In every area there is the restaurant that you need to eat in or at least others will make you think that there is a certain restaurant that you need to eat in and the Crazy Bear is the one where I live. Because of the tales of the very opulent leather studded interior I must admit there has been a certain curiosity in me over the past 2 years of living where I do that when I was given a breakfast voucher along with 2 other friends to The Crazy Bear I was actually looking forward to it.
I arrived early in Beaconsfield dressed smartly as per the dress code having already eaten 2 bananas as when you’re 16 weeks pregnant waiting for your breakfast isn’t something you can easily do and I didn’t want to arrive looking like a rabid dog saying ‘FOOD for the pregnant lady please!!!!’ I’d arrived early so I thought I’d have a look at some reviews which I now know isn’t something you should do just before going into a place for the first time.
To say they weren’t good was an understatement. Tales of ‘snotty staff’, ‘overpriced food’ and ‘bad service’ were all common complaints but the chipped paintwork and the cracked tiles on the ceiling also made me concerned for a restaurant and hotel that charged it’s 4 star prices and more. One comment of ‘We were brought prawns even though we’d ordered the vegetarian tasting menu and the staff didn’t seem to understand the full concept of vegetarianism and weren’t that apologetic’ made me slightly apprehensive and these weren’t reviews of way back in the past as the latest was just a month ago.
So I walked in with my friend a little apprehensive and was greeted by a friendly young waitress who showed us to our table where our other friend was already waiting for us. We were given menus and asked our preference for teas and coffees and then were given time to have a look at the menu to see what we’d like. I’d not eaten an ‘A la carte’ breakfast before although I have eaten the same for lunch and dinner so I was really interested to see what constitutes a ‘posh’ breakfast and it wasn’t really anything I’d not come across before or not eaten but the ingredients were grown on the company’s own farm which I thought a very nice touch so I suppose with this restaurant ‘posh’ is the integrity of the ingredients and that I can appreciate takes time, money and effort that filters through into the price tag for the customer.
I ordered Eggs Benedict as this is my current pregnancy craving that I have at least every other day at the moment and my friends ordered Eggs Florentine (same as my Eggs Benedict but with spinach instead of my gammon ham) and a full English breakfast minus the eggs and mushrooms. Our coffee/tea arrived in large pots that I knew would go cold even before we’d finished our first cup which was a shame.
As part of our voucher we also had access to the continental buffet which I thought was adequate but I only had some fruit juice which was delicious.
Our food arrived and looked great but mine was luke warm if not on the tepid side but being pregnant and needing this food I didn’t send it back. It didn’t have very strong flavours and I was disappointed with the Gloucester Old Spot gammon that was raised on their own farm as it was really quite tasteless. The duck eggs were cooked well but altogether it was pretty forgetful if not very filling.
During this time the waitress didn’t come back to ask if everything was okay and we weren’t asked if we wanted more tea and coffee or toast. In fact, we were just left and no one really said anything to us until we left which I found strange. I had been a waitress for some years in my younger days and checking your customers is really a basic of good waitressing. I understand some customers prefer the ‘hands off’ approach to a meal out and don’t want to be fussed every 5 minutes but there is a fine line between being fussed and ignored it seems and today I felt we were rather ignored.
The food having been dealt with the décor of The Crazy Bear is a must to discuss as it’s something that it has a reputation for. Tales of leather studded walls, oversized chandeliers and a strange hand washing set up in the downstairs toilets (lots of friends said ‘You have to go into the toilets!!’ which had me very intrigued) was all a bit of an experience and they were right that it is all a bit of an experience – the hand wash basins straddle the ladies and gents loos so when you wash your hands someone on the other side could be washing their hands too. Not too bad I hear you say but the wall only goes halfway down meaning that if you duck from the ladies side you can see the men using the urinals –odd? I thought so…
The décor was mad and I agree with the person who left a review saying that it was rather like ‘a Russian brothel’ which I have to say never having been to one I wouldn’t know but in my imagination I would this this is what one would look like: lots of mirrored walls, velvet curtains, antler chandeliers and glittered toilet floors.
It was too dark for the time of day and coming out after our breakfast into the rainy light of midmorning made me feel like when you’ve gone to the cinema in the daytime and your brain is very confused, not really something you want to feel after an expensive breakfast out.
All in all I can see where the money they charge goes as the electricity bill for the chandeliers alone and the cost of the leather fitted years before must only just be finished being paid off but for me the food wasn’t as ‘four star’ as I would have liked and I wanted the waitress and staff to have more of a, well, interest in us as customers (my friend had been there many times before and held her step daughter’s 14th birthday party there) both as past and potential ones. There was no chit chat about the rain, no enquiry as to whether we’d been before and nothing but a cursory glance and ‘goodbye’ as we left. I wanted to be spoiled a little but left feeling less than. In fact, yes that’s exactly it I wanted to be spoiled but I wasn’t and for that I really don’t think I’ll be back. Every area really does have its restaurant ‘to be seen in’ and this is Beaconsfield’s one but for me I prefer the café down the road where people know us and are interested in us even from our first visit. Would I go again? No I don’t think I would, especially if I had to pay the bill…