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Victoria Park’s Pavilion Café had to do without its lakeside views during park renovations ahead of the 2012 Olympics, but that didn’t seem to trouble its many regulars. They love the café as much
for its food (breakfasts, mainly) as for the setting. The clientele of dog walkers, joggers, middle-class mums & toddlers doesn’t make for the most relaxed environment, but if you can hack the
chaos, you’ll be amply rewarded by the full brekkies, eggs Benedict & Florentine, terrific sarnies (the ’nduja & pecorino toastie is a hot fave) & baking so good it puts the WI to
shame. The baristas here – & the (Square Mile) coffee – are excellent, so you can be assured of a good cup of Joe too. Both in quality & (caveat emptor) price, the Pavilion is leagues above
most park cafés.
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08 February 2013
I remember The Pavillion when it used to serve up instant coffee and greasy chips, yuk! It's new ownership was a breath of fresh air and the food excellent. However over the years it's success has sadly been it's downfall. Now that they don't need to work to attract people there, there is a lack of caring about the customer or their needs. Children's high chairs are left outside mostly dirty. Staff are generally arrogant, nonchalant, although not directly rude. God forbid you say the dirty word “skimmed milk” or ask for anything “our of season”, It's not that I mind that…It's more of a case of not what you say, but how your say it. No-one minds a restaurant confident in it's approach and ideals but how you present those can really effect how they are received. Having now finally got around to writing this I see I am not alone in this opinion. Sadly I doubt they really care :( However if you are happy in mugsville go ahead…
10 July 2012
The Pavilion does really good food. Lovely breakfasts and great coffee in a beautiful surrounding but… the prices have sky rocketed in the last few months – obviously in time for the olympics. I was standing at the counter when the staff were discussing putting the coffee price up from £2.00 to £2.40. They decided that ‘people would pay this’ as a good enough reason to put the prices up. Another customer suggested they look at their margins to decide if they should increase or not. Not a surprise to see the prices increased the next day. This attitude to pricing goes hand in hand to their attitude towards their customers. Most are generally very nice but some look through me like I don't exist. I go there practically everyday but they never say hello. If I say hello they look at me like ‘who the hell are you!’ The queues can also become painfully long while the staff chat behind the counter serving people when they feel ready.
Also in their wisdom they have removed the toilets and baby change recently. The public loos at the back were supposed to be refurbished months ago but they still remain closed. So now there is not one baby change in the whole park. When I asked the manager where the nearest baby change was he suggested I change my baby on the grass outside. Not the best advice considering the weather we've been having. They also have a no empty buggy policy in the cafe which I understand as it can get very congested with buggies in the winter but they provided no where to put the empty buggies. A buggy park outside would be nice. I also saw the manager put a toy buggy a little girl was pushing outside. Taking it all a bit too seriously!
Regardless of this I still go there and pay through the nose for their lovely coffee and food cos I like it but I do think they need to rethink their attitude towards mothers and babies – at least half of their clientele. I think they'd struggle without us.
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