, tomato ketchup and Manchester caviar - that's mushy peas to you and me! This was a nice ordinary meal, well prepared and served with some style. We eschewed the Sticky toffee pudding in favour of the Apple crumble and the Croissant bread & butter pudding. They were OK, although neither looked particularly British, apart from the addition of jugs of good English custard.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Michael D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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