There is a first time for everything. I have never reviewed a restaurant and given it zero on all counts. Until now.

I’m passionate about good food. If I find a place that serves delicious food, has great service and makes me feel special, I will most certainly be back for more. I will also shout out about it from the rooftops, because that’s what good eateries deserve.

A while ago, I had afternoon tea at the Cathedral Quarter Hotel in Derby. I didn’t write about it at the time, as the experience was quite frankly forgettable. I believe in spreading positive news. If an eatery has disappointed, I will always try to be frank and constructive. Since then, I have been asked numerous times, by friends asking me what I think of the Cathedral Quarter’s afternoon tea. I think with the advent of summer,  more people are looking for summery eating options. I always say, that there are other places to dine in Derby for afternoon tea, but can never think of a place in the city centre that is worthy of a visit.

Yesterday, I visited Lisa Jean’s Brasserie at Bennetts. I was blown away by the food, the service and affable hosts. I will post a review here soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Afternoon Tea, Cathedral Quarter Hotel
Afternoon tea tier

In the meantime, I shall try to be succinct in my review for afternoon tea at the Cathedral Quarter. We went upstairs and were seated in a near empty, very quiet room. It was Valentine’s Day, so I was expecting it be special.

Stained teapot, dirty tablecloth

The service was erratic, the teapot was stained, the milk jug had a large visible crumb (or piece of fluff?) on it, the pastry tier sparse, the bread for the sandwiches cardboard dry, the sandwiches uninspired with just grated cheese and a bit of tomato on one, the tablecloth dirty, the cutlery dirty. The icing on the cake was the presentation of a flat éclair, which was more like a thin pastry sandwich.

Grated cheese and bitty tomato sandwich on dry bread
Grated cheese and bitty tomato sandwich on dry bread

I had to return my food. It was most disappointing, considering it was supposed to be a nice day out for Valentine’s Day.

Milk jug with crumb in it
Milk jug with crumb in it
Thin eclair
Thin eclair

To the powers that be at the Cathedral Quarter, you have a lovely space. Please make use of it, take tips from Lisa Jean’s Brasserie at Bennetts on how afternoon tea should be done, and good luck for the future.

Star Rating 1-10 (1: “I’d rather eat my own shoe, I hated it that much” – 10: “I’d pillage for a meal here”.)

Food: 0

Value for money: 0

Ambience: 0

Service: 0

Rate or Slate? Slate. Sorry.

Cathedral Quarter Hotel, 16 St Mary’s Gate, Derby, DE1 3JR


Tel: 01332 546 080