Norfolk Stories and Tips

The Painted Lady PT. 2

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member

John and I went with the Afternoon Tea each. I went with pekoe tea. John likes fruit teas and asked our waiter for a recommendation. He just looked at John and said, “Just go for the normal tea”. I was shocked and would have loved to slap him, but I guess that would have been considered rednecky. He deserved it though.

The tea is served in a single pot and you are given an antique strainer. You get cream and sugar is in lumps instead of packages. That was the only highlight of the day. Our food arrived on a beautiful china 3-tired serving platter. We had 4 scones, 3 sandwiches, and an assortment of cookies, and a chocolate covered strawberry each. Let me describe to you each of our courses.

The “scones”. Maybe because I spent time in England I think of scones as a sweet or shortbread biscuit. We had a plain and raisin “scone” each. What we actually had was a lump of cookie dough, baked to death, and then left sitting for 3 days. I managed to get the raisin scone down, but I couldn’t break off or cut the plain one. It was just not edible. This thing was so hard if you hit someone with it, it would kill them! Of course it would be the perfect weapon, because not even Gill Grissom would think of death by scone!

We had 3 finger sandwiches each consisting of pimento cheese, cumber and cream cheese, and chicken salad. I am not a fan of pimento cheese so that went to waste. Our chicken salad had a freezer burn taste to it. The cheese and cumber on wheat was quite appetizing and I would have rather had 3 of those.

Our pastries were nothing more than cookies. We had 3 peanut butter cookies that were so hard they couldn’t be eaten, the cookie bar was still frozen solid, and the mini strawberry tartlet was likewise still in the process of thawing out. The strawberries were at that point of eat it or throw it out and the chocolate must have been microwaved chips because it was lumpy. And our pot of tea was barley more than a cup full. Heck they do better with the tea pot at IHOP.

I don’t think anything was fresh here. The food was atrocious and wasn’t worth $15 for both of us, much less for one. The staff wasn’t the least bit pleasant. I had called a few days before and asked for some group information on the restaurant for a travel article I am writing. I also asked if I could see their banquet room to take some pictures. I was told no problem someone would be glad to assist me and just let the hostess know when we arrived. I did and was told someone would be with me. No one ever came. To make matters worse we were nauseated for the rest of the day. In fact when we went to the Freemason Abby we couldn’t even enjoy our fantastic food there because we still didn’t feel good after our “meal” here.

To top it off I had already contacted a magazine and needed to write an article on this place. The day before we left they called to tell me they were having their last sitting at 3 instead of 4. Since I had already promised a magazine an article, I didn’t have a choice. The Lion King started at 1, which meant I had to leave the second act. So I basically left the show to come eat this mess. I was not a happy camper.


Like I said the place is adorable and I love 1800s houses, but the food and service were not up to par for all the praises heaped upon them. The area surrounding them seemed a little shabby. I guess they are trying to make the area more fashionable since a group of condos is going up right across from them. They have a wall full of articles written on them. Somehow I don’t imagine mine will be on their wall of praises. If you’re still interested, despite my warning, you may visit them at

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