Binned! Patisserie Valerie

5 12 2007

After spending hours in the Victoria and Albert museum, we desperately needed coffee and cake. Off we went to Patisserie Valerie nearby at 215 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge.

In this London branch of the fashionable Patisserie Valerie chain, salads, pasta and fresh fish are on the menu, but calorific hits are what Patisserie Valerie’s really about. Pretty pastries, intricate chocolate confections, and cakes offer every reason to indulge. It was certainly a busy cafe so it must be fashionable. But at what cost? Must we have fashion at the cost of disability rights, manners and common decency?

My friend and I walked in and waited to be seated. We were told by not one, but FOUR, waiters that we could not bring a dog into the cafe.

PV – Dogs aren’t allowed in here
Me – He’s a Hearing Dog

PV – No dogs are allowed
Me – He’s an assistance dog, a Hearing Dog

PV – You can’t bring a dog in here for hygiene reasons
Me – He is allowed, it’s the law, he’s an assistance dog

PV – You will have to leave the dog outside, you can’t bring pets in here
Me – He’s not a pet. Go and get the manager!

The manager came out and I spoke to him –

Me – I’ve got a Hearing Dog, an assistance dog here. Your waiters keep asking me to leave. He’s an assistance dog, not a pet.
PV – We can’t have a dog in here.
Me – Do you allow Guide Dogs for the Blind in here?
PV – Yes.
Me – So why is this any different? There are six different kind of assistance dogs in the UK and they all have the Assistance Dogs UK logo on their coat. By law, assistance dogs are allowed into all public places including food shops and restaurants.

I told him to look at the coat Smudge is wearing and pointed out the logo.

PV – Our customers around here don’t like dogs.
Jane – You’re breaking the law!

The manager then agreed we could bring my Hearing Dog inside BUT… he told us where to sit (which is discriminatory). We were shown a table away from all the other customers, at the back, next to the toilets and an open door. It was freezing. I was not amused and after a few minutes we moved to a table further away from the door.

The coffee was lukewarm and the cake nothing special, it was more cream than cake. Ugh.

I don’t recommend PV. I didn’t even get an apology from the manager or any of the staff for their offensiveness. I haven’t been treated so shabbily in years and am extremely pissed off. How dare they!

When I got home, I looked at PV’s website and came across this – it makes for interesting reading!

Pâtisserie Valérie review :

We ordered our wedding cake from PV, 215 Brompton Road branch, and they couldn’t do enough for us at the time. However, on our wedding day, the cake arrived 3.5 hours late. As it was an evening wedding, most of our guests had left and missed out on an important part of the day. It was also the wrong style, and the wrong colour cake. After our honeymoon the MD said that we were lucky to have got a cake in the first place, made no apology whatsoever and said that we should have returned the cake!! Beware! these people just want to take your money and don’t care about the customer.

review by nafisa, 19 Sep 2007

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2 responses

7 12 2007
Kim

I don’t have a hearing dog, but a friend carries around a copy of our US law in print with her for stupid managers who don’t know the law about guide dogs. There are just too many idiots out there.

24 08 2017
UK Businesses Must Allow Access To Hearing Dogs - Not Pets - 121 Captions

[…] to visit Patisserie Valerie in Knightsbridge, London, with my first Hearing Dog, Smudge. You can read the story here. I always remember these incidents as they make me feel smaller than small … worthless in fact. […]

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