Value Added Trouble

Blackheath Village Deli and Starbucks

I might have to reappraise what I wrote about the Village Deli back in May… After today, I’m not sure I’ll be heading back. It all started well enough, with the idea of getting something to eat there before catching a train. When we’d bought our food to take-away, I realised that we still had 15 minutes before the train was due.

So I asked one of the staff there if we could sit down with our food. He said of course, so we did. Then a very grumpy lady came over and loudly told us that she was very sorry, but we couldn’t possibly sit there, as we had paid to take away. Which was kind of embarrassing, and made me feel like some sort of furtive vagrant sneaking into their shop to sit down…

I completely understand that by law the place has to add VAT on to our order if we choose to eat in, so I offered to pay the difference. Mrs Bugle was busy fuming by this point. So we finished our (rather dry) spinach and ricotta thingy, and got up to leave. I asked how much we owed her, and she announced £2! Two pounds in VAT?! I’m sure our two spinach things didn’t cost more than £6, and by my reckoning, two pounds means that our food must have cost £11! I questioned it (hell, I’d already lost any chance at getting out of there without embarrassment), and was told that it was “because we sat at the table”, whatever that means.

It’s not so much the money, as the way it was handled… Maybe she was having a bad day, but as Michael P pointed out in the comments in the previous post about the Deli:

Every time I leave the Deli, I swear that I will never return. Although the service is just about passable during the week, I am almost always left to hang for a sapping period of time at the weekend. And there’s about as much chance of getting a smile as there is getting change from a tenner.

True indeed…  If I’m turning this blog into one long whinge-fest please tell me.  I do like Blackheath really!


Filed under blackheath village, shops

7 responses to “Value Added Trouble

  1. Olly Knight

    Learn from this experience! Even though it is close to the station is it not worth its convenience and is nothing more than a jumped up greasy spoon café (a deli it is certainly not, it smells like the inside of my oven in there and I don’t have a clean oven). Walk 45 seconds further to ‘Hand Made Food’ and pick up the best food in the village and probably the whole of south east London. Much more variety, much better service, much more locally sourced ingredients and more importantly much better food. The cost is slightly more but it’s worth the extra pennies.

  2. I agree, Hand Made Food is good, I’ve been meaning to write a post on it for a while, but haven’t managed to get round to it yet!

  3. I do like the variety of breakfasts they offer (I particularly remember a lovely one with grilled halloumi) but I agree that the service is lacklustre. I also think their breakfasts are rather expensive.

  4. John G

    I’ve always liked the look of the Deli but everytime I go I get really slow service (once they even totally forgot about me). I now tend to avoid the place.

  5. Lukas

    Food is good but the service is horrible!

  6. Jay

    Who owns this place? I had a bad experience there a few months back and when i asked for the owners details as i wished to complain i was told they couldn’t give out that information! What a joke! Haven’t bothered going back since but would certainly still write to complain…if i knew who to complain to!

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