Patisserie Valerie can be recognised by its intricate signature cakes displayed in the shop window. Inside, there is dark wood furniture and counter fridges displaying savoury items as well as more cakes, croissants and pastries. The staff were friendly when we entered Patisserie Valerie and allowed us to choose where we’d like to sit.
It was that time in the afternoon when a cup of tea was needed. The Suki Darjeeling tea was presented on a wooden board. A small green teapot together with a cup and saucer was how the tea came. I asked if we could have hot milk on the side instead of cold milk and that was what was given.
So far, our experience at Patisserie Valerie was going okay. The staff were nice enough, it was a relaxed atmosphere, and we were content with our cups of tea.
It all started to go a bit downhill when we wanted to order another drink. It was difficult to get the attention of the staff. There were at least four members of staff in this small cafe. They seemed to be walking around with blinkers. So that was one incident: it was a task to be able to order additional drinks.
But after that, things did not improve. It was not just a one off incident. It came to the time when we had finished our drinks and we wanted to pay the bill and leave. We stayed seated, again trying to get the attention of the staff. After a really long time, a waitress did come over with the bill.
Another long wait is not what we anticipated. The waitress had disappeared; maybe she had gone on a break, we were not sure. But no one else came over to collect the money.
After about fifteen minutes, or it could have been longer, we got up to leave. We thought that this would be the only way to get any attention. Even then, there was no response. We had to go up to the staff and pay the bill. As we did that, we did tell them that we had been waiting such a long time to pay. The staff did apologise and said that they thought that we were being seen to.
Patisserie Valerie is a nice cafe but the service needs to improve immensely. A word of recommendation, only go here if you have a lot of patience or if you have a lot of time.
Patisserie Valerie, 9 Brunswick Centre, Russell Square, London, WC1 1AF