50p For Water At The Beach Hut, Llangrannog

28 May

We’ve been fairly regular visitors at this café over the years, bearing in mind we try to avoid the tourists during July and August and of course this place closes out of season.

But on Sunday we parked in the car park and strolled down to the beach for a coffee. Now bearing in mind that this place has a large sign shouting that they serve West Country ice-cream, Ian ordered a mocha, a double espresso and a glass of tap water to go with the espresso. Now hope you are sitting down, because he was then charged 50 pence for the half pint of tap water. He politely explained that water was generally served with espresso coffee but that made no difference, 50 pence charged stayed!

Well Beach Hut I’ve tolerated, grudgingly, that you don’t support the many wonderful Welsh ice-cream producers and for some reason you can see some logic that you offer our visitors West Country ice-cream rather than Welsh ice-cream. ….. Don’t you feel it would help all round if you supported Welsh ice-cream producers, let alone other Welsh food producers? It makes sense to me to sell Welsh ice-cream in Wales, but seemingly not The Beach Hut in Llangrannog.

Anyway back to my original grumble, why charge 50 pence for a glass of tap water? Is it because it’s now tourist season and tourists are allowed to be ripped off? Or is it that you are not aware espresso is ‘usually’ served with a glass of water? Well whatever your reason, just let me say that we’ll not darken your doors again and shall return to other favourites in Ceredigion, The Hive in Aberaeron and The Bosun’s Locker in New Quay.


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  1. local

    May 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’m surprised you didn’t play the ‘don’t you know who I am card’
    it’s sad that this happened in the first place though 50p for a glass of tap water – well I’ll not be going there again but use the other cafe across the car park

  2. admin

    May 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

    That’s one card I never play!!!
    Our ‘problem’ was explained at the time, at the counter. But the member of staff decided tap water with a double expresso was to be charged for and charge she did. I always feel it is fair to deal with the probelm there and then and give the place concened the chance to put things right for us. As that didn’t happen, our next step has to be to vote with our feet. The Beach Hut now goes onto my black list, which is sadly far too long.
    Of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to post on welshfoodbites…………

  3. Beach Hut

    June 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    As proprietor of The Beach Hut, I am writing in response to this post. Indeed I believe it was myself that served these customers, and have done several times previously. It is ridiculous to suggest that we would charge for water. We have a policy of providing bottles of chilled water free of charge to all customers, passers by or dogs! We also offer our homemade lemon cordial free of charge for diners. I stress that we would never contemplate charging for a glass of water. To the writer of this post, I suggest that the 50p charge would have been for the extra shot of coffee required for a double shot espresso, and if you had asked at the time, I would have explained that to you. It is clearly written on the drinks menu that an extra shot of coffee is charged at 50 pence.
    With regard to our ice cream, you will be well aware, that the other cafe in our village produces its own excellent homemade welsh ice cream. We deliberately avoid direct competition with them, and have stuck to our policy of sourcing organic produce where possible. We take great pride in sourcing much of our food locally, and have an extensive list of locally sourced produce. It is extremely important to us that we provide locally sourced, sustainable, organic and fair trade goods wherever possible, and we support many local businesses in order to achieve this goal.
    We feel extremely disappointed that you felt the need to post your comments online instead of addressing us directly.
    In future, enjoy your coffee and welsh ice cream at The Patio.

  4. admin

    June 13, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I have no idea who served us on our visit to The Beach Hut on 27/5/12, but I can assure you we did query the 50p charge and were told it was for the water. Could we have done anything else at the time to, as you say ‘ address the problem’?

    We didn’t look at the menu as we knew just what we wanted – a moccachino and a double espresso. Our receipt shows a moccachino @ £2.20, a double espresso @ £1.50 and EXTRAS @ 0.50p. When we visited The Beach Hut on 7/5/12 our order was just the same, yes boring I know, however our receipt was not the same. It didn’t show EXTRAS but instead we had a listing this time under MISC, but the charge on that occasion was 0.25p not 0.50p. I’m not sure why there was a 100% increase in just under three weeks works, is that down to the tourist season perhaps?

    Pricing on double espressos varies, but just let me share with you two examples: Pachmama in Newcastle Emlyn @ £1.50 and at Ultracomida in Narbeth @ £1.30. So in our opinion £2.00. on the 27/5 was rather OTT.

    I am delighted to hear that your local competition, The Patio, make their own ice-cream, I didn’t know that as we have always been loyal to The Beach Hut when we visit Llangrannog. It’s brilliant that you support local food producers and organic producers whenever possible. Yet it’s puzzling for me to understand that The Patio making their own ice-cream, prevents The Beach Hut supporting a Welsh ice-cream producer, it certainly doesn’t make sense to me. I’m still convinced that visitors to Wales deserve the treat of having Welsh ice-cream, rather than ice-cream from the West Country or anywhere else UK based come to that.
    Welsh Country magazine is very strong on local food and supportive of Welsh food producers, so for me it’s annoying to sit outside in the lovely surroundings at The Beach Hut, Llangrannog and see a sign for West Country ice-cream. However it’s your business, your choice and your decision.

    Thanks for telling me where to go for my coffee and Welsh ice-cream when we next visit Llangrannog. I’m just sorry you can’t understand that we tried to query the 50p charge and got nowhere and I’ll certainly stick to my guns on supporting Welsh ice-cream makers.

  5. local

    October 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I come to this site a little late but felt saddened to see comments that blacken the reputation of one of the villages excellent food venues. I can see why you were diappointed to see West Country ice cream being offered in Wales and given the fact you had a query on your bill might this not have been the time to raise that and be given the explaination thet The proprietor has since given.

    About three years ago I was at the Patio restaraunt, where I believe you will now frequent, and ordered a pot of tea for one and an extra cup. I was asked why this was and explained that my friend only drank hot water (not unknown I believe) I was then asked to pay for an extra cup of tea. I was amazed but did not want to spoil the day!

    Both of these cafes offer lovely food and drink and I am sorry that some may take your adverse comments and not visit one of them. As a resident in the village I know how hard the pubs and restaurants have to work for their trade and it is a short season! Cut them some slack…..please!

  6. admin

    October 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you so much for leaving a comment and I’m sorry you didn’t find welshfoodbites earlier.
    I have no wish to blacken any Welsh business and as the editor of Welsh Country magazine which is so passionate about local food I am horrified to see a Welsh Country ice-cream when we have so many wonderful small and large ice-cream producers here in Wales.
    We had a query on our bill and as stated in the post, this was mentioned at the time.
    I’m terribly sorry you had a bad experience at the Patio restaurant. I have only been there once, years ago and was told they don’t serve mocha coffees and so I haven’t returned.
    Possibly I might influence other people but as I did respond to the owner – again shown under admin – number dated 2012/06/13 at 10.41.perhaps you can understand the differing prices we were charged for the same order, just weeks apart. I really don’t see what else we could have done but mention the matter at the time.
    The season is short in Wales but I am unable to change that, although Cornwall, Devon, Scotland and the Lake District have managed to extend their seasons. But we have many small businesses in Wales that work hard, it isn’t only those in the catering trade.

    You said I should have mentioned it at the time – and this was done.
    I have also taken the trouble to reply to the owner, detailing receipts from the Beach Hut on two separate occasions, but I have no idea how you suggest I cut them some slack? I’d have much preferred to have been a happy customer as I have been in the past.
    Perhaps I should just have been happy to get served………

  7. local

    October 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    As you say you were a happy customer in the past and hope you will be in the future. Croeso!

  8. admin

    October 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    You sound like you on working on commission for The Beach Hut
    I have been a happy customer in the past, but I wasn’t on my last visit. A query was pointed out, which was followed up by checking two receipts we had from a previous visit, with the same order but charged a different price.
    So why would I want to go back?
    Perhaps you are suggesting I go back when they stock Welsh ice-cream? Or does that not bother you as I guess you are not a Welsh ice-cream maker……

  9. local

    October 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Not on commision, no! As long as you are happily satisfied in one of our village eateries then that is good! Patios ice cream certainly is ‘to die for’.

  10. Beach Hut

    October 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I have had enough of this petty squabbling. Whatever your issues with our ice cream, could we please clarify that we DO NOT charge 50p for water which is the accusation made against us. The cost for a double shot espresso is £2.00, and you were undercharged on previous visits. I feel increasingly frustrated and astounded by your petty mindedness and feel that it would be highly appropriate for you to remove this post from your blog. It is inaccurate and misleading as we have always provided free water to all customers. Any customer who has seen this page finds it quite astonishing and laughable that you have written such rubbish. Our business thrives on great customer service, and it is testament to this service that brings so many regular customers through our doors.
    Your issues with our ice cream are another matter and one with which I have a degree of understanding. I respect your commitment to locally produced ice cream, and can appreciate your views on this matter. However, this is a totally separate topic of debate.
    This thread has run its course and now making you look rather petty minded and Somewhat foolish. I trust you will see sense, draw a line under it and move on.

  11. admin

    October 31, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Rather unfair to say I am squabbling. I am simply responding to someone called ‘local’ which is what I can do as this is my site and my food blog. My other alternative was to put that post in the bin.
    ‘Local’ was asking me to cut you some slack, but didn’t explain how and this has resulted in repeating this post, but that is not down to me.

    I have quoted two till receipts, but it is only today that you state we were undercharged! Was I supposed to know that? And you say you are frustrated!! Obviously we are supposed to be mind readers and should have known all along that in the past we’d been undercharged. That is ridiculous and I fail to see how giving full details about the prices we were charged is now my fault and I’m petty. If your customers feel this post is astonishing and laughable, that’s up to them, they’re entitled to their views.

    Whichever ice-cream you choose to sell is your choice. The fact that I feel you should be supporting a local ice-cream producer is a view I think is correct. More Welsh ice-cream businesses would be thriving if they got support from outlets such as yours.

    This thread was not re-started by me and it is quite unusual for me to receive comments now from a post in May. It would have been much simpler and quicker for me to have not accepted the comments from either local or from you. As I have already said they could have gone straight into the bin.
    I suggest the people that should draw a line under this is the person, known as ‘local’ who re-started it.

    But if it makes you happy to call me foolish, that again is your choice – rude, but your choice.