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REVIEW: 6th Floor Restaurant, Peter Jones, Sloane Square, London

This feels a little of a cheat but my resolution needs to stand.

After buying a sewing machine for £149 and getting to the checkout and discovering it was £129 I thought that rather than lug it all the way home through the rush-hour, I would have a leisurely tea and bun upstairs in Peter Jones.  Now as this is their flag ship store in the heart of Sloane Square I arrived on the 6th floor with certain pre-conceptions in my head.  

The restaurant was a clean and tidy, well stocked and presented.  The various pastries were lined up in neatly spaced rows.  The cabinets and serving areas have been well designed to pass a large number of people through efficiently.  The seating and design makes for good spread out seats with great views down through the store.  

The Citrus tart was citrusy and definitely tart and might have been slightly better with a tad more sugar but it was well presented and tasted as it should.  The tea was Earl Grey but little more could be said about it other than it was weak and insipid even for Earl Grey.  It also seems a little odd that such a smart restaurant would offer milk portions in those little hand grenade plastic packs that only benefit the makers of washing detergents.  

So all the ingredients for a very enjoyable experience were there, except the service.  It was clear it as the end of the day and those behind the counter considered their work done even though the restaurant did not close for another hour.  And I was given change in 50ps.

So I will not mark this one as I don't think I came at the right time or consumed enough to really judge it.  But the one saving grace was that when the woman packing my new sewing machine into the carry bag forgot to pack the guarantee and the manual, I was in the restaurant to take the call to ask me to come back for it.  

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I've found John Lewis cafes to be consistently dreadful over many years. It's a strange thing, given how much about the JLP is good. But it doesn't seem that hard to do, the business of selling a cup of coffee and a cake to weary shoppers, does it? And yet. They're not helped by the fact that most people are thinking 'ooh, a little treat', so their combination of high prices, low quality and poor service is never going to be a winner.

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