Recently the Giraffe restaurant chain opened up in Newcastle at kingston park right next door to the huge Tesco extra and i was lucky enough to win £25 worth of voucher's to use there in a twitter competition to celebrate the opening. I was looking forward to visiting as i had seen some great reviews that other bloggers had posted about there visit to Giraffe Newcastle commenting on how nice the food was and how brilliant the service was. So i was expecting great things from are visit and decided that we would take the girl's with us and go for a family meal, and i thought that i would blog about are experience as i like blogging about are days out and to tell my readers about great things to do as a family.
However are visit was not so great and i have been left thinking that maybe the other bloggers had such a great experience as the staff knew that they were being reviewed as they sure did not offer such great service to us normal diners so here is how we got on.
We visited Giraffe on Friday the 8th August and arrived around 12 pm just in time for lunch the restaurant was lovely and clean and nicely decorated and there was plenty of staff at the bar area when you enter. We were greeted promptly and were told to sit wherever we like as there was only a handful of other diners there. We chose a seat and asked for a highchair for Sophia and were handed some menu's. There was some great dishes on both the adult and children's menu, we placed are order and are drinks arrived really promptly however we were still waiting for a highchair for Sophia so we had to ask again for a highchair and we eventually received one about ten minutes after entering the restaurant. Another bad point was that there was a few other family's there and all the other children seemed to have been giving colouring things and balloons and neither of my children were offered these things and i think this made them feel a bit left out and Chloe commented that it was not fair they had not received them.
The meal's arrived quickly and i was pleased to notice that the children's meals were brought out first which meant we could sort Sophia out before are meal arrived. Sophia got Focaccia pizza bites with salad as she loves finger foods and Chloe got burger and wedges. The children's portions are plentiful and Chloe who is eleven did not manage to finish her meal.
However the staff tried to take the plates away when we were still eating and the waitress said she would bring us the bill even though we had not asked for it and had planned on getting pudding and more drinks. When we were finished are meal they also took Sophia plate of food away too which she was still eating as most people know toddlers take a long time to eat.
The other half requested another drink and they also tried to take my glass away too which was over half full and i was still drinking and then we were shown the desert menu. Chloe ordered Chocolate brownie and Lee ordered banana waffle. Again the deserts arrived promptly and looked and tasted lovely but as soon as soon as Chloe had put her spoon down the waitress came and took the plates away and started cleaning the table while we were still sat finishing are drinks which made us feel rushed.
We then requested the bill which took a while to arrive and we noticed that the children's meals had not been deducted from the bill as advertised ( they had a offer on that children ate free with every adult main ordered) and we had to ask for them to be taken off. The final bill came to £47 not including the children's meals and drinks. Which i think was quiet expensive for a lunch but they do offer a special lunch time menu that is a cheaper option.
Overall the restaurant was lovely it was really clean and nicely decorated there was lots of staff and you can tell that it is meant to be child friendly. The food was really nice and i could not fault any of the food or drinks in any way. However the staff really let it down we were seen by at least four different members of staff we were not offered a highchair and had to ask for one twice and wait over ten minutes for one. Neither of the girls were offered colouring things or balloons which left them feeling left out, we were getting asked the same things off two and three different members off staff such as we were asked if the food was o.k of three different people and we were asked off two different people if we would like a dessert menu and i much prefer when you go out and you just have one waiting staff.
And we felt rushed even though the restaurant only had a handful of diners, they rushed to take are food away when we were still eating they tried to take drinks away that were half full and they tried to give us are bill half way through are meal. And cleaning the table while we were still sitting there just made us want to leave. And then they did not even check the bill and tried to overcharge us.
Would i go back to Giraffe? honestly probably not the food was amazing but for me you also need good service and to feel welcome somewhere to enjoy a meal and want to return and there are so many other family friendly places to visit who i have had much better experiences with. I really wanted to like giraffe and i had high hopes but i am afraid the poor service let there delicious food down. I am hoping that it was just as the restaurant is new and the staff are still learning as it would be a shame if others receive poor service as we did.
*I did contact Giraffe to tell them about the service before posting this review but did not get a reply off them.
* Disclosure - I won £25 worth of vouchers to use at Giraffe in a twitter competition however we paid for the remainder of the meal are self and Giraffe did not know we were writing a review. This is just are honest view of are experience of Giraffe Newcastle.